This is the ninth installment of a short story which began HERE.
A torrid sun; a tropical paradise; a frustrated writer; a cheating wife; a mysterious sultry woman ... the ingredients for a forbidden affair? Or the recipe for murder and the perfect crime?
XXVIII"Eve? B-but you're d-dead. I saw your body," I stammered. I'd never known the fear of seeing a ghost until that moment. I'd never thought about the dead rising. If I'd had any doubts before that I was losing my sanity, those thoughts had returned.
"Do I look dead to you?" she snapped. "Aw, what's the use? A woman tries to look beautiful for her husband and what does she get when she comes home from a rough day on the job? He says you look ... dead!"
She removed the clip from the pistol and placed them on the dresser next to box I'd put there earlier. Inside it was the urn, empty no doubt, that contained what I had thought were her ashes. Still in shock at the sight of seeing her alive, I remained motionless watching her.
She approached the edge of the bed and stood with her feet on either side of my feet which were just touching the floor. She leaned forward as her hands pinned my elbows to the bed. I couldn't help but glance at her cleavage as she positioned her chest above mine. The blue material slipped from one of her breasts allowing a nipple to be exposed.
She arched her back and shifted her weight until she was balancing herself, her pelvis onto mine, and removed the bra. She grinned at me fully aware that my gaze was fixed upon her bare breasts and said, "Now do these look dead?"
I shook my head. I was powerless to resist. In spite of all that had happened, I was helpless. She was so beautiful ... so desirable. She cupped her breasts and one after the other maneuvered their hardened tips across my eager lips. She pushed herself back until she was upright straddling me. "Do they taste dead, dear husband?" she whispered.
"What have we here?" she laughed as she rolled off me. She pulled down the zipper of my pants and reached inside. Without hesitation she unbuckled my belt and then yanked my slacks until they fell in a heap about my ankles.
"John, I do believe you are dead!" She then removed my shorts and announced, "Look! Rigor mortis has set in!"
XXIXI awoke feeling refreshed and contented. I turned my head to see her standing by the bed still naked looking down at me, her hands on her hips. She always did love her own body. She loved being seen naked. I began to feel a stirring in my loins.
Noting the activity below my abdomen she said, "John, we have to talk. I have a few things I need to tell you about myself. You deserve that much." Her furtive glance to where the previous movement had been apparent told me that she hadn't missed the sudden turnabout there.
I rose from the bed and grabbed the two robes hanging in the closet. I threw one to her and donned the other. I was relieved to see that she took my cue and pulled the robe over herself. She certainly had a lot of explaining to do, and I didn't need any distractions.
I stood by her and asked, "What in the hell is going on? What's with the gun?" Although I was trying to remain calm, the anger was percolating in my blood, "How dare you point a gun at me!" She opened her mouth to speak but I raised a finger to her lips and continued my tirade. "Why the charade? Why was I led to believe you were dead?" I turned and walked a few paces away and then spun around and roared, "Spineless bastard? Is that what you think of me?"
She moved to me and placed a hand on my shoulder, "John, I had to make sure you were alone, that no one else was in the suite with you." It was her turn to stop me before I could speak. "You are in danger. So am I ... now that I've blown my cover."
"Cover? What cover?" I asked. "My God, who do you think you are, Eve Bond? And what's with all this cloak and dagger stuff?"
She shrugged her shoulders and sat down on the bed. "I can see you're not going to believe what I've said so far and you probably won't believe anything else I'm about to tell you. Please, John, sit down and hear what I have to say." She watched, silent as I sat down at the other end of the bed. If she was affected by my avoidance to sit any closer to her it didn't show on her face. She cleared her throat and said, "Bear with me, I have to start at the beginning." She paused and looked at me, "I'm sure you remember when we first met, don't you?"
"Of course I do!" I replied angrily. I thought at that particular moment that it might have been the darkest day of my life. Yet, the memory of that day ten years ago warmed my heart.
"Remember when I asked you to dance?" she purred. "Remember how fast everything happened? I'll never forget that wonderful night when I took you back to my room..." she was smiling but was trying to hide the fact. "I know it was impetuous of me to ask you to marry me, after all we had only known each other less than twenty four hours - but you said yes!" She leaned close and placed her hand on mine, "Then without further discussion, we hopped on a shuttle to Las Vegas and got married." Her voice seemed to crack. Something wasn't right.
I jumped upright and stood over her. "Who are you? You are not Eve!"
Two hours earlier, the cloaked figure took tentative steps creeping past the desk where Deputy Locke snored loudly. His feet crossed upon the desk, hands across his stomach, and head bent backwards, the deputy didn't stir as the figure picked up a set of keys. Undaunted the figure moved silently across the office and disappeared through the door behind the deputy's chair.
The beam from the flashlight pierced the darkness of the long corridor. The light moving left and right trained upon the brass plates that identified the purpose of each room. The figure stopped only when the light played upon the desired door. The free hand turned the knob of the door to the morgue.
Once inside, the light traced a path around the dark room until it fell upon the bank of large drawers against a far wall. The figure opened and closed one drawer after another. Apparently having found the correct drawer, the beam of light scanned from head to toe the body of the lifeless nude female form lying there.
With a sense of urgency, a gloved hand produced a small plastic case from a pocket of the hooded dark coat. The case opened, nervous fingers grasped the cylindrical object and held it in front of the flashlight. Carefully pulling back the plunger of the hypodermic needle, intense eyes peered at the clear viscous liquid inside of the glass object.
Whispering the figure uttered, "I sure hope you were right."
From another pocket a large magnifying glass was positioned over the neck of the ashen-skinned cadaver. Wide eyes concentrated and picked up a barely discernible red dot positioned above the left carotid artery. Using a red felt tip pen the tiny dot was enlarged making it visible without need of the magnifying glass.
The figure raised the syringe and gently depressed the plunger until a small bubble of the liquid formed at the end of the needle. The needle in one hand, the other came to the person's forehead to wipe away the beads of perspiration that had formed there.
With pained accuracy the needle pierced the pale neck in the center of the red mark. When the liquid disappeared from within the glass tube, injected directly into the carotid, the syringe was withdrawn and returned to the plastic case. The figure drew back a sleeve and noted the time on a watch. Only then did the figure choose to violate the morbid silence to again whisper, "I sure hope you were right. Fifteen minutes you said..."
Only twelve minutes had passed when a low hoarse moan arose from the throat of the cadaver. That was followed by a series of hacked coughs. The figure moved closer to the drawer in stunned silence. Abruptly the body bolted upright in the throes of convulsive vomiting and then fell back to its original position.
A strained voice struggled to speak managing only two strained words, "How ... long?"
"Oh, only thirty-six hours."
Ten minutes later she was sitting upright her feet dangling above the floor. With help from the one who had reanimated her she had been cleaned up and was soon fully clothed and standing on shaky legs. It would take a few more minutes before her heart and her entire circulatory system were back to normal. She turned to her rescuer and said, "Bring me up to speed. What has happened while I've been sleeping in this damned freezer?"
The figure answered, "They've shown us their hand. She's here."
Still somewhat weak she replied, "Then let's get out of this dungeon. The game's afoot."
The hood back in place and supporting the resurrected woman the figure exclaimed, "Welcome back from the dead ... Eve."
To be continued.... HERE.