Tuesday, August 20, 2013
“One more, sweetheart, and we’ll be finished.” He folded her hands across her chest, carefully arranging them to hide the missing fingers. “That’s perfect.”
The camera’s flash lit up the darkness for a moment, illuminating her pale features. He crouched beside her and gently brushed her blond hair away from her face. “You can rest now. Your memory is forever preserved.”
He placed the small digital camera in his pocket, stood, and reached for the tape recorder. A light breeze swept over the bow of the boat, and he closed his eyes. He’d stopped believing in God, but he still believed in Hell. And he was going to burn in Hell. Not because he’d killed her, but because he’d enjoyed it so much.
He opened his eyes and glanced at the recorder. He’d taped every scream. Recorded every moan. His purpose had been innocent enough in the beginning. He’d wanted a reminder of the sins he had committed. But then something had broken. Needs had awakened. Darkness had descended on his soul. He had become the very thing he abhorred. And worst of all, he liked it.
He pushed the play button and listened to her screams rise and fall. Desire swelled deep in his groin, intensifying each time a scream peaked. He licked his lips, yet he denied himself the pleasure of the sweet beauty of release. Later, he could watch the video, study the photos, and relive the excitement. Perhaps then he would allow himself the ecstasy of release, but only if it didn’t cheapen her memory. She didn’t deserve that. At the moment, reliving the feel of the scalpel in his hand and the rush of pleasure of severing the muscles one by one was enough.
His gaze fell on the hands still delicately folded across her bosom. He’d had to discipline her. But she’d learned quickly, and the missing fingers did nothing to diminish her perfection. And she’d been so perfectly exquisite. Her hair was a golden halo, her skin soft as silk, and her body… If goddesses existed, they must have cringed in envy every time she walked by. But her eyes set her apart from the others. Beautiful, gleaming sapphires. That was why he’d kept them. If the process worked, he would use them. If it didn’t, he knew where to find an identical pair.
He placed the recorder in his shirt pocket but left it running. His desire was gone, but something about her cries was soothing. They created a pleasant balm in the pre-dawn stillness.
He reached for the Ziploc bag housing the remnants of his first experiments and opened it. Although each had been beautiful in her own way, they had had no ceremony, no words of beauty spoken over them. He had simply weighted them down with rocks, and with a simple flip of a switch, the cargo hold had opened, expelling the cold, stiff bodies. They were not worthy of a starring role, but their lives had not been totally in vain, as they would have been had he not taken them. Although they held no place of honor on his board, he had immortalized them. They would be remembered. Holding the bag over the side of the boat, he whispered, “I cast your eyes to the ocean.”
He watched the white orbs flip and float on the waves. The screams on the tape tapered off into whimpers as the sun crested the horizon. He rolled the body to the edge of the boat and wound a rope around it. Then he secured the massive stone to the corpse and lowered the special-made railing.
“You, my darling, have the starring role in Act One.” With a smile, he pushed the bundle overboard. “I cast your soul to the sea. ‘Do not be afraid; our fate cannot be taken from us; it is a gift.’” He’d memorized the verse for the occasion. Just for her.
She had changed everything, cleared the fog from his brain, and given him a reason to live. Such beauty must be preserved, protected from the ravages of time or disaster. He had honored her by taking her life. Saved her from a fate much worse than death. The human race was fickle. Once her beauty had faded, she would have been forgotten, tossed aside for the next beautiful face and body. Now, she would never be forgotten. She would always be remembered as the first Eternal Beauty.
Dawn was approaching, but he still had time. Wiping his hands on his pants, he sat and reached for his journal.
My Darling Dakota:
How I wish you were here beside me now to share my moment of triumph. The play has changed, my love, but fear not, for I shall make you proud. I have my first, and although her beauty mirrors your own, it will never surpass it. Act I is now complete, and soon, Act II will begin.
I shall honor your wish, my love. It has taken me five years to realize what you knew all along—true beauty is art. And art must be preserved and protected in its purest form to be remembered and appreciated.
My quest is now clear. No longer will I linger in the shadows, waiting, watching, praying for a sign. Instead, I will blaze a path around this world, seeking those worthy and preserving them for all time. Soon, everyone will know your name, and all the world will know your beauty. You, my darling, shall be revered as the most beautiful of them all, and you will always be remembered.
Standing, he lingered at the rail, watching where the long blond hair had sunk beneath the water. Taking the recorder from his pocket, he waited in anticipation. The screams grew quiet as the tape neared its end. The boat rocked slightly as his heartbeat quickened, his hands growing sweaty. The tension was nearly unbearable. The recorder paused for a moment of silence before her voice filled the night.
“Please… remember me.”
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