Friday, August 21, 2009

Friday Fiction: Miranda's Choice

We're back from our visit with my grandmother, and no internet. The no internet part is actually pretty refreshing.

Here's the next Miranda Snapshot, as promised. Please, keep reading through next week, as I think the first and fourth installments are the best. And then, a ghost story, or perhaps something else supernatural...

Miranda’s Choice

Miranda slid into sleep, heartbeat exploding in her ears and echoing in her mind. Thump-thump, thump-thump; the only sound she heard. Leaden limbs drew farther down still, deep into the velvety comforting abyss. So this is what it’s like, she thought. The comfort of death’s embrace. First brief pain, then the mellow darkness. I should have done this long ago. Might have spared myself more grief.

An unnoticed gasp escaped her parted lips. The dark man - stranger no more - shifted position slightly, the better to support her. She was aware of this. She was also aware too of the slight pricking at her neck; the result of his movement. It all became more inconsequential as she gave herself up to the enveloping blackness.

Down. Down she sank like falling into a pile of autumn leaves. Willingly Miranda went, eagerly seeking blessed release from her life’s drudgery. The hammering within her mind increased. Thump-thump. Thump-thump. It was growing slower, second by merciful second.

But life is a stubborn thing, struggling to continue even when unwanted. Miranda’s will leapt to life, urging her to fight the coming night. Thump-thump. Thump-thump. Her pulse echoed, growing louder. Fight, damn you! Fight! It whispered fiercely in her ear. Fight or death’ll have won. Fight, or life will have been meaningless. Fight, Miranda!

Survival broke through to her. She struggled in the arms of her deliverer. However, Miranda desired peace - rest- more than survival. Thump-thump. Thump-thump. The heartbeat began growing faint. Merciful release was sought once more.

Tangy moisture fell in droplets through her parted lips, striking her tongue. Something deep inside stirred, seared it’s way through the heavy blackness. Come to me, Miranda. The stranger’s call whispered. Come to me. Images began clouding before he darkening vision. Peter leaving her. Tabby, the cat, waiting dinner. Tumbling fall leaves. Those penetrating grey eyes. Her attention focused there. The vision held. Became stronger. Come back to me, Miranda. There’ll be no more pain. The eyes compelled - commanded - her attention. Her return.

Miranda struggled against that riveting gaze. She wanted her peace. Her rest. She deserved it! Darkness wrapped its cold comfort around her like a silken velvet cloak. And more sharp tanginess seared into her, hitting the back of her throat.

Please, Miranda, the grey eyes pleaded.


Miranda paused in her descent, looking deep within those eyes. Perhaps they contained more than the mere command to live. She looked...and saw need. Desire perhaps. Whatever his gaze revealed upon the screen behind her closed lids, she began to struggle. To fight her icy suitor.

The stranger wrapped his will around her’s, melding them together, lending her his strength. She tasted more of the tangy ichor. Consciousness and need came as one. Tentative hands grasped his offered arm. A hungry mouth fastened upon his wrist, drinking deep of the offered nectar waiting there. His blood. Her blood. Strength -warmth- crept through her languid body. Miranda’s eyes opened once more, fire burning deep within them.

The stranger cuddled her close, smiling down at her. Letting her drink deeply from his wrist, before pulling it gently away. “Welcome back, Miranda. Welcome to a new life. One which you create. Control.” A grin split his pale face. “Perhaps you’ll share part of it with me.”

She nodded her ascent, as deep within her a hunger raged. Miranda smiled, feeling her canines extending. Elongating. They brushed her lower lip.

“I’m thirsty.”

The stranger’s - Keeley’s - laughter spilt out into the October air as he helped her to her feet.

Copyright Melinda M. Knowlton Fulk, 1997

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