The full moon rose higher in the sky, illuminating him. He had been digging incessantly, for an hour. Finally, exhausted, he slumped down hard on the moist earth.
The wind howled. The moonlight cast eerie shadows of bare trees upon the ground. He shivered and pulled his jacket-collar closer.
He rose to drag the sack. Then, he dumped it into the pit with detestation. An owl hooted; the lone witness watched as the man began shovelling back the earth upon the shallow grave.
“It’s a balmy Sunday, folks, as you are tuned into big FM…!” Nicola’s lilting voice sang out of the radio.
It was this very voice that had him fall for her. Now it had become the bone of contention between them; she wanted to soar higher as a radio-jockey, he wanted them to start a family.
He sat there, nestling a beer in his hand, her voice gnawing at him. She walked in through the door.
“That’s all you seem to be doing, lately,” she muttered with disgust.
“And what have you been up to, lately? Rabenmutter*,” he jeered.
“What a misogynist!” She spat the words at him, stirring up the hornet’s nest.
It was the last straw, he needed that day. He sprang at her with all his rage and knocked her down. In the ensuing tussle, her head hit the table and cracked open. She lay lifeless, eyes still flung open, as the blood congealed around her delicate face.
He woke up with a start.
The sound of a familiar voice came from afar. It seemed to have permeated through the layers of his sleep. He strained to hear it. It came from the living room. He was at once drawn to it.
A chill ran down his spine as he recognized it: Nicola!
Nicola’s dulcet voice was talking about the lyrics of a new German hit-song.
Ah, the radio. Mist*! I must have left it on.
He proceeded to turn it off when suddenly he flinched. The radio spoke his name:
“Hello, Lars! Have you missed me?”
His heart leapt into his throat.
No, this can’t be happening. I must be dreaming.
But the voice continued:
“Oh, but I have, precious husband.” A diabolical chuckle.
In a fearful fit, he hurled the possessed apparatus onto the ground. Its crash echoed in the empty hall.
Silence. Then, the transistor crackled to life. His eyes grew wide in terror.
A malevolent voice hissed with derision: “Rache bleibt nicht ungeraecht*!”
A cackle bellowed from the wreckage. It grew to ear-splitting decibels breaking up into static. Lars clamped his ears shut. The noise bore into him, hurting him.
“Please stop!” He cried in desperation, sobbing like a child.
When they found him, he was huddled in a corner. A tear-streaked face, expressionless.
“Looks like his wife ran away,” someone said.
“I killed her,” he whispered with a sardonic smile. “But she sought vengeance… from beyond the grave.”
He dissolved into howls of hysterical laughter.
GLOSSARY of German words used (in order of their appearance):
* Rabenmutter ~ German for “Raven-mother”. (Rabenmutter– a term used in Switzerland and Germany to criticize working mothers who “abandon” their “nests” in pursuit of careers. A synonym for bad parenting.)
* Mist ~ German for “Darn/Damn”
* Rache bleibt nicht ungeraecht ~ German Proverb, translated as : Revenge remains not unrevenged.
Connect with Penmancy:
Penmancy gets a small share of every purchase you make through these links, and every little helps us continue bringing you the reads you love!
- My Companion - 21 Feb 2022
- Hidden - 24 Feb 2021
- Lamentations: An Exercise in Mourning - 18 Dec 2020