Somewhere

Wednesday 8 – Saturday 11 June 2011

Somewhere – by Within Temptation (from the album ‘The Silent Force’)

Lost in the darkness

Hoping for a sign

Instead there’s only silence

Can’t you hear my screams?

 

Never stop hoping

Need to know where you are

But one thing’s for sure

You’re always in my heart

 

I’ll find you somewhere

I’ll keep on trying

Until my dying day

I just need to know

Whatever has happened

The truth will free my soul

 

Lost in the darkness

Tried to find your way home

I want to embrace you

And never let you go

 

Almost hope you’re in heaven

So no one can hurt your soul

Living in agony

Cause I just do not know

Where you are

 

I’ll find you somewhere

I’ll keep on trying

Until my dying day

I just need to know

Whatever has happened

The truth will free my soul

 

Wherever you are

I won’t stop searching

Whatever it takes me to know

 

I’ll find you somewhere

I’ll keep on trying

Until my dying day

I just need to know

Whatever has happened

The truth will free my soul

 

 

The bitter wind clawed at her throat as she stood by the river’s edge. Every year, she returned to this place biting back the tears, and fighting the memories. As painful as it was to be here, Charlotte couldn’t avoid returning. She needed to stand on the bank and mourn. She had no graveside that she could visit; nowhere that she could lay flowers, and talk to him. No body had ever been found. The river was all she had.

For hours on end, one day a year, Charlotte would stand, gazing into the water. Her life with Richard had been cut short. There were no goodbyes, only a promise that he had made to her on their wedding day. Charlotte clung to that promise as if it were a life preserver holding her afloat in a tumultuous sea. It was of little comfort though, given that he was no longer alive.

‘My love,’ she whispered to the river, ‘ten years you’ve been gone.’

The wind whipped around her, seemingly in response to her words. Charlotte pulled the lapels of her woollen coat tighter around her neck, and fiddled with her scarf trying to keep out the cold. She turned to look behind. Barton and the horses were still waiting patiently.

Life had been difficult for most, at the turn of the century, but Charlotte had hoped and prayed that eighteen hundred and three would be prosperous for her father’s business and the Gordon family. The loss of her husband, Richard Lincoln III, had adversely affected not only the Lincolns, but the Gordons as well. When Charlotte became betrothed to Richard, their families had engaged in a business union as well as the person union between the Lincoln’s eldest and the Gordon’s youngest. It was, by all social accounts, a match made in Heaven.

It had not taken long for Richard and Charlotte to realise that they were meant to be together, and after a relatively short courtship of three months, Richard had asked for Charlotte’s hand in marriage. Her father, seeing the social and business benefits of the union, heartily agreed. He had a soft spot for his youngest, who had never asked nor demanded anything. Charlotte had always been more than content with her lot in life. He wanted her to be deliriously happy. And that she was, at least for a short time.

‘Mrs. Lincoln, are you ready to return home?’ Barton called from the roadside. He was a well-built man, and often the centre of housemaids’ attention with his striking good looks and athletic physique. Mr. Lincoln trusted no other man with his horses, or his wife. Barton was a good friend.

She turned at the sound of Barton’s words, and offered a weak smile that implied she wished to remain longer. He nodded his understanding and promptly turned his attention back to the horses, not noticing the man approaching Mrs. Lincoln from the river. Charlotte turned just in time to avoid his wet hand touching her shoulder. Terrified at the sudden arrival of this man, she almost stumbled backwards. Gasping for air, she pulled the scarf away from her neck.

‘Richard? It can’t be.’

He stood in front of her dripping wet and blue from the cold. A smile spread across his face. She desperately wanted to hold him, but where her heart told her to do it, her mind told her that something was not at all right.

‘Richard?’ she asked again.

‘Yes, my love,’ his words distant, and raspy, were whispered so only Charlotte could hear.

‘But you’re –’ her mind told her exactly what he was. Dead.

He laughed, ‘Well, I’m standing right in front of you, Lotte.’

This could not be Richard, she thought. Charlotte reached out a hand to touch his face. Indeed, it was a real man standing in front of her. She could feel him, and see him, and hear him. No words came to her now.

‘You don’t believe that it’s me?’ he asked.

Charlotte looked behind to Barton. His attention was firmly directed at the horses, and he was taking the time to check their shoes, and hooves. Unless she called out to him, he was unlikely to see what was happening.

‘Charlotte?’

The cold, wet hand on her cheek startled Charlotte. She let out a gasp and a whimper. It had been nearly five years since she had felt Richard’s touch.

‘Do you remember our wedding day?’ he asked of her. She nodded. ‘I made you a promise, do you remember what it was?’

It took her no time to think of it. His promise was the one thing that she now held on to for dear life.

‘That I’d never have to live alone. I’d never be without you,’ she said.

‘That’s right,’ he smiled.

All this time, she thought, and he’s still as beautiful as ever.

‘There are so many questions I want to ask you, Richard. Where have you been? And why, darling, are you so wet?’

Clouds darkened the sky. Barton had told her earlier that day that it was sure to rain. She hadn’t believed him. When they had set out for the river early that morning, the sun had been shining, there wasn’t a cloud in the sky, and the worst of the cold was in the wind. Within seconds of the clouds rolling over, the rain started, slowly at first. Barton called out to her.

‘Mrs. Lincoln! We should go before you catch your death. Mrs. Lincoln?’

Her attention was elsewhere, and she didn’t reply. Barton wondered who she was talking to. He could see no one around.

‘Barton will become suspicious quickly, Charlotte. He is a good man. I trust that he has been taking care of you.’ Richard stepped closer to her.

Charlotte could smell the river water on him. She could smell death. He reached out and took her hand.

‘You don’t want –’

‘I don’t want to live alone,’ she interrupted him.

‘Come,’ Richard led his wife closer to the water’s edge. She resisted, not wanting to get wet or muddy.

‘Richard, I don’t think this is a good idea. Stop. I do not wish to get muddied or wet.’

He continued forward, tightening his grip on her hand.

‘We gave our word to each other than neither of us would have to live alone. The time has come, my love, for you to make good on that promise.’

He pulled her further forward until his feet were submerged in the river. She continued to resist.

‘Richard, stop,’ Charlotte cried.

The smile had disappeared from his face; his eyes suddenly soulless. This was not the Richard that Charlotte knew and loved. But it was too late. He was much stronger than she.

Barton heard nothing; no one would have amidst the heavy downpour of rain that had started. Frantically, Barton called out to her, but she did not answer. When he ran down to the riverbank, Charlotte was gone. Two sets of footprints were filling with water from the rain. In no time, they would be completely gone. Just like Charlotte.

Advertisements

About Danielle

I like to write. What more is there to know?
Gallery | This entry was posted in Twisted Fiction and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s