It was a Monday, the rain pouring down as if the sky were mourning. Any sane person would know better than to venture out in this weather. Any sane person other than the man standing in the middle of the Red Rock graveyard. Clutching the very umbrella that he had crafted to kill his wife, he stood there, tears mixing with the raindrops. The least he could do is offer her a proper burial. He looked at his wife’s gravestone and said, “I thought I’d never be able to know how it’s like to be free of you.” A voice behind said, “You never will.”
A voice so familiar, yet so distant. A voice that sent a chill down his spine.
“Why won’t you turn around, Raj?” said the voice, with an evident smirk and pleasure of shocking him by knowing his name.
Raj froze. He couldn’t bring himself to move. There was something about the voice that made it sound so alien, so frightening. He shut his eyes tight and opened them, hoping the voice he heard was just his overactive imagination in the pitter patter of raindrops.
“Turn around, Raj.”, this time in a grim tone, making it clear the owner of the voice was losing patience. He could feel the voice tightening its coils around him as a snake would its prey, forcing him to move his frozen self towards the voice- to see who, but his neighbour Sana standing there with bloodshot eyes.
Raj’s eyes widened. Not able to get his voice over a whisper, he stuttered “Wh-what?”
“I never thought you could kill her. The wife you loved so dearly.”
“I did not.”, Raj said blatantly, his nails delving deep into the flesh of his palm in hopes that she doesn’t realise his lie.
“I know everything, Raj. Don’t deny it.”
Being the fragile person he was, he couldn’t keep up his lie any longer. “I had to! She…” he paused, his voice choking and with a look of contemplation if he should share it or not.
Lowering his tone as if he were embarrassed of his wife, he said “She killed our son. She murdered him and devoured him. When I saw her relishing his blood, I couldn’t help but put an end to her life. My love for her blinded me from her peculiar behaviour. But I had had enough.” He paused as if he expected to receive an acknowledgement from Sana. There was no response.
He continued, “You won’t tell the police, will you Sana? I’m going to kill myself now anyways so it would be futile if you-“
“You mortals. Still think I’m Sana, do you?”
Raj gulped, bracing himself for the worst.
“I’m the soul that possessed your wife, Raj. I thought she was the perfect host, considering that you work in a blood bank and how naïve your love for her made you. But you proved me wrong, didn’t you? Killed her like it was nothing, forcing me to find another host nearby immediately. I couldn’t choose you, I need you to be yourself. Can’t afford suspicion in the blood bank. So I- “
“You! You monster!” Raj screamed. He felt his world crumbling. He couldn’t help but imagine the life he could have had with his wife. “What did you do to her?!”
“Relax, Raj. I never harmed her. The only way I can die is when the host decides to commit suicide. Why would the host want to end the life that I make seem so beautiful? Endless dreams day in and day out. She lived in a world of paradise as I lived my life through her body. “
It relieved him that at least his wife had a good life. Coming home every day to see his wife suck on the blood he stole from the blood bank, it was torture. He didn’t know what had changed in her, but he did everything she asked to keep her happy.
“I’ve been living off others’ body and blood for a very long time now. Death is for the weak. I can cover up your murder and make it seem like your wife never existed. You don’t have to kill yourself now. “
Raj waited for her to continue. He knew there was more to it.
“In exchange for your help, I can cover up for you.”
He knew he couldn’t not accept the offer. The look on her face said it all. “Take the offer, or live long in torment”
“I agree to help you.” he obliged reluctantly and broke down in tears.
“There, there.”, the monstrous soul said as she put her arms around him, slyly trying to assuage his feelings, with a wry smile plastered on her face.
“I’m sorry.” Raj apologized.“Why are you apologizing to me?”
“That was for Sana.” Raj confessed. Before she knew it, he impaled Sana’s body with the poison in the umbrella’s tip.
“NO!” she screamed. The soul entered Raj’s body without any other choice.
Closing his eyes brimming with tears, he impregnated himself with the deadly poison.
But this time, he shed happy tears. Happy, because he could see his wife and live the life he wanted to after death.
As the rain stopped abruptly, so did his heart’s beat.