JUDITH, MY BRIDE by Moira Carter

The house did not stand alone, it was loneliness itself.

Judith howled horribly upstairs to me. It echoed around our former matrimonial home; it was enough to wake the bloody dead.

‘You’d be late for your own funeral?’ she screamed with laughter. And I was going to be if I wasn’t careful.

Judith always stated the obvious but it wasn’t difficult to do that with me, as everything I used to do was obvious; now I was an enigma but that comes with the territory.

‘I don’t want to go but I don’t think I’ve got a choice,’ I smiled weakly back, trying to not sound haunted by my own remarks.

Judith floated up the stairs and joined me on the bed. I sat with my head in my hands.

‘You’ve no choice,’ she whispered softly.

‘Yes-I don’t want to let the others down, especially as they are expecting to let me down- all the way to the bottom.’

‘Nice to see you’ve still got your sense of humour, even if you haven’t got all your limbs.’

‘Oh yes,’ I realised, ‘I better grab them from the closet.’

She took my hand and I immediately felt calm. As she stroked it I went into the bathroom for my teeth, eyes and hair.

She tried to wipe a bleeding tear off my cheek but I was too busy trying to not look gaunt and pale for her. I gathered myself together into a suitcase and we left with my other hand in hers.

On our walk to the cemetery- as she faded in the moonlight never to be seen again- images of the shadows of the outline of the visage of Judith, my bride, remained in my receding memory.

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