The Garden Window

A Short Story by Dagger Jeniva

Her green acidic eyes filled with fear as she looked down at her blood-stained dress. Her grandfather's revolver rested in her dainty hands.

"What have I done?" Her body shook uncontrollably as nervous laughter overtook her body. She let the revolver fall out of her hands.

This act of hatred, no, this act of impurity would live in her dreams until her insignificant life ended.

"It was all his fault!" she screamed as tears of hatred and love poured down her wont cheeks. "If he wouldn't have bloody screwed up what he promised, he would still be alive." The boiling anger steamed over as she threw his priceless vase across the room. "Why couldn't he have just loved me?" A tremor of emotion went through her body as she collapsed, sobbing into the ends of her skirts.

With a swift move, she tore off her dress and watched with pleasure as the brown-red fabric fell to the hard-wood floor. She knew what she had to do. With the capability of a maid dusting her master's pictures, Adeline covered up her tracks. Half-delusional, she put on her wedding dress and danced with the ghosts that would soon haunt her. His scent was stronger, now that he was away from that Karen woman with her money that she could carelessly toss around.

"At least he'll stay with me forever."

---

"Come now, Roger! Come outside with me! Don't let what your father said get you down!"

"Alas, my dearest Adeline, I can never forget what Father said. You know he means what he says. He'll send me to America, once he's closing his business!" Roger rubbed his temples.

"You don't have to listen to him! Come, stay with me in our kingdom by the sea! I am your Annabelle Lee!"

Roger smiled into those dancing emerald eyes. He loved that child-like wonder that he always found when he looked at her. She was so different from the other women that he had escorted in the past. She had a sense of adventure that only he could only find with her encouraging him. But with that stunning nature, there was something he could never get out of her. He longed for her to give him something more than a kiss on the cheek. That's why he had proposed to this cunning child. Unfortunately, it didn't sit well with his father that he was marrying a fifteen-year-old girl. His father wanted him to marry closer to the age that most respectable wives were made out of, seventeen. He watched her dance around saying in a sing-song voice the first stanza of their poem.

"It was many and many a year ago, in a kingdom by the sea that a maiden there lived whom you may know by the name of Annabelle Lee; and this maiden she lived with no other thought than to love and be loved by me." Her childish eyes smiled at me, reflecting the lake side with the autumn leafs floating about in the breeze.

"Oh, my precious Adeline, I want to stay here, but what about the money father's providing for us?" Roger looked at his love.

Adeline jumped with a response. "Ever since Grandfather died, Grandmother has been setting some money aside for my future. I'm her only Grandchild, and she knows that if my parents died, I'd have no one to take care of me! I know that if your father withdrew funds she would be there to help us out, for a small fee." Adeline gaily wrapped her arms around his neck.

"What sort of small fee would be required?" Roger stroked her hands.

"We would have to live with her. If we bought our own house she'd guilt us in to letting her stay with her. I wouldn't mind having her stay with us. It would give the both of us some sort of peace of mind." Adeline giggled.

Roger relaxed a little knowing that Adeline wasn't lying when she said that Father shouldn't get him down. "Yes, my love, I shall not let father get me down. I am not going to America." He stood up and kissed his betrothed on the cheek. "Let's go put on our swimming clothes. We can see who can get to the ocean the fastest." A boyish light appeared in his eyes.

"Wait, before we go, promise me that you'll never hurt me." Adeline eyes looked up into his clear blue ones.

"I shall never hurt you, my sweet." He kissed her and went inside to put on his swimming

By the time June came around, he would be married to the most free-spirited woman in all of Bournemouth, England, and they would be living together in their house with her grandmother watching their life.

---

Kitty Katy was her name no more. She would now be called Karen Moneybags. She knew that was more her. She knew that she could finally leave this snooty town and rule Bournemouth.

Karen had money, and loads of it. She knew she could have any man at a snap of a finger. That is, any man, except the one she wanted.

Most of her family lived in Bournemouth, a bit of a drive from London, where she lived. On holidays, she always drove out to see them. One Christmas, Roger Branford, a family friend, caught her eye. He seemed to have finally gotten out of puberty and was now a fully grown man. They talked for hours, while electricity escaped from their hearts. Unfortunately, she noticed him too late, for that was the night he proposed to her best friend, Adeline Klein. Stabbed by the cold hand of jealousy, Karen was now she was getting her revenge. She knew that Roger loved her, so she had to move to Bournemouth. Karen didn't have a place to stay, so Adeline had to offer one of her bedrooms. Karen was off to live in Bournemouth.

Karen drove her new automobile down the dirt road. She smiled knowing the passing carriages would be dropping their jaws. Onward to the sea, she pushed the gas as fast as she could go without running over their silly carriages.

As Karen approached the little sea house, she saw Roger open the door.

"Go park your car next to the carriages on the docks. Get inside before Adeline sees you."

"Where's Adeline?" Karen hissed.

"She's going into town for some food. We're all out of anything edible. We have an estimated two hours before she gets back. It's a fifteen minute carriage ride both ways, and with her mother in tow, it will take forever." Roger whispered.

Karen complied and was running towards the house as fast as she could in a short skirt and long jacket. She climbed up the three stairs and rang the bell. A dog's barking answered it.

"Oh, shut up you stupid dog!" Karen yelled, seeing Cain through the screen door.

"Cain!" Roger yelled at the husky. "You can come in Karen. Do what you want with the stupid pup! Just don't feed him chocolate, you know that he farts when Adeline sneaks him the treat."

With a sinister look, Karen knew exactly what she wanted to do with the dog. She found the handgun next to the door and shot the pooch three times in the heart.

"Hurry up Roger, we only have a little bit of time without Mrs. Branford." Karen quickly shed her jacket and soon found Roger kissing her. She set her watch for an hour and thirty minutes, just in case. Adeline would be mad if Roger didn't help her unpack.

---

Adeline started cleaning up Grandmother's room. Silent tears rolled down her pale cheek. Her green eyes no longer had their spark. Filled with grief she said the second stanza of Edgar Allan Poe's Poem. "I was a child and she was a child, in this kingdom by the sea; but we loved with a love that was more than love - I and my Annabelle Lee; with a love that the winged seraphs of heaven coveted her and me. And this was the reason that, long ago, in this kingdom by the sea, a wind blew out of a cloud, chilling my beautiful Annabelle Lee; so that her highborn kinsman came and bore her away from me, to shut her up in a sepulcher in this kingdom by the sea. The angels, not half so happy in heaven, went envying her and me. Yes! That was the reason (as all men know, in this kingdom by the sea) that the wind came out of the cloud by night, chilling and killing my Annabelle Lee.

Adeline saw Grandmother in the corner beckoning her to come over..

"Come, now, Adeline, everything will soon be better." Grandmother tried to cheer up her darling.

"How so, Grandmother? You are the only thing I still have, but you too shall soon pass to a greater world." Her green eyes hollowed with this information.

"Don't look so down! Just because your husband has cheated on you does not mean that I am not the only one left! What about Cain?"

"This morning, I was going through the garden to go through to the beach when I saw a mortifying sight." Adeline shuddered thinking about it. "Underneath the garden window lied Cain's distorted body. I saw that the bullets could only be from the gun by the front door. It must have been either Karen or Roger. That's why I killed Karen this morning." Another tear rolled down her soft cheek.

"But, my dear, why didn't you tell me about this?" Grandmother started getting up from her death bed.

"I couldn't Grandmother! You've been so kind to me. Now you must lie down. I'll tell you the story in here."

"Adeline, let me do as I please! It's my life. Now help me into the lift to take us down to the sea-shore."

Adeline did as Grandmother's whims told her to. Now that they were alone on the cold sea-shore, Adeline poured out the story.

"My carriage slowly pulled up to her house, last night. With Grandfather's revolver in hand, I quickly knocked at the door. Karen's butler answered and brought me inside. While he went to get me some peach tea, I swiftly ran up her staircase to her bedroom. With a lock of the door, I knew that we were the only two people who inhabited the upstairs.

"I quietly tip-toed across her plush carpets and found her curling her hair. My hands started to quake as I held up the gun. She yelled at me, 'Adeline, don't do this to me!', but I knew it must be done. With one shot, I got her straight in the heart and I stormed out of her house as quickly as I had entered."

Grandmother went over Adeline's words. "I see." She paused for a quick moment. "Well, Adeline. It's time for me to get back to my bed. Help me back up."

With a grim nod, Adeline knew that Karen wasn't the only one she was going to kill.

---

Grandmother was asleep and that was all the reassurance Adeline needed. She didn't want her to hear what she was about to do. Roger was in their bedroom, mourning Karen's death. Adeline couldn't do that. With her silent footsteps, she made her way down the hall in her beautiful white dress. With Grandfather's revolver in hand, she knew that she was about to create the perfect homicide look like it had been a suicide.

"Or," she thought, "The perfect husband-cide."

She silently opened the door and found Roger looking at her.

"You've come to pray for the safety of Karen, haven't you?" he asked in utter solemnity.

"No, I decided to come in here now that Grandmother's asleep." Adeline glared at her husband.

"Adeline, I'm so sorry." A worried look spread across his face. "Your grandmother died a year ago. Don't you remember going to her funeral?"

"How dare you!" Adeline looked at Roger appalled."

"So, are you going to pray for the safety of Karen?"

"Oh, Roger, you never were a very bright man." She held up the revolver and shot him three times. She walked over to him put some blood on her skirt, with a grim smile, but something started deepening within her, until it took utter control over her body.

Her green acidic eyes filled with fear as she looked down at her blood-stained dress. Her grandfather's revolver rested in her dainty hands.

"What have I done?" Her body shook uncontrollably as nervous laughter overtook her body. She let the revolver fall out of her hands.

This act of hatred, no, this act of impurity would live in her dreams until her insignificant life ended.

"It was all his fault!" she screamed as tears of hatred and love poured down her wont cheeks. "If he wouldn't have bloody screwed up what he promised, he would still be alive." The boiling anger steamed over as she threw his priceless vase across the room. "Why couldn't he have just loved me?" A tremor of emotion went through her body as she collapsed, sobbing into the ends of her skirts.

With a swift move, she tore off her dress and watched with pleasure as the brown-red fabric fell to the hard-wood floor. She knew what she had to do. With the capability of a maid dusting her master's pictures, Adeline covered up her tracks. Half-delusional, she put on her wedding dress and danced with the ghosts that would soon haunt her. His scent was stronger, now that he was away from that Karen woman with her money that she could carelessly toss around.

"At least he'll stay with me forever."

For a moment, she rested in her dead husband's arms. She started saying the last stanza of Annabelle Lee. "But our love was stronger by far than the love of those who were older than we of many far wiser than we And neither the angels in heaven above, Nor the demons down under the sea, Can ever dissever my soul from the soul of the beautiful Annabel Lee. For the moon never beams without bringing me dreams Of the beautiful Annabel Lee; And the stars never rise but I feel the bright eyes Of the beautiful Annabel Lee; And so, all the night-tide, I lie down by the side Of my darling, my darling, my life and my bride, In the sepulcher there by the sea, In her tomb by the sounding sea."

Her bloodshot eyes suddenly opened up to where Grandmother loomed over her.

"Sorry, Adeline, he's in hell with Karen and me."

The End