I Love a Dead Woman
By Joseph Logsdon
Randal Harrison was in love with a dead woman. Every time he looked at her photograph, he felt content. Despite the fact that she had been dead for over 40 years, he still loved her. She died before he was born, but that didn't seem to bother him. No matter how many women he encountered, none of them could replace her. One afternoon, Randal visited the home of her only daughter. By getting to know her daughter, he would also get to know her.
"You have a beautiful home, Ronda," Randal stated as he entered the living room.
"Why, thank you. Say, would you like something to drink?"
"No, thank you; I'm in a hurry," he answered.
"Oh, well, do you mind if I have one?"
"Knock yourself out," Randal stated.
"I know I shouldn't be drinking, but like they say, old habits die hard," she laughed.
"That they do, that they do," Randal laughed.
"Well, if you'll have a seat, I'll be right back," she stated.
"Whatever you say," Randal replied.
After getting a drink from the kitchen, Ronda returned to the living room. It was an old room, so old that the floor creaked as she walked across the carpet.
"So, why would you want to write an article about my mother?"
"Well, for one thing, I've admired her for years," Randal answered.
"Why, may I ask?"
"Judy Nelson has always played a major part in my life. When I was a little boy, my father showed me her photograph. Even then, I knew she was beautiful, so beautiful that I could barely contain myself. She was, and is, the most beautiful woman I've ever seen," he stated.
"Wow, that's kind of creepy, don't you think?"
"Just because I love a dead woman, doesn't mean I'm crazy. When you love someone, logic doesn't seem to matter. Sure, you can try to make sense of it, but in the end, you'll never truly understand it," he stated.
"Do you really care about her memory that much?"
"If I didn't, I wouldn't be here, would I?"
"So, what do you want to know?"
"Well, first of all, how did she die?"
"She was murdered," Ronda answered.
"There's not much to tell, really. One night, before my father got home, a man invaded our house. She tried to fight him off, but he was too strong. He strangled her, and once he was finished with her, he came after me," she wept.
"What happened next?"
"Well, before he could get to me, the alarm sounded, causing him to flee the house. It was horrible, just horrible! No matter how hard I try, I can't get the memory out of my head. It will haunt me for the rest of my life, I'm afraid," she sobbed.
"I'm sorry, I know this must be tough for you," he replied.
"It's okay, I'll be fine. When you've suffered something like this, you learn to live with it. I mean, yeah, it might be hard at first, but you have to make the most of it. If you don't, you'll never make it through the night," she sighed.
"Well, at least we have one thing in common," Randal stated.
"And what would that be?"
"When I was a little boy, I lost my father," he stated.
"Well, he didn't die, but I lost him nonetheless. You see, Ronda, he was not a very nice man. He killed people, a lot of people. Some of them were old, some of them were young, but most of them, believe it or not, were women. That's right, Ronda, I'm the child of a serial killer," he stated.
"Are you serious?"
"Before he went to prison, however, he told me about Judy Nelson. On that day, unknown to anyone else, I made a promise," he stated.
"Promise? What promise?"
"If he failed to finish the job, then I would have to finish it for him," Randal stated.
"What are you saying?"
"I did love your mother, that much is true. I still love her, but I have to finish what my father started," he laughed.
"Are you saying, that all this time, you were the son of her murderer?"
"Life is full of surprises, ain't it?"
"You're insane," she cried.
"The whole world is insane, not just me," he laughed.