Black Roses Part 2: Unreachable
Content Warning for death
At the scene in the butcher’s shop, they found two dead bodies with no indication of how they died. There were no marks, no fractured bones, or bloodied gashes. No bullet wounds, no stab marks. Not a single tell of how they died. The sheriff said next to nothing in the report, his gray mustache twitching with his frustration and grief. The victim was his brother. Several days later, the butcher was laid to rest in the family’s cemetery. Belle stood at a distance from the grieving family. Beneath an old oak tree, she sighed. Up above, the sun was shining as if it hadn’t just rained the day before.
The victims of the butcher lined up as they lowered the body into the ground. Some of the women were in long black dresses, some of them were in loose black pants. But they all shared a terrible history with the butcher. Each one of them ended up in his clutches. And who better to bury that history than a butcher whose brother is a sheriff? The women worked on his farm during the day—hired hands. Women could make their own living. But at night? They were his because the butcher said so. Belle felt their false grief. Belle felt their fury. And she commanded them to be happy. The demon that had haunted their lives was gone, and they could be what they wanted.
Take your last paychecks and go where you wish, Belle told them. A deeper voice inside her questioned this decision. Belle ignored it.
Across the graveyard, the sheriff glared in her distance. Belle couldn’t touch him; she didn’t know why. But she could get close. It had to be enough, for now. As this thought crossed her mind, another voice beckoned her. To the castle, it said, come home. Belle nodded and raised an open hand into the air.
Clouds swarmed the sun; their black masses darkened the sky. Their pores opened up, and rain fell in constant sheets. Belle stepped back into the tree and disappeared. The world went black. A black rose was burned into the tree’s trunk. Then it disappeared into a curl of ash.
Featured Photo by Madeleine Maguire on UnSplash