(IP) Love and Jealousy

(IP) Love and Jealousy

               There
had been rumors of the remnants of a spirit haunting the woods for years:
whispers on the wind, a rush of cold gusts blowing in faces, even on the balmiest
of summer days, animal bones of all sizes scattered in the bright, verdant foliage.

               People
from the village, and even from far away, tended to stay away from the forest, even
the elders. Whatever lurked inside was best left alone, everyone said. Of
course, that didn’t stop reckless children and curious youths from sneaking
into the wood and searching for the thing that haunted it.

               Never
mind that they’d been told of the risk, that they knew better. Nothing else
came close to the sweet, painful burn of anticipation and terror.

               **

               “We
shouldn’t be doing this,” A female voice whispered, impish with unseen glee. “What
if the ghost gets us?”

“Everyone knows that that is just a
fairy tale. A horror story told to scare the young,” Another voice replied,
chuckling quietly. “Besides, I’ll protect you.”

“My hero.”

The couple used the shadows for camouflage,
and as they drew into a heated embrace in a clearing, neither of them could
sense the invisible entity watching them, aflame with silent jealousy.

**

How
dare they? How dare they come into her domain and so foolishly taunt with their
bright, delicate humanity?

The spirit hovered above them, her
form flickering, swaying like a candle in a high wind, bright white teeth gritted,
garish scarlet lips peeled back in a snarl. It just wasn’t fair, and the anger
that was a constant companion, her only friend, flared to life inside of her.
If she couldn’t have what they did, she would do the only thing she could: to
take them from each other, and their world.

Perhaps that was not her right, but
so many centuries had passed she had stopped caring. She was dead, and nearly
gone, and what remained were mere pieces.

**

The couple broke apart, and the
woman shivered, burying her head into her paramour’s neck.

“What was that?” She asked,
clinging to him tighter. “It got cold.”

“It may just be the wind,” He said,
holding her flush against him, trying to warm her. “You don’t have to be afraid.
No one has ever seen the ghost, it’s all just nonsense.”

Before the couple realized what was
happening, they were ripped apart, thrown to the cold ground; they hit the
earth with two hard thuds, limbs akimbo and teeth rattling in skulls.

“I wouldn’t be so sure,” A bodiless
voice purred, hovering inches before the man’s face. Cold fingers trailed down
his cheeks, and icy, lush lips touched his. When he opened his lips under the
invisible pressure, cold breath entered his lungs, and when it disappeared,
there was nothing left but a pale, frozen corpse, and his lips were still
gaping wide, eyes staring up at the black night.

His lover’s screams shattered the
silence of the evening like glass, and the last thing she heard was maniacal
female laughter before she lost consciousness.

**