Agnes cradled Ethan in her arms under the glow of the moonlight. She hadn’t been able to take her eyes off of the sweet boy since he’d been delivered earlier that evening, in fact she opted not to remove the umbilical cord. Moonlight that filtered in between intermittent clouds glistened on the now dry connection to her new son gave her some comfort and joy.
“God sent you from above, like an angel filled with love,” she hummed a melody before rocking back and forth, “I will hold you on my arm, away from all the world, away from harm. My dearest boy brimming with hope.” Agnes began to weep over the infant, intense sobs filling the room like a dreary sad chorus. Noah entered the room with a deep frown.
“The ambulance is on it’s way my love.”
“No.” Agnes snapped as she whipped her head toward him with an angry grimace.
“Ethan isn’t well.” He stated, a twinge of fear laced his words.
“Ethan is fine.” Agnes responded furiously as she stood.
“The ambulance will be here soon, it will be ok.” Noah fought the urge to take a step back, fighting to stand his ground as his grieving wife struggled with reality. Agnes remained silent as she stepped toward the open window, eyes locked into Noah’s, and released the infant from her eyes. Ethan plummeted to the concrete below with the placenta quickly following behind and the sickening thud alarmed not only Noah, but several passerby pedestrians on the sidewalk. The ambulance siren pierced the air shortly thereafter and the crackle of white noise as well as a paramedic’s voice audible to them. Before long a paramedic rushed into the room, the couple still locked in an intense eye contact but Noah silently sobbed.
“Ethan was stillborn. We can’t bring him back, especially not now.” The paramedic’s voice called for backup as he attempted to coax the distraught mother to join the paramedic.
“I can’t imagine how difficult this is for you, but I need you to come with me. I can help you.” His voice was so soothing and warm, Ethan almost wanted to go with him despite Agnes’ declining mental state. Agnes remained fixed, catatonic, in place. After several minutes he attempted to step closer, Agnes snapped into a burning rage as she propelled from the window, joining poor Ethan on the concrete below.
“You’re breaking every one of my rules.” Nori said softly, leaning away from him. Nori quivered as Cooper approached.
“Every word,” Cooper whispered, edging closer to her ear: his breath was hot and urgent against her neck. She could feel the relentless pulsing of the one thing she yearned for in that moment.
“Every word, now crossed out. The graces of light on the wall as they crumble to the floor, you are my statue.” She said. Desperately seduced by his charm. “Enlightened risk, how have I fallen so low and feel so high?”
“Pray you stay wrapped in me.” Cooper hesitated as he paused just before his lips caressed the side of her neck.
“Your angel eyes are written in code, your halo of smoke.” A soft sound left Nori’s lips, a moan maybe, too quiet even for her to hear. A single bead of sweat formed, ready to drift down as she leaned forward.
“Yet the waters of forgiveness flood you, blind compassion in your midst as our eyes dance; our voices sing in unison.” He stood still, his breath tickling her neck with the same desperate warmth of his allure. Nori is mesmerized by Cooper, so much so she can feel her climax approaching.
“Cut, that was beautiful. If I didn’t know any better I would say you two were a couple. I can’t wait to see that scene myself.” The director, Louie, called from his chair, rising with echoing claps of his hands. The pair reluctant to release their grip of passion. He drew back first with a shy smile, as she timidly rearranged her hair away from her face. Both panting, both mentioning something about needing a cigarette.
“Yeah, you were great.” She breathed.
“You were too.” he said with a nervous smile.
“Alright love birds, that’s a wrap. I was going to shoot one more scene but unfortunately we have to cut today short. We’ll meet back tomorrow, ten sharp.” Louie said as he pointed at them playfully.
“So what are you doing after this?” Cooper asked, nervously fidgeting as he stood.
“I was going to sing Karaoke with some girlfriends, and you?” Nori smiled, just as nervous as Cooper.
“Oh, that sounds like fun. I’m staying in tonight, maybe order some Chinese food.”
“I love Chinese food!” Nori exclaimed absentmindedly, before her hand met her mouth with a smack just as unexpected as her comment.
“I mean,” Cooper mumbled, “You could join me after you hang out with your friend’s.”
“I hate Karaoke.” Nori felt the blood rushing to her face with excitement and embarrassment cradling each other.
The silence clung to the air with deafening echoes as they exchanged nervous glances and fidgeting intermittently before deciding to leave. Nori brought out her phone and clicked the number to call her friend. At least that’s how she made it seem, she lied. She had no better plans after filming, Karaoke was a lie though she indeed hated it. Cooper had lied as well but now his stomach churned with intensity as every step made contact to the concrete. There was an unnamed tension between the actor and the actress; Cooper and Nori.
“Follow me,” Cooper suggested, the mildest hint of excitement laced his volatile voice.
“Is there decent parking?” Nori asked, hiding her anxiety of being closer to Cooper with the idea of less than ideal parking.
“I have space in my driveway.” Cooper’s voice lowered, almost sheepishly.
“Deal,” Nori said, instinctively holding her arm out to shake his hand but his puzzled bewilderment inspired enough doubt to draw her hand closer to her pockets.
Nori followed closely, not too closely, but enough to pass traffic lights without losing sight of his white coupe, obeying most traffic laws. She murmured to herself about her course of action and what to say. Cooper did the same, glancing occasionally to the pretty face in the red sedan behind him.
He would admire with swift glimpses before a red light stopped him. He peered into his rear view mirror to find that not only was the red sedan not a sedan, but the pretty face wasn’t who he thought. Cooper frowned into his lap, watching the flicker of red from the traffic light turn green as he eased back into gear and drove.
Nori grinned as she was right next to him, a small trick as she still trailed behind, watching his every weave and turn until they turned onto a dark residential street. Nori chuckled to herself as Cooper approached, what she would assume to be, his house. It would be cruel to squander a rare opportunity, so she eagerly honked.
“Nori,” Cooper smiled as he rushed from his car, “I thought I lost you.”
“I wasn’t lost, you didn’t notice me driving next to you?” Cooper smacked his forehead, not even considering that as an option, yet so relieved.
The click echoed in the relatively small two bedroom house he owned with his three dogs. It’s obvious to Nori that Cooper is renovating the side bedroom and kitchen, which is probably why he opted to order fast food. Nori was curious about the three dogs he owned, which was easily explained. They were locked outside for the time being.
“Would you like to watch a movie?” He asks meekly before clearing his throat and asking again more confidently. Nori shakes her head. Containing herself is too much to bear, she removes her leather jacket and it falls to the ground with a gentle thud. Cooper wastes no time as he felt the same way, removing his shirt not caring where it landed.
Cooper and Nori quoted their lines from the scene they filmed earlier, sticky seductive moments as they pushed and pulled against each other in passion. Their indiscretion led them into the living room then to the couch where the culmination boiled to climax of kissing and scratching. Had they been more aware, they would have noticed the door to the guest room creak open, a pair of eyes watching the couple as they were wrapped around each other. They might have also noticed the large butcher knife in his left hand and the pulsing member he stroked. The dangerous voyeur hiding in the guest bedroom had waited all night for this kill.
“I adopted Rubin. His mother, the love of my life, died from cancer. Truly a sad day, but not as sad as this day. Rubin became the love of my life, though he was not my flesh, he was my heart and soul. I will never forgive the monster that stole my precious Rubin.” Arnold sniffled with tears streaming down his face as he gripped the podium in anguish. The sweet smell of roses filled the room as the tearful guests wiped their sorrows with tissues and napkins before bowing their heads again waiting for the next sentence.
“Thank you, Arnold. I’m so sorry for your loss sir. It is a sad day to mourn the passing of little Rubin, the life and soul of the community. He was adopted by all of us as our relief from the monotony of our everyday. A sweet smile to match his rambunctious nature that kept us all on our toes. We have kept our eyes ready for updates but none have panned out to anything. IF anyone sees Rubin or his mother, please call the local police and we can move on with our lives normally.”
Arnold entered his home as he caressed every surface before he finally got to his kitchen where a pot boiled almost to spilling on the stove. He extinguished the flame with a wry grin, turning slightly for a spoon to stir the pot. Arnold covered the pot once more, on a mission to the basement. The dust free fell to the floor as the bulb flickered on and the musky odor swirled violently. Arnold inhaled the stench as he entered with deliberate steps.
“You know, I’m almost impressed by you son. It’s been almost two weeks.” Arnold said, clapping his hands together at a doll sitting in a chair by the corner of the basement, wedged between the wall and washing machine to help prop up the doll as it wordlessly, blankly, stares at him.
“You are a fine young man, you know that?” Arnold said as he lifts the doll into the air before rocking it in his arms like a baby. Arnold doesn’t even notice when the doll’s head flops to one side, nearly decapitating it when he sways too quickly. He pirouettes when the dolls head crashes to the basement floor, revealing the doll was none other than Rubin with a doll head on.
“NO!” Arnold screams as he watches the doll head’s pieces settled on the ground, leaving Rubin’s decaying face exposed to the world. “Oh Rubin.”
Arnold brings Rubin upstairs to his “doll room” where another doll head sat on the chair and three other dolls lying on the bed. “Sit still my boy, this won’t hurt. What was I thinking dancing like that anyway.”