Working in one of those smoky dives, which makes the place seem so small, Addison wondered how she was going to tell Harold she needed to hold off on their plans to get hitched.

It wasn’t that she didn’t love him; she happened to have loved him very much.  However, working in a Speakeasy in the 1930’s was a dangerous thing to do.  If the coppers ever busted that place, Addy, and those around her—including Harold—would be held accountable.

Addison decided it would be best to find a better solution of work before taking the plunge.  Harold had told her not to worry about money.  He said, “Money is no object.”

She knew that.  However, being the modern woman she was, she didn’t want people to think of her as a gold digger.

“They wouldn’t think of you that way, my love,” Harold had promised her.  “We’ll get married, and live far away from here.  I am the king, and you’ll be my queen.  We’ll be together forever.”

His words reminded her of the one time the fortune teller showed up and gave Addy a reading.  The teller once told her the same thing similar to Harold’s words.  She told Addison she would live like a queen forever.  She sighed at the thought because she knew the truth.  Harold made a decent living, not enough to live like royalty, but it didn’t matter to Addison if he was rich or poor.  She loved him, and she swore she would love him forever.

She gave herself a mental shake and replied, “I know, darling.  It’ll seem that way.”  She remembered how he smiled at her last words.  It was almost as if he was keeping a joke hidden from her.

“Sweetheart!”  A customer called out, breaking Addison away from her reverie.  “Another Manhattan, please.”

She nodded, and headed over to the bar.

“Hey Johnny,” she greeted the bartender.  “Another Manhattan for the gentleman over there.”

“Sure thing, dolls,” He said.  He started to put ice in the glass when he noticed what he was missing.  “Hey, would you mind being a doll, and see if we have anymore vermouth back there.  It seems I’m all out.”

“Yeah, sure.  No problem, Johnny.”  She headed to the back to go look.

When she opened up the door to the back room where all the extra liquor was, she noticed something was different.  The room looked a tad different, and there was no liquor there.

She decided to close the door to ask her boss where the extra liquor was, but as she shut the door, she found she was no longer in the Speakeasy.

“This can’t be right,” she said to herself.  There had to have been something wrong.  What was she forgetting?

She started to wander down the corridor from where she shut the door, and noticed this wasn’t any ordinary hallway.  The walls had an old and charming, yet, Gothic look to them.  And she noticed pictures on the walls.  These pictures led all the way up a set of stairs.

She lifted up her nightgown to walk up the stairs, when it dawned on her.  How did she get into a nightgown?  Why didn’t she remember leaving the bar?  All these questions circled her mind as she stopped dead in her tracks on the stairs to stare at this one particular picture on the wall.

“Harold?”  She questioned.  Surely she must be dreaming.  How else would she explain having no memory of how she got into this place?  What is this place?  She thought.  A castle, maybe.  No!  It can’t be.

She hit her head!  Yes! That’s what it was.  Addison was sure she hit her head and passed out, and someone would wake her up soon enough.  But the problem was she wasn’t waking up.  And just then, a pair of eyes fixated on her.  She looked into those eyes, and ran into his arms.

“Harold,” she exclaimed.  “I don’t understand what is going on.”

“Shh, my love,” he held her tight.  “You’re still new, but soon enough you will remember everything.”

She shook her head as she wept.  “No, something isn’t right.  I’m dreaming, aren’t I?”  She broke free and looked up at him.  “You’re going to disappear from me, aren’t you?”

“I can assure you, darling, you are not dreaming, and I will never leave you,” he consoled her.  “You’re just missing bits and pieces.  It’ll come to you in time.”

“I don’t understand,” she spoke softly.  She looked around some more and asked, “Where are we?”

“Didn’t I promise you we would live like a king and queen?”  He took a step back and held his hand out to her.  “No one will harm you here.  It isn’t the Bran Castle, but I think you’ll find this place more homely.  Come.  Take my hand.  Let’s go back to bed.”

With a teary eye, she took his hand.  Harold was the only one in the world she ever felt safe around.  Why would he ever steer her wrong?

As he led her back down the corridor, flashes of memory appeared before her.

When she opened the door to the back room at the bar, Harold was there.  Her memory was still a bit fuzzy, but she did remember leaving with him, and getting married after all.  She also remembered something else.

They headed back to the castle, and into the bedroom where they had a night of passion, and they were feeding each other.  And then.

No, she thought.  It can’t be.  But as much as she tried to deny it, it still entered her mind.

She remembered what Harold asked her.  “Do you trust me?”

“Forever,” Addison replied.

He smiled that smile that told it was another inside joke, but still, he smiled at her.  “I’ll see you again in a few hours.”  And with those words, he plunged his sword deep into her chest.

Addison gasped at the blurred memory.

Harold noticed this, and quickly laid her down on the bed.  “What’s wrong?”

“You stabbed me,” she grabbed her chest where she had been stabbed, but noticed there was no wound there.  Even her nightgown was clean.  “Well, I thought you did.”

“Oh, but I did, my love,” he admitted shamefully.

“But why?”

“It is the only way to spend forever with me.”


©Diana Jillian 10/27/14


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