Willow the Wisp – part nine of ten

(This fall my first published book will be arriving from the printers. It is called The Horror of Loon Lake and it is a horror anthology comic paying tribute to the classic horror magazines and comics that many of us loved. Included also is one prose tale, which will feature several illustrations by the talented Nicole Bresner. In ten installments, www.horror-writers.net will serialize this short story, entitled Willow the Wisp. For more information about the book, follow its page at www.facebook.com/horrorofloonlake  – Carl Smith, aka Dr. Carl Cadaver)


He began his approach, feet moving across the eart like well rehearsed dance steps. Time slowed as the world fell away from the couple. Willow stepped forward to receive him, opening her arms to enfold him in a welcoming hug. Instead of accepting her joyful embrace he stooped. With a controlled descent he landed firmly upon his right knee. Willow’s face fell as she started to form a question that refused to be asked. Taking advantage of the pregnant pause, Jonathan spoke.

“Miss Willow Breeland, my life has been an endless dinner party. I put great effort into behaving in a manner befitting a host, to entertain the guests, and curry favor with all in attendance. Hands were shook, conversations kept banal, and compliments handed out and accepted freely. But during the party’s course I never once sat to eat. In my life I have never taken time nourish my soul. I denied myself the growth and enrichment that comes with true love.

Willow, my life before you was empty. I have come to realize that without you near me I am incomplete. An hour of wholeness each evening is infinitely preferable to my clueless miserable loneliness before, but I want more. I need you by my side, sharing my ups and downs. I want to wake knowing you are there. No more alarms and rendezvous. I need you fully in my life. Willow Breeland, I want you to be my wife.”

To punctuate his proposal he produced a small box from his left pocket and carefully opened it with his right as he presented it to her. The tableau told the story of a million romances as the moment hung in the cool night air. Willow’s face was without expression. Her eyes sought to find and hold his, which suddenly made Jonathan feel uncomfortable. Her right hand extended slowly towards the ring.