I slid my feet into my slippers, opening my front door as I took small quick steps through the snow and ice to the mailbox. Shivering with hunched shoulders, I opened it to grab the handful of junk mail stuffed inside. Bills, more bills, credit card offers. The usual nonsense as I flipped through the envelopes while heading back to the house. My eyebrows furrowed slightly at a small, square-shaped envelope that stood out amongst the others. I flipped it over, and there was my name. Written neatly at the center. A chill went tingling down my spine as I stood in the freezing snow, staring at it with hard eyes. There was no mailing address or return address. Just my name. Carla. I used my nail to tear open the flap, ripping the envelope and pulling out a small piece of paper. I unfolded it; my heart lurched as I read the words written in bold red ink:
You'll always be mine. Happy Birthday
"Anything important?" My husband called out from the doorway. "It's freezing out. What's taking so long?" He asked.
I discreetly shoved the torn envelope and note underneath my cardigan. "Nothing but junk. You know, the usual." I replied with a slight grin as I headed back inside.
I closed the door behind me, clutching the stack of mail between my arms. My husband placed his hands on my shoulders, rubbing them gently.
"Tomorrow's your big day. I can't wait to celebrate with you." He said.
A smile formed at the edge of his lips as he leaned in, placing a delicate kiss on my temple. His warm touch calmed me as I gazed into his beautiful brown eyes. My loving husband of six years. So tender, so sweet. From the moment we said our I do's, he vowed to protect me from whatever harm this world could bring.
"I love you," I uttered, caressing his chin with my fingertips.
"I love you too, birthday girl."
I smiled. But not even my husband could protect me from what was coming. Who was coming… for me.
My hands clutched the stiff white sheets underneath me as I felt his mouth hover over my ear. His warm breath brushed against my skin as he lay behind me, nibbling on my earlobe. His hand stroked my thigh, pushing up my gown as his fingers slid down the sides of my underwear. I moaned. My flesh tingled as he inserted himself into me. He loved it when his touch made me whimper.
He whispered to me as I climaxed. "No matter where you go. No matter who you love, you'll always be mine."
I never knew what it was that drew me to him. Patient 139. That's what I called him. He never told me his name, nor did he demand mine in the two years I spent at St. John's mental hospital. I didn't know much about him; he was damaged just like me—a dangerous man who did terrifying, unspeakable things. The first time we had sex, he snuck into my room and my bed. I hesitated at first. But when his lips touched mine, I knew I was his and that his obsessive lust for me would be my real imprisonment. That was until the day I was released. It was my birthday. I'll never forget his final words that he'd come for me one day and reclaim what was his.
I awoke from my dream, cold sweat drenching my pillowcase. I felt my husband's hand on my waist, placing mine on top of his as I let out a light sigh. My past at St. John's was just a memory; I needed to move on for good. I looked at the clock on my nightstand. It was ten past midnight. Happy birthday to me. I grasped my fingers between my husband's, pulling him closer. My stomach heaved as his bloody, decapitated hand fell into my lap. My breath shook as I sprung up, looking over to see his lifeless body lying next to me. His eyes, cold and empty. There was a massive gash across his throat. Blood leaked everywhere, soaking our crepe satin covers. I jump out of bed, stumbling backward. A tall, masculine figure emerged from the darkness taking hold of me. Their cold hands grabbed me from behind, covering my mouth before I could scream.
"My sweet Carla. I knew we'd be together again." A male voice whispers into my ear.
Him. My legs grew weak as I could feel his heart beating rapidly against my back. The excitement he felt from touching me again after so long sent his blood rushing down to his manhood that pressed against me. After seven long years, he finally had what was his again. I suppressed a shiver as his bloody knife eased up my night dress. He turned me around to face him, holding me close with the blade tip now pressed on my back. His hooded eyes pierced my soul, his tight grip gnawing at my skin. I slowly lifted my hand, stroking his soft lips with my index finger.
"You got my letters," I said.
"Every last one." A sinister half-smile emerged as he moved the knife away.
I looked back, taking in the sight of my husband's dead body. A weight subsided on my heart. He didn't deserve this, but it was the only way.
"I told you I wanted his death to be quick and painless." My forehead puckered as I pouted my lips.
"Not my style. You know that."
He pulled my face up to his, the bristles of his beard scratched against my soft cheeks as our tongues wrestled with one another. Fire coursed through my veins. My body ached for him every passing day since I left St. John's. I dreamed of him every night since. My love for him hunted my consciousness. There was no escape. I belonged to him—patient 139.
"So, what now?" I asked, clinging to him.
"Now, we disappear. Happy birthday, baby."
I hope you enjoyed this story! It was originally published in the Twisted Love anthology by Bronzeville, but was pulled due to creative differences with the publisher. I republished this story as "Patient 139" in my short anthology "Sweet Peril" under December Davenport. You can read the 2 other short stories in Sweet Peril on Kindle for .99c and Kindle unlimited.