Authors: Alicia Rivoli
Whispers of Death
By Alicia Rivoli
This novel is a work of fiction. Names, places, and characters are figments of the author's imagination, and any resemblance to those persons, living or dead, events or locales is purely coincidental. The author holds all rights to this work. It is illegal to reproduce this novel without written expressed consent from the author herself
Copyright © 2015 Alicia Rivoli
To my amazing husband.
I couldn't do this without you.
Alicia Rivoli Books
Cover illustration by:
Copyediting by Laura Stalling
Table of Contents
The tears were falling freely now; I was a broken woman. Lost in the outer reaches of darkness, I sat in the graveyard alone and wept. My life had somehow turned into a tragic tale that I would usually find myself reading by the fire, snuggled up next to my husband, with my two children sleeping soundly in their rooms. This wasn’t something that I’d ever thought would happen to me; it wasn’t something that I’d ever thought I would experience firsthand. I had never wanted to either.
I ran my fingers down the freshly packed dirt and dropped my head in a low bow. My heart ached. I could feel the cold of the air as it pushed its way down my lungs and chilled me to the bone. I shivered and wiped a tear from my face, smearing dirt down my cheek. I looked around, the darkness of night already surrounding me.
I wasn’t alone; someone was watching me. I sniffed, quickly rising from the ground. I could sense the danger that was lurking in the shadows, but I couldn’t see it. I turned around in a circle, searching for whomever or whatever it was that was here with me.
A chill shot through my body, and I felt the hair on the back of my neck stand on end. I rubbed my arm and wiped my cheek again with the back of my hand. A snap of a twig made me spin around. A tall figure watched me from just beyond the newly dug grave, a sly smile on his darkened face.
The deep raspy voice sent a chill of fear through my veins. I had never met this man before, but he knew me.
“Who are you?” I whimpered.
He looked at me sideways, his smile widening. “I am Death. I am the end. I am darkness.”
My heart beat wildly in my chest, and I could feel the air around me go stale. The taste of metal on my tongue alerted me to a static charge in the air. A burst of lighting shot through the dark, followed by a thunderous boom. I didn’t move. Death stared at me, his dark skin matching his black cloak in the shadows.
“Why are you here?” I asked bravely.
His eyes grew even darker as he stared at me. “You already know why I am here.” He walked closer, the air growing colder with his every step.
I could see my breath in the air now. The lighting streaked in the sky above me, illuminating the darkness, outlining the figure of the dark man. He reached for me, his cold fingers tracing down the bare skin of my arm. The icy touch froze my blood, and my breathing became labored. He was going to kill me.
My eyes burst open. My lungs were burning, almost as if I had a hot piece of coal shoved down my throat. My body was soaking wet. I felt a hand touch the small of my back, and I flinched, jumping out of bed screaming.
“Amelia, it’s me!”
I dropped to the floor and wrapped my arms around my knees. My blood still felt cold. Mark sat down on the floor and draped his arms around me.
“Shh,” he whispered, “it was just a dream.”
I laid my head on his shoulder and let him rock me back and forth.
“Do you want to tell me about it?” he spoke quietly.
I couldn’t find my voice, so I shook my head. His warm body helped calm my beating heart. We sat in silence. He always knew just what to do to help me calm down. He hummed a quiet song and just held me. His touch was almost magic.
I looked around the dark room, searching for the man called Death, but saw nothing out of the ordinary. My room was cozy. The queen size bed took up most of the space, and a soft hand-stitched quilt lay on top of it. A tiny dresser sat in the corner; pictures of our wedding and children stared back at me. The wooden floors creaked, the window wouldn’t open, and our doors never shut, but it was home. I wasn’t sitting in a graveyard staring at Death with mud smeared all over my face from a newly dug grave. No, I was home, wrapped in the arms of my ever-understanding husband.
“I’m sorry,” I whispered.
“Was it the same dream?” he asked.
I nodded. I had been having the same dream for months. It very rarely changed, but this time something had felt different. I didn’t know what, but something still made my skin crawl, and the blood in my veins still felt cold.
“Something was different,” I told him solemnly.
He touched his hand to my face and lifted my chin so I was facing him. “It’s just a dream, hun. Death isn’t coming for you.”
“How can you be so sure? It always feels so real.”
He didn’t answer. Instead he pressed his lips to mine. His warm touch sent shivers through my body. I fell into him, soaking up the emotion. My heart beat faster and my mind went blank as I relaxed in his grip. He slipped his arm under my legs and lifted me from the floor.
“I love you,” he whispered in my ear.
I wrapped my arms around his neck and laid my head on his shoulder. “I love you too.”
“I won’t let anything happen to you.” He added, “You know that don’t you?”
He laid me down on the bed and pulled me close to him.
“What if you can’t stop it? When Death touches my arm, my skin crawls, and the air is swept from my lungs. I start to suffocate. What if one of these times, I don’t wake up?”
“It‘s just a dream. You’re not going anywhere.”
I wanted to believe him, but something didn’t feel right. Mark’s breathing became even. I could feel his heart beating against my chest. I tried to relax in his arms. My mind raced through the nightmare as I tried to pinpoint the moment the dream had changed. The room began to grow cold. I pulled the blanket up under my chin, closing my eyes, trying to forget the nightmare that haunted me.
I felt cold when I opened my eyes. My back hurt, my neck was stiff, and I struggled to focus. Mark was sitting in front of me, his head slouched into his knees. I was covered in an old blanket, with a towel under my head. I realized I’d been sleeping on the bathroom floor. My mouth was dry and tasted of bile. I grabbed the cup of water near my head. It tasted warm and stale but satisfied my need for a drink. Mark lifted his head; his eyes were bloodshot. He looked exhausted.
“What happened?” I asked, finding my voice. It came out as a forced croak.
Concern was etched along the dark lines under his eyes. “You don’t know?” he asked.
I tried to remember. Mark had just fallen asleep, his arms wrapped around me, and I had closed my eyes to try and sleep as well, then nothing.
“No, I have no idea.”
“Lia, you’ve been throwing up all night. You kept saying you were cold and that you could feel your blood turning to ice.”
“How could I have been so sick and not remember any of it?”
“I don’t know. I tried to keep you warm. I wrapped you in the electric blanket, got the space heater and put it right next to you. I made you hot chocolate, but you just kept shivering, and then you would throw up.”
I took another sip of the warm water. It burned my raw throat.
“Amelia, I think you need to see a doctor.”
I looked up at him. “Why?”
“Your dreams are starting to affect you physically. While you were lying here, you kept muttering about Death coming to get you and turning your blood to ice. Maybe if you talked to someone, they could help you.”