When the High Bell Tolls

by Josh Cheon 8 months ago in fiction

It's been exactly five months since she went missing.

When the High Bell Tolls

It's been exactly five months since she went missing. The calm well mannered kind girl that I love. I think it's a one-way thing. We were supposed to go on our first date four months and a 29 days ago. I've been spreading fliers everywhere I go. On the bus, school, at church, even at restaurants. But I still haven't got any clues as to where she might be.

That was until yesterday. I got an ominous text.

“Meet behind lieutenant Cho’s Fried Chicken. Tomorrow 2300 don't be late. —The Dragon.”

The Dragon, huh. I wonder who that could be. Why is that a clue to her going missing you ask? Lieutenant Cho’s Fried Chicken is the one restaurant we frequented together. We were supposed to meet there again, but she never showed.

I get my bike and tell my parents I'm going out for a light ride. I get behind the building into a dark alleyway. I switch my eyepatch up to use my night vision eye. I make a quiet entrance. There's a figure there. A female.

I would recognize that silhouette anywhere. Skinny build, long black hair, with the perfect height for kissing her forehead. It's her. Missing for five months, and now here she is. A million questions are in my head. Why was she missing for so long? Where was she? Why here? But before I can ask any questions my senses are overwhelmed.

A burning smell, a warm liquid, a bright flash, but the most overpowering is the pain. Burning pain in my abs, but also the pain in the left side of my chest.

It's funny, because the person I would have taken a bullet for, is the one pulling the trigger. So funny in fact I start to laugh hysterically.

As I fall I can't see anything because the muzzle flash bleached my night time eye again. But I can feel. I feel her slender fingers weave through my hair. She yanks on it and holds my head up by the hairs.

“You know, it's a real shame, Richie. We could have had a nice date here. But you decided something else. Why'd you do it, babe?” She asks in a bit of a psychotic yet oddly flirty way.

I have no idea what she's talking about. The day of the date I came here. With my best clothes, a bit nervous about my first date. I waited. Three hours I waited for her. I sat there alone at a table with a cup of tea, anxiously waiting. I eventually gave up when they kicked me out.

“I don't know what you're talking about I promise,” But I say it with a mouthful of blood so it probably sounds more like “Arghbleghel."

She chuckles for a bit, but it turns to a howling laugh. She stops abruptly.

“You don't remember? That's funny. Then let's help you remember shall we?” She whispers into my ear. I can feel her warm breath on my cheek. I can also feel her sharp knuckles slam into where my cheek and my chin meet. “Still don't know?!” She laughs a bit more.

“I really don't, Lizzy. Please, why are you doing this?” I barely groan out.

“Because you hurt me! You're a scumbag and I know it! Now answer me! Why'd you do that to me? Why did you poison me and throw me into a river?!?” She growls into the front of my face.

Her breath smells of bitter almonds and is very abnormal. I secretly unlace my shoes and tie a small noose at each end of the shoestring.

“I don't know what you're talking about, I've never poisoned you, or thrown you into a river,” I say in a low tone.

“Still not talking huh? Now it's time for the big guns then.” She whispers again.

I can feel her gentle fingers again. They are at my chest and they make their way down to where the bullet hole is. She jabs her fingers in. I can feel her cold, slender fingers in my hot blood. I try to be as still and quiet as I can. I slip the noose around her wrist, but loosely, and link it to mine.

“I never hurt you, and I'd never try to,” I say as I am wincing from the pain of her little cave exploration.

“LIAR!” She yells as she thrusts them in deeper.

“Would someone who is your enemy do this?” I ask in a weak voice. My eyes have adjusted to the dark somewhat now and I make out the silhouette of her face. I'm out of ideas. So I'm willing to try anything.

I silently put a Hydroxocobalamin tablet onto my lips and grab her face as I bring her head down to kiss her. Our lips touch, and I force the pill into her mouth. She freezes. We stay like that for a solid ten seconds because she is rejecting the pill and is trying to put the pill back in my mouth. While we are kissing I pull the noose on her wrist and pull her hand out of my bullet hole. She is startled by this and sharply inhales. We are now linked by this string. She finally slaps me across the face.

“Kissing a woman without permission, what a brutish move.” She says in a defeated tone. My hand is still on her face and I can feel it getting warm, and we stay like that for five seconds. “Rich, where are we? What are we doing here? Our date isn't til tomorrow. How did I get here?”

Good news and bad news. Lizzy isn't trying to perform street surgery on me anymore, but her mind is still five months ago. She doesn't remember shooting me or torturing me. What a craptornado of events.

Now that Lizzy isn't trying to kill me anymore, I call 911. But she is trembling. She's scared, cold, but most importantly, she's back to her normal self. Calm, kind, and not psychotic. She holds on to my arm and I hold her close.

The police and ambulance get here. They take me to the ambulance in a gurney, but as they are transferring me Elizabeth collapses. And that's when I pass out as well.

I awake in the hospital. It's been a few days it seems from the calendar in the corner.

Thirsty…

“Hello? Anybody there?” I ask in a moderate voice.

The vibrations from my voice make the wound hurt once more. Just then the nurse casually waltzes in, just as nurses always do.

“Good morning. Your name be Zack, Zack Drillér. Yes?” She asks in a thick northern Ireland accent.

“Yes, that is so,” I say in an affirmative tone. I can’t seem to make myself upright.

“Where's Elizabeth?” I ask.

“Who? That lass we found with ya? Quite the looker she was, aye? Anyways, she’s not woken up yet, but she will be having a talk with the ol’ po-po as soon as she does.”

NICE GUYS FINISH LAST

WHERE THE FINISH LINE IS DEATH

fiction
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Josh Cheon

Some girls are quite possibly made out of pure pain.

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