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Jane Doe

Eternal keepsake.

By Lamar WigginsPublished 25 days ago β€’ Updated 23 days ago β€’ 4 min read
Art Provided by Kodah

Written for the Kodah, "Strangely Art" Challenge. Details below.


Hope is a word born of desire. It alone, cannot perform miracles. It can easily whittle away and disappear, like lonely puddles baking in the sun’s unforgiving heat…

We found her malnourished and beaten, clinging to brittle threads. Her pulse, barely noticeable.

We took her home, bathed her, forced fed her, watched her slowly get better. It's clear to us she had been held against her will by some wretched and maniacal soul who wanted nothing less than to watch her suffer. By the grace of God, or perhaps the devil, she escaped their perverted clutches and ended up here, with us...

She watched with caution as we diced parsnips and gathered various spices for the simmering pot of possum stew. She never took her eyes off us; trust was further down the road than expected. Our doors remained open. She had more choices than she knew. We didn't want her to go. Her daily progress was promising...

She wouldn’t talk to us. The only sound she made were whimpers, perhaps brought on by memories of torture, or that of family.

Of course she must've had some semblance of family. A beautiful girl like her should be pampered with love and affection. We wanted nothing more than to help her find that family. At the time, we thought the best thing was to give her the space she needed...

In an attempt to maintain proper nourishment, we set a generous bowl of hot stew in front of her. She watched the steam swirl upward. It held her attention as if she saw something intriguing within the vaporous trails. Curiosity prompted her to place a finger in the bowl. She stirred the mixture round and round without a flinch; her tolerance for pain had ripened. She brought the finger to her mouth but hesitated before tasting it, then pushed the bowl away. Maybe she isn't too fond of possum, we thought. We let her be.

We returned near the edge of evening to an empty bowl, but she was not there. We found her curled up at the bottom of an antique armoire fast asleep, one of the doors left ajar. It's where we kept the alabaster ornaments. We enjoyed making them and would soon make one for her.

We led her to the room where she usually slept. We prepared it with the comfort of fresh linen and a variety of orchids; pleasant things to help her cope.

After two, unpredictable weeks, she opened up to us. She remembered scattered things about her life but could not remember who she was. She did, however, recall the callous face of her tormentor. He kept her arms tied above her head, whipped her daily, threatened to cut her into pieces and feed them to the hogs. The details were horridly delicious. We could barely contain our thirst for more, but we did. It was too soon to frighten her. We needed her fully recovered.

My only sister, Ursala, departed this earth many moons ago. One dreadful morning, her life was taken by a menacing bear while collecting deadly wolfsbane. She now required souls in order to come back to me in the flesh. Together, we searched for them. Together, we extracted them and contained their essence, keeping them safe in the alabaster. Jane Doe would become the thirteenth and final soul needed. She was the key to unlocking the power of incarnation. We would keep her body alive so sister could use it once the influential ritual was complete.

I remember the look in Jane's widening, green eyes when Ursala first appeared to her in the form of a decrepit, cursed specter. Waxy, gray skin with dark, ruptured vessels throughout. Long, black hair that was heavily meshed and fingernails the size of talons. Her disembodied apparition never frightened me; she was my sister despite the hideous appearance. She joined us at the table where the ceremony would begin. Fear was present and expected. What Jane did next, was not.

Before Ursala could glamour her, Jane leapt from the table and grabbed a knife off the cutting board. In a matter of seconds, she was behind me, the blade held taut to my throat. We thought she would kill me, foiling our plans to breach the underworld. Instead, while adrenaline began stabilizing, she stared deep into Ursala's dead, sunken eyes. She began to feel dark forces trying to apprehend her mind. A tear welled up and traveled down her flushed cheek. Did she suddenly realize our intentions? Was she remorseful that I longed to be reunited with the only person I loved? She thrashed me to the floor and spoke.

"Go to hell you desperate hags! You can't have me!"

With that, she slit her own throat. We rushed to try and stop her, but it was too late. The knife had fallen to the ground with copious amounts of her precious, red vitality covering it, more of it dripping all over the weathered floor. Our attempts to stop the bleeding tragically failed. It wasn't long until I felt her pulse make its final beat. Her arms went limp as I held her in my lap, caressing her long, blond curls. She escaped us into the darkness of the night to be with her own God, the God of light...

We rightfully buried Jane Doe during the midst of the morning twilight. We included the alabaster figurine we made for her. A gift... that will sadly, never be ours.

Dall E

Short StoryHorror

About the Creator

Lamar Wiggins

Creative writer in the Northeast US who loves the paranormal, mystery, true crime, horror, humor, fantasy and poetry. Take a chance, you'll be thoroughly entertained.

"Life is Love Experienced" -LW


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Excellent work. Looking forward to reading more!

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    Well-structured & engaging content

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    Original narrative & well developed characters

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Comments (10)

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  • JBaz6 days ago

    Lamar, I do not know how you do it. Once I start reading your stroies I cannot stop. You have a way of luring us in, keeping enough hidden so we are unsure which way you are headed then BAM the story unfolds and it never dissapoints. This one will be with me for a while.

  • Kodah13 days ago

    Omg!! I can't believe I'm only reading this now! This was a twisted tale and incredibly creative! I'm so sorry I just saw this now, excellent work using your imagination! πŸ’ŒπŸ’

  • man, did you ever draw us in! Great work

  • Whoaaaa, I certain wasn't expecting them to want to use her and also wasn't expecting her to kill herself! Twist after twist! This was so awesomeeee!

  • D.K. Shepard24 days ago

    The phrase β€œout of the frying pan and into the fire” comes to mind…this was an absolutely enthralling read! Well done, Lamar!

  • Cathy holmes24 days ago

    Holey moley, that ending! Excellent story. Well done, indeed.

  • Mark Gagnon24 days ago

    The way you kept saying "we" I knew something was up but wasn't expecting that ending. Excellent, Lamar!

  • You somehow pulled one of my darkest nightmares out, mixed the truth of my past with fictional embelishments, and lured me into reading it πŸ˜†πŸ‘Œ That was so dark… Darker than I saw coming from the start ! You tell it extremely well.

  • angela hepworth25 days ago

    Your impeccable use of detail absolutely makes this piece. Awesome work!

  • John Cox25 days ago

    Wow! That one really snuck up on me. I realized all was not on the up and up with the line The details were horridly delicious, but I still did not see what was coming. Really well done!

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