A diamond ring made from the ashes of a human corpse has the ability to give its wearer immortality, but in exchange, it must be fed human souls.
I never imagined myself a killer.
Sunshine glinted off the ring on my finger, reminding me of all the terrible things I’ve done. At first, it was so hard. I almost didn’t do it, but the man I killed basically begged me to. He had just recently lost his wife and two kids in a car crash that only he survived. My heart ached for him. I only got one more year for his death, so he was going to take his life away any moment. It was a mercy killing.
I found the ring shortly after my wife’s passing. She was incredible. I remember getting lost in those bright blue eyes, and watching her smooth blonde hair cascade over her shoulders. She showed me love I didn’t think possible. Being in her presence always lifted my spirits no matter the day I had. She was my life, and I vowed to love her until I died. We had only been married for two short years when she was taken from me.
We were walking to my car after a movie, our tradition. Every Friday night for as long as I can remember, we’d go eat at our favorite burger joint and catch a movie. It was so simple, but it was something we had done since we were kids. It was like any other night — a gentle breeze casting a chill to the air, the stars shining ever so brightly. It was a beautiful night, though not for long. I remember hearing a couple arguing nearby, but I didn’t pay much attention.
“I don’t think I could ever get tired of this,” she spoke softly.
“Of what?” I asked nonchalantly. I was busy stressing over work. I should have paid more attention. God, I should have paid attention.
Tires squealed in the distance. “These nights wi–” she was cut short as we were crushed by a speeding truck. I remember screaming her name as I saw her bleed out on the pavement just a few feet away from me. Her head was partially crushed from smacking the pavement so hard. I passed out.
I awoke a few days later. I had suffered a severe concussion and a few broken bones. Apparently the husband from the couple arguing in the parking lot took off without paying much attention to the two pedestrians crossing the street. My wife was killed instantly. She was gone, and I had no one else.
I don’t know how I survived those first few months. I did nothing but drink. I quit my job and spent all my money on booze. On a walk to the liquor store, a homeless man bumped into me and dropped a package. I didn’t even notice it until I was walking back. As I picked it up, I noticed my chronic headache was disappearing and my drunken stupor was wearing off. Inside the envelope was a diamond encrusted ring. It was pure silver, with a huge stained diamond in the center. A tiny inscription on the inside reads Death for life.
I don’t why I put the ring on. Honestly, I didn’t think anything else of it for another month, but the cravings started coming. I was drinking so heavily, and I guess the ring knew my time was decreasing. In a crowd, I had the strongest urge to just hurt someone. Depression turned into hate, hate into rage. On another trip to the liquor store, I found my first victim. It was time.
I slowly befriended the man. It was cruel, now that I think about it, the way I killed him. He had nothing left in his life either, and I took advantage of our similarity. We might have been best friends in another life, but he only served as an introduction to my new one.
I had been doing this for over a hundred years now. At first, I’d only find victims who were close to death. After awhile, I began to yearn for more time. I didn’t want to kill someone else every other year or so. I just wanted to grant myself another fifty or sixty years and I’d be ready to pass on. I’d be ready to stop loving her.
After searching for almost a year, I found the perfect prey. A young woman who was only twenty-two years old. She had a bright future ahead of her — straight A student, just graduated with a Masters degree. She reminded me of my wife, and I think that’s why I chose her. She exercised everyday, and she loved to go hiking. Her mistake, not mine.
I got seventy-five years for her death. I wouldn’t have to kill again. As I watched her bleed out on the dirt, I thought back to my wife and how she died. I had recreated that scene so many times now, but it never got any easier. That’s why I do what I do. I don’t want to die. I’m afraid of death because I’m afraid to stop loving her. She gives me purpose.
As I arrive home, I take my coat off. It was routine by now, but I unlock the basement door. Downstairs, my wife awaits me. I almost hugged her, but I remembered how frail she was. After a hundred and ten years, she had lost some of her youthful vitality, but that’s just a part of life. I caressed her broken skull, as I had many times before.
Another lifetime awaits us, my sweetheart.