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The Silver Earring

Estimated reading time โ€” 7 minutes
Eric woke up with the dawn as he always did. The sun rose over the lake his house was on the shore of, it never failed to wake him up as the beams of light burned away the mist and warmed his bedroom. Today was going to be a good day he reflected as he made his coffee, a year after his wife Sarah’s disappearance he was finally able to get her declared legally dead and claim both the substantial life insurance policy and the inheritance she had received from her parents. His lawyer was coming out that morning to get the final signatures; he would need to be suitably upset by then just in case any questions were asked. The lawyer collected the signatures without a hitch, apologized for the loss of Sarah and congratulated Eric on becoming a very rich man before leaving. After his lawyer had left Eric took a walk down to the lake, standing on the dock he looked out over the water and allowed himself a small smile “Goodbye Sarah, I always knew you would be worth more dead than alive” he said as he turned back towards the house. Had he seen the pair of eyes that followed him all the way he probably would have stopped smiling.

Eric woke with a start before the sun had crested the horizon, the area outside his window was still thick with mist. The nightmare had seemed so vivid and real, the eyes, the brilliant emerald green eyes that had been staring at him through the window caused a shudder to race up his spine; but as the sun started to rise over the horizon and burn away the mist, calm reasserted itself. Just a silly dream nothing more he thought and shook his head to clear the remnants of it as he lay back. Out of habit he reached a hand over to the right side of the bed. Strangely there was something hard there, something that had not been there last night; he picked it up and brought it to his face and felt a chill run down his spine. What he was holding was a silver earring, an earring he had last seen as it disappeared into the depths of the lake over a year ago. He pulled on his robe, stepped into his slippers and ran down to the dock as fast as possible; without hesitation at the end of the dock he drew his arm back and hurled the offending object back into the lake with all his might.

“Getting rid of some bad memories?” the voice caused Eric to jump and spin around to face the speaker. There was a woman he had never seen before wearing a black pencil skirt, a white blouse with a black jacket, black calf boots and a black hat with a lace veil looking very much like what a widow might wear to the funeral of her partner standing at the end of the dock. “who are you?” “what are you doing on my property?” Eric tried to keep the shake out of his voice and sound indignant and in charge despite the ice still coursing through his veins. “I don’t believe you own the lake Mr. Steinmac, even if this is your dock I am standing on public property.” Her voice was silky, smoky and smooth as glass reminding him of a fine single malt whiskey and it momentarily disarmed him so much, he almost missed the fact that she referred to him by name. “My name is not normally important, but you may call me Lorelei.” She said as she turned and started to walk back along the shore “I think you should go back to bed though, you clearly need to think about some things.” It wasn’t until she had disappeared into the fog bank that it occurred to Eric that even as she walked away her voice never changed; no softer, no louder and always feeling as though it was coming from right off his shoulder. He looked down at his hand to make sure the earring was really gone, had it actually been there in the first place? He thought. He shook his head as he walked back to the house his girlfriend Cara was coming over today eager to finally go public with their relationship after several years of keeping it a secret.

‘Wow” was all Cara said as she looked out of the living room window while the sun set behind her. It was her first time visiting Eric’s house as the majority of their liaisons had taken place either at their office under the pretense of late-night work or at Cara’s apartment taking care not to be seen or recognized. “Just wait until you see the sun rise over the lake in the morning.” Eric said, “it’s magical.” She smiled at him “is that an invitation to stay the night then?” she asked with a wink. “The night and maybe even a little longer.” Eric replied with a laugh as he moved in to kiss Cara and once again he completely missed the eyes that glared at him from everywhere and nowhere all at once. Eric and Cara watched the sun rise over the lake together from bed the next morning “It really is as magical as you said,” Cara cooed as she snuggled up to Eric “I almost can’t believe your wife just left all this behind.” Eric almost missed the comment, he was distracted thinking about those green eyes he was sure he had seen at least three times during the night staring at him through the window or the corner of the room; but every time he had tried to focus on them, they were gone. “Yeah” he said distractedly “I guess she just didn’t like the lake.” “I’m gonna go make a coffee, do you want one?” he asked. “I’d love one” Cara said “I’m just going to have a shower and I’ll see you in the kitchen.” She gave him a kiss on the cheek and sauntered off to the bathroom.

Eric boiled the kettle for the fourth time, he kept getting lost in his thoughts of those eyes and forgetting to make the coffees. He’d seen them before he knew it, but he couldn’t remember were and now they seemed to be constantly in his peripheral vision just out of his regular field of view but still able to really bother him. “Hey Eric” Cara called out “Do you know where the other earring from this pair is?” “What earring?” He called back “This one” Cara said as she walked into the room and pushed her blonde hair aside to reveal the antique silver earring hanging from her right ear. Eric’s blood went back to ice “Where did you get that?” he asked “Sorry?” Said Cara “WHERE DID YOU GET THAT!?” Screamed Eric Cara cowered and stammered “I-i-it was on the bench in the bathroom, I thought it was beautiful” “Give it to me!” Eric yelled “Give it now!” “what?” Cara asked, “GIVE IT TO ME!” Eric screamed as he marched over to Cara and grabbed hold of the earring before she’d had a chance to take it out and tore it down through her earlobe. Cara screamed as blood sprayed from her torn ear; she backpedaled towards the bedroom as fast as she could desperate to get away from Eric, but he was not paying attention to her anymore. She grabbed her phone and called the emergency services while locking the bathroom door and grabbing a towel to hold to her head, all she could do now was cry and wait for help.

Eric ran for the dock, he was going to make sure he got rid of it this time, he leapt into the boat and cast-off heading for the deepest part of the lake as fast as he could. He stopped the boat and threw out the anchor and set to work getting some heavy weights to make sure the earring would go to the bottom and stay there. “I wouldn’t do that if I were you” said a voice. Eric looked up to see Lorelei sitting on the stern of the boat looking exactly as she did the previous day, how had he not noticed her before he thought. “Are you behind this?!” he yelled brandishing the earring. Lorelei laughed “No, I am merely aiding a betrayed and tortured soul take what they deserve.” “What?” Eric asked as he heard the thump and splash of something landing on the deck behind him. Eric turned to see a vision of horror. Sarah stood on the deck in front of him her once beautiful red hair now dirty, matted and lank hanging around her head, her skin was covered in tiny cuts from the hooked net that still hung from her in places. She slowly raised her right hand to push her hair back to reveal the other of the pair of earrings which she began to remove. It was then that he noticed her eyes, the eyes that had once been so full of love now burned with a cold fury. A brilliant emerald fury he had never thought possible. “Sar-” he began as she leapt at him and carried him over the gunwale and into the depths. His last thoughts were of Sarah’s pleading eyes, her face streaked with tears as he hoisted over the very same gunwale, the antique silver earring hung down as he picked her up. “You know, I always hated those family heirlooms.” He said as he cruelly ripped it out and tossed it over the side. “Go find it” he laughed as he threw her over after it.

It took a team of police divers almost a week to find the bodies despite knowing exactly where the boat was. Eric had chosen the spot well when he decided to murder Sarah, if he hadn’t freaked out and returned to the scene of the crime after assaulting Cara, they probably would never have found her. “It’s very strange, Andrew” Dr. Crain said as she walked into the morgue. “What’s so strange about it Liz?” asked Detective Roan ” The man fell overboard and drowned.” “His lungs were full of water yes” said Liz “But that isn’t what killed him.” She opened the drawer Eric and the evidence where in and showed Andrew the antique silver earring. He shot her a puzzled look; “I pulled this from his throat, as best I can tell he choked on it before his lungs filled with water but given the damage, it was forced down there and that is what killed him.” “Hmmm, a mystery we will probably never get an answer too” said Andrew ” we found no evidence of another person on the boat, I think we’ll just chalk this up to a guilty murderer whose conscience finally got the better of him.” “I don’t have a better answer than that.” replied Liz “But this tale gets even more tragic.” “How so?” asked Andrew. “Sarah was pregnant when she was murdered, as far as I’m concerned this was a double homicide.” Said Liz.

Sarah stood over her own body unnoticed by the other two people in the room; She placed a hand on her stomach and thought of everything she would have done with her child. Her hatred was gone now all she had left was sorrow. Lorelei appeared beside her “I’m sorry Sarah but it is time to go.” “I know.” Sarah said. She slowly reached up to her left ear and removed the earring from her damaged ear and placed it down next to her body. As soon as it was down the green faded from her eyes returning to the blue she was born with and tears began to well up again as all the wounds covering her body began to heal and her hair regained its luster. “Come on.” said Lorelei taking her hand “You’ve suffered enough, it’s time for you to have peace.

Credit : J.J. Wolff
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