Melanie had never been one to inspire anger in anyone. She was kindness itself.
Yet, that night when he went to bed beside her sleeping form, he was angry at her. And he didn’t know why. Uriel never became angry with Melanie. But he dreamed of anger, directed at her.
* * *
Melanie watched him fearfully as he examined an assortment of knives, daggers, and swords. Uriel had tied her down on the bed, the heavy rope nearly cutting off her circulation to her hands and feet. Then he turned to her, empty-handed.
“Quiet, Melanie,” he snarled as he slowly walked to the bed.
He held out his hands like claws and leaned over her.
“You’re going to die, Melanie,” he whispered. “You’ve made your last mistake.”
“Mistake? Oh, Uriel, what are you talking about?” she whispered, her voice trembling. She was visibly shaking.
“You’re going to die, Melanie,” he repeated as he fastened his hands around her neck.
She screamed and thrashed against him, gasping for air.
He tightened his grip and her screams were cut off as he pressed harder.
Her head rolled on the pillow. Her dark eyes were wide and vacant, but still touched with fear. Her mouth was still open for a scream that was never voiced.
He shook her and her head rolled unnaturally.
He had broken her neck.
Slowly, he backed away and stared down at her corpse with satisfaction. Then he turned and left the room, quietly closing the door as though she were only asleep and not dead at all.
* * *
Uriel was jolted awake by a scream. But it wasn’t his. It was Melanie’s.
He felt nails ripping into his back. The body beneath him was held inert by his large and heavy form. He looked down. Melanie’s dark eyes looked back up at him, full of fear.
His hands were fastened on her neck, like in his dream, and he grinned savagely.
She screamed and he crushed her neck. Her head rolled back and her arms went limp, her nails leaving blood to ooze from crescent shaped marks.
Suddenly, he lurched backward off the bed and stared at her corpse in utter horror.
“Oh, Melanie, what have I done?” he whispered before falling to the floor in agony, for it felt as though needles of pain were being pressed into his flesh and fire was licking up his body, growing hotter and hotter. His skin felt like it was turning to paper. It felt as though he were being cooked alive.
And he fell unconscious.
* * *
Heat woke him, along with pain around his legs and a burning sensation on his wrists, sort of like rope….
His face was burning. He lifted his head and his eyes opened and immediately widened.
Around him, and for as far as he could see, were flames of various heights and intensity. He was tightly bound to a giant T made of both sturdy wood and metal with his arms tied by rope to the horizontal beam.
A black figure stood before him in the flames, but the fire didn’t appear affected the looming figure.
“Welcome to Purgatory, my friend,” the figure said cheerfully.
“What—happened?” Uriel asked hoarsely.
“You’re dead, Uriel. You are here because of your murderous intent on your wife.”
“Who are you?”
“I have many names. People call me Satan, Lucifer, Devil, Hades, Pluto, and more names than I care to know, for they are all the same to me. I am simply called Death. This is your eternal punishment.”
Death wavered in the flames and then disappeared.
Uriel screamed. The flames had turned white.
* * *
Melanie screamed with fury and satisfaction. Then it turned to a maniacal laugh as she stared down at Uriel’s corpse.
The bloody knife she had used to pierce her husband’s body over and over was tightly clasped in her hand. She flung it onto is bloody chest and left the room, her white gown and robe stained red and her skin spotted with blood.
“Good bye, Uriel. Have fun,” she whispered.