This Week’s Short Story: “The Four Whispers”

Since the days of papyrus and cuneiform, a shade has claimed the lives of unfortunates.  Coming to them in various guises with varied promises, the result has always been the same: death by unfulfillment.  There’s no reason or rhyme, save for some artistic urge that rends the shade to light.  Some vainglorious urge that demands mortal satisfaction.  The defective tale of the four whispers.

During the Wars of the Roses, a duke wandered his property with the bored carelessness that comes with wealth.  He fancied himself a poet, particularly because with all his fortunes, those around him couldn’t afford the word “no”.  One night, the shade claimed him and his ducal desires were consumed by whispers.  Whispers that wouldn’t stop inspiring him to write, even with entire rooms containing pages of their story.  When he died suddenly, death spasms allowed him to write one last word: “beyond”.

Last week, a homeless woman sat underneath a bridge waiting to die.  When it abruptly became dark, she welcomed what she thought was, at last, the way of all flesh.  Instead, she heard whispers.  They demanded satisfaction but the only thing she could find was a broken plate.  The coroner, as he examined her sanguine corpse, saw that the freshest wound said “beyond”.

These are only two of countless unfortunates claimed by the four whispers.  All telling the same tale, all dying before it’s completely told.  Whispers still whispering in the hopes of finding someone who can survive their telling.  They’ll be eternally disappointed, it seems.  Their end being beyond their reach.

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One Response to “This Week’s Short Story: “The Four Whispers””

  1. Ohhh I like haunted stories.

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