You reached out your hand and took the picnic blanket, red and black, made of the softest wool. You shook it free from its folds, its tassels floating in the afternoon breeze, until it settled onto the thick grass.
Mesmerised, I watched the rise and fall of your arms, then you stepped forward, held those arms out to me.
There we lay, bathed in sunlight and joy, inhaling the sweet smell of the sea.
So wrapped were we in each other we didn't notice the air had become cool.
I turn and see the stranger who is no stranger.
The strength of him is like nothing I've ever seen. His powerful arms fling me aside as if I were a rag doll. My face is in the grass. I squirm to the side, my head thick and throbbing.
I hear Adoni grunt. The stranger is a madman. The two men struggle, but Adoni is no match for those arms, muscles like steel ropes, squeezing. Adoni is failing.
I fling myself onto the madman's back. I feel helpless but Adoni needs me.
Pulling, pulling, on the ropey arms. The stranger turns to me and I see eyes gleaming like underwater stones.
It is the moment Adoni needs.
"Rialdo!" he screams. "She's mine now. Let us be!"
The madman falls to his knees. I peer closer. It is Rialdo. I remember...but this is another Rialdo, a man undone by love, Adoni's and mine.
I drop to my knees and face him.
"Adoni speaks truly, Rialdo. Our love was of another time, another world."
"My world is bleak and black without you, my love. I have come for you."
"No!" I hear Adoni scream.
Rialdo's eyes burn red in the fading light.
"No!" I echo Adoni's scream, dread thrumming through me. "I must stay with Adoni. He is my life now! We have many years of earthly pleasure before us."
"I'm sorry my beloved, but I must take you with me this time. Now. You will be mine into eternity."
I remember the last earthly sound I heard. It was the rustling of the leaves in the trees at the edge of the forest and my name in the wind - "Elspeth! Elspeth! Stay!"
I hope you enjoyed my touch of paranormal flash fiction. 394 words this week! If you want to read more #RomanticFridayWriters stories, click on the picture.
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