(DISCLAIMER: This is re-posted from my Dark Shadows RPG page. I just though you'd like to read some of my work. Apologies if you've seen this before.)
Joshua Collins gazed around the bedroom that was his and Naomi's, glass of brandy in hand. Ah dear Naomi. Long dead these past few years. All of his family dead truth be told. First his daughter, Sarah, than his brother Jeremiah, Naomi... no, Barnabas was next. THAN Naomi. Suicide it was. Losing Sarah to illness was one thing, but she just couldn't live with the thought that her son was... no best not to dwell on it. Abigail died at Barnabas' hands, too. So many others surrounding the Collins family. It was a surprise that he actually had an heir to carry on the family legacy anymore. Daniel was a fine young man now and he'd done wonders with the family business.
Old Joshua Collins yawned. He didn't want to sleep. HE was there seated in the chair in the corner. A shadowy wraith cloaked in darkness waiting like a vulture does for it's prey to die so it could feast upon the carcass of it's victim. HE would not take Joshua so easily. He was a Collins after all.
Finishing his drink - probably the last one he'd ever have - and reached to place it on the bedside table. A hand came out of the shadows and took the glass from his shaking unsteady hand and did the job for him. Death.
Death had been his constant companion for these long weeks now since he'd taken to his bed. He slept more and more each day and in those periods of sleep, he dreamed of happier times.
Dear Naomi. The room still smelled of her perfume after all these years... and the sherry she drank. Or maybe that was just his imagination. Funny how the mind could push most of the nightmares back into the dark corners of the mind and allow the bright ones to shine through. The portrait on the nightstand of her was a constant reminder that he had ever really loved anyone so deeply in his life. Yes, theirs was an arranged marriage, but there was a time when he loved her. He did you know. She was the most beautiful creature he'd ever seen and they were most in love.
He couldn't pinpoint exactly when it had happened... the distance that grew between them... or what had precipitated the event, but one day when he found her drinking herself blind and he felt his heart grow sadder. Cooler like the onset of winter. The last happy day of his life he could remember was when Sarah had taken her first steps... right into his outstretched arms....
"You are ever so stubborn, Joshua Collins," a woman's voice admonished.
"Who...? Who's there?" he demanded.
The darkness parted and a vision in a yellow gown approached. Her dark hair worn down in the same manor as he remembered when they first met. She was stunningly beautiful. "Naomi?"
"Who else would it be?"
"Oh, Naomi." Joshua gathered the woman to him and kissed her. It was as if he were a young man in his early 20's again. The kiss broke and he held her to him in a hug, never wanting to let her go. "I've missed you so, you know."
She put a hand on his chest and leaned back, parting them just enough to look into his eyes. The eyes of a young, viral man again. "I know. And I've missed you, too."
"Can you ever forgive me?"
He gave a short, ironic laugh. "For... well for everything. I know I didn't make your life easy the last few years. I never realized how much I loved you..." he couldn't finish the thought.
"Until I was gone?" she finished.
He nodded, unable to speak.
"Yes. I can," she said.
Overjoyed, he kissed her and surrendered himself to the moment.
The shadow in the chair arose at the sound of a sigh and crossed the room to the bed. Warm practiced fingers checked for a pulse that no longer existed. The flesh was already starting to cool. The dark clad figure folded the old man's hands on his chest before turning to leave the room.
In the hall outside the bedroom door a man in his mid 30's looked up, the question already etched o his face.
"He's gone," Dr. Marcus told him.
Daniel sighed. "Did he say anything before he died?"
Marcus nodded. "Just one word...Naomi."