Crimson Instinct

Submitted by Liz Bennet to Contest #14 in response to: It kicks off on a yacht with the delivery of an important letter.... view prompt

It was a sunny afternoon in the south of Italy. Delilah Frey had just had her lunch, a plate of lasagna, her late husband’s favorite. She stood in the cabin of his yacht, staring out at the great blue Mediterranean sea. She thought of how much he loved this boat and how he had designed it himself, taking care of the simple details that made the yacht into the beauty it was today. He drew sketches of the white modern interior making sure it was as clean cut as could be. She clutched the locket in her necklace that contained his image, closing her eyes and picturing him on Sundays as he smiled when he left the house to take his beloved boat out to sea. In the cabin with her was Captain Reyes, a man in his forties stood at six feet tall. His beard already starting to show streaks of grey hair that complimented his features. He wore a white uniform fit for his status. There were epaulets on the shoulders of his white button down shirt, a black tie and a hat that tied the outfit together. He held a radio to his mouth and bore a look of confusion that made his eyebrows scrunch together and his mouth turn down in a rather odd frown. Italy had been the place of nightmares for Delilah. Her husband had mysteriously died in a car accident there, she could not bear to live there anymore. She would be known as ‘the woman who’s husband died in a car accident.” She thought about the day she got the call that he passed. It was a cold afternoon and Edmond was out at a business meeting, then her phone rang, she picked up only to discover that her husband had been in an accident and died, but the accident didn’t kill him, a bullet to the head did. 


“Mrs Frey, the mainland security have just informed me of a man by the name Eli who apparently has a letter for you.” Captain Reyes reported with a worried look. “What are you talking about?” she asked blankly. “He claims that he’s a friend of the late Mr Edmond Frey who gave him the letter before his passing. Apparently it’s a matter of utter importance.” Delilah was curious to find out the content of that letter. If this was true, then perhaps it contained some answers to her husband’s mysterious death. Thinking of the consequences, she decided she still had to know what was inside. Even though she was scared and felt her heart beating out of her chest, she calmly said, “Let him in”. Fearing the worst, Captain Reyes gave a look of concern and opened his mouth to tell her not to, but he remembered it wasn’t his place. Instead he sighed and proceeded to nod and turn to the radio. He informed the security guard to escort the man into the cabin and moved on to his work. Delilah moved to sit on the white leather couch that was set against the wall. She straightened out her golden silk button down shirt and she rubbed her hands against the thigh of her white pants, out of pure nervousness. Just then there was a knock at the door. “Come in.” The handle turned and two tall, bulky men in all black entered, with a third man who she assumed was Eli. He wasn’t at all what she expected. He was tall, well built and really handsome likely in his late twenties. His green eyes complemented his fair skin. He wore a navy blue suit with a white button down shirt that had the top two buttons undone showing just enough of his toned chest. He ran his hand through his well combed hair that was the color of golden syrup. He looked around and sighed as he spotted Delilah sitting on the couch staring at him expectantly. Eli then remembered why he had come here. He came bearing news that was bound to break her heart, and the thought of him having to break it to this poor woman sitting across the room made his heart ache. This is her he thought, she is the one I’ve been looking for. He felt his heart beat race and his palms began to sweat. Delilah stood up and approached him cautiously, “You must be Eli.” Delilah said monotonously. “I am. Mrs Frey I presume?” He asked looking at her face, noticing how tired she was, not just physically, but mentally as well. She nodded. They shook hands and she motioned for him to follow her. She sat back down and he sat next to her, placing the letter on the table. She stared at it and turned to Captain Reyes, “Leave us.” He looked at her, still worried for her safety. “I said leave us. All of you out” She said, her eyes still glued to there letter. Captain Reyes moved to take the plate with what remains of her lunch but she said, “Later.” He set the plate down, the silverware gleaming in the sunlight and left, the two guards following suit, leaving behind a strong silence. “Mrs Frey, before anything is said I want to tell you how sorry I am about the loss of your husband. We were very close…” Delilah drowned out the rest of what he was saying. She could not stop thinking about what was in the letter. “Stop" she commanded, forcing Eli to pause in the middle of his speech. She took the letter in her hands and took a deep breath, she slowly moved her fingers to open it thinking of the thousands of things her husband could have said. Perhaps he just wanted to express his love to her and tell her how much he missed her and wished he could be with her. Her thoughts could not stop racing when she was interrupted by Eli’s voice. “Mrs Frey maybe you ought to hear what I have to say before you open it. Things would make more sense.” She paused and put down the letter, turning her attention to him. She motioned her hand for him to continue. He sighed, shuffling in his seat a little, “ My full name is Eli Edmond Frey, I am your husband’s son.” Shock could not begin to describe how Delilah felt. A wave of emotions rushed through her body. She could not comprehend what was going on. She was overwhelmed and confused but most of all she was angry. “That can’t be true, you’re not his son, Edmond was a loyal husband. He couldn’t have been with anyone else!” She could feel her voice rising along with her temper. Delilah stood up and moved to the window. She stared at the sea as tears streamed down her face. “It’s true.” Eli sighed. She whipped her head around to look at him “You have no proof, you cannot come here making false claims about my husband!”, Eli stared at her sympathetically, “Actually the proof is in that letter, that’s why I wanted to tell you before you read it. Edmond explained what it was and gave it to me before he passed and told me to find you in case of his death.” Delilah grabbed the letter off the table and tore it open reading the page carefully.


“Dear Delilah, 


If you are reading this, it means I have died. By now you know Eli I presume. Don’t hate him. He’s a good kid, and none of this is his fault.You probably have many questions to what happened and I’m writing this to answer them to you. I was involved with some dark people. But it was as accident I promise. They offered me a deal I couldn’t refuse and then they turned against me and I had no idea. I owed them lots of money Delilah and I couldn’t pay it back. My whole business was going broke and I couldn’t afford to pay them. They threatened me and my family and said if I didn’t pay them they would kill you Delilah. That’s when I met Eli’s mother on a business trip in the north. A wealthy woman who was the owner of a big and successful company. She offered to help me pay my debts if I helped her with a business deal. Over the years she did help and my company thrived once more.However, it pains me to say we did fall in love and we had Eli. She died giving birth to him and I couldn’t leave him in an orphanage knowing my son is out there somewhere. So I took him and bought a house in secret and raised him on my own. That’s where I would really be every Sunday, spending time with my boy. It was special since we didn’t have kids of our own. I don’t regret it Delilah, he’s special and I hope you can get to know him. You mean so much to me Delilah and I’m so sorry for any pain I caused you, cheating on you was a terrible mistake but I could not help it, I fell in love with Laura. I know you would never forgive me for my mistakes but I hope I was able to answer your questions. I’m so sorry for lying and cheating. It was never my intention and it will always be my biggest regret. But please find it in your heart to accept Eli and treat him like he were your own son. I know it’s too much to ask but please Delilah, for my sake. I would have done it for you in a heartbeat.


Your loving husband,

Edmond”


Delilah could not breathe. Eli interrupted the silence, “There’s more. The reason dad died as you know was a bullet to the head, not the accident. I have been working with the police to find out what really happened . We discovered that he had been working with some shady people and when he couldn’t deliver on his promises they had to eliminate him.” She stood there shaking, clutching the letter tightly and staring at the ground. Tears blurred her vision as she kept repeating his words in her head hearing Eli call Edmond dad made her heart burn with rage. She felt lightheaded and moved to sit on the couch. Eli moved forward and sat next to her, placing a hand on the small of her back. She flinched not realizing she would hurt his feelings in the process. “Sorry, it’s a reflex.” Delilah sighed apologetically. “It’s all right, I understand. I’m just a stranger after all right?”, In that moment Delilah realized what could happen. He wasn’t a stranger. He was her husband’s heir. He was the rightful owner to all of Edmond’s empire. He could lay claim to it all and she would be ruined. She knew she couldn’t let that happen. Delilah had to do something about him, she had to make Eli disappear for good. So instead of saying what she really felt, she said, “No, you’re not. A part of Edmond lives on in you, you’re family now.” Delilah could not believe the words coming out of her mouth. She felt disgusted by her own words. She loathed the thought of Eli being family. She looked at him to see the expression of shock on his face. “I am?” he asked with confusion, partly not believing her claim. She nodded and moved to hug him. He moved closer to hug her and just as she had her arms around him she pushed him onto the couch, taking him by surprise. Delilah grabbed the silver knife off the table in front of her, breaking some glass in the process, and pierced it in Eli’s heart. His eyes widened at the realization of what was happening and he placed his hand on the wound. All she saw in that moment was red. Delilah then pulled out the knife and continued to stab Eli over and over, releasing her pain, anger and sorrow into every jab. One for her dead husband, another for his lies, and another for him leaving her. Eli was coughing up blood, his body already drowning in his own blood. He wanted to tell her to stop with the little life that was left in him, but he couldn’t. At that moment he knew it as his time, he closed his eyes as he took his last breath. Delilah stumbled off of Eli’s corpse and looked at the scene in front of her. Eli’s body lay still on the couch, blood was spilled all over the white interior of the cabin, glass shattered on the ground. She felt sick. Delilah dropped to her knees in shock, releasing the knife from her grip. She was soaked with Eli’s blood. After what felt like an eternity, Delilah realized she had killed someone.Her husband’s child no less. Se couldn’t bear to live with this, she picked up the knife, pointed it towards her stomach and pushed it into her side, she felt the warm blood oozing out of her stomach and dripping slowly down her body as she lay down on the ground waiting to die. As she took her last breath, her eyes closing, Delilah saw the door open, letting in a flood of white light. " Edmond" she muttered. Just then, it all went black.


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