That was the start of a wonderful relationship. As the woman looked up into the clear night sky, she noticed that the crescent moon was approaching the western horizon, and once it had set, she would put her plan into motion…
Melinda became much closer to Vivienne over time as they studied together, played their bondage games and also started the research into whether or not there was something to her seeing Death.
Vivienne’s situation was useful in the fact that she did know some of the doctors at the local hospital and they were allowed to set up their project, so long as they were discrete and used a cover story as to why they were there. Even after the first week, the two ladies managed to gather enough evidence to intrigue the doctors who knew about the project, with a few saying that there had been an case where a cat could sense when people were about to die and stay with them until the end. The medical staff were at a loss to explain what was happening, with some of them suggesting scent or sound, or even a signal disruption in the magnetic field of the planet. One of the doctors put forward the idea that the perception of Death could be Melinda’s mind trying to make sense of the sensory input that it was receiving, rather there being any true entity there and this was the theory that ended up being accepted by the others.
Melinda didn’t mind this idea, even though she kept with the idea of it being just the way that she perceived it and the doctor pointed out that as only she had the full experience of this, her theory was just as valid as the other one.
As time went on, the two friends got more equipment to play their bondage games with, and one special set consisted of chains, padlocks and two sets of very unusual handcuffs. These restraints were known as Clejuso number 15 cuffs and they looked like shackles for a slave rather than normal handcuffs, with each set weighing close to one and a half kilograms. Melinda thought that these were wonderful and she loved being placed in them and the chains, as if she was a slave who was about to be executed. She even nicknamed them the ‘slave cuffs’ and she was taught by Vivienne how to use the chains, cuffs and padlocks to place herself in bondage, along with an inflatable harness gag that could as be used as a form of torture. There were many times when one of the ladies would restrain themselves in the other’s room, so that she could pretend that she was already a helpless slave who was at the mercy of her new owner.
However, there was one particular bondage game which was played by the ladies and it was never repeated for a very good reason. It happened when they went to see a music concert and seeing as it was going to finish late, they had booked a room with twin beds along with an en suite bathroom and a large bath. After the two girls had been to the concert, Vivienne said that she had a very wicked idea for a role play which should start with Melinda getting undressed so that she could pretend to be asleep on the bed. After a few minutes with the lights out, a hand went over Melinda’s mouth and a voice told her to be quiet, before several strips of tape went over the mouth of the lady lying down on the bed.
Soon, the captive was restrained in very secure rope bondage, made to hop into the bathroom and she was forced to lie face down in the bath where she was put in a strict hogtie. It was at this point that Vivienne, who was playing the part of a hitwoman, explained that she was there to eliminate Melinda who was a major witness to a murder. Seeing as a stabbing might leave too much evidence and a firearm would cause too much noise, the witness was to be drowned in the bath as this would be as effective as anything else. As the taps were turned on and the water rose, the helpless captive put on a wonderful struggle, even when a half foot high bath step was placed underneath her chest. Just as the water almost reached up to her nose, the taps were turned off and Melinda was struggling against her bonds, when she was lifted up so that the step could be pulled away from underneath her.
There was a scream from the helpless lady after she was held up for a few seconds when her captor released her body so that she was immersed in the water and the captive continued in her frantic behaviour for a moment. After this point, there was a major change in the bound lady, as she just rested in the water and she had an overwhelming desire to breath in the liquid that she was immersed in. The only thing that stopped her from doing this was the fact that her friend would end up in prison for murder and that is where her last days would be spent. Her stillness must have surprised the captor, who pulled her out of the water after just a few seconds and once the captive’s gag was removed, she explained what had happened along with a warning that they must never do this again.
Everything went well with the two ladies throughout the rest of their university days and for three years afterward, when Melinda worked at a hospice that was near to home with Vivienne staying with her. They never spoke about the time when Vivienne would start to succumb to the final stages of the illness, but after six years that moment had come at last with her starting to get weaker. They played the same bondage games with each other for as long as possible and even though Vivienne became too ill to be the captor, Melinda took over that role so that her friend could be the prisoner.
There came a point when Vivienne became too ill to stay at the apartment that they shared, so she was transferred to the hospice where Melinda worked at which meant that they would be able to spend as much time together as possible. Even though the patient was getting weaker by the day at this point, she was still cheerful whenever her friend was around and there was always a smile on her face.
“It’s amazing to see you like this, when six years ago, you could get very depressed at your situation.” Melinda said as she fed Vivienne.
“You helped me out then and we have had six wonderful years together, so who could ask for more. Anyway that research on your ability has given me hope as to what will happen next, which means that I have had no fear of dying for some time.”
“You could have taken the quick route to meet Death, and I wouldn’t have blamed you for doing so.”
“Melinda, if I had done that, then I would have spent less time with you and you did say how you wanted to be with Death after it is your time. I may not see you again afterwards because of that, so I want every precious memory before I go on my way.”
“Vivienne, for the first time, I feel conflicted about my situation. I do want to spend eternity with Death but I also want to be with you, and I have the feeling that I would have to choose between one person or the other.”
“In that case, choose Death as you have known him far longer than you have known me. I’ll give him your regards and tell him that you are waiting to stay with him forever. Anyway, I hope that you don’t mind, but I think that I need a little rest after my meal.” Vivienne closed her eyes and started to fall asleep as Melinda put the bowl on the bedside table.
As the weeks went on, Vivienne’s condition deteriorated as expected and she spent more and more time asleep, but she always gave Melinda her undivided attention when she was awake. On a Tuesday while the lady was putting away the eating tray, another bed was wheeled into the ward which was placed beside the one in that Vivienne was sleeping in and Melinda knew what this meant even before the doctor told her that there were only a few days left. From this moment, Melinda only left the side of her friend when she needed to take a quick break and she was ready to talk whenever Vivienne was awake for a short time.
It was on a Friday afternoon when Vivienne’s heat monitor started to beep, which showed that her heart had gone into cardiac arrest and this roused her friend from her dozing state into being fully alert. Melinda knew that Death would appear in a few seconds time, but this time it seemed that he was late as he was nowhere to be seen as a very healthy looking and cheerful Vivienne came into view. The spirit looked a little puzzled for a moment as there was no Death to be seen, before she turned so that she was almost facing Melinda and she waved her hands along with giving a big smile. It was just before she started to fade away that the smiling expression on her face changed into one of complete astonishment, as if she had seen or heard something that she had never expected.
That is so unusual, Death has turned up in person for everyone except you. What has happened here? Melinda was in a state of shock as she had not only lost her friend, but something had occurred that do not fit into any of her previous experiences of other passings. When she had recovered enough to be aware of everything, she started to make all of the arrangements that were necessary in situations like this…
Two years later, Melinda was still working at the hospice when she was told by a police officer that her parents had been involved in a very serious road accident and that their conditions were critical. She was rushed to the hospital in the patrol vehicle, but even before she managed to reach to intensive care unit, the lady perceived that Death had already appeared and a moment later he was accompanied by her father. By the time she was at the unit, the two figures have already faded, and the look on the doctor’s face told her everything that she needed to know about her mother’s prognosis.
“She’s conscious and the drugs are preventing her from feeling any pain, but to be honest I’m surprised that she’s alive, given the injuries that she has received.” The doctor said in a low voice as her opened the door. “Personally, I think that she’s managed to stay alive just so that she could see you.”
As Melinda sat down by the bed of her mother, she placed her left hand over the right hand of her mother’s and the woman turned her head to the right so that she could look at the daughter. “So, how did he look? Okay, you can stop pretending at this point, as Vivienne contacted us about your project and let us know that you weren’t imagining things.”
There was a moment’s hesitation from the daughter, as she had not spoken about this subject with her parents for a long time, although keeping up the pretence was pointless given the present situation. “He looked great mum, and he appeared as if he was in his prime.”
“I feel sorry about leaving in this way, so that you have to pick up the pieces.”
“It’s not your fault mum, these things just happen. Anyway, you appear to be very brave about this.”
“Melinda, half of this is due to the drugs and the other half is because I read through your project report. Anyway, how are things at work nowadays?”
The small talk continued for another hour until the mother’s condition worsened, at which point she slipped into unconsciousness and within another hour there was an alarm sound, indicating that the mother’s heart was no longer beating. A few seconds later, Death stepped into view by the bed and her mother in a younger form became visible. Melinda found the next few seconds puzzling as her mother showed surprise before an expression of recognition and as the daughter was close enough to read the lip movements, the words provided even more of a puzzle.
“It’s you, it’s really you and you are Death? Oh, Melinda will be pleased.”
Are you seeing something different to me? There was more, but the two figures were already fading out which meant that the rest of it was unintelligible and she continued to stay in a seat for a few minutes as she tried to make sense out of what she had seen. “I have a lot of things to sort out, and I had better get started.” Melinda was thankful for the help of the family lawyer in this trying time and with some help from friends of the family, she was able to shoulder the burden.
It was a few years after the death of her parents that Melinda started to notice certain aches and pains along with a sense of weakness, so she decided to find out what was wrong with her. When the woman visited the doctors, she said that she had spent six years in close contact with a lady who had suffered from Miri’s Syndrome and once they had completed all of their tests, it almost seemed to be anti-climatic when she was diagnosed with the same condition. Seeing as the chances of two people so close together having a very rare genetic abnormality, the likelihood was that there was something being transmitted in the intimate relationship that she had with Vivienne, which meant that Melinda falling ill could help to prevent others being infected and one day may even end up providing a cure.
However, Melinda knew that she had to mention her condition to Mrs. Johnston who ran the hospice, even though she wasn’t likely to be of any threat to the residents.
“Life really has been unfair to you, Melinda.” The mature lady said as she sat in her gray suit, with Melinda wearing her long blue dress and matching sandals. “First you lose your best friend, then your parents and now this.”
“I wouldn’t call it tragedy as they all went to a better place, and I would like to continue helping the people here for a little longer. The doctor’s think that I am safe unless contact is too intimate.”
“I can allow you for six more months, but I would like you to then take a break for six months before returning, so that you can enjoy yourself for a while. In a way, you are your own patient now, and you have to take care of yourself. When your condition starts to deteriorate, please remember that we can take very good care of you at the end.”
“That is very kind of you, but although you disapprove, I do not intend to be a burden to anyone. Vivienne held on to the bitter end because there was me along with her mother and father. I do not have these connections, and I will not be the cause of any distress to my co-workers here.”
“It’s not the act itself that annoys me; it’s the fact that someone has to pick up the pieces afterwards, especially the one who has to walk in on the aftermath. Have you considered this?”
“I have and my plan is already worked out so that there is no aftermath to stumble on. What I want to do is work with you and a lawyer so that you will have power of attorney over my assets once I am gone. I will send you and the lawyer a message each once a month and if there is a gap of two months, with neither of you receiving anything, then my assets are yours to use for the good of the hospice.”
Before Melinda went on her travels, she sorted out the necessary paperwork with Mrs. Johnston and the lawyer, and she even signed a statement that if she was discovered later on, then no one was to be blamed for her demise. The lady was happy as she spent her final half a year at the hospice, helping out whenever she could and after that she spent her break going to places in Europe before visiting various coastal towns in Britain. However, just as the woman was about to end her break, she could tell that the final stage of the illness had started and she sent a message to Mrs. Johnston and the lawyer so that they would be informed of her condition.
She rented a room in the seaside town of Bude in the county of Cornwall and she gathered together everything that she needed, along with a small motorised inflatable dinghy which had some special modifications. After she had made a few trips along the coast, she found a secluded cove about 4km north of the resort and she stored everything away until it would be the right time for a most special adventure.
Before the sun went down, Melinda left the place where she was staying, paying the bill so that there would be no questions asked and she went to the seafront to have one final meal. Once that was over, the lady paid the bill for the mooring of her dinghy and made her way to the cove where her other items were. All that remained was to wait until the moon set, so that her boat would not be so easy to spot in the darkness, as being found on the sea would be the last thing that she would want to happen.
As the woman looked to the west, she could see the last part of the crescent moon dipping below the horizon, which meant that it was time to start getting prepared for her last adventure.
I have everything that I need and if I do this right, no one apart from the lawyer and Mrs. Johnston will ever know that I am gone.