Sylvia Plath


Charles thanked the old man in the grocery store and told him how much Marjory would enjoy the lovely chocolates. He’d seen her three times already that day, but hidden so as not to spoil the lovely surprise. Marjory would be twenty four years old, at precisely eight minutes passed seven and he had everything

At 7pm, the band assembled beneath Marjory’s bedroom window and a truck stacked with party favors crawled stealthily up her driveway. Inside, two hundred and twelve thousand personalised musical balloons quivered. Charles had designed a unique message for each one. At five minutes past seven, a sky writer,
flying high enough to be silent, but low enough to be visible in the clear Summer evening, began to inscribe the first line of Marjory’s favorite poem in infinitely delicate vaporised oil. At seven minutes past seven, Charles emerged from his hiding place in the undergrowth, in top hat and tails, checked his watch, waited, checked his watch again and signalled the release of a collage of balloons; that rose to stain the sky like multicolored butterflies. After a few more seconds, Charles signaled the band to set upon a rousing chorus.

It wasn’t long before Marjory’s door opened and she raced into the driveway. In her hand was an angry Taser, and upon her face a mixture of terror and incomprehensible shame.

’Marjory dear,’ Charles sang, as the band played a march of his own devising.
’My love for you is like the clear blue sky.’ Behind him, a team of majorettes set to tossing their batons into the air, and twirling around in synchronized elegance.
’My love for you will never…’
’Die, Die, Die,’ screamed Marjory, plunging the metal pike of the Taser deep into Charles’s throat and coursing fifty thousand volts through his system.
Charles dropped to the ground like a string-less marionette, a box of handmade chocolates falling with him to the tarmac, where it smacked like the wet thud of his head. The orchestra stopped playing and all was silent save a distant siren.

’This man,’ Marjory began, her voice cracking, her whole body racked with sobs.’Has been stalking me for eight years.’ A tuba player put his arm around her shoulder and she began to sob against his broad chest.

Looking up, she finished in a whisper, ’He’s ruined everything, even my birthday.’
In the sky the plane banked out of a steep ’O’, the sentence done. At Marjory’s feet, Charles’s body gurgled, but remained unconscious. Marjory gazed skyward, up to where the plane has finished its illumination. In the air, the letters hung, stark and terrifying.
’You do not do, you do not do.’

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