Through the Glass Darkly monthly free story

19 Mar
This month’s free short story, a selection from Through the Glass Darkly, can be downloaded along with 14 more stories by going to

O Come, Thou Knight

by L. Stewart Marsden


She allows him to come to her every night. Wills him on some nights. What he does is monstrous, but exhilarating.

She is not a victim, but a willing participant. She welcomes the act – revels in its dichotomy of hell and heaven.

Night comes none too soon, as the drag of day is tedious and tiresome. She is exhausted when the sizzling sun finally dips beyond the deep wood.

The burnt day moistens into cottony, heavy air, cooling as it darkens. It freshens with stirred, nocturnal breezes, and the easy night symphony of its unseen orchestra. Crickets and katydids; tree frogs and night owls. Their blended melodies sift through the brushing sound of swaying oaks and elms; stir into a such a potent concoction that even the long dead sit up, awakened from their sleep.

He brings a new life; a meaningfulness she has never before experienced. He is Christ to an awareness she has never known before.

He has always appeared at that precise moment she teeters between despair and oblivion; and dangles over the yawing crevice that disappears into nothingness.

A gust of night wind, the sateen curtains billow in the breeze, and he is there, silhouetted against a harvest moon just cresting above the deep wood.

Effortlessly, gracefully, he glides to her bed where she awaits him, prone, barely concealed in her night clothes. He kneels and stares at her, his eyes tiny points in deep sockets.

He touches her arm lightly on the soft skin in her arm joint. Her veins are palpable, and pulse against his finger tips. It tickles it is so light.

Her long legs stir and rub rhythmically, like the tide, and she feels her womanhood warm.
The night. The moon. The breeze. The orchestral sounds. His touch. The throbbing in her veins, her legs, her mind.

She tips her head back, arching her neck in the moonlight; its prickly rays illumining her pale throat; veins beating; muscles tensing. The warmth moves from her loins to her arm to her neck.

His touch circles, cools and moistens; his shadow envelopes – a shroud of mystic fabric – a final and simple gown.

She, not fearful. He, not dark nor monstrous nor unwelcomed.

Another spritely, turning breeze dances through the window and slips about them both.
She closes her eyes and opens them one last time. Smiles genuinely at him, and softly whispers,“Thank you!”

He says nothing; strokes her brow gently; combs wisps of her hair with his fingers.

He stands and returns to the window, his graceful body silhouetted by the mooned sky. And he is gone.

She rises. No pain. No exhaustion. She turns and looks at the woman on the bed. Old. Tired. Resting. At peace.

She spins giddily toward the window, teared cheeks, a fresh breath of a breeze cupping her face.

Silhouetted against the large moon, she spreads apart the sateen curtains, and is gone.

Copyright © 2012 by Lawrence S. Marsden

11 Responses to “Through the Glass Darkly monthly free story”

  1. skipmars April 2, 2014 at 12:27 pm #

    Reblogged this on Writing Odds n Ends and commented:

    April’s free story from Through the Glass Darkly: O Come, Thou Knight


  2. The Arknark April 5, 2014 at 6:08 pm #

    Pretty yet eerie picture of death?


    • skipmars April 5, 2014 at 6:09 pm #

      O Come, Thou Knight?


      • The Arknark April 5, 2014 at 6:12 pm #

        Oh yes.


      • skipmars April 6, 2014 at 9:19 am #

        Okay. The story has been posted. But you are probably not awake yet, given the time zone difference.


      • The Arknark April 6, 2014 at 5:32 pm #

        Now that it is up, I shall scan it with my eyes and mind.


  3. williambean2014 June 20, 2016 at 10:58 pm #

    Well, best I can say is that it’s not my style. I ind it deadly dull but remember I don’t read much of your kind of fiction. I wish I had something more positive to say. I’m not sure you actually have a story there. A lot of description, a lot of action thrown in with description, but, well, you don’t speak to me. Is it good, bad, or indifferent? I can’t tell. Again, it’s not my style so I can’t say one way or the other. But I wish you success in your writing.


    • skipmars June 20, 2016 at 11:08 pm #

      The point is that you have a reaction. Whether or not you understand or like the story is irrelevant, in a way. It is your response that is appreciated. This story is not for everyone. If you have not experienced the loss of someone, you will not appreciate it. The main character is dyiing. I hope that is obvious. Death, which may be seen as good or evil, has come to alleviate the woman from her pain. It is both a sensual and evil transaction. And Death may be seen as both. But to the woman, she welcomes the relief. The final act is a release — both physically and sexually. She is loosed from those things that bind her. Have you ever experienced someone close to you who is dying from cancer? Apparently not. My hope is that you will escape such pain.


      • williambean2014 June 20, 2016 at 11:20 pm #

        No, my family members have not been ones for dying from cancer. My older brother died from a heart condition just two weeks after he turned 19. Both my parents have died from heart ailments. I almost died from a heart problem. so you might say i am familiar with death. Of course that’s just family. Watching a buddy die in Nam was, well, what can i say? And I with never a scratch to my name. But there are other personal experiences to consider. I was married to a woman for seventeen year. the first two years were good and then she developed severe mental problems. That almost drove me to suicide. divorce was such a release, you have no idea.

        But to tell the truth, I never finished your story. I found it far too boring. Sorry. I’d rather read O’Henry or Poe. No offense meant. I’m sure you will find an audience for your work. But anyone who writes finds that out sooner or later. I write short stories but I doubt you would be interested. It’s a different genre and has a limited audience, mostly old yuppies. But again, I wish you success.


      • skipmars June 21, 2016 at 12:01 am #

        To each his own.


      • williambean2014 June 21, 2016 at 12:02 am #

        as it should be.

        Liked by 1 person

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