A Ritual Misguided

📅 Published on April 7, 2020

“A Ritual Misguided”

Written by N.M. Brown
Edited by Craig Groshek
Thumbnail Art by Craig Groshek
Narrated by Otis Jiry

Copyright Statement: Unless explicitly stated, all stories published on CreepypastaStories.com are the property of (and under copyright to) their respective authors, and may not be narrated or performed, adapted to film, television or audio mediums, republished in a print or electronic book, reposted on any other website, blog, or online platform, or otherwise monetized without the express written consent of its author(s).

🎧 Available Audio Adaptations: Scary Stories Told in the Dark – Podcast (Standard Edition) | 🔑 Podcast (Extended Edition) | YouTube (feat. Otis Jiry)

ESTIMATED READING TIME — 6 minutes

Rating: 10.00/10. From 3 votes.
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I’ve been a widower for exactly six years now. I was blissfully married to a woman named Ava for fifteen amazing years. We didn’t have much in the beginning, but we were happy that way. She always said she’d rather struggle with a man that she truly loved than to have luxury with a man she didn’t. Ava was good to me that way, never made me feel bad about anything…

Sorry… Anyway, six years ago today she was taken from me. It was February 14th, I wasn’t feeling well, and she had gone to the natural food market to get me some tea. Ava always made tea when I was sick, pampered me just like a loving mother would. She was just goin’ down one of the aisles and – whoosh – her life was snuffed out like a candle’s flame. My wife just dropped dead right there in the spices section. Thirty four years old, she was healthier than I was. Just like that… one aneurysmal subarachnoid hemorrhage later, and she was gone forever.

I’ve tried to make it on my own but I can’t. Food has no taste, water quenches no thirst and sleep provides no rest, not without Ava. I’ve prayed to Heaven, to Hell, to anyone that could bring her back. Finally I resign myself to the wonders of the internet. After days of searching I finally find something, a kind of ritual. I’ve nothing to lose and, worst case scenario, nothing happens other than I’ve wasted some time and money.

The items are collected and the ritual performed. I feel no different after, still just exhausted in every way one’s spirit can be. Trying not to get my hopes up, I go to bed. After a fitful sleep, a cold, empty bed greets me in the morning. I guess I really don’t expect much different. Refusing to succumb to my dejection, I surrender myself to my daily routine.

I drive to the store to buy some food for the dog and a pack of smokes, it was the one thing I wasn’t able to do when Ava was alive. She hated smoking, especially the smell on my breath… ‘Ashtray kisses’, she’d say. The day was gorgeous but felt heavy to me for some reason. I guess everything feels heavy these days though. When your only purpose for the last fifteen years has been to make someone happy, what do you do with yourself now that that purpose is gone?

Halfway through the day, the door makes a strained squeak as I hear it open. I descend the stairs, confused but hopeful. There she is: my beautiful Ava. She looks amazing, younger than she did when she died, if you can believe that. She places a bag of groceries down on the counter and takes out a box of tea.

“Babe, what happened to the car? I drove it to the store. When I came out, it was gone,” she explains. “I had to call one of those Uber things. The guy had packs of Cheez-Its in his car. I got your tea, by the way.” She kisses my cheek and pauses. “Hey, Matty…  did you do something different with the house? It looks so gloomy in here. Open some shit up, come on. Let some light in. Wait… Were you smoking? Yeah, open the door, but leave the screen closed.” She flirtatiously glares at me, then proceeds to flit about the house, cleaning and arranging like no years have passed at all.

Cautiously I walk up to her and touch her face, half-expecting my hand to pass right through her. It doesn’t, though. Her warm face nuzzles into the groove of my hand and her eyes close, absorbing the love of my touch.

I hug her fiercely and we made love like we hadn’t in years, literally. I can’t stop staring at her. My heart is so caught up in the relief from its torment that I can’t bring myself to question everything now. Let me enjoy this first, doubt can come tomorrow.

Twelve hours have gone by, when suddenly Ava screams! Her bones contort and her eyes freeze over. She clutches her heart and drops off of the bed, rigid by the time she hits the ground. I faint, wake up, and it’s morning again. Ava is lying there on her side smiling at me, with no recollection of the night before.

That first morning I rush her to the doctor, explaining what I saw the previous night. They both stare at me with bewildered faces. Ava swears to him that she feels fine and suggests that maybe I’m the one who needs to be checked out. As if this was the time for jokes! I watched her die! After everything comes back normal, he sends us home. But not before giving me a list of recommended therapists that accept our insurance.

The rest of the week continues. Other than being a little more withdrawn due to plaguing images of a dying wife, things are great. I start to enjoy her more and more, my suspicion shrinking smaller and smaller every day that went by. After all, this is what I prayed for. She’s back in my life. She didn’t come back a rotted corpse; she’s not full of evil carried over ‘from the other side’. She’s just Ava.

It was exactly one week to the day that she’d returned when I’m robbed of my security. The catch to my bargain was like the hand of death gripping at my throat.

We’re out driving and decide to pull over and go for a walk. The sky is just beginning to fill with the colors of the fading sun. Ava drops her phone on the sidewalk. When I bend to retrieve it she moves over to allow me room to do so. Just then, a truck swerves to avoid something large in the roadway and Ava is hit.

“Matty, I love you!” she cries out, seconds before impact. I see the beautiful blue of her eyes get lighter and lighter as her life fades. The crimson pool surrounding her blends in with her auburn hair.

I call for an ambulance and hold my love as I wait for help, even though I know there is none. Nothing can help her now but the sweet release of the afterlife. They take her away and I sob hard. You would think the agony of seeing my wife die for the third time would take on an almost surreal kind of element to it.

However it becomes more and more devastating each time that it happens. Am I in Hell? It feels that way but I haven’t really done anything in my life to deserve such a fate. Not to mention I’m most definitively sure I’m not dead. My pounding headaches and constant sweat stained nightmares make me sure of that.

I awake the next morning once again to the chill of a cold empty bed. This time though I smell bacon. I can hear Ava’s lovingly tone deaf voice singing from the kitchen.

“All you got to do is, man, hold her when you wanna. Squeeze her, don’t tease her, never leave her. Get to her – got, got, got to try a little tenderness.” I smile as I recognize her favorite song.

However, as much as I want to rush to her, hold her and join in song; I cannot move. My mind has a moment of true insanity. Like the kind where you don’t know if you’re in a dream or you keep dreaming about waking up from a dream but you’re in another dream. It’s madness. My mind shuts down as I struggle to sort out reality from its alternative. I continue to lay there motionless in a pool of sickly sweet smelling sweat.

Week after week she leaves me, all in different ways. It seems like the more I try to keep her safe, the more violent her deaths become. She chokes on a homemade dinner I make her the first week of September. She’s struck down by a seizure that causes cardiac arrest the middle week of October. The third of December I thought I finally beat it! She lies down next to me and just falls asleep. There was no blood, no screams, no demons taking over her body movements, just sleep.

I leave to take some medicine and when I came back she is still there. I get so excited. I actually jump up and down with joy until I see that her eyes are open. They are fixed in a lifeless thousand yard stare, the irises almost a blue-white. Again she is gone. So I lay there and hold her body until the morning breathed life back into it. I know the marble cold skin will be replaced by warm breathing silk by the time I wake up again.

Ashamedly after about the sixteenth week in a fit of insanity, I kill her myself. In the most respectfully loving way possible if there even is such a thing. The look in her eyes as she realizes what I’ve done was worse than any death I had seen thus far. I think that look will stick with me the most. I see it in her smile, when we make love, when she cries at something beautiful. I just wanted to change it, break the cycle. I’d try anything. But she would die and then be vibrant and beautiful the next morning like nothing happened, over and over again

The clichéd phrase ‘careful what you wish for’ plays through my brain like a broken record. You tell me, is it worth it? Would you be able to handle the mental anguish over and over again just to have one more day? The same day with different events, all leading to the one you love’s death.

I have nightmares of waking up next to her rotted face.

“Till death do us part, Matty,” she says as her lower lip falls into my lap.

* * * * * *

It’s been almost a year now since it started, I’m rapidly losing my mind. How many times do I have to watch this? As if once didn’t burn it into my every thought. It will always be the last thing I see before I go to sleep and the first thing I think about in the morning. Her image is perverting to me. Her eyes are starting to look the same alive as they do when she’s dead.

Rating: 10.00/10. From 3 votes.
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🎧 Available Audio Adaptations: Scary Stories Told in the Dark – Podcast (Standard Edition) | 🔑 Podcast (Extended Edition) | YouTube (feat. Otis Jiry)


Written by N.M. Brown
Edited by Craig Groshek
Thumbnail Art by Craig Groshek
Narrated by Otis Jiry

🔔 More stories from author: N.M. Brown


Publisher's Notes: N/A

Author's Notes: N/A

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Copyright Statement: Unless explicitly stated, all stories published on CreepypastaStories.com are the property of (and under copyright to) their respective authors, and may not be narrated or performed, adapted to film, television or audio mediums, republished in a print or electronic book, reposted on any other website, blog, or online platform, or otherwise monetized without the express written consent of its author(s).

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