Here the promised real ending of our short story:
Carrie and Kati
That poem again! That same poem! What was it? Why did it fit the scene so perfectly? And why couldn't she remember it?
'What an awful wind,' she said as casually as possibly. 'Perhaps I ought to make sure that --- 'She had been working her way towards the door when he turned and slowly shook his head. She stopped. Hypnotised. Unable to take another step away from him.
Destiny, her mind told her. This is your destiny; what you were created for. London, Paris, New York - no matter where you went you had to return here. To this cottage. To this man. Quietly he walked towards her, past her, and on towards the heavy oak door. The key twisted in the lock, the shutters closed silently over the windows.
Gently, very gently, he took her arm and led her back to the hearth and the blazing fire. They were alone and she wanted to scream, but she couldn't.
' And last she sat down by my side And called me . . . . . ' That poem! That damned poem! How did it go? Please God, how did it go? Please, please let her remember!
' . . . when no voice replied She put my arm about her waist And made her smooth white shoulder bare . . . '
His left arm held her tightly, the slender fingers biting into her skin, while his right hand caressed the softness of her fair hair.
'But passion sometimes would prevail Nor could tonight's gay feast restrain A sudden thought of one so pale For love of her . . . . . . .'
Love? This wasn't love! This was madness. Insanity. He was crazy. He'd taken something of beauty and twisted it into macabre reality.
'Be sure I looked up at her eyes . . . ' His own eyes shone with a maniacal fervour. 'Happy and proud at last I knew Porphyria worshipped me . . . '
Porphyria! Browning's poem! She knew it! Oh my god, no! No! No!
'That moment she was mine, mine fair Perfectly pure and good . . . '
She wanted to scream. She tried to scream. But she couldn't. His fingers were about her throat and no sound emerged. She fought for air but she could feel her body falling, falling. Her mind struggled to escape from the darkness but all she could hear was a voice, a distant voice, fading, ecstatic . . . .
'. . . and all her hair In one long yellow string I wound Three times her little throat around And strangled her . . . '