I committed a murder

I came back to myself and would try to become inspired again.
That was more useful than all his life stories.
I would completely live it up in my new work.
I would be even greater than Marianne.
At this moment I felt deeper than when I was occupied with her statue.
My servant was expecting me.
I gave him a piercing look.
Something in him attracted me to him and rejected me.
I would never be able to trust him and yet I did not send him away, I simply did not get round to it.
I felt that he was watching me, which bothered me.
His movements were like those of a predator.
He would be standing before me silently and at the most unexpected moments.
When I thought he was there and wanted to know this, the opposite proved to be true.
I only knew half of him too because he wore a mask.
Yet he did his work properly, I had nothing to say about it.
‘Why are you following me?’ I asked unexpectedly.
‘I, master?
I thought that I could help you, be of some service, master.’
I was already sorry that I had spoken to him too strictly.
‘Go and rest’, I said, ‘I do not need you.’
When I was alone, I sat down on my settee.
Marianne stood before me like a queen.
Was I seeing properly?
I felt something else from the statue, which disturbed me.
The pleats of the cloth which covered her fell in a different way, I felt and saw a different pattern.
I had not left it like this.
Who had been here apart from myself?
I wanted to call my servant, but I changed my mind.
Was I just imagining things?
I tried to imagine again how I had hung the cloth over the statue, but I could no longer remember clearly.
I should have thought of something else, this was too simple.
I should have closed her off completely, if necessary with a seal, this was insufficient.
My servant would shake his head and not know what I meant.
However, I wanted him to obey me, otherwise he would just have to leave.
I did not like intrigue, I myself was honest and I also expected that from him.
Would I have been mistaken, after all?
I lay down to sleep, but there was something around Marianne which made me anxious.
I removed her cloth and went back to my settee in order to admire the statue from there.
What was it which occupied me and made me anxious?
I thought the statue was dull, I felt something mysterious and her shine and aura had changed into a thick dark haze.
How did that happen and why did I now see her differently?
When I was working on the statue I felt an enviable situation within me.
But now I was myself.
Was that the reason why I now saw her differently than then?
Had she now gone to sleep?
Had I seen and felt her awake then?
This difference was too great.
Had the woman who stood before me gone to sleep, after all?
It was strange, very strange.
I gazed at my own art for a long time.
It was quiet around me, fearfully quiet.
In what situation was I actually, would I experience something special?
For that matter, I did not believe in miracles.
Yet this was a strange phenomenon.
Now I thought that she woke up.
Oh, Lantos, you are awakening her!
You should just have let her sleep.
I now felt her as before and I was very pleased about it.
It would have been a deep disappointment to me and would probably have taken away my courage to achieve something else.
To have no faith is to go under.
However, I trusted my own feelings again, because I felt more deeply again, but only in art.
No, my Marianne was a work of art of the highest order.
I covered her again and went to sleep.
However, I could not get to sleep, horrible, frightening dreams disrupted my rest.
I forced myself to go to sleep, which I managed after a long period of concentration.
I awoke that morning in a gloomy mood.
The sun was already in the sky and sent its light and warmth over the earth and humanity.
I tidied my studio myself, in order to receive my guests, ‘a devil and a she-devil’.
I involuntarily burst out laughing.
The more time passed, the more uneasy I felt myself becoming.
I did not understand myself.
Why was I really so uneasy and agitated.
Because of Roni?
Finally it was afternoon and I called for my servant in order to give him some orders.
Meanwhile I set to work in order to change one or two things for their arrival, because I wanted to show Roni ‘Marianne’ and observe him closely in order to be able to feel his inner thoughts.
But where had my servant got to?
I was not used to that from him.
I called again, but did not get an answer.
I went to see where he had got to, but he was not in the house.
What did all of this mean?
That had never happened before.
I thought it was strange.
He had probably gone to fetch the necessary provisions, but he never left without telling me beforehand.
Now I was obliged to open the door myself.
Roni entered exactly on time.
‘Are you alone?’ I asked.
‘She will come, Lantos, you know, that is typical of women.
She will come, she will definitely come.’
He sat down opposite me, I had arranged this beforehand.
He looked at Marianne and asked: ‘May I look at the statue?’
‘Soon’, I said, ‘have some patience.’
I asked him where he got his inspiration and how he felt it.
‘What a question, Lantos, how strange, the question of a dreamer.’
‘A dreamer, did you say?’
‘But it is simple’, he said, ‘that I cannot answer that question, Lantos?’
‘Not answer?’ I repeated.
Was my question so unnatural then?
Did he not know the truth of it?
Our conversation took another direction when he said: ‘She will be here soon, tell me how you feel her to be, Lantos, you will do me a great pleasure with this.’
I fathomed him out and thought that I felt his true being more deeply than usual.
I have done well, so I thought, letting him come to me and I would ask him to visit again.
Meanwhile the time passed.
Finally I heard the sign of a visitor arriving and I went to the entrance in order to let the visitor in, since my servant was still not back yet, which I found very unpleasant.
A beautiful being stood before me, but at the same time I thought that I would die, my heart refused, a cramp made my heart contract and I could not say a word.
I thought I was seeing a miracle, and that miracle was ... Marianne.
Was I imagining things?
Was I awake or was I dreaming?
She also kept looking at me, suddenly pursed her lips and became deathly pale.
I tried to recover myself using all my strength, which I managed after a short time.
Marianne, I thought, it is you, or are you her image?
Was she supposed to be a she-devil?
We approached Roni and I offered her a place next to me so that I could see her properly.
The conversation still flowed, in spite of my various feelings.
She had golden blond hair, my image in marble was like this living apparition, it had similarities.
She was like my creation!
All the conversations, the wrong things that Roni had told about her flew through my mind as quick as lightning.
I no longer needed to doubt, it was she, my Marianne.
Bastard, devil in human form, scoundrel, I thought, how can you affect me in such a way.
My thoughts stood still, my heart broke and I felt a stabbing pain in my head.
If Marianne was sitting there, then I was experiencing a miracle.
Suddenly I had an idea, I would then know whether I was perhaps wrong after all.
I asked her: ‘Would you do me a favour?’
She laughed and said: ‘Yes, of course’, she looked at Roni as she spoke, but controlled herself completely.
Now I saw Roni radiating a greenish light.
I had seen this once in my life.
But where?
In heaven’s name, where?
And I looked at her who was waiting for my question.
‘Will you sing for me?
I heard that you can sing so beautifully, would you do that?’
‘I would be pleased to’, she said and got ready.
Roni sat there like a mystery.
‘Come here, close to me’, I said to him, ‘let’s listen together, my dear Roni.’
He did what I asked him to do and sat down next to me.
I waited and fathomed him out in order to know where I had met him before and where I knew him from.
Marianne’s voice trembled within my soul.
Now I knew that it was she, my dear little friend.
How I wept inside that we should meet each other again in this way.
The rogue sitting next to me kicked her and me.
Marianne sung the song from her youth which she had sung for me so many times.
I immediately understood this song and her intention.
She wanted to make it clear to me that she recognised me and that she was my childhood sweetheart.
She sung as beautifully as a nightingale.
Suddenly I saw that tears were flowing down her cheeks, but she still carried on singing.
I thought that I would go mad.
When her song was finished, I took one leap towards her in order to thank her.
‘How I must thank you!’ I managed to say with difficulty and suddenly a horrible feeling overcame me.
I looked at Roni, who pretended he did not see this scene, as if none of it concerned him.
At the same moment something arose from the depth of my soul and I knew who he was.
My dream!
My dream!
How in the world was that possible?
This being would therefore destroy my life?
I leapt towards the statue, pulled down the cloth and shouted at him like a madman: ‘Look there, Roni, you devil in human form, this is my statue, my Marianne sculpted from marble and there is the living Marianne!’
He trembled and prepared to jump me.
However, I was quicker than him, grasped a lump of marble which lay within my reach and before he was ready for it, it came down on his head.
It shattered his skull and he fell down with one blow, while blood flowed from the wound.
A horrific scream brought me to my senses.
Marianne collapsed and lay unconscious at my feet under her stone statue.
I laid her on my settee.
Dreadful, now what?
Blood flowed from her mouth, would she also be dead?
I laid my hand on her forehead and after a few minutes she opened her eyes and looked at me.
Thank God, she was alive.
I wanted to talk to her, but she sunk back and fell into a swoon again.
What a drama!
I looked at the man who had set up all of this.
Now I understood all his actions.
That scoundrel.
He lay there, still alive, because a rattling noise rose from his chest.
Suddenly he sat up, looked at me and let out a demonic laugh which sounded terrible to my ears.
Then he sunk down.
He was dead and I was his murderer.
I had rid this world of a monster.
No being would ever have to suffer again because of him.
I did not feel any remorse, I even felt calm.
However, what should I do?
Marianne was still unconscious.
Now I saw through everything.
My servant played this game with him.
He wanted eliminate me, but he had had to pay for this with his own life.
Scoundrel that you were, how deeply you must have hated me.
I thought that I hated him, but compared to his hatred, I loved him.
He had sullied her and did not wish me my happiness.
It was therefore he who had been here, I had not been wrong about anything.
Oh, why did I not know this beforehand, I would have acted differently.
He would probably still be alive then.
I thought about it but could not reach any decision.
I was a murderer and this was predicted to me in my dream, but by who?
By Satan?
I sat down beside Marianne and waited until she gained conscience.
She was breathing calmly.
All the things that went through my head.
I started to think again.
I could remember everything clearly and I was shocked when I realised what had happened.
Who made me dream?
Who, who, I shouted and thought I would go mad.
No answer.
I did not get an answer to anything, nor to that question.
Would I flee with her, back to our own country?
Start a new and happy life?
I felt sick, really very sick.
‘Marianne’, I said, ‘waken up, come on, waken up, do not leave me alone so long.
I have to speak to you, it has to be quick, I can feel it.
Danger threatens us, waken up, Marianne.’
I wept.
I had never wept like that before.
Finally it stopped, it had calmed me down again.
Then Marianne opened her eyes and looked at me.
‘Lantos’, she whispered to me, ‘Lantos.’
‘Say it again, Marianne, say it again.’
‘Lantos, how is our meeting.’
‘Marianne, do you love me?
Can you love a murderer?’
‘I love you, Lantos, but will not be worthy of your love.’
I put my hand on her mouth and stopped her from continuing.
‘Will we flee, away from here and start a new life?’
‘I want to’, she said, ‘I really do, but I will make you sad.’
‘Do not talk like that.’
‘You do not know my life, you know nothing of my life, Lantos.’
‘I love you, my child, tell me that you also love me.
I will give you my life.’
‘I love you, Lantos, but ...’ she did not get any further.
A terrible screeching interrupted our conversation and I rushed to the entrance.
Then I suddenly understood what this noise was.
I had been betrayed.
A few men came in and put me in handcuffs.
I did not resist, but let them do it, I only asked: ‘Who betrayed me?’
‘Your servant’, was the cold answer.
‘Do you know everything?’ I asked?
‘Save yourself that trouble.’
Marianne appeared dead, but she was alive, because she suddenly rushed at me and held me tight.
It was a heart-wrenching scene.
‘Lantos, Lantos’, she begged, ‘where are you going?
Do not leave me alone.’
I asked her to listen to me.
‘Listen carefully, listen, Marianne.
All of this is for you.
It is not much, but I want you to accept this statue as a sacred memory.
Will you?
Let my parents know about this.’
However, I changed my mind.
‘No, don’t do that.’
‘We will do that for you’, I heard someone next to me say, ‘if it is possible.’
‘Go back, Marianne, go back to your parents, come to yourself.’
She looked at me and whispered to me that it was not possible to go back.
‘You have to’, I said, ‘you have to.’
Suddenly I thought of her situation.
‘Is this all true?’
She lowered her eyes and I understood.
‘Farewell, Marianne, farewell, come and visit me, come to me, I have to speak to you.
Before it is time, I must speak to you.’
‘When it has to happen I will die, but I did not want this.’
‘Marianne, you are my soul, you are myself, one day you will belong to me.
If there is a hereafter, another life, we will meet each other there ...
If there is an eternity’, I called to her again and was taken away.
I still heard her weeping, my heart was broken.
Was hers also?