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Shala stared into the distance somewhere beyond 
Domio's left ear. She had indeed. The twenty five 
year old policeman who had put two bullets in the 
back of Domio while he was still on the murdering 
rampage that had claimed his own wife, as well as 
the policeman's wife and two children had not long 
out lived his victim. He had committed suicide two 
days after his children, the last to be buried, were 
laid in the ground. He now waited patiently in the 
graveyard just a mile away for his time in purgatory 
to be served. So close, yet so tantalisingly out of 
Domio's reach. 
"Well?" Domio prompted as she continued to stay 
Shala shrugged. "You murdered his wife, and his 
children. Do you not think that is punishment 
enough for robbing you of the chance to make your 
final confession?"
Domio spat at her feet. His green eyes took on the 
same maniacal glow they had in life, just before he 
began his killing spree. Shala stared at them now, 
almost frightened by the realisation she had grown 
used to that look.
"I murdered my own wife too, do you not think that 
was enough punishment for me?" Domio demanded,
 kicking the tree root again with renewed force. He 
came as close as he dared to the darkened form and 
looked where he fancied her eyes would be. "She 
deserved to die, my wife. I told her that she could 
never leave me."
Shala stood her ground defiantly, knowing she had 
nothing to fear from him yet fearing just the same. 
"Yet you are here, chained to the earth for eternity 
and she is beyond your reach."
Domio took a step back and screamed, screamed in 
anger and frustration for he knew she told him the 
truth. When he looked down again there were tears 
in his eyes. "I loved her, I loved her well. It was all 
that bitch's fault!" He spat out bitterly. "A one-night 
fling and she had to make it into a romance Had to 
come into my house, tell my wife that I was in love 
with her." Domio laughed. "I wouldn't have even 
spat on her more than once. A pig's wife with two 
screaming brats."
Domio turned to her again, his voice filled with pain. 
"I only wanted my wife to stay, When I tied her up, 
left her in that closet. I just wanted her to stay, I just 
killed anything that I thought might come between 
us, and when I came back, she was dead!" Domio 
looked to heaven for a moment. "Michelle I'm sorry 
I didn't mean for you to die like that, I only wanted 
you to stay." He looked again at Shala, his eyes 
unusually desperate. "If 'you see her, you will tell 
her for me. You will?"
Shala nodded slowly, but Domio didn't seem to 
notice, pacing up and down in front of her as if ready 
to throw another of his benign tantrums. "I know the 
laws I am cursed by. I have one chance for revenge. 
You must tell me! When he passes, so I can prevent 
his ascension, so he can share my torment. You must 
aid me in this!"
"I ask you again wraith. Do you not think you have 
punished him enough?"
"Soul seeker, you feel acutely the torment of souls 
sentenced to linger bound to the earth, yet no longer 
a part of it. Sentenced to live for years watching their 
loved ones grow old and die and move on to another 
place where they can not go." He suddenly stopped 
his pacing, and tried again to look into her eyes. "Do 
you not feel pity for me, who has to stand it for 
eternity?" Domio appealed.
Shala shook her head sadly. She felt his pain, but 
then she felt the pain of all souls in purgatory. That 
was her punishment.
Domio lent back against his tree and slowly let 
himself slide down into a sitting position "No, I can 
not punish him enough."

Copyright Jackie Bulner 1989

Love Among the Damned

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Jackie Bulner
Melbourne, Victoria

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