Tag Archives: flash fiction

Life. Flash Fiction.

Patrick took a sip of his coffee, in front of him was a croissant, he picked it up and took a bite, the buttery flavour filling his mouth. Across from him Sherry drained the last of her coffee from her cup in one large gulp, “I’ve got to get going, see you later tonight?”
“Yeah, do you want me to cook dinner?”
“That’d be great, I’m don’t feel like eating out again.” Sherry stood and after giving Patrick a quick kiss she left the coffee shop. Patrick took another bite of his croissant and another sip of coffee, he felt a strange pang in his stomach, a second later a small flashing icon appeared. Sighing, Patrick stood and wound through the tables of the coffee shop, he stepped outside into the bright sunlight and began the walk home. It was a short walk but he was feeling antsy, he kept looking around himself as he went, wondering if people could tell, if they knew. He made it back to his apartment without seeing anyone he knew, which was a bit of a relief. The flashing icon was red now, he had to hurry.

Patrick sat on the comfortable couch and closed his eyes, a second later he opened them. The room had changed, gone were the carpet and soft furnishing, instead he was in a small room, about five feet by five feet. The machine whirred and ticked as he stepped out of it, already hating the way everything felt. The cold grit beneath his feet, the shiver of goosebumps across his body. He stumbled to the door and pulled it open, revealing a larger room, this one had a small table and chair, in one corner there was a sink, across from it was a toilet, a fridge had been shoved into one corner, Patrick went to it, muttering to himself. God damned machines always breaking down, his feeding tube had gone offline about two weeks back and they still hadn’t fixed it. It had been hell keeping it a secret from everyone, how would they react if they knew he wasn’t important enough to have his tube replaced immediately? It happened to Gary, his and Sherry’s neighbour, a year back and his had been replaced within the day. Patrick pulled open the fridge and grabbed out a meal pack. He tore the foil wrapping on it and started eating the flavourless block. His stomach growled as he ate it, wolfing it down as quickly as he could. That was one of the great things about Life, the food there was flavoured and delicious. He finished the bar and let the wrapper drop to the floor, joining the other wrappers strewn across it. At least the company were giving him food blocks to keep him going until they fixed everything and the waste disposal unit was still working too, thank god for small favours. He glanced out the window, the sky was a flat, lifeless grey, everything here was a drab, lifeless grey, the sky, the ground, the buildings. He caught sight of a clump of green, probably weeds. Tall towers were dotted across the landscape, buildings just like his filled with hundreds of thousands. Most people lived in the small room that contained their access Pod, Patrick, being wealthy enough, had the luxury of this extra room. He shook his head, it was always so ugly out here, but then why did that even matter? Hell most people never see it anyway. He turned from the window and went back into the room with the pod, quickly getting back into it. It took a second for the machine to start then everything went black. A second later his apartment appeared and he felt the soft couch beneath him. He went to his computer and wrote another email, maybe this would be the one that would get them to hurry up. He had to get this fixed before anyone found out, if Sherry knew she’d probably leave him and he’d lose all of his friends too. They’d be afraid that his lower standing would infect them. It was funny, how much he’d taken it for granted, he was wealthy, of course he was, but he hadn’t nearly as much as he thought. It had seemed that over the years the fortune had been slowly drained away. As it was there was a danger of them moving him to a new place in the Outside, he’d be stuck in one of those small boxes, like all the other poor people. The thought of it made his skin crawl as he imagined being in just a small room. He pushed the thoughts away, he had to act normal and remain calm. It would be fixed soon, of course it would. He went into the kitchen and started pulling out ingredients, he had spent longer Outside than he had intended and Sherry would be home soon, it was time to get started on dinner, he still hadn’t gotten another job and she wouldn’t be impressed to come home to an empty table. Things had to be normal, he had to be normal.

Exodus. Flash Fiction.

Margaret leaned back, tilting her head up towards the sky as she watched the ships launch. She held her breath as they rose through the sky, then finally she released it in a long sigh. She could hear people shouting and screaming on the streets, cheering at the rockets overhead. Margaret didn’t feel their joy, Owen was on one of those ships. She always thought there’d be more time, that they could take things slow. They signed up for the lottery together, dreaming of a life built among the stars. They never thought that only one of them would be picked. He had tried to back out, give his spot to someone else but she insisted, she didn’t want him giving up his future just for her. It wasn’t fair or right to ask that of him. The planet was too full, to make life possible for everyone, some people had to go, that was just how things were. New planets were being seeded across the galaxy, the rockets would ferry them to the great ships and from there they’d start their journey. For Owen the journey would pass in a blink of the eye but she would be long dead when he finally reached his new home. Part of her understood those celebrating below and she did want to join them, all this space, this freedom. Almost half the population were leaving the planet, maybe now those left behind would have a chance, after all the earth could support their numbers now.

Margaret heard the door behind her open, she didn’t turn to look, she couldn’t seem to take her eyes from the sky. She felt hand on her shoulder, “He’s better off up there.”
“I know.”
She heard him sniff, “you’re mother would have loved to see this. She’d have loved to be up there, going on such an adventure.” Margaret didn’t look at her father but she reached up and took his hand in hers and gave it a squeeze. She felt a sudden wave of guilt, she had been so focused on going she hadn’t spared much of a thought for who she’d be leaving behind. In all her fantasies of life on a new planet with Owen, her father had just been there, part of the scenery. He never signed up for the lotto, he said he couldn’t bear to leave behind their small apartment, the memories there. He sat down beside her and pulled her into a hug and together they looked up at the stars.

Resurrection. Flash Fiction.

Catherine woke from the blackness confused and disorientated, a nurse was standing over her, her face was twisting, features expanding and contracting, swirling around her face. “Just take it easy. You need a few seconds to adjust.” as the nurse spoke her features moved back to their rightful places. “How are you feeling?”
“What happened?”
“I’m afraid there was a terrorist attack again.”
Catherine closed her eyes and groaned, “How bad is it?” She’d seen the bodies of those in terrorists attacks, the thick, twisted scarring that criss crossed their bodies. The nurse smiled a little, “Not that bad, you weren’t caught up in the blast. You, um,” the nurse was trying and failing to suppress a smile, “You slipped on a wet floor just after it started, we’ve the surveillance video if you want to have a look?”
Catherine was groggy still, but she nodded. The nurse pushed a few buttons on the small electronic pad she carried with her. An image appeared and the white wall to her left, it showed Catherine running, a look of terror on her face, then her legs going out from under her, her face a mask of shock, then her head connected to the ground. Catherine winced slightly and felt the back of her head, running her fingers along the scar, it was still tender, the nurse was trying and failing to hold in giggles. After a second she calmed down, “this is one of the best ones I’ve seen all week. Would you like a copy of it for your feed?”
Catherine’s cheeks were bright red, how could she show anyone that? It was so mortifying. “No, thank you, I’d prefer not.”
The nurses face fell, “OK, though would I be able to get your permission to-”
“No.”
The nurse nodded, “Well, you’ve used up one of your free resurrections. You’ve got three left. You’re going to feel a little bit disorientated for the next twenty minutes or so.” she pulled a tray from a cart nearby, it had a glass of orange juice and a sandwich, “once you have something to eat you can be on your way.”

Catherine stepped out into the fresh air, it helped clear her head, more so than the bland sandwich and bitter orange juice. The hospital opened out into a large plaza, covered in concrete and dotted with small areas of greenery. People lounged about, drinking coffees outside cafes, browsing ramshackle market stalls that had been hurriedly thrown together. Catherine wove her way through the crowds, feeling like everyone was staring at her, that everyone knew. Already they were blasting news of the latest terrorist attack on the view screens, a grim looking anchor recounted the final death toll. Seven true deaths, fifty people resurrected and another hundred injured. Catherine didn’t look at the screens but the voice still boomed from them. She always knew how serious it was going to be depending on the anchor, when there were no true deaths they had a giggling blond on, showing a best of compilation of the funniest or most painful looking deaths.

Catherine let herself into her apartment, the walk home felt like it had taken her hours though it was only a twenty minute trip. The feeling of being watched didn’t go away until she closed her door behind her, sealing herself from the world. She went to the small kitchen and turned on the kettle, as she did so she looked down at her hands, they shouldn’t be moving. She shouldn’t be moving. She shook her head as she started to make herself a cup of coffee. Get a grip, she hadn’t died, not really. Besides she was still a long way off from her true death and she still had three free resurrections left. She sipped her coffee and moved into her living room. The living room was almost as small as the kitchen with just enough room to cram in a couch, a two seater table and a few shelves against the wall. She sat on the couch and turned on the TV, they were still talking about the terrorist attack.

Catherine reached up and felt the back of her head, fingers running along the thin scar, her mother said no one would notice it beneath her hair and so far that proved to be true enough, no one had noticed the scar. Still that didn’t stop people asking about her resurrection, they’d all gotten the alert “Catherine Jenkins has just been RESSURECTED thanks to Glaston Industries, talk to your doctor about resurrection today!” They didn’t seem to get that she just didn’t want to talk about it, it was just too embarrassing. Everyone else bragged about their resurrections but Catherine’s didn’t seem like theirs. They talked of bravery and heroics or funny stories but none of them talked about the cold darkness that wrapped around her completely, the endless dark that became her world. So she did the only thing she could, she’d mention the terrorist attack, tell them it was awful and that she was running away when it happened, that seemed to stop the questions, at least for a little while. Still it couldn’t get rid of her memories or what she knew, that there was nothing after death, no heaven, no hell, just that cold, suffocating darkness.

Preminition. Flash Fiction.

Elena stood at the stove, spatula in one hand, frying pan tightly gripped in the other. Behind her sat Daniel, her husband of eight years and their 5 month old daughter Jessica. Jessica let out a shrill laugh, Elena scooped up a piece of bread and flipped it, “OK, careful I’m coming around with the pan.”

Daniel cupped his hands around his mouth and called “hot stuff coming through!” Elena moved past him, rolling her eyes as she smiled at him. Elena scooped up the slices of bread and placed them onto Daniels plate, then she was back at the stove. The morning light shone through the window on her left, sparkling in the stainless steel kitchen sink. Elena dipped two more pieces of bread into the egg mixture and put them in the pan, they sizzled as they hit the heat. Elena froze, it lasted less than a second, more of a stutter than a pause but to her it seemed endless. She gripped the frying pan tightly, she could feel the warm plastic handle digging into her palm, the heft of the pan in her hand. Elena spun, with a strangled yell she brought the hot pan crashing into Daniel head, he fell from his chair, he let out a groan “what…what hap-” Elena brought the pan down on his head again, he lay on the ground, one arm twitching wildly, his breathing was shallow with occasional hitching gasps, Elena raised the pan up “I’m sorry.” She brought the pan down, Daniel lay still. Elena dropped the pan, it landed with a loud clatter. She felt sick, her hands shook violently, but she couldn’t stop. She looked at Jessica whose face was red and streaked with tears and the shrill cries suddenly came into sharp focus. Elena ran to Jessica ‘s high chair and pulled her free, trying her best to sooth her daughter. Elena turned from the kitchen and walked down the short corridor, painted a nice muted green, Elena felt a horrible stabbing in her gut she remembered how difficult it had been for them to decide on a colour, such a silly argument but it had gone on for weeks. She’d do anything to have that stupid argument again. Elena opened the front door and stepped out into the corridor, she walked down it in her bare feet, the carpet was surprisingly soft. She walked past the elevator, still trying to sooth Jessica, and in to the stairwell.

Elena’s breathing was heavy, her arms felt impossibly tired, and Jessica was still sniffling. It wasn’t that much further she’d already gone seven floors. Elena didn’t pause at the top, she opened the door and walked out onto the roof. For once she was glad she lived in a place where the manager liked to let things slide. The maintenance workers had been bitching about the broken door up here for weeks. Elena shivered as the cold wind stole her warmth, Jessica started to cry again. This was the fastest way, the best way. Elena walked up to the edge and without hesitation stepped off. Together she and Jessica fell.

Elena and her family weren’t the first to die that morning and they weren’t the last. Elena and others like her had seen what was to come, the foul things clawing their way into the world and they knew that there was only one escape.

The Ring. Flash Fiction.

Jenny held the ring in a beam of sunlight, watching as the afternoon light glinted across the diamonds. It really was a breath-taking ring and she wasn’t surprised she’d never seen her grandmother wearing it. Her grandmother seemed to favour subtle jewellery, nothing more than a pair of small, diamond stud earrings and little else. Jenny slid the ring onto her finger, marvelling at how perfectly it fit. She, unlike her grandmother, loved wearing jewellery the more it sparkled the better as far as she was concerned. She moved her hand about in the light, this ring would definitely be added to her rotation, only for special occasions of course, she didn’t want to lose something so beautiful and so precious. She considered the ring on her finger for a moment, it wasn’t a special day, not really, but the ring was just too perfect to take off.

Jenny reached for her coffee, ring shining in the harsh lights of the coffee shop. A man nearby smiled, Jenny didn’t notice as she doctored her coffee, adding a splash of milk and a dash of sugar. Without looking she left the coffee shop, the man stood and followed, hardly able to believe his luck. He had been searching for that ring for years, decades and here it was, in some unremarkable coffee shop worn by an unremarkable girl. Sure, she was pretty enough if one noticed those kinds of things but as the years went on the man found himself noticing them less and less.

The man followed her through the day as Jenny wound her way through her errands. He was finding it frustrating how she never seemed to find herself alone, not even in the aisles of the grocery store. He just needed a moment that was all, just long enough to snatch it from her finger. Jenny exited the store, arms laden with shopping bags. She walked through the car park, she reached her car and put the bags down, seeing his chance the man lunged. He pulled her down and kept her close to the ground, “Don’t scream, don’t make a sound and I won’t hurt you.” His breath was hot against her face and carried with it a fetid stench that reminded her of spoiling meat. His hands scrabbled at hers as he stripped the ring from her finger. She realised what was happening and snatched her hand away, but the ring was already gone. She moved to hit him, before she could he struck her hard across the face, an open handed slap that disorientated her. “it isn’t worth your life. To you it’s just a thing.” With that his crushing weight left her body and he was gone. Shakily Jenny stood and looked around the car park, people were milling around but there was no sign of the man. Her hands were shaking and her heart was beating heavily in her chest as she scrabbled to open her car, once inside she locked the doors. After a moment she burst into tears, once she had calmed herself she turned on the engine and pulled out of the spot, not remembering the bags of groceries she left on the ground.

The man looked at the ring in front of him, he had actually found it after all these years. He slipped the ring on and felt a rush of anger through him. The man glanced down at the ring, “I’ve missed you too sweetheart.” with a small smile he stared at the ring, it was almost as beautiful as the soul of the woman he had made it from.

From Above. Flash Fiction.

Woo! Friday! Hope everyone has had a good week. Still not feeling the best, but definitely better than I was, still feeling pretty wrecked. Had a good week though despite that, my sister, brother in law and niece were over to visit for a few days so was great seeing them.

Hope everyone has a great weekend!

________________________________________________________

Roberta watched in silence, the camera panned around the large metal cube. It had appeared just hours before, slowly descending from the heavens. Scientists and military were already cordoning off the area and running tests. An announcement had been made confirming that it was of extraterrestrial origin but that there were no life signs on the ship. The news had been playing that same few statements on a loop as they circled around the cube. Roberta felt the breath catch in her throat as she watched a long, thin panel open in the side of the cube, the reporters were squawking about something happening, but they weren’t sure what yet. As she watched the people in the vicinity of the cube started to fall, they writhed and clutched at their throats, then they lay still. The screen switched back to a pale and frightened looking anchor, “We are getting reports that people within close vicinity to the cube have collapsed and unconfirmed reports that those in the vicinity have died. Again at this point we do not know-” the screen went black, “Our ship is badly damaged, we are on a direct course with your planet, we do not have the resources to repair our ship. You do not have the resources to repair our ship. Our atmosphere is poison to you, your atmosphere is poison to us. If we do not terraform your planet our species will die, terraforming will be complete in twenty four hours. We are sorry.”

the screen switched back to the anchor, she was staring wide eyed at the camera. She looked off screen for a moment, a thin sheen of sweat appearing across her face, “We have confirmed that the message just played was from an extraterrestrial source. We have also confirmed that those close to the cube have died.” outside there was a screech of tires, then a loud crash. Roberta ran to the window and looked out on the street, she could see the wreckage of a car, people were collapsing on the ground, writhing and struggling to breath. She felt a faint tickle at the back of her throat. Roberta coughed, then started wheezing, her head started to spin, she stumbled from the window and collapsed onto the ground.

Black Rain. Flash Fiction

The black rains were coming, Tommy looked at the dark clouds that were rolling towards the town. He’d be stuck indoors for the next week, everyone would be. Once a year the black rain came and with it were the whisperers. They would scratch at the windows and doors, whispering promises and secrets. Tommy didn’t know what they looked like, no one did, the black rain obscured the windows and anyone who went outside during the rains was never seen again. The first raindrops began to patter against his window. Tommy watched for a few minutes until he could no longer see outside. The lamps provided some light in the rapidly growing darkness but as always they seemed dimmed somehow.

Tommy was pouring himself a drink when the first scratching started. Soft, gentle and persistent, he ignored it, it was followed a minute later by the whispers. It was too low to make out any proper words, he felt the urge to move closer to the window, to press his ear against it and listen. He turned from the window, leaving his drink behind.

It was day three and the whispering was getting worse, it was an almost constant noise in the background, when he ate, as he slept. It was relentless. The scratching and tapping were no better, at night he would scream back at them, beg and plead for them to stop, they never did.

It was the fifth day when they stopped tapping and started banging, heavy thuds against the doors and windows. They whispers were louder than ever but still he could make nothing out. It was maddening the words were there but just out of reach. He stood in front of the door, they promised him eternal life and everything else he could want, he knew it, if only he could understand what they were saying. He reached out and gripped the doorknob, it turned easily in his grip though he knew he had locked it days ago. He pulled the door open, a gust of window blew in carrying the black rain with it, it splattered over Tommy and the floor. He finally saw them. They looked like humans, dead and starving for years, their skin was grey and gaunt, their eyes were bright and feverish. They stumbled in, the whispering growing louder. They grabbed his hands, their skin cold, damp and somehow papery and with surprising strength they pulled him from his house and into the rain. The rain was cold, he felt it washing over him, coating his skin. He stumbled further into the rain, basking in it. He felt himself being pulled towards a house nearby, there was something inside, something he needed, something warm. He started scratching at the window and began to whisper with the others, begging to be let inside, promising everything they could ever want, if only they opened the door.

Dead or Alive. Flash Fiction.

“Are you sure he’s down there?”
“We tracked his ship to this planet, it would have landed about three days ago, it’s still showing on our scanners. Should we send a team down there?”
Meredith looked at the screen in front of her, “It says here this planet is off limits, fundamentally incompatible with human life forms.”
“We can do a global scan, see if we can detect any life signs that match a human.”
“How long will that take?”
“Planet of this size? Seventeen hours max, that’s with the settings only looking for something vaguely human. If you want to get more in depth it’d be weeks.”
“Well, start scanning for now.”
“Right away Captain.”

She looked through the file, it really did seem like everything on this planet was fundamentally incompatible with humans, the air was just about breathable but it would do damage to the lungs resulting in death within a week. Most of the life on the planet was poisonous to humans and the atmosphere was too thin meaning without the right protective gear skin cancer would develop in as little as three months. Chances were good the fugitive was already dead or well on his way to dying but he was a slippery one and smugglers and criminals had been known to use off limit planets for their base of operations. He could have had a base set up there already, few air filters and a well stocked cupboard could see him in hiding for months. She couldn’t in good conscious send people down there. She opened his file again, Frederick Boland, wanted for pretty much any crime you could think of, born and raised on one of the so called independent frontier planets, wild places were law was just a myth. Meredith shook her head, personally she believed everyone would be better off if they just nuked all those planets from space, nothing good ever came of them, they were just breeding grounds for scum. An alert appeared on the screen, she opened it and quickly scanned the message, “Frederick Boland is to be captured or killed at all costs. He cannot remain at large. Do whatever is necessary.”

Meredith closed out of the message, she’d received orders like this in the past but usually they were for people who dabbled in things like arms or drug trading, she could see nothing that would elevate Frederick above your average scumbag from the frontiers. Still, orders were orders. She glanced through the planet profile, no intelligent life and the probability of it evolving was slim, she’d be well within her right to just destroy everything down there, once they had confirmation of course.

“We found him. He’s sheltering in some caves not too far from the ship, the scanners had a little difficulty picking him up, if they hadn’t been updated in Sig we’d have never found him.”
“Can we destroy that cave system without doing too much damage to the surrounding area?”
“Yes, I believe so.”
“Prepare the cannons and fire when ready, once the cave system is destroyed spray the area with blasters.”
“And firing in three, two, one.”
Chances were good that destroying the cave system would kill him, but if not the blasters would get him. If anything triggered them they’d explode releasing a toxic gas.
“Direct hit. Cave system has been destroyed. Sending blasters to area now.”
Meredith opened up Fredericks profile, she made a quick note of what happened then marked him as deceased, whatever he’d done didn’t matter now, she’d done her duty and there was one less scumbag in the universe.

The Orb. Flash Fiction.

Janet carefully plucked a petal from the rose, then she watched as Patient 192 started to scream. A patch of skin along his forearm was peeling itself back, blood ran freely from the wound, the flesh worked itself free then fell to the ground. Fascinating. She plucked another petal, this time the patch of skin was on his shin. She kept plucking the petals, one by one and marking off the corresponding patches of skin on a clipboard. There was one petal left, a patch of skin in the middle of his chest, blood flowed freely from his exposed muscles, but he did not die. Janet had expected him to die of blood loss long before this, but still he screamed. She plucked the last petal and the last piece of skin fell from his body, joining the others on the ground, she had no doubt that each patch of skin would correspond to the relative size of the rose petal. She held the stem for a moment, the patient was moaning, how was he even still alive? After a seconds hesitation she broke the stem in two, the patient screamed as his hips ripped free of his torso, his legs fell to the ground, he stayed chained to the upright table. Deciding that she had learned all she could from this experiment she cut the stem into smaller pieces until finally there was nothing left and the patient was a pile of bloody meat on the floor.

Janet picked up the small glowing orb, it was about the size of a marble, she wore heavy duty gloves to protect herself from its influence. She held out the orb to Patient 193, “Please place the ball in that glass vase.”
“Is it safe to touch?”
“Completely. I am wearing gloves only to ensure that I don’t interfere with the experiment.”
The patient took the orb, “huh, I thought it would feel warm. Is it supposed to be cold?”
“Yes, it is, please place the orb into the glass vase.”
The patient, a 25 year old woman with long black hair and pale skin placed the orb into the vase, “Is that it?”
“We will do further testing in a few moments, for now you can just relax.”
“Ok. Will this take much longer? The woman said it would only take like an hour.”
“No, you won’t be too much longer.”
Janet picked up the vase and left the room, this one was going to be messy and they had yet to test the range, would it continue to work through a wall?

Janet placed the orb back into its container, a small lead lined box and gently closed the lid. On the other side of the two way mirror the patient had started pacing around the room. Beside Janet was a large metal box with spikes at the base of it, Janet held the vase above the box then threw it inside. The vase shattered and as she watched the patient exploded into chunks, she had no doubt that they would correspond to the size of the shards in the box. They already knew from previous tests that if the item remained intact the patient would begin to twist and collapse in on themselves over the course of twelve hours until they physically matched the object they had been linked to. If they could only figure out how to replicate the orbs they could do anything. It would be the perfect weapon. Rain them down upon a city and let things play themselves out. The people would be killed and all that would be left to do was tidy up the remains and remove and stragglers. Two people entered the room, both were wearing full biohazard suits, she watched as they began to pick up the pieces, which would be brought for further testing. She looked at the small lead lined box, the orb would be was active again, it was time to bring it to the next patient.

Life of the Party. Flash Fiction.

Francine lifted the fork full of raw meat to her mouth, slowly, almost sensuously she put the fork into her mouth and closed it, slowly drawing the tines between her lips. She savoured the taste for a second, then she started chewing. She swallowed, then sighed in satisfaction, “Perfection. Sheer perfection.” there was a polite round of applause, she gestured at the table and the guests picked up their own cutlery and started to eat.
“Oh, Francine this is just delicious, so vibrant, so full of life.”
“Thank you Damien, it was just slaughtered this afternoon, you couldn’t get any fresher unless you ate it right off the bone.”
“How do you manage to always have the best meat?”
Francine smiled “I’m afraid that’s a secret dear, my source wouldn’t take kindly if they found out that I had been telling people about them.” She took a sip of her wine and smiled. The five other people at the table focused on eating, three of them closed their eyes with each bite, focusing entirely on the food.

They ate their way through three courses until finally they sat chatting over coffee, the candles giving off a soft, gentle light, the guests would stay until the candles had extinguished themselves and no longer, as was tradition. Though the dinner party was a success, as usual, Francine found herself distracted and wishing the night was over, she had saved a special cut of meat for herself and she was dying to have a bite or two. She had restrained herself during dinner, taking only the smallest portions all in preparation for what was waiting for her on the kitchen counter. Finally one of the candles went out and everyone began to gather their things.
“Are you still OK for hosting the next dinner Mary?”
“Oh of course, I’ve already started making preparations for it.”
Francine showed them to the door, graciously accepting their compliments as they went until the front door closed and she was alone. Francine walked down the hall, ignoring the dining room and the dirty plates, those would keep until the morning. She went into the kitchen and went straight to the counter, slices of brain lay on a white porcelain plate, the meat glistened in the soft light. She opened the drawer and pulled out a knife and a fork.

When she was done she took three slow breaths, already she was feeling stronger, not that that was any surprise, the lovely donor of the meat had been a fifteen year old girl, full of life and fun. Francine didn’t know where her supplier found them, she didn’t want to know, it was none of her business really. All she cared about was the quality of the meat and it was always top quality. She left the kitchen and went upstairs, a glass of wine held in one hand. She stripped out of her dress and took off her jewellery, then she cleaned the make up off her face, pausing only to take sips of her wine. When she was done she climbed into bed, she needed her beauty rest after all and there was nothing like an infusion of vitality to help smooth away the wrinkles. She closed her eyes and with a small content smile on her lips she drifted off into a pleasant sleep.