It’s only been two weeks since I said I was taking a break from Scriven by Garen but I can’t stay away for long. Plus it’s Flash Fiction Friday and I’m in the mood to write. So I present to you for your reading pleasure Flesh and Blood. It’s a little dark, a little tongue-in-cheek. I’d love to know what you think.
Flesh and Blood
They met reaching for the same bag of chips. One of them was hungry. The other was just pretending to be.
It was one in the morning. The clerk behind the counter at the convenience store was high. He smirked at the pretender, his heavy-lidded eyes lingering over her chest. She slapped the money down on the counter, made a mental note to come back and teach the clerk some manners, and grabbed the hungry guy’s hand, pulling him out the door.
“C’mon,” she said, “we can share.”
The guy, not much more than a kid really, hesitated.
“You aren’t scared, are you?”
He was. She could see the fear in his eyes. Smell it on him. She smiled.
“Nah, I’m not scared. I mean, I just met you. What do you want to do?”
“I don’t know. Do we need a plan? Let’s just go.”
They stood in the parking lot. A car passed by on the main road, its headlights lighting up the wall of towering pines across the street and the little one-lane drive that cut a narrow swath through the thick undergrowth.
“This town’s dead,” she said.
“It’s late. This is a suburb, you know with lots of kids and families. They’re all asleep.”
“Why aren’t you?”
He looked sheepish. “Can’t.”
“Something like that,” he said.
“Let’s go for a walk. It’ll help.”
“Now? In the dark?”
“The moon’s out. We’ll be fine. I’ve heard the seminary’s a good place.”
The seminary had been around for nearly a century. It stood on a wide grassy clearing at the top of a tall bluff surrounded by trees. The priests had moved on years ago. No one went to divinity school anymore. But the building remained, full of ghosts the local kids said. It was at the end of the one-lane drive.
“I don’t think that’s a good idea,” he said, eyeing the dark trees across the street. “There’s probably coyotes and god knows what else in there. And I’ve heard that squatters have taken it over. Doesn’t seem really safe.”
“It’s not,” she said. “But safe is boring. Let’s go.”
She crossed the parking lot in four strides, then turned to look over her shoulder. He still stood where she’d left him, uncertainty telegraphed by his hunched shoulders and wary eyes. A brisk little breeze blew, carrying the fresh scent of fear to where she was downwind. She traced her tongue over her lips and breathed deep. Then she turned toward the woods and the road and started off. He’d follow. They always did.
She was most of the way to the trees when she heard him running to catch up.
“It’s dark as hell out here, even with the moon,” he said, as he pulled the collar of his jacket up against the cold.
“I know the way by heart,” she said and took his hand.
They followed the twists and turns of the drive until the trees gradually gave way to the grassy field where the seminary sat, its great brick walls and hundred black windows frosted silver in the moonlight.
He was staring up at it when she kissed him, full and hard on the mouth. He was surprised for a moment, and then he kissed her back.
She moved to his neck, ran her hands down his shirt.
“What are you?” he whispered.
She stopped for just a beat before she continued exploring his body with her hands and mouth.
He put his fingers on her chin and drew her face up level with his own.
“What are you?” This time he said it with conviction.
She paused. Took a deep breath. The smell of fear was still there, but it was different now. She smelled fear and something else. Something she didn’t like.
Hunger. The kind of hunger that isn’t satisfied by a bag of chips.
“I didn’t want to come here,” he said. “I was afraid. I didn’t want to hurt you, but look at you, I had to come. I thought I could hold out, but the moon…”
He trailed off and in the pale light that turned everything black and white she saw him change. Just a slight shift, but it was enough. Eyes too bright, teeth too long.
“You’re not human are you?” he asked. “Your different, I can tell.” His voice had grown husky.
“Does it matter?”
“I won’t feel so bad when this is over if you’re just a fairy tale like me.”
He was young, inexperienced. It was the only reason she hadn’t realized it right away. He was still trying to fight against his nature. It’d only take him a few kills to get over that. Too bad he wouldn’t get the chance.
“Fairy tale,” she said. “No, I’m no fairy tale. I’m flesh and bone just like you. I think that makes us scarier, don’t you?”
She pressed herself against him.
“I think it’s sweet you were afraid of hurting me,” she said. “But it never works to fight against who you truly are.”
She laid a hand on his chest and it vibrated with a deep growl. His eyes filled with the cold white fire of the moon and he threw his head back and howled. The sound filled the grassy field and reverberated off the seminary.
Until it was cut short by the flash of a blade. Blood poured from the slash in his throat and he crumpled to the ground. The fire in his eyes gone.
She wiped the blade off on his shirt then used it to slice open the potato chip bag before she set about harvesting her ingredients.
She took another bite as she carved away and the chip crunched in her perfect mouth. Flesh and blood. It’s what she’d come for and it’s what she got. Every time.
- Flash Fiction