The Ladies of Horror
Picture-Prompt Writing Challenge!
She has blonde hair cropped close, so close I can make out the sloping curve of her skull. Gold earrings hang low from her earlobes, the metal nearly kissing her shoulders. She has a tattoo behind her left ear—a raven, its wings spread, ready to take flight.
I scoot a little closer to her in line, placing a bag of potatoes on the grocery conveyor belt. Her gaze shifts to the candy display, and now I can see that she has a strong jawline and high cheekbones. She’s so unique, so distinctive—beautiful.
I busy myself with a Snickers bar, an excuse to get even closer to her. My fingers fumble over the plastic packaging, my eyes trained on her.
When she catches me looking, I feign embarrassment. I laugh and shake my head. “I’m sorry… it’s just…” I bite my lip and tuck a strand of auburn hair behind my ear. “Has anyone told you that you have phenomenal bone structure?”
The girl smiles. The action brings her chin to a fine point, emphasizing the arch of her cheekbones. My fingers tingle, longing to touch her.
“Not in a grocery store,” the girl says, chuckling. “Let me guess.” She rubs her chin dramatically, like an inspector in a cop drama. “Plastic surgeon? Fashion scout? Med student?”
She tears open a Take 5 candy bar and takes a bite. There’s something so brazen about her eating a treat she hasn’t paid for that I’m charmed.
“None of those, huh?” she asks, licking a twirl of caramel from her lips.
Her face goes slack and her jaw drops. I can see chewed up Take 5 in her mouth, but it doesn’t bother me. I shocked her, and it’s satisfying. It’s one of the fun parts of what I do, seeing these pure reactions play out on their faces. It shows me what’s underneath.
She realizes her trespass, closes her mouth, and slaps a hand over it. She speaks through her palm. “I’m so, so sorry.” She swallows. “Um… that’s an interesting profession.”
“I could tell you more about it,” I say, smirking. I gesture to the bottle of wine on the belt. “I was going to drink that alone, but I don’t have to.”
She raises an eyebrow and smiles. I got her.
The wine was shit, but it was also a seven-dollar bottle. On the other hand, the conversation was fantastic, mostly because Erika was so damn expressive. I watched her face by candlelight for hours, her creamy skin sliding over her magnificent bones. Then, we tumbled into bed together.
Afterward, we whispered in the moonlight, wrapped up in each other. And when she fell asleep, I slipped the needle into her arm. She barely flinched, deep in dreaming. I kissed her forehead and went downstairs to clean and prep my medical instruments.
I left the house then, knowing Erika would be cold by the time I returned. Wrapped in a shawl, I walked into the forest behind my home. A mile into the trees, the brush gives way to glittering bones. I sit in the brush, pine needles tickling my calves, admiring the garden I’ve grown, one bone at a time.
Fiction © Copyright Tiffany Michelle Brown
Image courtesy of Pixabay.com