Mornings are typically the hardest because my wounds are still fresh, actively scabbing. Claw marks rake my back. My left breast is the most decorated with mutilation, always, it’s her favorite spot. Instinctively, I bring my left arm to my ribs. A heart drums persistently. My lungs wheeze.
The blanket covering my legs is ripped away as she curls up and rolls over. I sigh, and roll her back to fight my share of the blanket out from between her arms. Her thin upper lip is curved into a devilish smile and her hands are plastered with dried blood. As always, she remains magnificent.
I lie in her bed and fester for hours, waiting, until finally she sits up and draws her hands to her eyes, rubbing them. Drying blood smears across her mouth. Her eyes feign remorse as they fall on my wounds. I forgive her because I have always thought that love was sacrifice, that passion equaled pain.
After I eat breakfast, and she has tea, she pours alcohol over the wounds and sews up the larger of the gashes. Sometimes we’ll talk a bit while she does this. Today, while she stitches up my left leg, she just cries. When she’s finished she kisses every individual band-aide.
“I want to make it up to you,” she says, and disappears to shower. When she returns she’s in a blue dress speckled with yellow flowers. She flings the front door open and stretches one long leg out of it.
“Shall we?” she asks.
“Where will we go?”
“Just go,” she says. And we do.
It’s nearly dark by the time we get home from wandering about. We sprawl out on the bed, I can’t see the fangs glistening beyond her smirk. An evening spent inside her reminds me why I am here, in her den of violence, in the first place.
“If you try to fight it next time,” I say, “then maybe-”
Her stomach growls, emphasizing the hopelessness of her hunger. I grasp for her hand and squeeze it lightly. She pulls away. I hope, in vain, that tonight will be different. When I try to hold her she shoves at me. A slap finds my shoulder. A punch lands on my right cheek. She shrieks.
“Leave,” she bellows, “and never come back.” The curse is in motion. I step closer. Her graphite irises reflect no sympathy or love.
“I’ll kill you,” she spits at me. I know she isn’t bluffing, we’ve danced these same motions every night for an eternity now.
I take another step and she cocks her head. An evil laugh fills her bedroom She walks into the kitchen and when she comes back she’s holding a large butchers knife. Why is it always the large butchers knife?
I take one more step towards her. She matches my movement. Her tongue flicks across her lips. We both lunge. The knife is lodged between two ribs. It feels like i’m drowning. When I cough, I send a splatter of blood into her hair. She wipes some of the residual specks from her forehead and pushes me backwards towards the bedroom until the back of my legs smack the bed stand and I fall onto the mattress with my arms outstretched.
I cough a second time and more blood sputters from my mouth, this time with less vigor. I look down, the sheets are fucking ruined. I’m bleeding much faster than usual. She crawls onto the bed and takes a seat on my lap. Her wild hair dangles over my face. She smells warm, like fruit and honey. Her head shakes savagely and she hisses through clenched teeth.
She raises the knife and plunges it down, deep into my sternum. I jolt forward, raising my torso off the mattress. She slides the knife out and I sag back down to the bed. I close my eyes. I feel the knife plunder through my chest repeatedly.
Thirty times she stabbed me that night, cackling all the while.
My vision is blurred but I can still make out the silhouette of her hands slowly approaching the largest of the holes she carved into my chest. Her fingers slide into my body and wrap around several alternating ribs. I can’t stop screaming. She pulls, there’s a violent cracking, and then she’s face deep in my intestines. When her head rises to meet my eye, scraps of my liver are stuck between her fangs.
She pulls the nightstand drawer open and removes a thumping, bleeding, sack. Through the interstices of cracked ribs I can see my pale heart struggling to thump. I close my eyes and whimper. This is the worst part. Her fingers slither gently around my heart and she tears it from my chest. My eyes are torn open by the agony and, for a moment, I can see her above me, tearing into the organ, finally satisfied.
My eyes flutter open. An empty sack lays on the bed beside my head. She sews my chest shut and can I feel a familiar thumping there, a signal that i’m still living. A shred of my flesh still dangles from her lips. I pat her head and she whimpers, cooling down from her rampage.
Her meal exhausts her. She curls up next to me and falls asleep, covered in my blood and her tears, just like she always does.
Cavin Bryce is an emerging writer from the sewers beneath central Florida. He isn’t nearly as spooky as is often perceived.