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The Heart of the Matter

24 Oct

Jerm 2The sizzle of meat hitting the hot cast iron skillet triggers a gratifying sigh from her. It’s been so long since she last treated herself.

A year, if I remember correctly. After packing up Max’s things. Good riddance to bad rubbish.

Later, she pushes the empty plate away from her, leans back in her chair, and closes her eyes, sated. Nothing other than heart meat makes her feel this content after a meal.

She loves slicing it up in steak-like portions and marinating it overnight. Sometimes she searches for new recipes online. Food bloggers are embracing the consumption of organ meat more and more.

Variety is the spice of life.

She clears the table and washes dishes while singing along to Jagged Little Pill, playing on her docked iPod. Alanis’ album helped her cope after a difficult break-up and it always made her feel better about herself.

Rick was the first man she shared a house with, even if it was a rental. She knew he was going to ask her to marry him. She waited for it like a hungry pet waited to be fed. Then one day, she came home after rounds at the hospital to find her possessions on the front lawn.

Men never seem to understand me anyway. Closing themselves off once I open up to them.

She dries her hands on a towel and adds it to the ever-growing pile of towels in the laundry room.

I’ll start a load after I clean up downstairs.

She descends the stairs to the basement. Opening the door at the bottom, chilled air rushes out and a shiver of excitement courses through her.

The overhead lights flicker on. Ten glass cases, coated in frost, line the right wall. She strolls by, giving each case a light caress as she passes. She stands in front of the last one, her latest acquisition, and rubs the frost away with her hand.

It was chance, or luck, or fate. One of those. Maybe all of them.   

Rick came to the hospital and she watched from a distance, never letting him spot her. She followed him when he left, to a bigger house in a better neighborhood than the one they once shared.

His frozen face stares at her, contorted in the agony of the moment life left him.

I killed the others and ate their hearts before they could break mine. But I took great pleasure in ripping out Rick’s, like he did mine years ago.

©Debi Smith, 2014

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Posted by on October 24, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

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