Preview of my Valentine’s Day WIP

I’ll be doing the full post over the weekend, once I’ve taken some time to finish up and polish it a bit, but I was browsing Wikipedia and found myself in some very bizarre places, which then hitched a ride in my head to the upcoming day-of-doom, and they decided to have a nice romantic dinner together. The result was… disturbing. But also entertaining to me. Giving in to my Prince Syndrome, I started clacking away on the keyboard that my pet artist despises so – can’t help it; I’ve always preferred mechanical keyboards with full-size keys. I need the clicks, both for the mental associations they provoke and for having some sort of input that I’ve pressed a key, which my traitorous and insensate hands don’t always provide – and spun something amusing from the mire. I’m sure Vernon, Judas, Vlad, Perron and Soldano will understand, and will forgive me when I return to them.

So, a small teaser follows. Let me know what you think, give critiques or flames, guess where you think it’s going, or all of the above, if you’re of a mind. Have a good one, and – assuming all goes according to plan – you’ll see how it all turns out come Saturday.

-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-

The taste explodes in my mouth with the fury of a thousand suns. Delicious. Layers of flavor that I had never even contemplated come to life, dancing across my tongue. Onions and garlic, a dash of pepper, the sting of malt vinegar, the soothing sweetness of brown sugar. Beneath it all, soaking into every bite, the taste of the meat, thick, juicy. Red with the blood that saturates it.

The experience is nothing short of orgasmic. Were I still capable, I might have needed to change my clothes. It’s simply the finest meal I’ve ever had. That’s important to me; after all, it’s also the last meal I’ll ever have. It should be suitably exquisite.

I’ve also taken pains to ensure the setting is just right. I took the bulbs out of all the lamps in my living room. Moved all the furniture to the corners. They lie, still and silent under shrouds of crushed red velvet, fellow corpses to keep me company on my final voyage. Crushed orchid and rose petals are strewn across the hardwood floor – freshly mopped and waxed – creating a trail from the front door, to the mahogany dinner table, and beyond to the bedroom. Everything is lit with tall wax tapers, giving off ribbons of cherry-scented smoke that swirls around me and grants the entire tableau a dreamlike quality.

My only regret is that Lenore isn’t here to see it. It would have been our fifth anniversary. I still remember how she looked when she stumbled into my life; her hair a spastic frizz that shone like a halo, the heel of one red pump snapped off, her dress soaked and smeared with mud. She had lurched through the door of my favorite cafe, fallen into one of the faux leather booths, ordered a coffee, and began crying into it.

  I couldn’t help but go to her, ask her what was wrong. After her initial shock – surely no one would have dared intrude on her private misery, she must have been thinking – she had spilled everything. The drunken boyfriend, forgetting their romantic Valentine’s dinner. The shouting, the departure without stopping to fetch her wallet, the walk through rain-drenched streets until she felt she could go no further. Ordering a coffee that she had no money to pay for.

Gentleman that I am, I of course offered to pay for her coffee. A meal followed that. Then more.

We were happy. Four years we had. Until my diagnosis. Until they told me I had only a handful of months. It was my fault, I know that. I raged against the unfairness of it, against the horror of my own mortality. First I was angry at the doctors, for bringing me such terrible news. Then I was angry at myself, at my own traitorous, weak flesh for allowing such indignities to be forced upon it. Finally, I grew angry with her, for she had given me all that my life was lacking, given me a reason to want to live, reflected all the joy and happiness that might have been… And now it was being yanked away.

It would have been our fifth anniversary. If she hadn’t finally grown tired of my anger, tired of my accusations, tired of my useless tears.

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