Sunday, 26 April 2009
CHOCOLATE BUTTON EYES - By Julie Morgan
A stunning debut from Julie...
CHOCOLATE BUTTON EYES
We went out for dinner. Such a familiar ritual, such a safe, accepted way to begin a relationship. When he'd finished his steak and vegetables, he reached over the table, covered my hand with his.
‘You’re not eating.’
‘I just don’t seem to have much of an appetite.’
‘Do you feel poorly?’
‘No, just not very hungry. I feel more... excited, I suppose.’ I looked at my plate, as full as when the waiter had placed it in front of me, although somewhat rearranged, then up at him through my eyelashes, gave him the smile I practised in front of the bathroom mirror. I believed it combined an element of shyness with the promise of wild, unbridled sex. I reckon I got it just about right; his pupils dilated. In the candlelight, his chocolate button eyes looked quite delicious.
‘Shall we skip dessert?’ His expression told me he was picturing my head on his pillow.
I nodded. ‘Maybe a brandy?’ I hoped mine didn’t reveal that I was picturing his on a plate in my fridge.
He signalled the waiter. ‘Two brandies, please, and... er....’ He flicked his eyes at me. I nodded. ‘And the bill.’
I had made sure that he drank the lion’s share of the wine, a beautiful, full-bodied, blood red claret, and now I made sure to do little more than wet my lips with my brandy while he drank deeply from his. When he went to the lavatory, I topped his glass up from mine.
I let him pay for dinner. Somehow it makes them feel as though they are in charge if they do this small thing, and let’s face it, whatever debt he might rack up on a card tonight would mean absolutely nothing by tomorrow.
I favoured him with my best smile. ‘Take me home?’
He smiled back. ‘I’d like that.’ He had his mobile in his hand ready to call a taxi.
I shook my head. ‘It’s not far, just along the seafront.’ I held out my hand. ‘It’s such a lovely night. Let’s walk.’
He took my hand and we set off. It really wasn’t far, that’s why I had suggested that particular restaurant. I didn’t want to run the risk of a taxi driver remembering us. I also didn’t want to give him time to sober up. In fact, I intended to get another drink inside him just as soon as possible.
‘Look,’ I said, ‘there’s a lovers’ moon tonight.’ He smiled, squeezed my hand and I led him across the street and down onto the promenade. We walked in moonlight, but whether it was a lovers’ moon, or even if such a thing existed, I had no idea. Men seemed to be lulled by such nonsense; it kept them relaxed and compliant.
Before long we reached a spot where the rock this walkway was blasted out of was cut back, a niche created by a natural flaw, big enough for two people to huddle in. I pulled him into the space, into shadow, put my hand on the back of his head and drew his mouth to mine.
After all that food, wine and brandy, he tasted pretty bad. I closed my eyes and ignored the fact, steeled myself and didn’t gag when I felt his tongue alive in my mouth. I felt his heart beating in his rib cage as he pressed against me and knew that he could feel mine racing too. Evidence of my excitement. He knew he was the cause of it, and yet he knew nothing at all.
‘Come on,’ I murmured, when I felt I could take no more. ‘Let’s go.’ I took his hand and led him all the way to the door. It was as easy as leading a child to Santa’s grotto in December.
I kissed him again on my doorstep, pushed up against him and let him feel my excited, racing heart galloping in my chest, then invited him into my home.
Lust makes men stupid and I'm thankful for the fact.
‘Not so fast,’ I whispered, and pulled away from him as he was trying to get his hands in my clothes. He looked puzzled. I gave him my shy, awkward look. ‘Let’s have a drink.’ Thinking he understood, he smiled and nodded. We both had the same thought: another drink and I’m there.
‘Why don’t you put some music on?’ I suggested, indicating the CD player and rack of discs, then I wriggled out of his grasp and went into the kitchen. Finally, I could stop looking and behaving like a fool. My movements were sure and practised as I picked a bottle of wine from the fridge, a one with a screw top, which saved precious seconds. Take too long, and they came looking to see what the hold up was. Once I’d removed the top, I took the bottle of sleeping pills from their hiding place. They were capsules, not tablets; again, this saved time. I set out two wine glasses and, taking one of the capsules, wiggled the two halves apart and tipped the contents into one of them. The contents of a second capsule, then a third, soon followed, after which I filled both glasses with wine. I gave the doctored one a stir, then scrutinised both glasses; they looked sufficiently alike.
The Arctic Monkeys kicked in as I took the glasses of wine through to the sitting room. ‘Good choice,’ I said as I passed him his wine where he sprawled on the sofa. I smiled at him over the rim of my glass. ‘Cheers.’ I sipped at the wine.
‘Cheers,’ he said in return, then took a big drink as I had known he would. They all do. The ritual is irresistible and they want to finish the wine quickly and move on to what they believe comes next. He swallowed, then grimaced.
‘Oh, I’m sorry. It’s quite a cheap one.’ I smiled an apology. ‘But the best I’ve got.’
His smile returned. He didn’t want to offend me; too much at stake. I reckon I could serve up vinegar at this point in the proceedings and, provided I apologise for it and suggest the quality is due to my relative poverty, they would drink it.
They. The victims. My prey.
He took another big swallow. I took a sip, then took his glass from his hand as he sank back against the cushions. His eyes closed and he drifted into unconsciousness.
Heaving a sigh of relief, I lifted an eyelid and checked his pulse. Life secure, but he was out for the count. Good. I went and changed out of the dress and heels into my wetsuit. It repelled more than just water and it showered off a treat. Plus, should he regain a degree of consciousness and grab at me, his fingers would slip away empty. Next, I cut up some heavy duty poly bags and laid them on the floor next to the sofa, then rolled him onto them. Working on the floor was fine, so long as I covered it thoroughly. He wouldn’t bleed all that much. I wouldn’t cut him until he was dead, so there was no chance blood would gout up the walls and maybe even hit the ceiling. I had learned a lot over the years.
After all, a girl has to eat.
I used drugs to slow, and then stop, his heart. This one died without ever opening his eyes again. In a hurry to go. Some were, others fought it, eyelids fluttering, mouths working. It made no difference, it always ended the same way.
Once he’d gone, I realised how hungry I was. I felt starved. I looked at him and ran through what he meant to me: steaks, chops, liver, kidneys, brains, sausages, burgers, black pudding, stock. But right now, I wanted something quick to take the edge off my hunger before I got down to the task of filling my freezer.
I popped into the kitchen for a spoon, set a pan of water to boil on the hob.
Ten minutes later, I raised a napkin to my lips and sat back with a sigh. I had been right about his chocolate button eyes; they were, indeed, truly delicious.
Bio: Julie Morgan lives by the seaside in the north east of England. Her stories have appeared online at various sites including Powder Burn Flash, A Twist of Noir, Darkest Before the Dawn and Fictional Musings. She wouldn't normally mention it, but she has been a vegetarian for over a decade...