Saturday, 24 July 2010

TO DUST by Rebecca L. Brown

TKnC welcomes Rebecca...

To Dust

His fingernails were dirty. He dragged his knife under the tip of each one, scraping them clean. The reddish-brown curls of the scrapings fell onto the threadbare carpet; he brushed them away with a weather-worn hand. Coming here, especially coming here with her; the biggest mistake of his life. He sighed, the warm staleness of his breath turning to a plume in the unheated room, and brushed one hand through his dusty hair. His neck itched, the hairs prickling against his filthy shirt. The dirt mixed with his sweat, forming little streaks of mud on his skin.

They had arrived the previous night, hand in hand. He remembered her laughing at some joke or another, her teeth sharp but off-white, a little crooked. They had sat up late, rekindling their flame even as the candles died away to nothing.

There was a rusty tang in his mouth, a gritty bitterness on his tongue. He spat the brown gobbet onto the carpet- not his problem. Even if it was, he wouldn’t care.

She had poured him a glass of deep red wine, swirling it around the glass as she walked towards him. Never the connoisseur she wanted him to be, he had gulped it down. A trickle of wine had fallen from the side of his mouth, leaving a sticky trail on his chin. She had unbuttoned his shirt, rubbing his tired shoulders. His head swimming, he rested his chin on his chest, then his chest on his knees. He remembered hearing her snort inelegantly, thinking that was so unlike her, the pristine persona she so desperately tried to create; something he was never a part of.

He was cold now. The hairs on his arms bristled. He rubbed his hands up and down them, feeling the grit rolling on his skin.

She had never been too clever for all her pretences. The grave had been shallow, just enough to cover the rug she had wrapped him in. When he had come round, it had taken him moments to dig his way out. Of course, he supposed, she hadn’t expected him to be digging his way out…

Now he was waiting. The dirt didn’t bother him any more, he’d been dirty before. He couldn’t wait to see her face when she came to collect her things. With two fingers and a thumb, he wiped the knife clean.

Rebecca L. Brown is a British writer. She specialises in horror, SF, humour, surreal and experimental fiction, although her writing often wanders off into other genres and gets horribly lost. For updates and examples of Rebecca’s work, visit her Twitter page @rlbrownwriter or her blog Bewildering Circumstances


  1. Rebecca,
    Great flash.
    Very well written.

  2. Many thanks Col, I hope everyone enjoys it!


  3. Very well done Rebecca, and not the ending I'd been expecting - I initially thought that he'd killed her, so that was one heck of a good twist! :)

  4. Oh this was lovely Rebecca. Deliciously suggestive and deep down dark and dirty. Great d├ębut - welcome in.