Reader. Writer. Romantic.

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A Lesson in Life

They all sat facing forward. A formless black mass. Their heads bowed in prayer as I made my way down the aisle. A few lifted their eyes to catch a glimpse, wondering who I was and how I dared to come so late. I took my seat at the front, next to a woman I presumed to be his wife. I set my little boy on my lap and faced forward. The woman, not much older than myself, looked over at me startled.

“Who are you?” she whispered.

“I think you know who I am,” I returned.

“These seats are reserved for family and close friends,” she hissed.

“Does the mother of his child count as such?” I returned.

She glowered at me, but said nothing. I knew her type. She wouldn’t make a scene here, but in the privacy of a sound proof room, she’d let me have it.

We endured the ceremony sitting next to one another. I watched as she rose to give her eulogy to him.

“…He was a great man who was loved by all. But most of all, he was a man who loved life and all it had to offer him…” she finished.

With that everyone rose and began filing out into the reception area. The mood had lightened. Now they were to celebrate his life. The man that he had been. I was probably going to get a talking to, but what did I care?

I rose, following the others into the reception area. She followed close behind.

“Where do you think you’re going?” she hissed.

“I have every right to celebrate the man he was-” I started.

“No,” she said cutting me off, “Not until I’ve had a word with you.”

“Why?” asked the little boy in my arms, “What has mama done?”

“Why don’t you go and play with the other…others while I talk to your mother?” she said with a forced smiled.

“Why did you bring a child to a funeral, are you insane?” she hissed.

“Stop being mean to my mama!” he said loudly, catching the attention of several guests.

“Shh, Adrian, it’s alright,” I said reassuringly.

He frowned, “But she’s being mean. You always said to stand up to bullies. She’s a bully!”

“I know baby, but let mama talk to her. Maybe she has something worthwhile to say,” I said.

“Damn straight I have something worthwhile to say. Get. The. FUCK. out,” she said enunciating each word.

“I thought I’d just come and meet you,” I shrugged, “I didn’t have to, but I thought it’d be the civil thing to do.”

“Well leave. You’ve outstayed your welcome,” she snarled.

I shrugged and walked in amongst the guests, losing myself in the crowd. He had touched so many people’s lives in his life time it was only right to have so many well wishers at his funeral.

I chatted with a few of the guests, all of them too polite to breach the subject of my relationship with him. From a distance I saw a young couple looking at us curiously. They seemed like interesting people and I approached them.

“Hello,” I said with a smiled, “My name is Brienne. This is Adrian. Thank you so much for coming today.”

“Hello, I’m Marcie and this is Luke,” introduced Marcie, “So how do you know Caleb?”

“We were high school sweethearts,” I answered, “Circumstances drew us apart…and then together again. But as luck would have it, he was already married.”

“So…Adrian is-” started Luke.

I nodded.

“Aren’t you a little young to have a child?” he asked.

I shrugged, “I suppose.”

“Do you mind me asking…when?” asked Marcie awkwardly, “I mean, Luke and I want…to have kids, but we’re kinda young too…”

I smiled, “I had Adrian when I was eighteen. That’s what initially drew us apart. But when Caleb discovered his wife was…how do I put this delicately, unable to provide what he wanted most in life, he came running straight back to me. You see, years ago, he just wanted to have fun. He wasn’t in it for a seriously relationship or committed to providing for a child.”

Marcie looked at Luke who nodded, taking her hand in his.

“Thank you Brienne…you’ve given us something to think about as we prepare for our life together. We’re so sorry for your loss,” murmured Luke.

I nodded drifting away again.

“A lot of people liked daddy didn’t they?” asked Adrian.

I nodded and said, “But you must know, daddy loved you most of all.”

Prompt: “Aren’t you a little young to have a child”

Petals

Soft
Fluttering
Dream

Fragrant
Wedded
Bliss

Lying on frost kissed grounds
Abandoned
But not forgotten

Curled up
Drained
And left for dead

Was that the fate
For which you bloomed?

Prompt:
prompt

A tribute to Hannibal

The scent of rotting carcasses filled the air as I stood amidst them. It was glorious, beautiful, an expression of my unrecognized talent. In life they were nothing. They were only common folk, but in death I elevated them to art. I carefully made sure that each actor and actress was in his or her place, taking care not to leave any evidence behind.

Art was not merely a visual experience, not art was a visceral response, an auditory response, a full sensory response. I would make it so. Looking at the bodies entertwined, becoming one as the flowers bloomed around them was overwhelming. After months of cultivation, my garden was almost done. All it needed were some guests, music and food. I would take care of all that soon.

The smell of rotting carcasses was a bit off putting, but it was the price I had to pay for such genius. I looked around and wondered if he would be among the police to see and hear my serenade to him. I loved him, but he didn’t know me. I wasn’t important. Expendable even. But that didn’t matter. Not anymore. I just wanted him to know. To know this was all for him.

I went inside the truck and brought out prosciutto roses made from human leg cured for eight months, heart tartar, flamingo tongue, foie gras among other delicacies. I carefully arranged them on the table I had set in on the carcass cobblestone I had created. I put some flowers in a vase, poured some wine.

I hoped the FBI agents would show up. They would be a lovely addition to my art piece. The final touch to this masterpiece. They were the guests of honour.

*******************************************************************************************************

From my hiding place I watched them come. Come to see their colleagues dead and set into my masterpiece. A soft breeze floated through and the scent of the garden and carcasses mingled and I saw him lean in to inspect the food. I saw a small smile creep onto his face and it was satisfaction enough. I carefully snuck away. Until I could no longer hear the music and then I ran. I ran without stopping. Almost forgetting to breathe. I just kept going. The only thing on my mind was to get home. To destroy all the evidence there.

They would never find me, but I had to make sure. I would burn it all. Burn everything down.

And disappear.

I knew it was going to be hard. But this was my final masterpiece, it had to be overwhelming.

All the work I had put into it, it had drained me. All I could think about was laying down somewhere to sleep. Just to close my eyes and drift away.

But no. Not before my work was done. I still had lots to do. There was no time to be thinking about sleeping.

But I was so tired. It was so easy just to forget all my obligations. To forget all the demands I had on me. It was so easy to say good bye as there was no one left.

I wanted him to know what I had done for him. I couldn’t destroy everything yet. The fire would bring me too much attention. I had to see him first. To let him know. And then say good bye.

*********************************************************************************************************

“Good evening,” he greeted me, “Please come in, Miss Carter.”

“Thank you, Dr. Lecter,” I smiled.

Once the door was securely closed behind me. I took a seat, a deep breath and began.

I spilled to him my story, recounted every last detail, studying his face as I told him.

“They’ll catch you,” he commented.

I shook my head, “You don’t understand. They won’t catch me. There’s nothing there to incriminate me.”

“But I have the obligation to inform the police,” he said.

I smiled, “Not if you value your secret. I know. I’ve seen you work. And with great finesse. I admire you. It was my serenade. My good bye.”

He smiled and thanked me, not quite understanding the crazy person before him.

“I’m sure you’ve had fans. Imitators, people so willing to claim credit to your work,” I said, “I didn’t want to do that. It would have been an insult to your talent. I hope you enjoyed a taste of my work, but I’m going to sleep now and I don’t think I shall ever wake.”

“Would you like some help?” he offered.

I crinkled my nose, “Would I be imposing?”

He shook his head, “Let us create one final masterpiece. Your greatest masterpiece.”

************************************************************************************************************

“This will help,” he said, injecting something into my blood stream.

“What is it?” I mumbled.

“A sedative,” he answered cryptically.

“Thank you,” I said.

I felt myself drifting off.

“Don’t forget the fire,” I mumbled one last time.

I saw him nod as my eyes closed.

***********************************************************************************************************

They found me just the way he left me. On the kitchen table carved up like a roast. The table was set for two. Candles and roses adorned the charred table and the sweet scent of lilacs filled the room. He had come back after to set it just the way I had asked. A soft melody greeted the crime scene processing team. He was with them and did so well to keep that smile off his face, but this was his masterpiece too.

Our masterpiece.

Something we were both proud to call our own. I would never forget him. And I know that he would never forget me.

 

Prompt: The scent of rotting carcasses filled the air.

Memories of Her

His phone buzzed rattling on the nightstand.

“Are you going to get that?” she called to him.

“Could you get it for me?” he called back.

“Sure,” she said picking up the phone and looking at the message.

She made her way to the kitchen, reading as she went.

“Who is it?” he asked.

“Kevin, he’s asking if you’re going to the game on Friday,”  she read.

He shook his head, “Mind texting him back and letting him know that I have a work function to go to?”

“Okay,” she nodded. She scrolled through his phone after texting back a reply, frowning.

“What?” he asked, cuddling up to her, spatula in hand.

“The DNA test confirmed you were the father?” she repeated.

“I…” he said.

“Do you have something to tell me Bryce?” she asked raising an eyebrow.

“Can you promise to let me finish before you get mad?” Bryce said timidly.

She put down his phone and nodded. He made his way back to the stove to make sure that nothing was burning.

“So a few years ago, when I was still dating your sister there was girl who was stalking me. She would follow me everywhere, leave me flowers, chocolates and suggestive messages. That really put a strain on my relationship with your sister and eventually we broke up, but between me dating you and me breaking up with your sister she really amped up her crazy antics. She started calling me and waited for me outside of my house, my classes, my workplace,” started Bryce.

“So are you really the father of anyone?” she asked.

Bryce struggled with himself for a few minutes, “Yes and no.”

She nodded at him encouragingly.

“You have to understand this is really hard for me, babe,” said Bryce wincing.

She put her arm around him and leaned in for a kiss.

“What happened?” she asked gently.

“Well I was being irresponsible and we ended up in bed together. A few weeks later she calls me and tells me that she’s pregnant with my child and I lost it. If she wasn’t crazy before, she was now. I applied for a restraining order against her and got it. I had my number changed, I moved and everything, but somehow she still found me. She texted me shortly after the child was born telling me that it was mine…” explained Bryce.

“Is that the truth?” she confirmed.

“It’s the truth,” repeated Bryce.

She nodded and headed off to set the table. He stared after her wondering if she believed him.

Prompt: Write about the message she found on his phone

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