Our Writer of the last month’s theme returns to our Crime’s theme with a new story, we hope you enjoy Aisha Alsafi ‘s latest work titled “A Starving Soul”
It’s been a cold night, perhaps the coldest that our world has ever known. But not in here, not inside this kitchen, here the heat was overwhelming. The scent of herbs as they gave up their flavor was mouth watering; the sound of the knife chopping those freshly cut vegetables was calming. It was a long day and all he wanted to do was have a decent meal and read his favorite book, The phantom of the opera.
After he finished with the last touches preparing his dish, he covered the pot and waited by the window for it to get ready. His gaze went far away, beyond this green lawn, beyond those neighboring houses; it was a fixed gaze, on a memory, a really distant one. The rain outside did not stop, but it was not distracting at all, his mind was occupied by this memory, that nothing could have startled him except for the sudden ring of the timer. His meal is now ready.
He placed it gently on his plate, and put it down on a well-prepared table. With a blooming red rose and a lit candle in front of him, he sat down and spread the napkin on his lap. Slowly he picked up a knife by his right hand and a fork by his left, he closed his eyes and took his time inhaling, trying to take in as much as possible from the rich aroma. It was too precious. Now his mind drifted back to a more recent memory, to last night on his way back home when he found her.
It was twilight and the sun has just pulled away its last ray. There was a soft kind breeze that carried her scent to him. Beautiful he thought. He could see her figure walking towards a house just around the corner, and he wasn’t far behind, just far enough. Something in him was unexpectedly awakened. A beast that had been in slumber for so long was suddenly alert. He missed this beast and it made him angry. Slowly he walked tracing her scent and calming himself down with every step. After all he wanted it to be perfect. He must enjoy it, not let his fury take over, and so he waited.
Standing by the house’s shadow he was invisible. His gaze was far, to that same memory of the past. Not until the last sign of life in the house was gone that he moved. Even when he did it was quiet and graceful. His long slender arms and his perfectly built legs where as quiet as a gliding ghost. His face was tranquil, his eyes as calm as the sea on a June afternoon, blue and mesmerizing, his skin as smooth as white marble, not a sign of age nor a hint of any of life’s troubles. As if he was from another world, a lost angel.
Now he was standing by the window, he slowly lifted it open. From the inside it was a typical house, nothing special. But to him it was. That scent that got him here. It mattered, it was different. So he carefully climbed the stairs into her dark room, where she was still quiet asleep.
He dared to go very close, really close that his face almost touched hers. He could not believe how perfect she was. He was in love just like that. Nothing would ever take her away. He promised himself that, and tried to grasp every detail. She had dark brown hair, perfect curls. It smelled like a fresh lawn of lavenders. Her face was perfectly sculptured. Then there was her neck, the source of his lust, but he couldn’t claim her yet, not until he sees her eyes. So he stood there for a while, studying her like an eager scholar, until she opened her eyes.
He delicately cut the pieces on his plate. First he started with the soft well-cooked eyes. As he relived the moment, he placed it in his hungry mouth and with every bite he got lost in those hazel eyes. He recalled her first reaction. It was not a scream nor horror, for his face was angelic. It was more of wonder. He held her stare back; as if by looking back, he could take in all her memories, suck the life out of her, until there was a shine no more. Then he slowly cut the seasoned lungs and placed each piece into his mouth, he closed his eyes and heard her gasp. Yes her gasp when she finally broke free from his eyes.
He sipped some water to wash away the flavor, preparing for his next course. It was the throat, he kept it a bit raw to keep its texture the way he liked it. He ate it while listening to her screams, which were now his symphony. He saved the best for last. Her heart, it was rich. It carried so much love that this world lacked. So many emotions he could not figure out, it frightened him. It reminded him of his anomaly. Just before slicing it he looked carefully and saw her. Now that he had slit her throat, her blood was pooling on him, a rush came through, the warmth he felt, the love he sensed while pulling her heart off. He enjoyed every slice, every bite, and every swallow.
When he was done he carried his empty plate to the sink, and rewarded himself with one last lick that cleaned up what’s left of his plate. Exactly the way he cleaned up after his work of art the night before. No evidence, no print, no witness but the mute red moon out there. As he looked at it that night he smiled. “What are you going to do now that you saw me? Keep it a secret just like the last time of course, just like that night, when it all started..”
No one will ever know, he thought, no one will ever understand.
Author: Aisha Alsafi