Here is a short story i wrote over the past couple of days.  I’d love to know what you think.  Enjoy.

 

     Taste of Bronze 

     His tongue slid across the etchings on his bronze knife with the gentle caress of a lover preparing to ravish his partner. The smile across his face sparkling with joy as he moved closer to the chair. He delighted in the calm before the storm. That moment when he knew something profoundly more important than the only other person in the room.

     She was so helpless. Such easy prey; with one hand holding her book and the other holding a glass of wine. He couldn’t see her face, but he knew it would be absolutely beautiful, illuminated by the firelight as it was. Such elegance and sophistication wouldn’t have a chance against his strength. He was given this one job and he was going to do it.

     He inched closer. Closer still. He could practically smell her blood already. He longed to feel it on his fingers. To taste it from his knife. That was his little ritual. He would taste the knife before and after, to compare. Most blood tasted the same, but some was sweeter than others. He hoped hers was as delicious as he thought it was.

     His massive bulk moved ever closer to the chair. She didn’t react as he came to mere feet behind her. This was the time. Time to strike. His huge frame moved faster than most would guess toward her tiny body. The knife slashed through the air toward her neck. It moved faster than the man could see, but not faster than she could.

     Before the man saw what happened, his blade was digging into the back of the chair, the girl had disappeared and was standing behind him. It took a moment for her white sundress to settle. In that time, the man had pulled his weapon free and turned to face her.

     The man in the green hat had warned the knifing man that she would be fast, but he hadn’t expected this. She just stood there with that smirk on her face. Did she think this was a game? He didn’t think it was. This was what he lived for. Still, he hadn’t had a challenge in a while.

     “Oh, we’ve got a feisty one.” The man said, putting on a smile to match hers as best he could, which was a jagged-toothed parody of her radiance.

     She chuckled. “Funny, I was about to say that exact same thing.” Her face remained calm as she slowly started to circle the man. “I don’t mean to sound rude, but you are fatter than I had expected.”

     “And you’re a bit prettier than my normal bag of meat to cut open.  Not that it matters much whatcha look like.”  He flipped the knife with practiced ease so the point was down and watched her closely.  

     “My, my.  Only a few minutes in and you’ve already called me a bag of meat.  I’d say this date isn’t going very well so far.  You haven’t even told me your name.”  She stopped pacing and managed to make her face look remarkably innocent. 

     “The name’s Charles, m’ lady. Don’t see how it’s gonna matter much though, seeing as I’m just here to gut ya.”  The man twitched his knife arm a bit to see how she would react.  She didn’t move at all.  Not even her eyes.  Normally people flinch or at least look towards the knife; watching for where it might be going next.  Maybe she just doesn’t care about her life?

     “Come now, Charles.  It’s far too early in our relationship for knife play.”  She actually clicked her tongue at him. “Maybe dinner first, some wine, a little dancing… Then we see where the night progresses.”

     The man hadn’t come here for this taunting.  It was supposed to be a quick job; in, out, and get paid.  He’d had enough.  Bronze flew through the air once more, but the woman danced out of reach with cat-like grace.

     A sour look spread across her face.  “I see you’ve had enough for-play and are ready to get down to business.  It’s a shame, really.  I was beginning to enjoy myself.”  Something about her demeanor, the man couldn’t say exactly what, had become hard.  Nothing seemed to have changed, except her eyes. 

     It was then that Charles began to worry.  He had seen that look before; in the eyes of a grizzly bear protecting her cub.  In the eyes of a tiger pouncing for the kill.  Though, there was something more.  Not just the instinct to protect or for hunger.  More than just to survive at all costs.  Her look did more than make him afraid, it put fear into him.

     For the first time in his life, he froze.  He knew in his soul that he couldn’t get away, couldn’t fight, couldn’t do anything.  He would not survive this night.

     He dropped his precious knife, the metal giving off that special tone he loved so much from bronze.  As she slowly glided closer to him, he was glad that was the last sound he would hear.

     His body shook as she brought her face inches from his own.  Her head swayed back and forth like a cobras. Her diminutive fingers brushed lightly over his shoulder.  She brought them across his chest as she circled around him.  His eyes remaining forward, he could feel her warm breath on his ear.

     Her voice was a hiss that shuttered through his body. “Give them a message.”  A long moment passed that caused his heart to pound so hard it might burst from his chest.  He clenched his eyes shut.  “Tell them, I’m ready…”

     Cold air rushed into his lungs and his eyes shot open.  It took him a full minute for his heart to stop racing and to recognize the purple wood he was staring at.  Somehow he was now outside looking at her door.  His lips were warm like he had been kissed.  His bronze knife was in its holster on his hip.  

     Slowly he turned and began to walk away, silently promising to himself that he would never return to this house and, possibly for the first time in his life, thankful that he was still alive.

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