Harpy

She wore the damask face of an obelisk, albeit a pretty one. Her sharp features were accentuated by high cheekbones, crimson lips, and eyes so blue they almost looked purple. Her long hair was brunt sienna not quite brown, not quite red, yet both. It wasn’t auburn, it was a shade past it.  

She had a tall, lithe form and she stood against the counter of the gas station’s store with a Snickers clasped in her hand as if it were her only prayer. Her lips were pressed tightly together with an air of determination. He had the distinct feeling that she was not a woman to be crossed, yet he could not stop staring at her. He had never seen someone quite that beautiful before.  

She paid for her slight purchase and then walked out the door with an unknown purport. He didn’t want her to leave without getting a chance to say hello. He ran after her. “Wait, miss, did it hurt falling from heaven?” he blurted, his face reddening, as she laughed at him. 

“Wow.” 

“I’m sorry, that was pretty cheesy, wasn’t it?” 

“Just a bit,” she agreed.  

“Would you like to go out for a cup of coffee?”  

“I’d love to, but I can’t. My son has algebra homework that I have to help him with. It was nice meeting you. Maybe I’ll see you again.” 

“Maybe,” he frowned, watching her go. He felt like an idiot. Of course someone as beautiful as her would be married. With a kid? He had never been good with kids. Still, there was something about her that would make him try if given the chance. He doubted that he’d be that lucky. 

Women like that generally had no interest in men like him. Why should they? They were beautiful, and he was spectacularly average. Sure, he was cute, but that was what one wanted to be when they were six. He was well into his thirties. He had always wished he had been a pretty boy, then women like her would give him the time of day. 

It was a chance that she just used the boy as a cover to get away from him. It was her polite way of blowing him off, maybe. 

He snorted. He wouldn’t be surprised if it were. He made his way to his truck, nearly dropping his keys as she tapped him on the shoulder.  

“Hey!” 

“Hey?! Sorry, you scared me.” 

“Oh, I’m sorry,” she laughed. “Not my intention. I just thought I’d give you my number, you’re kind of cute. My name is Janice by the way — my husband and I got divorced a year ago, pretty messy break-up, I haven’t really been looking . . .” She cut herself off. “Sorry, I’m blithering on like an idiot.” 

“Blither on all you want, I like watching your lips move,” he grinned. 

“Oh, hush you!” she laughed, playfully punching him on the arm. “If you would like to come over later, you should give me a call. I’d love to see you again . . .?” 

“Timothy.” 

“I’d love to see you again, Tim.” With that, she blew him a kiss, and drove off into her car.  

He blinked. This had to be some sort of cruel dream. He was never this lucky! Yet when he pinched himself, he found that he was awake. He grinned, he was glad that his truck had decided to kick out right there and he had gotten gas here. To be honest he rarely bought gas as this station despite it’s close locale to his home — it was generally twenty cents more expensive than the cheapest one and he was frugal. Okay, he was cheap, but money didn’t grow on trees. He did spend his hard earned cash on things that mattered, but he would rather not spend his entire live’s savings on gas if he didn’t have to.  

He flipped the keys in the ignition and drove off. He liked the way her lips had formed to say ‘Tim’. She hadn’t insisted upon calling him Timothy like his mother always did or his previous girlfriend Tamara had. He liked that.  

She was sure she was the feisty type, too, there was likely more scarlet than brown in those veins of hers.  

When he got home, he pulled the keys out of the ignition, walking to the door with an extra bounce in his step. He wrenched the mail out of the mailbox, and opened the door, letting his St. Bernard Ro out. Ro came back moments later, whining to be let in just as he was throwing dinner into the microwave. “Okay, buddy, hold on, old boy,” he muttered, opening the door. “I met a girl today, Ro, I think she could be good for us.” Ro wagged his tail. “She’s really pretty.” Ro wagged his tail and barked. “I’m not lying, she is.” Ro licked his face. He laughed. “Settle down, boy.” 

Later that night when he was watching t.v. he sat on the couch with Ro laying across his lap. He pulled out his cell and called Janice.  

Janice was elated to her from him and she gave him the directions to her house. It was all a little sudden, but he didn’t mind. He could use a distraction from his every day life. After Tamara had left him his life had been painted in varying shades of charcoal. He could use a bit of ivory to lessen out the black.  

Janice was pacing nervously when he got there. He saw her circling the floor, pacing like a dog. He wondered if there were something wrong. He knocked on the door, and saw her face light up like a Christmas tree. Maybe she was just as anxious as he was. He didn’t think that women as pretty as her got their nerves twisted in knots but evidently they did. 

“It’s so nice to see you again, Tim. My son Gabe is sleeping.” 

“Short for Gabriel?”  

“No, just Gabe,” she smiled. “I’m not particularly religious,” she explained. “I’ve never been to a church since my mother used to drag me there as a child.” 

“I see,” he said with a solemn nod. “I’m a heathen, I’ve never been.” 

She laughed. “You seem like a nice guy to me,” she winked. “Would you like something to drink?” 

“Do you have any coffee?” 

“Sure,” she smiled. “I’ll be right back, why don’t you sit down on the couch, and make yourself at home.” 

He hated when people said that. It wasn’t like anyone could. It was awkward being at someone’s house for the first time. 

He waited for what seemed ages, he wondered if Janice hadn’t fallen in the coffee pot.  

“Sorry about that,” she laughed, walking in. “Coffee maker had a mind of it’s own there, I thought it was breaking down on me.”

“Sorry you had to go through all that trouble on account of me.” 

“It was no trouble, at all,” she smiled.  

He hardly remembered falling asleep, but suddenly woke himself with a jarring nod. He blinked, looking around him. The lights were all turned out, Janice was nowhere to be found. This just struck him as very odd. He stood up from his spot on the couch, only to be thrown back down again. 

“Don’t resist, just let my mouth go where it wants to,” Janice crooned.  

He was more than happy to oblige.  

It wasn’t until something painful sung against the fabric of his throat, that he blinked. “What the hell was that?” he mumbled. 

Janice didn’t answer, she just bit down harder. 

“What the hell are you, a vampire?” he sneered. 

“Exactly,” she muttered, not removing her fangs from his throat. “Stop being such a pussy, and take the pain like a man,” she growled, kicking him hard in the crotch as he made an attempt to stand. “All men are the same. They think with the wrong head.”  

“You’re crazy.” 

“Am I? You’re the one that was going to let me a perfect stranger put my mouth where I wanted to. You’re messed up,” she informed him, slicing his abdomen open with her nails. 

He howled with pain. 

“Don’t worry, it will all be over soon.” She ripped his still beating heart out of his chest with one labored pull. She let him watch her observe it for a second before biting into it.  

He fell in a bloody heap at her feet.  

“Pathetic,” came a voice behind her. “My victim lasted longer than yours.” 

“Shut up, Gabe, before I rip your heart out, too.”

By Linda Crate

http://www.facebook.com/pages/Linda-M-Crate/129813357119547

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