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Morsels by Richard Dickson
SUMMARY: Entry for the November 2009 Flash Fiction Contest
She stares at them, a restless rumble inside her. So safe in their routine. So oblivious to what she has in store.
All day long she sits in her home and waits. Sooner or later, she'll catch one of them off guard. They'll venture too close, too wrapped up in their petty little lives, and she'll have them.
She's going to eat one of them. It's just a matter of time. And of which one.
She watches her flit about her garden, her beauty dazzling in the morning sun. She didn't always look like that though. Oh no, plenty of work had gone into her. But it doesn't matter. Ugly, pretty, they're all just food. Her vanity would be delicious.
She sees him go to work. He'll come home, unappreciated after breaking his back all day, and set out to do it all over again tomorrow. It would almost be a kindness to end the cycle for him. His despair would taste so sweet.
She watches him wander down the street, picking through the trash, starting at the slightest motion or sound. He's dirty, he's alone, and he certainly won't be missed. A bit grimy for her tastes, but his isolation would be a delight.
She tenses. Someone is near. Very near. Oh, to just reach out and take them now, but no. Too soon and they'll see her coming. Too soon and they'll be able to escape. She's done this before, the same way every time, and it has never left her hungry. No need to change now.
It amuses her how they always come to her. No matter where she has made her home, they find their way. She knows of others like herself who venture out to meet their prey. But any mere brute can hunt. It takes skill and wit to have your victim sit down in your parlor, to all but feed themselves to you. She is an artist.
Ah, this one is young and curious. Youth has an indescribable taste, plump with hope, with none of the gristly disappointment that comes with age. Oh the feast she will have on this one. The way is open. Come inside. Come just ... a bit ... closer...
The anticipation is aching. It takes all her will to keep from quivering with it. But the slightest move will betray her. Her prey is so close now, she can almost taste it, the empty gnawing within her screaming to be satisfied. This is what she was made for. This is her purpose in this world. To feed on the weak, to feast on the foolish. All who meet her deserve their fate, and she knows nothing but joy that this should be her lot in life.
The young one takes their last step.
Her embrace is lightning from a clear sky. She pulls her victim to her, so suddenly there is barely a struggle. She is trembling with ecstasy now, and she holds her prey close so that she can breathe in the very essence of them. All other times she is merely asleep, walking in a dreamy haze. This moment is when she is truly alive.
She takes a bite. There is a brief shiver of resistance, but nothing that threatens to break her control. Sweet anticipation gives way to sweet relief as she swallows. They are every bit as succulent and tender as she had hoped. Her hunger roars, begging to gorge itself.