U.S. Army

He’s not hysterical like me, ready to call the police, the national guard, the army…

My mind races a mile a minute with scenarios as I wrap the towel around my torso, hands shaking. Are there more out there like Mel? Is this an epidemic? Who else knows?

His face remains expressionless, a mild contentment, as if he’s unsurprised, as if he already knows what’s coming.

Finally I ask him who he is. I ask him about Grace, the house, the dead woman in his trunk. His answer is even more terrifying.

“She’s not dead,” he says. “Well, not completely.”

—Nortina


A to Z Challenge theme: A Drabble for a Tag

This year, I’m giving you 26 drabbles (100-word stories) using some of my favorite unused or underused tags.

Tuesday’s tag was “U.S. Army.”

Read previous: “T” is for “til death do us part.”

Read next: “V” is for “vulture.”

Til Death Do Us Part

If you’ve been following this series since the beginning, then you know I opened it with a scene that left you with a lot of questions. Since then, the story has slowly started to come together as we’ve picked up the pieces of the puzzle that led to that infamous shower scene (B through S). Now we’re back at the beginning, continuing where “A is for Accessory to Murder” left off…

“Carol.”

I don’t respond. Am I safer with him on the other side of this shower curtain?

Then I see Mel, a shadow of her former self, alive but not, inviting me to taste her…

This is far less gruesome.

Suddenly the curtain is ripped back, the rails screeching like nails against metal in agony. I slip and reach for anything to break my fall. He snatches up my arms, puts them at my sides, looks me over, spins me around.

“What the hell—”

“I’m making sure you haven’t been bitten or scratched.”

“Why?”

But I already know the answer.

Nortina


A to Z Challenge theme: A Drabble for a Tag

This year, I’m giving you 26 drabbles (100-word stories) using some of my favorite unused or underused tags.

Today’s tag was a bit of a stretch: “til death do us part.”

Read previous: “S” is for “serial killer.

Read next: “U” is for “U.S. Army.”

Serial Killer

“Her eyes were dead.”

That’s what I say when I get into the car, when I run back to the serial killer.

Mel was lying on the floor, in a pool of blood, and the man—her date?—was on top of her, eating her.

“He was fucking eating her!!”

I couldn’t hold still to dial 9-1-1.

When she moved. When she raised her hand, called my name. When she pushed him aside, stood with her guts spilling out, and said, “Come and try.”

I panicked. I ran. Back into the arms of the serial killer.

Just like in my dream.

—Nortina


A to Z Challenge theme: A Drabble for a Tag

This year, I’m giving you 26 drabbles (100-word stories) using some of my favorite unused or underused tags.

Today’s tag is “serial killer.”

Read previous: “R” is for “rebirth.”

Read next: “T” is for “til death do us part.”

Rebirth

Mel

I’m hungry.

I lost my appetite at dinner, but it’s come back now. As he kisses me lower, that familiar song runs through my head…

I didn’t know that I was starving ’til I…

“How do I taste?”

He doesn’t speak.

I don’t feel like I’m in my skin. I look down; he’s biting my thigh. I think it tickles. Yes, I like it. I want to bite him too, make him feel like his skin is coming off, like mine, unveiling a new layer, a rebirth.

Who knew this would be better than sex?

I have to tell Carol.

—Nortina


A to Z Challenge theme: A Drabble for a Tag

This year, I’m giving you 26 drabbles (100-word stories) using some of my favorite unused or underused tags.

Today’s tag is “rebirth.”

Read previous: “Q” is for “question.”

Read next: “S” is for “serial killer.”

Question

He agrees to take me home.

He just confessed to murdering multiple women….

And he agrees to take me home.

What is it about me that has spared my life? What am I to him but a drunken one-night stand? A mistake, given my history. And yet, he seems suspiciously protective of me.

I give him Mel’s address. Mainly because I don’t want him to know where I live, but also because I fear I may invite him in if he were at my doorstep.

Even with a body in the trunk.

Maybe Mel was right about my self-destructive habits.

—Nortina


A to Z Challenge theme: A Drabble for a Tag

This year, I’m giving you 26 drabbles (100-word stories) using some of my favorite unused or underused tags.

Today’s tag is “question.”

Read previous: “P” is for “prisoner.”

Read next: “R” is for “rebirth.”

Prisoner

“I’m not crazy,” he says.

Funny, I’ve spent the last twenty-four hours trying to convince myself that this was all just an alcohol-induced delusion, and the first thing out of his mouth is he’s not crazy.

One of us has to be sane. And since I’m not the one with a dead body in my trunk, I’ll take the bait.

“Am I your prisoner now?”

“I’m sorry.” He rubs his thumbs against the raw skin of my wrists underneath the handcuffs. “I had to be sure you weren’t like them.”

“Like the woman you killed?”

He nods. “There are more.”

—Nortina


A to Z Challenge theme: A Drabble for a Tag

This year, I’m giving you 26 drabbles (100-word stories) using some of my favorite unused or underused tags.

Today’s tag is “prisoner.”

Read previous: “O” is for “oral tradition.”

Read next: “Q” is for “question.”

Oral Tradition

Mel

What’s the point in locking the door when the monster is already inside?

I thought I could save my night with a simple kiss.

Real dates don’t start until after the traditional goodnight smooch anyway, right?

“One kiss from me…”

“Conceited?” he teased.

But when our lips met, things got weird. What started as a deep, passionate French make out at my doorstep quickly turned into him trying to gnaw my bottom lip right off my face.

And my dumb ass still let him inside, only one thing on my mind.

Now I can’t feel anything from the neck down.

—Nortina


A to Z Challenge theme: A Drabble for a Tag

This year, I’m giving you 26 drabbles (100-word stories) using some of my favorite unused or underused tags.

Today’s tag is “oral tradition.”

Read previous: “N” is for “nightmare.”

Read next: “P” is for “prisoner.”

Nightmare

I can’t seem to break free. From these cuffs. From my nightmare…

In my dream I was running. Running from a man whose face I couldn’t see. I didn’t know why, or what he would do once he caught me. All I knew was to run. As fast as I could. As far as I could.

In the end, I ran straight into his arms…

I gave up trying to get out of the handcuffs. I never dialed 9-1-1. (My phone is still in my lap when he returns, a smirk on his face.)

Somehow, I think he knew I wouldn’t.

—Nortina


A to Z Challenge theme: A Drabble for a Tag

This year, I’m giving you 26 drabbles (100-word stories) using some of my favorite unused or underused tags.

Today’s tag is “nightmare.”

Read previous: “M” is for “murder cover-up

Read next: “O” is for “oral tradition.”

Murder Cover-up

Date from hell. Where r u? Call me.

Tied up. Literally. Talk 2 u soon.

I wonder if Mel will read my message between the lines or if she’ll stay stuck on herself until I call her…

If I call her.

It couldn’t have been that bad. And nothing can top witnessing a murder. Even worse, helping cover it up.

The question remains what he’ll do with me. He did let me keep my phone, so maybe he won’t kill me too.

That or he’s just plain stupid. No need to test it, though. Now, to get out of these handcuffs.

—Nortina


A to Z Challenge theme: A Drabble for a Tag

This year, I’m giving you 26 drabbles (100-word stories) using some of my favorite unused or underused tags.

Today’s tag is “murder cover up.”

Read previous: “L” is for “leftovers.”

Read next: “N” is for “nightmare.”

Leftovers

Mel

Something’s off about him. And I’m not just talking about his missing finger…

Part of his finger—the tip actually. A freak accident while chopping onions, he says.

“You know how they say onions make you cry…”

“Maybe you should stick to takeout and leftovers from now on.” I stare at his bandage, wonder if the red is from his cut bleeding through or the rare steak on his plate.

“Well done is overcooked in my book.”

“It still has a pulse.”

I’ve lost my appetite, watching him chomp on raw meat, lick his bleeding finger.

It all seems… off.

—Nortina


A to Z Challenge theme: A Drabble for a Tag

This year, I’m giving you 26 drabbles (100-word stories) using some of my favorite unused or underused tags.

Today’s tag is “leftovers.”

Read previous: “K” is for “Kansas.”

Read next: “M” is for “murder cover-up.”