Dinner is Served!

A short story just in time for Halloween.

I use a fork in one hand and a knife in the other to cut the steak, admiring its tenderness and juices that spill onto the china without hesitation. I look outside the kitchen window and noticed the moon, smiling at the glow and its perfection.

“It’s a full moon tonight, baby.”  I chuckle before putting the juicy meat between my teeth, “The wolves are out. Don’t you hear them?”

My husband looks at me across the dinner table, but doesn’t say a word. His steak is half eaten, but the green beans have barely been touched.

It’s almost Halloween, our anniversary, and I have to say, it is one of my dearest holidays of the season. I love the costumes, the movies, the skulls and bones, the demons that come out to play, the screams that come out at night. I use to despise every fairytale in the book, the ones where Prince Charming sweeps you off your feet and takes you away in a carriage you never asked for, convincing the notion that happily ever after exists. But then I met my husband the night of Halloween at a bar in the city, and though I never asked for a carriage, he gave me one anyway and I willingly went without a fuss, without a conscience. He showered me with sunsets, beaches, gave me diamonds and deep kisses, even let me buy any grotesque paintings that gave me satisfaction. We haven’t been married for long, and of course, there was a limit to the love that I thought I deserve.

I hear the scratching noise from the coat closet again, a digging at the door, a knocking on the wood.

“Quiet!” I yell before slipping another piece of meat in my mouth, chewing away its flavor as I scarf down some wine. My husband looks at me again and I wonder if he’s annoyed with the way I’m eating, or the fact that I just yelled across the room without his permission. I roll my eyes, “Do you want to deal with it?” He’s about to say something, I know it, but then…he doesn’t. How pitiful of him, you know, to not even have the decency to care. “Yeah,” I smirk, “I didn’t think so.”

Isn’t there always a limit to the affection our husbands produce? One minute we are kissing on the front porch, and the next he’s making me learn the proper way to chew. One minute he’s showering me with flowers and makeup sex, and the next he throws my favorite china plate across the room because I wasn’t compliant with his dinner plans.

I’m aware of his affairs with other women, the secretaries he’s been sleeping with at his office, at hotels, on business trips, at nightclubs. I’m even aware of his newfound relationship with a woman who frankly doesn’t care he’s married, or more so, that he’s particularly married to me. Now, I’m the fool. I’m the derange one. I’m the one whose sanity is compromised because I’m reluctant to leave the brute. But we made vows, promises. And I…well…I can’t just let that go.

A spider appears across the dinner table, and I watch it inspect the table cloth, the tiny stains soaking through the fabric. Once it notices my husband, its small legs crawl towards him before its mother peeks from the edge of the table. They must smell the food, the delicious flesh, the feast I served on the table that has yet to be eaten.

I feel shallow warm breaths on the back of my neck, and I smile when they whisper affirmations in my ear. I nod to their liking, giggle at their comments, whisper back to their satisfactions and agree to their commands.

 And then I hear the scratches at the door once more, claws digging at the surface, a knocking on the wood.

“SHUT UP!” I scream. My husband looks at me again, face becoming increasingly pale by the minute.

You see, my husband doesn’t quite understand my obsession about this holiday, doesn’t understand that Halloween and all its glory is more than just my love for grotesque things. It brings out the very best of me, discloses my capability and the beautiful darkness that revels inside of me. The voices that speak to me, that whisper and console me, grow deeper, louder, stronger whenever Halloween is near, feeling them against me when I wake, when I walk in the darkness. These demons come out to play, speak to me as we condemned those who like to prey.

But I couldn’t wait until our anniversary. No, no, they couldn’t wait any longer.

I put down my utensils and stand up, wiping my mouth across my blood-stained sleeve. I watch the spiders crawl up my husband’s naked body, thirsting to poison his blood. Frankly, I’m not sure why my husband is still holding onto his life. He’s sitting in his chair, choking on his own blood, continually looking at me when I speak, looking at me when I don’t, staring at me as if I’m insane, as if I’ve lost my mind. I find it quite hysterical that he thinks I’m going to spare his life, that suddenly I’m going to regret feeding him his favorite succulent steak and then slicing his throat in the process.

“Just give up, baby,” I smile, taking the knife in my hand. “Seriously, give up!”

I walk towards the coat closet, annoyed by the noise and constant knocking. I unlock the door, and open it, stepping back when my lovely black cat jumps out of the closet. She hisses at me in anger for sticking her in there, and when I roll my eyes at her, she turns her back to me. I watch her yellow, wide eyes stare at my husband’s corpse. She doesn’t bother to cry or even inspect the blood, but only moves closer to get a better look.

His girlfriend in the closet looks at me in horror, screaming through the tape as she squirms in the chair. Her wrists and legs are bounded by cable ties, and she is rocking back and forth, causing a knocking sound on the wooden floor.

I’m practically steaming in annoyance, grabbing her chin to keep her still, “I said QUIET! I want to eat my dinner in peace!”

I slam the door shut and lock it.

We’ll deal with her later.

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