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Best Served Any Way You Can Get It

by Francis Curt O'Neill 13 days ago in Short Story

Make a meal out of murder...

Kill them with kindness? I'd rather do it with cake. Side serving of malice.

Bake with intention.

Follow each step with meticulous care.

Take. Your. Time.

Savour the preparation as much as the payoff.

A clean workspace is a happy workspace.

You fed me the same lines, didn't you?

I grew fat off your saccharine lies, laid thick upon my all too willing ears.

Do you play with their hair as you did mine? Tousled through fingers I thought belonged only to me, adorned with the promise of a lifetime shared. Do they make you smile? Honest and full, without any sprinkling of guilt?

The bed is not cold or empty. I fill it. Red hot anger to call company. It will not leave me. It cannot. Not until my task is done.

What attention starved idiot clings to your arm this week? Revolving door of fancy. You're too old for them. You know that. But that doesn't seem to matter, does it? ...What you knew. Who you were...

You knew me, every inch. And yet you look upon my face like you forgot everything, every caress, every hold.

Greying fool, the pot bellied pig that knows not when it is full. What do you follow the best meal of your life with, exactly? Digestifs are typically aged, considered, complimentary, not hot pink teens with daddy issues. Always uncouth, never suited to the pageantry of formal dining.

It's not like they care, so you bought them. As you did with so much in the end. What's love and effort and trust when you can toss a few dirty coins. Tarnished like so much.

I suppose you will always have money. Even after everything...

Two for the ferryman.

I arrange to meet. Finalize the divorce, sign away our old life. I kept this as ammunition, the one guarantee. I could not depend on your kindness anymore, but your cruelty? Oh that was assured and intimately known.

Here again. The restaurant where we met. Where I apprenticed and you fawned, where every anniversary we chose something sweet. Until you stopped choosing me.

NOT SO AMUSE-BOUCHE

I make him wait. Watch him as he pulls up in his big car. Big car for a big big man. I hope he is dulled by nostalgia, clouds of alcohol like poison at the bar. I hope every kindness sits in his throat and he mourns, the greatest days of love he will ever know, burning away.

"You look good."

"I know."

"Thank you for er... being civil."

"I'm not being anything. Let's just... get this over with."

"You don't have to be like that. I still -"

"No. No you don't. You especially do not get to tell me what to be like. Not anymore."

"Ok. Ok."

He fumbles with papers. Giant stickers saying "sign here" like I'm an idiot. A few decisive strokes in crimson red.

"Have you er... eaten?" God I hate his small talk. "I heard Chef Pierre just launched a new tasting menu."

"And where did you hear that? At the school yard? Waiting to pick up your latest fling?"

"There it is." I enjoy watching him recoil. Tense with anger. Reassurance this isn't my mistake. He is exactly who he want's to be.

"I mean it must be nice. What with the pre arranged curfews and early bedtimes... you could never really last that long anyway. Tell me, do you see your reflection in their braces?"

"Sigh... I really, really thought that maybe, you'd've got a bit of perspective. You know, finally start acting your age. But I can see I was mistaken."

"Aww do you mean like you were about me?"

"I -"

"You know what. I will have some cake... Waiter? One slice of the... Chocolate Indulgence please. Thank you." Poor boy doesn't know what to do, other than scurry. "Do you want me to feed it to you? No? Not even for old times sake?"

"You're making a scene." I forgot how fidgety he gets.

"Hand me the papers. I'll use them as a napkin afterwards."

"This isn't funny."

"Am I laughing?"

Fitting that you could cut the silence with a blunt spoon.

A shaking hand places a thick slab of cake on the table. Layers of silky ganache over an impossibly light sponge. It looks good, I must admit. Enjoyable under any other circumstance.

"Do you expect me to watch you eat?"

"Hmph... Wouldn't know. You could always join me. Or is er, all your money earmarked for Candy and Roxxy?"

"I can't. I can't do this. God knows I've tried."

"Oh, of course, you're right... You really could stand to lose some weight. Look at you Mr self improvement!"

"I had hoped to do this with some grace. But you make it impossible. My lawyers will be in touch."

Touch.

The cake taunts my petulance. And with that tantrum he's gone.

Alone. I lift the spoon... tastes bitter.

What? You really thought I was going to kill him in the middle of the restaurant? Poisoned dessert, kitchen knives, wring his stupid neck?..With all those witnesses? No. That's not what he deserves. I'm going to savour it.

Every.

Bite.

Short Story
Francis Curt O'Neill
Francis Curt O'Neill
Read next: Pluto Is Back Again!!!
Francis Curt O'Neill

Writer and artist based in the north of England, passionate about all forms of storytelling.

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