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by Gloria Watts

She stumbles; falls against me and the fresh clean smell of her fills my head. Stick-thin with a cloud of red-gold hair, she barely reaches my shoulder. ‘Sorry’, she says with a half smile, but her cloud-grey eyes hold a gleam that says something else.

We see each other every day for the next two weeks. But today she rings to say she can’t meet me, she’s too busy. I think it’s a lie, but what the hell. I’m not feeling too good; my limbs ache and my head feels muzzy. She doesn’t call and despite the growing tiredness that saps my energy, I wonder if I’ll ever see her again. A fever grows in me. Hot rods of pain gnaw at my insides and my muscles cramp. Half in and out of consciousness, I lie on the bed, my breathing the only sound in the room.

I dream. She comes every night and winds her arms around me; bands of steel that hold me tight against sagging breasts. Her rough lips kiss and suck at my body. My breath escapes and she draws it in through yellowed teeth, as she covers me with her bony body and steals my flesh. Now she is beautiful and laughs. Her red-gold hair flames in the moonlight as she smiles at me. I know now she will come again.

Copyright © 2006 by Gloria Watts

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