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My obsession started at an early age, when I was about seven. It started off as just curiosity and ended up a burning desire. I was told many times that eating another of your own species was disgusting and wrong, but I didn’t see why. It seemed perfectly fine to me, animals do it, why can’t I? Over the years, I had learned to suppress my desire to taste human flesh, occupying my mind with work and everyday life. But … as I stared into the glass case filled with choice cuts of meat, those feelings and desires floated back to the surface. I wished that the glass case was filled with human breast fillets and rump roast instead of beef, lamb, and pork.
The man behind the counter called number 33, which was me. I stepped up to the counter; the butcher had a thick black mustache and wore rimless glasses. He resembled like an actor I’d seen in a low budget horror film. “What can I get you doll?” he had a pleasantly deep voice. “A pound of brisket please.” I replied, my mind still deep in the cannibalistic gutter. He nodded and went to cutting me a slab of beef.
“Kaitlin?” someone tapped me on the shoulder. I turned around. A young man stood there, holding a brown paper bag full of groceries in one arm. He looked to be in his early twenties. “Oh sorry, I thought you were someone else” he flashed me an apologetic smile. I smiled back and turned to face the counter. The young man had distracted me from my thoughts. Although it was probably a good thing that he had taken my mind off of devouring human flesh, I was still irritated. The butcher finished wrapping my brisket in parchment paper and handed it to me. I paid him and started to leave the meat market.
“Hey, my name’s Drew.”
“I’ve never seen you here before, are you new to the area?
“No, what do you want?”
I glared at him, my mood turning a nasty shade of grey like the sky above us. He frowned and stepped back “sorry” he muttered. I felt bad after that, no one had really tried to be my friend since I was a little kid. The wind whipped my onyx black hair around my face as I followed him; I pulled my coat tighter around my body. His vivid copper hair stuck out brilliantly against the slate colored city. I called after him “Drew!” he whirled around. “I didn’t think you wanted to talk to me” he shifted the bag of groceries in his muscular arms. I sighed “I’m sorry, I’ve been having a rough week and I’m not in a great mood” I explained. His frown dissolved and was replaced with a sweet smile. That’s when I realized how attractive he was.
Drew had soft green eyes, they were almost turquoise. Freckles dotted the bridge of his nose and his wavy copper hair hung down to his shoulders. When he smiled, the bridge of his nose crinkled.
“It’s fine, do you want to go get a cup of coffee with me?” he asked, raising an eyebrow. I bit my lip, he was awfully straight forward, but I didn’t mind. “I would like to, but I have meat that I need to refrigerate. Maybe some other time?” the wind blew my dark hair across my face. I reached up and pushed my hair behind my ear. “Well, why don’t you go home and stick that brisket in the freezer? We can meet up at the coffee place next to the meat market.” He flashed me another gorgeous smile.
When he spoke my eyes were drawn to his mouth. He had perfect teeth. They were pearl white and straight as a razor. His lips looked unbelievably soft. Drew had just a little bit of scuffle around his chin as if he hadn’t shaved that day. I just nodded, unable to speak, once again consumed by my thoughts.
As I walked away from Drew, in the direction of my apartment building, I wondered if this would ever go anywhere. I’d never been on a date before, due to the fact that I’d spent most of my life either living with my domineering grandmother or locked away in a mental institute. I’d never had much interest in men either; they had caused me nothing but problems. There was something about Drew though … I couldn’t quite put my finger on it. When I walked away from him, I could still see him smiling in my mind’s eye. I enjoyed the feeling, despite the fact that it confused me.
The foyer of my apartment was void of people. The doorman, James, got into a fist fight with a religious zealot and was still in the hospital. I took the elevator to my apartment on the third floor. It was small and only had one bedroom, but that was enough for me. I had no friends and no family. Nobody lived with me.
My mother was murdered by my stepfather when I was six. He stabbed her to death, while I watched from under the bed. After I was sure he had left, I crawled out from under the bed and sat with her until she died. I still have nightmares about her dying.
I shoved the brisket in the freezer and leaned back against the counter. Painful memories swept over me, taking hold of me like the dark evil tentacles of a sea monster. My heart ached as I thought of my mother bleeding to death on her bedroom floor. I had begged her not to leave me. She promised that she would, it was a promise she didn’t keep. My mother died holding my hand, sputtering, coughing up blood. I stayed there until the police came and dragged me away from her body. My stepfather was never found.
I wiped a tear from under my eye; I wanted to forget everything that had happened. I didn’t want to wake up screaming anymore. It was over. She was dead, why couldn’t I let go? I sighed and ran my fingers through my hair; I had to meet up with Drew. I took a deep breath in and then slowly let it out. One thing I hated was keeping people waiting.
The weather outside was horrible, rain fell in fat heavy drops that sounded like marbles when they hit the sidewalk. The wind forced them to fall sideways and soak the legs of the people like me, who were unfortunate enough to have to walk. My car sat below the apartment building, nice and dry. It would be too much of a hassle to pull it out just for a two block drive. I opened my umbrella and started walking. I pulled my coat tighter around me. The icy wind stung my face. The rain felt like needles against my skin.
Cars maneuvered without issue on the sloping streets of Seattle, they were unfazed by the wind and rain. Wet and cold was normal for the area. It was just another day for the strangers shielded by glass and metal.
The coffee place was nestled between the meat market and a small, family run spice shop. On a day that wasn’t drenched by the rain, you could smell all the different spices as if they were right next to you.
Inside the coffee shop, people lounged in overstuffed armchairs and sipped frothy cappuccinos. Some typed away on their laptops, oblivious to the world, drinking espresso and black coffee. Soft jazz and classical music usually played on the speakers, giving the coffee and biscotti scented café a cozy atmosphere. I pushed the glass door open; Drew sat in one of the overstuffed armchairs next to a large window. I closed my umbrella and started towards him. “Hey” I said softly, sliding into the black suede armchair next to him. He turned his attention from the window and grinned “hey, did you walk here?” he asked, looking at my soaked jeans. I nodded; he glanced back out the window.
“Why? It’s pouring”
“It would take me longer to pull my car out of the garage than it took to walk here”
“You must be freezing”
“Yeah, just a little bit”
He got to his feet and walked around the corner to the counter. By the time I had a chance to wonder what he was doing, he had placed a cappuccino in my hands. Drew sank into the plush armchair next to me. His lips curled into a cute smile. I could help but feel happy when I was around him, his attitude was contagious. I thanked him and sipped my beverage. We sat in silence for the first few minutes. “What do you do for a living?” he quizzed, turning to face me.
“I’m a tattoo artist, what about you?”
“Really? You don’t look like a mechanic”
“What’s a mechanic supposed to look like?”
“A big guy, tons of muscle, short hair”
He laughed and leaned back in his chair. He has a nice laugh and a wonderful voice. Any negative thoughts that whirled around inside my brain had vanished. It made me glad that I’d gone after him earlier. A smile danced across my lips, I enjoyed his company.
As we sat, comfy in our armchairs, my mind started to take a walk back down cannibal lane. I wondered what his flesh would taste like and what kind of recipes that I could use to cook him. I was curious about what he would think of my secret desires. There was no way I would ever tell him though. People didn’t react well to cannibalism, so I kept my mouth shut.
“Avalon?” he pulled me out of my thoughts once again. I looked over at him, a smile on my face “yes?” I chirped. He chuckled “daydreaming?” he asked playfully. I grinned “you could say that” I took a sip of my cappuccino. Silence, once again. We both seemed perfectly at ease just sitting together in each other’s company. Drew was still smiling.
“So, where are you originally from?” he asked. “Louisiana, I was sent to live here with my grandmother after my mom died when I was six” I tucked a lock of raven black hair behind my ear.
“Oh, how did she die? If you don’t mind me asking.”
“My stepfather killed her”
“Oh my god … I’m so sorry”
I paused, my lips twitched into a faint smile “why? It’s not your fault” I murmured. He reached over and touched my hand; his skin was soft and warm. He didn’t have the hands of a mechanic; his touch was so gentle and comforting. “Because I know how it feels to lose someone you love.” He held my hand in his. Nobody but my mother had ever shown me any kind of compassion. My grandmother wasn’t a caring person and I had no friends. I’d grown up alone in a sense. Drew let go of my hand and we both went silent.
Outside, the rain had stopped falling; sunlight peaked through the smoky clouds. I stared out the window, smiling to myself. I wondered if Drew tasted as sweet as he acted.
“What’s on your mind?”
“You seemed lost in thought. It makes me curious”
I didn’t dare tell him what I was really thinking. If he knew, he would’ve run. He laughed “come on, tell me” he urged. I sat my empty coffee cup on the table in front of us “I was just thinking that you’re really sweet” I replied, leaving out some major details. I glanced at the clock on the wall across from us; it had been almost an hour since I’d arrived at the café. “I should probably head home, I need to feed my dog” I said softly. He nodded “want a ride?” he asked. I nodded and got to my feet.
Outside, the sky was beginning to turn orange and pink. The sun was sinking behind the pewter city. Drew’s gold Trans Am sparkled in the sunlight. Seagulls and pigeons soared above us, roosting on buildings and streets lights. The wind chilled my bones as Drew unlocked the car. He opened the passenger door for me and I slid into the leather seat. He shut the door behind me and got into the driver’s seat. “Where to?” he started up the car. The Trans Am’s engine purred beautifully as he drove up and down the hills and around the monstrous buildings. I gave him directions and watched the cars zoom by us. Drew sang along to the song on the radio, he had a beautiful singing voice. I sang along with him, he grinned at me.
Once again, my eyes were drawn to his mouth, his perfect teeth and lips. I’d never felt love from anyone but my mother. I could hardly remember what that felt like, was this it? When he smiled at me, I got butterflies in my stomach and I blushed a little. This had to be love. It was exactly how people described it in books and movies. Maybe that was the reason I wanted to eat him?
I had been so lost in thought, that I hadn’t noticed that we were parked outside my apartment building. Drew was looking at me “you ok?” he asked, a concerned expression on his freckled face. I nodded “yeah, just thinking” I unbuckled my seatbelt and stepped out of the car. He followed me to the door “you do a lot of that” he said softly. The wind tousled his wavy copper hair. I didn’t reply, I was pondering whether or not I should invite him up to my apartment.
“Do you want to come inside?” I bit my bottom lip, hoping that he would say yes. He nodded, not even stopping to think about it. He followed me to the elevator and down the hall to my apartment. I unlocked the door and let him inside.
Drew glanced around my living room, his eyes resting on a sculpture I had made a few years ago when I was in the mental institute. It was a woman’s torso sculpted from clay. Her bones protruded from open wounds on her chest, back, and sides. Her spine poked out of her back. In my eyes, the zombie torso was beautiful, but to some others, it was disgusting.
“Did you make that?” he nodded toward the sculpture. “Yeah” I smiled. “It’s fantastic” he replied. I was thrilled that he wasn’t grossed out by my morbid zombie sculpture. As he looked around, I made my way to the sculpture. It wasn’t very large, about as long as my forearm. It didn’t weigh too much either, maybe five pounds at the most.
I picked it up, hoping he wouldn’t notice. My fingers ran down the sculpture’s back, over the bumpy spine. The clay was cool to the touch. I took a deep breath and swung the sculpture just as he turned around. It hit him on the side of the head, near his hairline. Bits of paint and clay chipped off and fell to the ground. His skull cracked on impact. He collapsed, blood from the wound stained my white carpet like red wine on a tablecloth. I dropped the sculpture and flopped down on my couch, breathing heavy. My hands were trembling. I’d never attacked anyone before. My heart was racing.
After I regained my composure, I got to my feet and ambled over to Drew’s unconscious body. I grabbed his arms and dragged him over to a chair in my dining room. I pulled him into the chair. He slumped forward; I pushed him back and brushed his hair off of his face. Blood oozed down his forehead. I grabbed a roll of duct tape from the junk drawer and started to wrap the tape around his chest, arms, and the chair. I sat the empty roll on the table and plopped down in the chair next to him. His breathing was slow and shallow, it made me worry. I didn’t want him to die like that.
I reached up and started wiping the blood from his forehead with a dishcloth that had been sitting on the table. His eyes flickered open and he groaned “A-Avalon?” he straightened up “what the hell is going on?” he was starting to panic. I smiled and brushed a strand of red hair off of his handsome face. He pulled away from me, finally realizing what had happened. I got to my feet and wandered into the kitchen, Drew watched my every move.
I preheated the oven to 450 degrees and pulled a butcher knife out of the knife block. Its stainless steel blade shone in the light. Drew’s green blue eyes got wide.
“Avalon … what are you doing?”
“Getting ready for dinner”
“… What’s for dinner?”
I waltzed over to him and gently let the flat side of the blade glide across his cheek. He flinched. I smiled as I played with a lock of his lustrous red hair. “You are silly” I purred. He looked absolutely terrified. I sat next to him “I’m doing this for us. I love you Drew and I don’t want you to leave me. If I do this, we can be together forever.” I explained, toying with the knife. He stared at me.
“That’s what the doctors said, but they let me out of the hospital anyway.”
“Let me go you sick-”
I pressed a finger to his lips “hush, or I’ll tape your mouth shut” I growled. He fell silent and I returned to the kitchen, turning the radio on as I entered. Drew watched me as I pulled out a glass baking pan and lined it with tinfoil. I hummed along to the song that played on the radio. What I was doing felt perfectly natural. I felt like Drew was supposed to be there and I was meant to eat him.
I grabbed a bottle of painkillers and dumped five into my hand. My intentions weren’t to torture him; I didn’t want him to feel any pain. I filled a glass with red wine. I sat the glass on the table in front of him. “I don’t want you to suffer” I whispered. He didn’t object as I put the pills in his mouth and brought the glass to his lips. He drained the glass.
As I watched him, I felt a pang of sadness. I would never get to see his sweet smile again or hear his gentle voice. I shook it off. There was no reason to be sad. Drew would be with me forever, he would never be able to abandon me like my mother did.
I leaned forward and kissed his forehead “don’t be afraid, I’ll make this quick. I promise.” I murmured. He didn’t answer. I grabbed the knife. I could feel his hear racing as I pressed my hand to his chest. My own heart fluttered like a tiny bird trapped in my ribcage. “Don’t do this …please” he pleaded in a hushed voice. I stroked his hair “I love you” I whispered, slitting his throat from ear to ear. He gasped; blood spurted from the wound, staining my cream colored shirt. Drew was dead in less than a minute. My heart pounded in my chest like a drum. I breathed in, the air smelled like copper. There was so much blood. His eyes were glazed over; I hated the way they looked.
I reached up and closed his eyes. I sliced open his stomach. Drew’s intestines spilled out of his abdominal cavity. They reminded me of snakes, writhing on the blood soaked floor. I hesitantly reached inside of the wound. His entrails were warm and slimy. They were pleasantly smooth against my skin. I felt around until I found his liver. I pulled the organ out of his body. The liver was dark reddish brown and slippery. I rolled it between my hands as I strolled over to the pan sitting on the stove. I sat the organ in the pan just as th oven finished preheating. It was dinner time.