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Badar Consultant Agency
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0 - Black Heart - 1E
Jan 13, 2018
9 Mins Read
No Plagiarism!kMX4RKqru7RkrNxA0JEbposted on PENANA

It had been a bad idea two weeks before, and it was still a bad idea. Woody knew he was riding a knife’s edge, drinking a glass of apple moonshine in Conna’s apartment. This is where it ends, he thought morosely. This is where I’m going to kill her… Make an excuse. Tell her you’re not attracted to her. Lie to her, even if she doesn’t believe you. She’ll let you leave in the end… and she’ll come looking for you all the same, won’t she? Damn it. He took two gulps and poured himself another four fingers of liquid courage. One way or another, he thought darkly, Conna is going to die today or a couple weeks from now. Even if I put distance between us now, something will hunt her down.copyright protection28PENANAQHEYPgOx0B

Something is going to eat her, one way or another.copyright protection28PENANARlnOpfyPH3

He finished the glass and poured another, hoping beyond hope that if he stayed blackout drunk, he wouldn't be able to get it up.  Maybe he’d forget she ever existed. Maybe her death would be that final straw. Maybe it was time to jump off a tall building or suck-start a shotgun. It wouldn’t be fair to hurt her, not after everything she’d already been through…copyright protection28PENANAXzopmVZmED

But everything in him railed against the thought of suicide, especially that other part of him.copyright protection28PENANAxukctashHt

He’d finished his fifth glass when she finally came out of the bathroom, toweling her hair dry. She was wearing an over-large Dareklind Knights t-shirt that hit her mid-thigh. She smiled at him primely when his eyes panned down her and didn’t linger on her left arm or her left knee. They did, however, linger on the white and silver lines that covered most of her lower body. The majority of them were straight and clean, about an inch or so long. Others were jagged, bloodlessly blue with faint, bruise colored pinpricks along their lengths. She was interesting to look at; eye candy in so many different respects. Some of the lines made Woody angry… some of them had him intrigued.copyright protection28PENANASzPgnevW4c

Nevertheless, he kept his distance from her.copyright protection28PENANA02Mpr8kruZ

“It was infection,” she said, throwing the towel over her shoulder. “Bits of rust and metal and stuff that they couldn’t dig out. I was fifteen when it happened. Me and my brother were playing in this abandoned saw mill. Lots of kids still play there, I think.” She came over and poured herself a glass of moonshine and sipped experimentally before setting it on her coffee table. She said to him, “We were up on some scaffolding when Jude pushed me off into a mulching machine. It wasn’t on, but all the old blades were still sharp. I got scared and tried to get out, but I couldn’t climb out of the sloped walls. I was too short to catch the lip of it.”copyright protection28PENANA42upfXAIeh

She sat down on her couch and pulled a sock over her left knee. Her leg’s prosthetic went over it and she twisted it until it was set comfortably on before testing her weight on it. “If I had stayed calm, the damage wouldn’t have been so bad. I had fallen on my left side, so I had lacerations all up and down my body, but the real damage happened when I kept jumping up and down, stabbing my feet over and over again. I slipped on my own blood and fell back into the machine, slipped and slid and impaled myself over and over again.”copyright protection28PENANAb6Q0nefTbk

Conna smiled as she met Woody’s eyes. She shrugged as she grabbed up her faux left hand and strapped it to her arm. “Anyway, Jude brought help and they got to me before I could bleed to death. Toxic shock set in soon after that and then they told my parents they couldn’t save pieces of me without killing me. So I told ‘em they could cut them off. I kept reassuring my parents that I wouldn’t miss them--that somehow I’d learn to live without. I’d be okay.” She snorted, looking down at her teal limbs with a quiet, reserved fondness. “I haven’t talked to my parents in a long time. I can’t stand seeing them look at me. I can’t stand seeing that look in their eyes… Everytime I think about it, it makes me mad. They knew I’d regret my decision for a while, but mostly they pity me. They never thought I’d do anything with my life in my condition. They thought I was made… and broken… for nothing.”copyright protection28PENANA6cnSBO0Vgv

She looked at him then and pat the cushion next to her. “You’re making me nervous.”copyright protection28PENANAUlxoKMmluA

He balked a little and sat down heavily, spilling a bit of moonshine in the process.copyright protection28PENANACGHtH4HXXT

She laughed, handing him a tissue from the box on the coffee table. “Anyway, I’m doing fine now. I’m twenty-six, no kids, no debt, and I do what I love for a living, so it’s whatever.”copyright protection28PENANAh35EVGtVCJ

“I don’ think you’ve ever actu’lly told me what you do for a livin’,” Woody said.copyright protection28PENANAqx4YWPLiag

“What do you do for a living?” she asked.copyright protection28PENANASNWzgEEYBB

“I’m a‘tween jobs at the moment,” he said quietly. “But I’ve got savings…”copyright protection28PENANARSFWxBD1wf

“Uh huh,” she said, and he wasn’t sure if she believed him. “I’m a whore.”copyright protection28PENANALXNPWJFH1Q

If he’d had a mouthful of moonshine in his mouth, he would have sprayed it. “Huh?”copyright protection28PENANAYTDVtUz7Sa

“I’m a whore,” she said matter-of-factly as she took another sip of her drink. “I escort people and then I have sex with them for money, sometimes.” She sighed then. “I… I probably should have mentioned that way earlier, right? Sorry. I forget sometimes.”copyright protection28PENANAJJ3oGAZkBw

“You forget?copyright protection28PENANAznumdr6S97

“Well yeah. I don’t do it so much anymore, so it’s easy to forget that that’s the vocation my lifestyle is based on… And most everybody doesn’t care that I do it, since I don’t answer to a pimp or do drugs or anything. The neighbors think I’m some fancy call lady with class, but really I’m just picky about my clientele. I’ve got rules.” She finished off her glass and proffered it to him. “I write too. Mostly fiction, but it puts a little bread on the table. I’d do that full time if I thought it would do me any good, but I’m basically a hobbiest. I don’t have the patience to be serious about it.”copyright protection28PENANAJ71m2vhBC9

Woody poured her another glass and sat down next to her after handing it over. “Used to work construction,” he said. “‘Fore that, I was a uh… a vagabond… Mostly worked on farms.”copyright protection28PENANAMmTPLApLU1

“You don’t talk like a high school dropout, so what got you into that?” Conna asked.copyright protection28PENANAhuoMRBdXun

He huffed a laugh. “I killed a man. I had to keep movin’ around.”copyright protection28PENANA4du6AxBR9e

“Who was he?” she asked.copyright protection28PENANA1VBVKmva7q

“My dad,” he said, finishing his sixth glass.copyright protection28PENANAcpUBbMdpJH

“Why’d you kill him?”copyright protection28PENANANOVhVwPwnY

“Was an accident mostly. I didn’ know what I was doin’ an’ got mad at him an’ ate him.”copyright protection28PENANALpUmlEIQPQ

“Why would you eat him?” she demanded.copyright protection28PENANAh1fcCrYPRI

Woody shrugged, defensive. “I dunno--What do things do when they’re hungry?”copyright protection28PENANAxExtVsZLZn

“That’s a fair point,” Conna said reasonably, filling her third glass to the brim this time. “So… Did you really kill your last stalker?”copyright protection28PENANAJKMD67iPY7

No!” Woody barked, laughing. “No! I jus’ scared her an’ she backed off… But you…” He waggled a finger at her, a proud smile on his face. “You called my bluff! You’re too smart for your own good…” He sobered a bit then, his eyes wandering to the glass in his hands. He put his chin to his chest and said, “Y’know… when you were in that machine… an’ you kept jumpin’ up an’ down… ‘cause all y’wanted to do was get out… I feel like that every moment of my life. Tryin’ to escape… but jus’ killin’ myself faster.” He put his free hand to his face and rubbed at his eyes. “I’m tired of runnin’… but I don’t like hurting people more.”copyright protection28PENANAFg9UsMmrBd

“So… What can you do to stop yourself?” Conna asked quietly.copyright protection28PENANAa9RHCN9Cy8

“Short of blowin’ my brains out?” Woody put a finger to his head and mimed a gunshot. He shook his head. “Forget it… No cure for the shit I’ve got… Hell, according to every expert in the real world, I’m not even supposed to have it…”copyright protection28PENANAZhSLVZTePS

“So what is it?” Conna asked, on the edge of her seat.copyright protection28PENANAlu8vpBhL3T

Woody set a cool, golden gaze on her. “Noooope. I’m not that drunk, sweetheart.”copyright protection28PENANAYd2PUFC4ha

“You’re a cannibal, aren’t you?”copyright protection28PENANAdhs63o5WCU

“Yep,” Woody declared. “I’m a bonafide cannibal.”copyright protection28PENANAPYpXtOzKAC

“Damn. I thought I had it,” Conna said. She bit at a fingernail as she looked him over. “You’re not a vampire, are you?”copyright protection28PENANADyPGoKm1PE

Woody held his sides as he laughed. “A--A vam--!” Tears swelled in his eyes and he wiped at them, but a whole new round of giggles kept him from taking her seriously when he noticed she was glaring at him in annoyance. After the third round of laughter, Conna put her chin in her teal hand and just gave him a tired look. At long last, he got control of himself and let out a calming breath before he waved a dismissive hand at her. “Fuck vampires,” he said passionately.copyright protection28PENANAc2VF8Y3eUG

“You’re a werewolf, aren’t you?” Conna stated.copyright protection28PENANA8KFyH9nhTX

He frowned at her. “You don’t really believe that, do you?”copyright protection28PENANATxwJeVuAWj

“More than I believe you’re a cannibal.”copyright protection28PENANAe9laOu8SI3

“You can always tell if I’m lying, right?”copyright protection28PENANAzQNepvnMMh

“Yes, I can,” she said starkly.copyright protection28PENANAKGOgq3cUE8

He took a deep breath. I guess I am that drunk. He said, “I’m a werewolf.”copyright protection28PENANAeThA364bYM

Her eyes widened and she took a drink of moonshine. “Holy fucking shit.”copyright protection28PENANAexD2L2x9Pj

“You’re so faking right now.”copyright protection28PENANAqz0fQqi2lW

She smirked at him. “How could you tell?”copyright protection28PENANAbzQt9Tzd4x

“Too much,” he said. Then Woody mumbled, “You’re not gonna ask how, or…?”copyright protection28PENANA0j4DlQGSZv

She shook her head. “I don’t care. Because you don’t like that part of you. I wanna know about the parts you do like… like how you’re patient, and you’re funny, and you’re a bit of a cinephile like me. I don’t really care about all the other stuff, because it’s that stuff that’s making you leave… and I want to remind you about all the good stuff that could… I dunno… make you stay.”copyright protection28PENANAcp5cFVDYYY

“I can’t stay, Conna,” Woody reminded her.copyright protection28PENANAV9xLCHEbVJ

“Stupid! Don’t you remember? You’re supposed to pretend you’re staying.”copyright protection28PENANAJV3NypEeiE

Woody, a bit too tipsy to string more than two coherent thoughts together, simply replied, “Oh yeah.” He scooted closer to her on the couch then and she eyed him a little warily. “But… I’ll need to convince you, right?” She smelled like her soap; a masculine mixture of sandalwood and cinnamon. It made him feel more sleepy than invigorated, like laying under a tree on a hot summer day. He closed his eyes and reached for her.copyright protection28PENANAKu3PHJKkHJ

Conna said in a low, husky voice, “Remember, I’ll tell if you’re lying.”copyright protection28PENANAiCSQnvx2Ht

“I’ll ‘member,” he whispered against her neck, drawing her into him.copyright protection28PENANALqoPeXeScw

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