It always starts with a boy. Occasionally its a girl but for most cases, it’s a boy. He stands beside a young woman with chestnut hair, the boy’s overtly large backpack pulling him forward into a hunch. This isn’t helping his balance as the tram rocks – and the boys around jostle the kid about. They call him names, laughing at their own childish jokes as they mock the poor boy, defenseless even in the midst of the passengers around him. The boy, of course, looks up to me with pleading eyes and I, of course, feign disinterest but make it obvious I want to help; the woman notices the exchange. The tram comes to a steady slow and the boys anticipating the inertia to follow, shove the single boy forward causing the boy to stumble and fall as the tram comes to a halt… much to the boys’ delight; she winces in pity. I step in here to help the boy up and turn with a scowl to chase the other boys off who then escape out the open doors. The boy is grateful and smiles up at me, brushing dust off his pants and I tousle his hair. She smiles at us; the young blonde boy and the tall dark haired man. “Can you believe these kids – not even a hint of remorse.” I say to her. She tucks strands of her hair behind her ear with a single finger. Flirtatious. “Kids these days” she says but her smile shows her concern is elsewhere. I smile charmingly and extend a hand,
“It is a pleasure to meet you.” I say, shaking her hand slowly, relishing the feel of her skin. We are broken from our handshake by the tram pulling away again and the action jolts her against me. Immediately my senses kick in; she smells fresh. Vibrant. The smell of some fruit scented shampoo. We step away from each other laughing in feigned embarrassment but we both know its the start of something.
At the next stop the boy stands at the doorway ready to jump off. As the doors slide open he turns back and waves at me and I wink at him – I’m pretty sure at this moment that his friends are waiting for him, ready to spend the money I’d given each of them all as part of my elaborate ruse to meet “the girl on the tram”.
So far so good.
“Hey, would you like some coffee?” I ask the woman, turning to her. She eyes me seductively, obviously thinking about it and seemingly intent on saying yes, but holding back as she feels she should; I can see it in her hazel eyes. “I like your shirt…what does it say?” she says suddenly. Of course its a ploy, attempting to distract me. I smile at her,
“I can show you…over coffee? Undressing in public has never bothered me.” I reply. She laughs melodiously before replying.
“Well…I have plans for this evening…” her eyes divert from mine in an effort to throw me off but I know she’s going to say yes; I play the part of the interested man nonetheless,
“But those plans just opened up? Hey? And you get to see my shirt properly…we got a deal?” She bites her lower lip in thought
“Only if its your treat…and I get to personally reveal your shirt”
“Oh…” I smile with genuine excitement, “Of course.”
The café is quiet, the coffee is good, the conversation is flowing; we have hit it off like a couple of school kids who have just discovered how much they have in common. The sun washes over everything in an orange hue, highlighting the lighter strands of her hair. Her laughter is soft, eyes are bright – alive. My own thoughts are consuming; eyes obsessive, hands compulsive, heart palpitating – mind focused. She drops hints about herself, her lifestyle. Single, recently employed, staying with a friend who is away with her fiance etc etc. I give her comforting facts; single, living alone with an adorable puppy, a somewhat successful freelance architect making enough to do more than live. She falls for it all and its easy to take the next step,
“Why don’t you come over to my place…we can finish this conversation over dinner – and you can get this jacket off me too.” She is not caught off-guard, a smile lights up her face
“I would love to.”
The tram ride is eventful; she giggles uncontrollably as my fingers tease various parts of her body. We are buttons away from public indecency. She doesn’t even notice where we have stepped off until the silence around us is almost palpable. She pulls away from me with slight concern etched into her smile but I smile reassuringly, taking her hand and pulling her along with me down the quiet and now darkening streets. The setting sun has dipped behind some of the buildings, letting in enough light to show the somewhat dilapidated structures surrounding us,
“Where are we going?” She asks with a nervous laugh, her eyes roving over the boarded windows and dark entryways
“To my place of course!” I say enthusiastically. She becomes reluctant and her walking slows down even as I pull her along, gently, not to frighten her. She eventually comes to a stop and I do too. “I’ve…I’ve changed my mind.”
“It’s too late now. There’s no tram coming for a few hours.”
“Its not safe. Come on, we are almost there?”
“To my place!” I fight the irritation and… and the hunger, clinging to the excitement, to the prospect. She allows me to pull her along again but she’s lost her willingness and that takes the fun away. I pull up to her, close, wrap my arms around her waist and hold her. Comfort. She holds on. Her warmth fills me up, my senses are overwhelmed; she smells delicious. I place my lips against her neck, kiss the soft skin and she sighs against me.
“Ok, but let’s hurry…this place creeps me out.” I kiss her neck again, fighting the urge rising within.
We briskly weave through the buildings while she clings to my arm. She sighs with relief as we approach a single streetlight, pulling me along faster to it. Getting there she turns around towards me, seductively, but the pursed lips and sultry eyes fade quickly into looks of revulsion.
“Oh… my…” The words rise into a scream as I snap my head forward to rip a piece of her ear off with my teeth. Her head snaps back reflexively, warm blood dripping down the side of her face as both pain and shock wash over her. Cartilage cracks against my teeth as I chew on the supple flesh, already moving forward towards more of her even as my bulky slobbering form weighs me down. In all honesty this form makes me sick, a bulbous hulking mass of fat. At the same time it liberates me, reminds me of who I am and the taste of her reminds me that I’m hungry – famished. She attempts to fight back, but she is weak from the shock and barely manages to hold my jacket. I knock her down to the floor. She crumples from the blow and stares up at me her lips quivering, eyes wide and afraid; they see the monster that I am, ready to devour her as I lick my lips. Her eyes drop to see the wording on my shirt, revealed fully now on my expanded belly:
Hi, my name is Gluttony.
I wrote this piece for two reasons. The first is for my Wages of Sin short stories in which I personify aspects of Sin, specifically the ever popular Seven Deadly Sins. You can see the other stories I wrote in the heading above under Wages of Sin.
The second reason I wrote this, was for the book Dark Tales which is an eBook anthology of horror short stories –
“Thirteen of horror’s newest and most talented authors have converged together to bring you one twisted anthology guaranteed to make your skin crawl and your eyeballs melt”.
Only one of my stories made it to the anthology (which you can buy on Amazon and was written for the charity Scares That Cares) and although this one didn’t, I’m still quite proud of it; I still get a chill reading it.