41 comments

Suspense Fiction Romance

My boyfriend knows the day I’ll die. He sees the future, not in a glass ball, but at the bottom of his nightly whiskey. He’ll never tell me and try as I might, all I see in the glass bottle are dawn dusted droplets. 

He comes over a lot more now. It’s the result of him moving into a house a few doors down. We’ve been together for barely more than two months now—but since then, the nightmares have kicked in. I wake up every day with swollen, red dots on my wrists. Rhys says they’re probably from thrashing around subconsciously in the middle of the night. I believe him when the bruises dissolve into violet flowers. 

My cats don’t like him. Not Harley Quinn or Captain Hook. He laughs when I call out their names. Thing 1, Thing 2. They hiss back. Cheshire Kat, King Simba. Rhys buries his face in his whiskey. Snow White, Katnip Everdeen. He offers me some, tipping the bottle into my glass and fumbling with the cork. Draco Meowfoy. 

The felines sit around me in a half-moon. When I wrap my fingers around the glass, Harley Quinn runs her nails along my ankles. It slips. It shatters. It bleeds. 

Rhys jumps up. He insists I need a washcloth. Rushing over to the sink, he holds it under the trickle of water and watches the colors darken. There’s red stripes on the cloth so when he presses it to my ankle, the blood dissolves into it. 

I’m concerned about him and my circulation because he’s clutching my foot and insisting he wipe it clean. I see Snow White beside me, my slim cat that reminds me of crumbling snowflakes and my parents’ thin lips when they turn white. In her mouth she’s carrying a box of band aids. 

Rhys titters nervously, “Your cat’s smart.” 

Snow White’s ears fold when I scratch behind them. “She sure is. Put a band aid on it and I’ll be fine.” 

Rhys gives me a tight-lipped smile and sets the stained washcloth down. I admire the curves in his skin when he pinches a band aid with his thumb and pointer finger. He peels it off and sticks it to my ankle. I smile back, but by then his is already gone. 

Snow White picks up the cloth in her dainty mouth. It droops around the edges and I want to laugh because it looks like she has a bloody mustache. Rhys’ hand fans out across the floor, searching for it, and finally he sees my cat in front of him. 

“Damn cat,” he mutters under his breath before Snow White scampers away. 

* * *

My boyfriend kisses the pulse on my neck. His fingers even linger there sometimes just to feel my heartbeat. It’s uncomfortable but I let him do it. It’s cute. My cats disagree. They lurk in the shadows and whine until I can’t stand the noise anymore. 

That’s when Rhys locks us in my bedroom. The doorknob is brass and cold just like his skin. Our breaths are mixed but the way he cradles me is unforgiving. I bite playfully at his bottom lip and he goes rigid. 

I don’t know what I’ve done but soon enough he’s back to kissing. His hands are knotted in my hair and we’re stumbling towards the bed. Catnip Everdeen’s paws on our door become vague and unfamiliar. 

“Wait, Rhys.” 

He stops. 

“I don’t want to do this now. I’m hungry and I forgot to feed the cats. Let me change into PJ’s and I’ll meet you in the kitchen.” 

I think he’ll smile at my saying PJ’s because he thinks it’s childish. Instead he untangles himself from me and straightens his posture. I also think he’ll say something but he doesn’t. 

Thing 1 and King Simba meet us in the kitchen, meowing and eyeing the food bag. I have on a lacy nightgown with intricate patterns that Rhys likes. He glances at it as if he was trying to remember its name. 

I pour kibble into little yellow bowls for all nine cats. They eat with their eyes wide open but their heads down low. 

Rhys leans against the counter, watching the cats with utter disgust. “So, what are you gonna eat?”

“Toast with jam,” I answer thoughtlessly. 

He nods. I drag my weary body over to the pantry and find the plain Levain bread that’s tasteless but fine for a midnight snack. I cross the kitchen to search for the bread knife. Rhys’ eyebrows go up when seeing the large silver knife. I pretend not to notice. 

“Babe,” he whispers, coming up behind me and wrapping his hands around my chest. “Could I have a piece too?”

I’ve already cut mine so I position the knife back on the bread. “Sure. Do you want jam or butter?” 

Rhys is wordless. His breath tickles my neck and as I’m in the middle of slicing another piece of bread, he jerks my arm violently. The knife shoots forward and skins the tip of my middle finger. 

I grit my teeth and examine the cut. 

Rhys inhales sharply and backs away. “Babe, I’m so sorry. It was an accident. You keep making toast and I’ll get a band aid.” He rushes away. 

I laugh. It’s forced. “Rhys, it’s okay. A band aid would be nice, thanks.” There’s only a droplet of blood and I lick it up with my other finger. 

Rhys hurries back in with a confused and panicked emotion melting onto his face. He spots the band aids next to Draco Meowfoy. 

Once I'm all bandaged up and Rhys is satisfied with his work, we head back into the bedroom. I offer him my piece of toast but he doesn’t take in. 

“You’re so clumsy today,” I tell him. He ruffles the blankets on the bed to try and disguise his silence. 

* * *

My boyfriend isn’t in bed when I wake up. There’s a strange aroma in the air that I haven’t smelled since I was eight years old. It’s warm and fills my nostrils with each breath. 

The welts on my wrists have grown bigger. So red and disgusting that blood is seeping from them in ribbons and soaking into the bed.   

I get out of the bed in curiosity and to clean up my arm. My eyes are still adjusting to the light when I trip over my own feet into the kitchen. 

There are voices leaking out from the TV. The volume is low but as soon as I see it I see Rhys. He’s seated at the four person dining room table. In front of him is a whiskey bottle and large platter of scrambled eggs with steam dancing off of it. There’s also a plate of bacon and orange juice. 

I stride around the table, my jaw about to unhinge. Rhys has never cooked for me before. I didn’t even know he was talented in the kitchen. 

There’s a note taped to my orange juice glass. It’s scrawled in blue pen and smudged at the edges. 

I’m sorry about last night

I touch the note with my bandaged finger and smile, pressing my lips together. I forgive him but I don’t need to say it now. “Rhys, have some eggs or bacon.” 

He shakes his head and his amber eyes are glued to the TV. 

I look at my bare feet under the table, avoiding his gaze. “You’d look more handsome if you smiled.” 

He turns around and gives me a wide grin that would be handsome if it weren’t for the bloody, inch-long fangs. I gasp involuntarily. “Huh, didn’t think so.” he remarks. 

“W-what?” I stammer. 

He collects himself and stands in one swift movement. Taking one last swig of whiskey, I see his throat expand when he swallows. He holds the bottle at an angle and looks down into it. “Tonight’s not a good night. I should go. Goodbye, Lilith.” 

He races out of my house with unheard speed. The door shuts behind him and my cats gather around me. They lick their paws innocently and smile. 

October 25, 2020 18:38

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41 comments

Mia S
18:47 Oct 25, 2020

I really like this one! Especially the cat names. Katnip Everdeen and Draco Meowfoy are def my favorites :D

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Scout Tahoe
18:48 Oct 25, 2020

Thank you so much! ;)

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Zilla Babbitt
19:03 Oct 25, 2020

EXCUSE ME-- *I* am the CEO of overthinking literally everything. You should've seen me try to take tests in school-- I was a mess. Anyway, haha, I thought I should remark on your bio. It was funny. Carry on ;)

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Scout Tahoe
19:24 Oct 25, 2020

Hey Zilla, you should check out some of Mia's stories. I think she's a good Reeder to feature in the Spotlight of the Moment because she's not getting enough reads. Haha, just a suggestion. :) (Don't be angry with me, Mia.) Don't we all overthink everything?

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Yuk Yuk
09:57 Jan 04, 2021

What is spotlight of the moments?

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Scout Tahoe
14:38 Jan 04, 2021

It's a little thing Zilla Babbitt used to do. She put authors she thought were not getting enough reads/great authors in her bio and called it Spotlight of the Moment and left them up for a few days. :)

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Yuk Yuk
22:06 Jan 04, 2021

Awww. That's no little thing. Thank you for explaining.

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Mia S
19:21 Oct 25, 2020

haha thanks ;D

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Scout Tahoe
18:52 Oct 25, 2020

For my good friend Mia S. You should check out her stories because they are divine. Her profile: https://blog.reedsy.com/creative-writing-prompts/author/mia-s/ For all the light we cannot see. Thanks for stopping by. If you have any title ideas, please share.

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Zilla Babbitt
18:49 Oct 25, 2020

Ah-h-h. Your first paragraph was literally divine. These shorter, sweeter, more concise sentences work so well, and you wielded them perfectly. This was tense and scary. Well done. I suggest you put stars between sections so that the reader knows when you jump, but other than that, I have no critique. Keep it up!

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Scout Tahoe
18:51 Oct 25, 2020

Thank you, Zilla! I see you've put some stars between yours--how do you do that? I'm on a computer and I don't really want to put periods. ;)

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Zilla Babbitt
19:01 Oct 25, 2020

No trouble! I post it from my computer and then log in on my phone and edit in with little triangles or whatever I'm feeling :) You can also do stars from your computer-- shift and then the 8 key.

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Scout Tahoe
19:04 Oct 25, 2020

Ah, yes! Thank you. I edited it.

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Lina Oz
17:03 Oct 26, 2020

Anddddd now I have a plethora of excellent cat names to add to my collection. I loved that unique little aspect to this story. This submission is disturbing and excellent. You have such a way of "showing" rather than telling, leaving the reader to make their own associations about the characters. Wonderful work, as always.

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Scout Tahoe
17:10 Oct 26, 2020

Thank you, Lina. So, which name is your favorite and you mentioned you have a collection? Could I hear some of the ones you have? 😏

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Lina Oz
17:18 Oct 26, 2020

Draco Meowfoy for sure, hands down. That is brilliant. I might even steal it in the future...except I'm allergic to cats. But I still love them! I used to work at a vet clinic, and my favorite name there for a cat was Freddie Meowcury. Amazing.

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Scout Tahoe
17:52 Oct 26, 2020

Aha! That is amazing. Thanks for reading.

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00:43 Nov 02, 2020

Wow, Scout. This was an incredible entry. The shorter sentences really keep the pacing quick. The edgy imagery really helps your words to blossom with vivid color. The relationship between the two is scrumptious - I’m desperate to know how Lilith processes this information she has learned, and how Rhys acts moving forward. Very well done!

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Scout Tahoe
01:26 Nov 02, 2020

Thank you for stopping by and reading, Aj! :)

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B. W.
22:17 Oct 25, 2020

I really liked this story and you did a great job with this one as well ^^ it gets a 10/10 from me :)

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Scout Tahoe
23:23 Oct 25, 2020

Aw, thanks!

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B. W.
23:24 Oct 25, 2020

No prob, ya deserve it ^^

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Scout Tahoe
23:26 Oct 25, 2020

;)

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B. W.
23:27 Oct 25, 2020

:)

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Spencer Steeves
20:56 Oct 25, 2020

That was a very interesting take on the prompt. I like the name "Delicate," because the story feels like their relationship is very delicate indeed, just waiting for one little slip, like a smile, to tear them apart, once she realizes what he is. I really enjoyed how, for lack of a better word, addicted he seemed to her blood, and how he kept doing things to make her bleed. It was very clever. I wish there was a little bit more to the ending, but I suppose it makes sense for how Rhys was as a person/vampire.

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Scout Tahoe
23:22 Oct 25, 2020

Yes, I know the story is incomplete. I'm not very good a writing horror/thriller. Anyways, thank you for reading. I really enjoyed your story.

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Spencer Steeves
02:20 Oct 26, 2020

Thank you. I will certainly be checking back in each week to see what you do next.

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Raquel Rodriguez
19:26 Oct 25, 2020

Holy frick, this is great! I especially love the part where Rhys smiles and Lillith sees his bloody fangs. Has he never smiled before though? Because I'm sure she's seen them once, because he talks, right? Anyway, this was scary and I LOVE ITTT! It's perfect for Halloween. Thank you for this, lol

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Scout Tahoe
19:28 Oct 25, 2020

No, thank you. Lilith has seen him smile, just without showing his teeth. Also, I don't really think that you show your teeth when talking a lot. I don't know, maybe that's just me.

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Raquel Rodriguez
19:31 Oct 25, 2020

Okay, that makes sense! Yeah, that's true. Thank you! Also, would you mind checking out my story 'Ceaseless Cycle' and commenting on what you think? (Even though it definitely isn't as scary as yours, I want to become better with the horror genre)

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Scout Tahoe
19:32 Oct 25, 2020

Sure! I'm not good at horror, just so you know.

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Raquel Rodriguez
19:34 Oct 25, 2020

Oh, it seems like it! This story was really good! :D

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Scout Tahoe
19:39 Oct 25, 2020

Thanks!

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Ari Berri
22:19 Nov 13, 2020

I love the cat names!

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Scout Tahoe
22:29 Nov 13, 2020

Aw, haha, thank you so much!

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Ari Berri
22:30 Nov 13, 2020

No problem, it's a great story.

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Scout Tahoe
22:33 Nov 13, 2020

:)

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R. K.
18:50 Oct 25, 2020

It's amazing Scout! Love the unique concepts of the whiskey and the cats trying to warn her. You structured this really well and I loved how you did your descriptions for this one, simple but straight to the heart. The names were also so special and the story/dialogue itself was so realistic despite the "ending". Just some edits: "Our breaths are mixed but the way he cradles me is unforgiving." ~ comma after mixed. “Huh, didn’t think so.” he remarks ~ comma after so, instead of period * If you want to add stars, do shift 8. Another a...

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Scout Tahoe
18:53 Oct 25, 2020

Thanks, Ru! Your comments warm my heart. :)

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