GRUB UP by Lily Childs
Vanessa was skeletal. I could barely get any meat off her bones so I just gnawed away at the stringy flesh. Sinews snapped back at my face; her bone marrow was measly to say the least. I sighed. I’d starve at this rate.
I sat back and surveyed the remains of my late cousin. I’d tried, so hard to turn her away when I found her at my front door.
‘Only passing by. Haven’t seen you for ages; thought I’d pop in’.
She was through the door before I could push her out. Apparently she didn’t know I have certain tastes. And that I’ve been particularly hungry lately.
I was still ravenous, despite my skinny-size meal, but I knew it was risky to go out hunting because I get careless going in for the kill. Yet thoughts of feeding made saliva drip in my mouth, washing my gums, plumping my tongue.
I hesitated, wanting to dare, needing to feast. No. I couldn’t do it; it was too dangerous. I’d have to go without. Dejected I slumped down onto the threadbare sofa and grazed on Vanessa’s innards. I jumped as the phone rang. Snatching it off its cradle I answered.
‘Who is it?’
‘Is she there?’
‘What?’ I didn’t recognise the voice.
‘It’s Ben, Vanessa’s boyfriend. I’m outside your building. Is she there?’ My heart smiled and I spoke to the pining lover.
‘Yes Ben. She’s here. She’s sitting in the corner. Come on up – we’ll wait for you.’
I hung up the phone, leaving it off the hook. Quickly I formed my cousin’s leftovers into a skeletal pyre, burying her long red hair in its centre; its scalp still attached. Returning to the window I lingered, watching fat boy make his way across the street. The juices were already stirring in my belly.