Hours later as Seth drove home he considered the state of the corpse, or as Kim called it, “a floater”. The stench was magnitudes worse than anything he had expected. God, I thought the bowel resection lady was bad. Mr. Bloaty Fishfood could knock a buzzard off a shit wagon and we were standing outside. I can only imagine how bad it will be inside the morgue tomorrow morning but if I quit now I’ll be a laughing stock. I wonder what Melanie will think when she hears about this.
The house was dark as he entered, except for a faint flicker underneath the basement door.
“Did you leave the light on for me, my darling?”
Hearing the baritone voice of her captor made the woman flinch. As he drew closer, she thrashed against binding cords that pinned her to the gurney. Despite her attempts to appear fearless, a single tear spilled over and trickled down her cheek.
“Tsk, Tsk! Big girls don’t cry, my pet, and you’re definitely a big girl.”
To emphasize his point, he slapped her thigh and watched it ripple under the impact of his palm.
“I can help you with that. No? Why are you shaking your head no, my pet? Women pay thousands of dollars to go under the knife.” He said, raising a butcher knife to glint under the bare light bulb dangling from the ceiling. “I’m offering it to you for free.”
He turned up the gas and lit his handheld blowtorch. Only when the knife blade glowed did he pull it from the flame and lop off a thick, steak-sized slice of meat from between her knee and hip. The searing-hot blade cauterized her flesh, preventing too much blood loss. Even through the gag, her screams split the night until she lost consciousness. He took his chunk of human steak upstairs and cut away the outer skin. After a liberal coating of salt and pepper, he tossed it into a frying pan with a little butter and some sliced onions. It didn’t take long to reach medium-well so, while the meat rested, he seared the outer skin then tossed it to the dog.
“Did you think I would forget you? I couldn’t do that to my good boy. Here’s some for you and some for me. Bon appétite.”
The next morning, Seth’s alarm blared but he struggled to drag himself out of bed. Not even the steamy spray of his shower succeeded in rinsing the fog from his brain. He didn’t even bother to shave; he pulled some clothes on and shuffled downstairs.
“What time did you get home last night, hon? I never even heard you come in.”
“Honestly, I have no idea. I came home, had a bite to eat, and went straight to bed.”
“Yeah, I saw that. Thanks for leaving the kitchen a mess. You want some breakfast?”
“No, I’d better not…I can’t imagine the smell got any better over night, if you know what I mean.”
Melanie wrinkled her nose and pushed her plate of scrambled eggs aside.
“I suppose the good news is, if you keep this up I’m going to drop some serious weight.”
“You don’t need to shed a single pound. I think you’re gorgeous just the way you are so I’ll quit talking about work while you’re eating. Oh, geez, look at the time…I’d better run. Malachi, you’ll take good care of mommy for me, won’t you? Of course you will! You’re my good boy.”
Seth chuckled as his best friend’s tail wagged excitedly. Even the slightest praise made Malachi beam with pride.
“Here, you look like you could use this,” Melanie laughed, as she handed him a travel mug of coffee.
“You’re the best, Mel. Love you, sweetie.”
As he sprinted out the door, Seth waved goodbye to his family. He downed the entire mug of coffee that Melanie had made for him on the way to the coffee shop. When he reached the counter, he realized he had no idea how Angela and Kim took their coffee so he improvised. I’ll order them Melanie’s favorite drink and, hopefully, they’ll like it too.
“Hello? Can I take your order?” The snotty, hipster-barista snapped. “People are, like, waiting.”
Seth muttered his order and repressed a sneer. Keep treating people like that and you’ll end up dead, just another bloated corpse washed up from the river.