It was just past curfew when the wind kicked up and pelted the window panes with the sound of deliberate gestation from the outside rain. With the power already off for the night, she felt about her blackened bedroom for the candle she had saved. Her aged and wrinkled fingers found it in the shoe box under her bed, with the cross she had once whittled from willow bark. She clutched the candle in one hand and gently moved the cross on to her pillow with the other, but not before she kissed it. Then, in almost complete silence, she made her way down the hall into the darkened kitchen. She placed the white candle into the glass holder that sat on the wooden table; just across from the purposefully unlatched back door.
The first match was blown out by her own breath, accidentally. The second match scored her fingers with a singe and she dropped it on to the dusty floor, only to snuff it out with her boot. The third match was the final one. The kitchen was lit up with soft light that colored the room in bouncing hues of yellow and orange. The flickering cabinets reminded her of autumn, but the dank smell in the air reminded her of something else altogether. She peeked once through the sheer curtain that draped the backdoor window, then grabbed her katana and leaned against the wall. She knew the time was near, it had to be. Had she waited long enough?
She knew he was close because she felt the subtle magnetism that drew her to him in the first place; it always burned and tickled from the insides of her gut. But, was half of a human lifetime long enough to distract him? For forty years she tracked his stench, not the discreet sweet smell of his own death, but the stench of what he always left behind in his wake. As the clock on the kitchen wall ticked, she brought her blade up to meet the ebb of her own palm and gave it a quick, soft slice. She felt the warmth of the sting as she closed her fist. Slowly, she reached over and wiped her streaks on the panels of the backdoor. She knew he was hungry.
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Molly Roland is a writer by nature, and she enjoys stepping over the invisible lines society loves to draw.