A man brings his lover a sacrifice.
|It’s only when the sun has set that he dares to go downstairs.
The best nights are those when the moon is hiding behind a veil of clouds, for She is always happiest when everything around them is drowning in darkness. And tonight, everything is drowning, the sky an inky black that seems to swallow the sounds from the cars passing his house, the noise that living things make, until it’s only them, wrapped in their own little bubble, their own little world.
The silence is a gift, he thinks as he makes his way down the stairs, ignoring the creaking floorboards, the occasional cold draft of air that hits his cheeks. A gift, because it’s their anniversary tonight, one year since he found Her, barely clinging to life and latching onto him so desperately, an embrace that instilled a sudden mean into his dull, empty life.
A goddess, a companion, a lover.
To celebrate it, this highest of all holidays in his new life, he has brought Her an especially fine gift tonight, a choice cut of meat, which he just knows She will enjoy. There is still so much life inside of it, he can feel it with every beat of its heart, hear it with every shallow breath, its fear so thick he can taste it on his tongue.
It knows its fate, but it has no choice, because it already belongs to Her, body and soul, the only meaning left in its life to bolster Her strength, give Her life.
He will make sure of it; She takes such good care of him and in turn only expects him to do the same for Her.
His mangled fingers are trembling by the time he has reached the bottom of the stairs, almost drop the key to the basement instead of unlocking it. Next to him, a shiver wrecks through it, weak and pathetic.
The door swings open and Her scent envelops him, copper and salt and sweetness, and he feels himself fall in love with Her even more before his eyes have made out her beautiful form. Black as the night around them She moves towards him, Her movements fluid and elegant, Her anticipation obvious to him, who has spent a year learning to read Her every gesture.
His feet take a few steps towards Her before he had a chance to think about it, needing to be closer to Her, but then he remembers Her gift, Her hunger. She deserves to have it, just like he deserves to be the one to give it.
Slowly, he raises his hand, signalling Her to wait, and then he pounces, drops to his knees and pins it to the ground so it won’t be able to flee. Its skin is so warm he can feel its blood pounding underneath it, knows that through him, She can sense it, too.
And its scared, oh so scared, violent shivers wrecking through its body, but he ignores them and instead unsheathes the knife he brought with him, almost dropping it as first. But She is watching, and failure is not an option.
It is shaking so badly that it is hard to find the right spot to cut, but once he has, he slices into its flesh, and it screams, loud and desperate and hopeless. A few seconds pass until blood starts gushing from the wound, coating his fingers, naked skin, but even if the first cut was deep, it wasn’t deep enough. He hasn’t yet scraped the bone, so he does it again, sinks his blade into its meat and slices through muscles and sinews and veins, while it writhes on the cold, concrete floor, begs him to stop.
Someone else might be moved to mercy, but he only sees Her watching him, hungry and waiting, so he isn’t, only stops once his blade hits something unyielding.
By now, the screams have subsided, given way to wet, pathetic sobs, but he still feels no pity as he digs his fingers into the wound to peel the flesh away from its bones, just enough to see a glimmer of white against the bloody mess.
It only exists to please Her now.
And She is pleased by it, he can feel the vibrations She uses to communicate with him growing louder in his head, , Her body swaying with his movements in anticipation.
With three, clumsy finger he reaches for the knife again, turns it around so he can use the serrated side to start sawing through the bone. The new sensation draws another wail from it, its body jerking and making it hard to press down properly, create the force needed to sever the limb. It makes the process so slow that just for a moment, he wonders if he maybe should have given Her its arm instead of its leg, but it’s too late for that.
She has smelt its blood and he cannot deny Her anything.
With every draw of the blade, it whimpers, tears streaming down its cheeks, while one of its hands scrambles to take the knife from him, but he swats it away, slaps it across the face and saws with even more force.
Blood is seeping steadily onto the floor by now, flowing towards Her and as he looks up, he can see Her lap at it as if it was the most exquisite of delicacies. The taste of it causes Her vibrations to grow louder again, and even as it squirms, he can only feel Her calmness settle over him.
He’s almost lost in the rhythm of his sawing when he finally feels the bone splinter beneath his fingertips; another quick stroke of the blade and it breaks in half. It screams once more, convulsing on the floor and causing the knife to cut it deeper, deeper. More blood spills from the almost-severed thigh and She drinks it, hums Her gratitude in his unsettled mind.
Once it has stopped twitching, he rights himself and slices through the remaining flesh with quick, purposeful motions until the limb falls down onto the cement, untethered from its body and ripe for consumption.
It’s only now he realises that he has held his breath, but with relief flooding his body, he breathes in deeply, and Her tender vibrations caress him, praise him. They’re the only thing that makes it possible for him to push himself up until he is on all fours, his whole body shaking with the exertion. She is watching him, waiting for him, so he picks the severed thigh up from the floor, the blood staining his hands making it difficult to hold onto it.
And it’s harder than he thought it would be with only one of his legs left, but Her rhythmic hums almost make him forget about the pain as he crawls towards Her to offer up his gift.