A Fine Butchering (A Halloween Story)

Updated: Oct 26, 2019

She often wondered aloud about things even she felt were silly – the love lives of movie stars, the success of cooking competitions on TV (“How can I root for someone if I can’t taste the food?!”}, and who would be the world’s first trillionaire.


"Draculina," acrylic on wood panel, 8" x 8", 2019.

It was all just chatter for the guests, she knew – things discussed over cocktails only after the sun went down. On these evenings, she took such pride that the illusion of her life was perfect. Everyone saw the ideal wife and mother who still had that wild-child “edge.” She was responsible yet reckless, stable yet careless, sensitive yet cruel. But those were secrets known only to herself. To the rest of the world, she appeared so happy, it hurt.

Who could have guessed her true reality, which was one of a soul gone sour. As time went by, she was devoured by more and more rage, which she could no longer control, but which didn't matter. She enjoyed living with such sharp edges, always at the ready for a fine butchering. She carried these weapons around faithfully, despite their weight, despite the bloody injuries they so often inflicted upon herself.


“No matter,” she said. “Let’s drink everyone! Let’s drink until the night goes so black that I will never wake again.”


The guests obliged, but not for long, as they soon fled the party in abject terror, not really knowing why they felt so frightened, yet feeling deeply that a terrible danger was imminent. And so she was suddenly left alone with just the room’s mirror, and in a stupor so foggy, pungent and bitter that when she looked at her reflection, she wasn’t quite sure she was even there.


“Maybe I’m a vampire,” she whispered, thinking of all the blood spilled that evening by the cutting words no longer disguised anymore as polite conversation. “Yes, I’m the undead, or maybe just dead,” she reflected, feeling nothing but the desire to strike once more.


After so many years, she knew for sure on this particular evening—with a curious composure—that finally she was complete. She thought of tonight’s guests, who she knew would never return, and felt a certain sense of accomplishment, even pride, but certainly no remorse—just a hunger for more...more shocked faces gone pale, more eyes welled up with held-back tears, more power to commit crimes for which justice had not yet been invented. She would need to have another party tomorrow.


“At last,” she said with such tempered enthusiasm that she realized she actually sounded authentic. She sighed, she smiled, then entered the liquor store to buy more libations for the new invitees. “Let’s go big for this one,” she said to the clerk as she requested the Chivas Regal. “After all,” she said, slipping her charge card into the payment device. “it’s not every day the dead so easily walk among the living.”


#vampire #halloween #undead #theundead #halloweenstory #spooky


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 ©2020, Mary Ann Farley