Unseasoned

Unseasoned

A Story by gwyndolin
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An old flame is reignited and even more quickly snuffed in a snow-drenched forest. A piece I wrote for the iseeyou zine on Instagram/twitter and my first published piece!

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When I went to sleep, there were dewdrops falling from frozen leaves. Each droplet rolled slowly off the edge of the greens, perforated the snow with pinprick impressions that the eye could barely see. I wondered, then, how dewdrops could be so perfectly fluid in the chill of mid-December. How beautiful they were there, so much so that I couldn’t bear to look away. And even in my shallow daze of slumber, you wrapped me in a blanket to keep me warm. You buried me in a swath of soft, white down and as I grew more and more comfortable, you grew quieter and quieter, and you stopped wrapping me up so that I might rest.

Even while I slept, though, I could hear the dewdrops chiming against the ground, the soft plink, plink, plink of it trying to break through the sheen of ice that had layered itself among the evening snow like a calling bell. I wondered if it wasn’t dewdrops, but in fact if it had been freezing rain from the night just before. Curiosity swarmed me, but I was so finely wound that I just couldn’t bear to move. Plink, plink, plink. The quietest drips of dewdrops - or maybe rain - hit my cheek. 

What a bother! I chided inside of myself. Had the shingles come undone in the early winter storms? Was this leftover rain leaking over from swollen insulation? 

As I laid there, though, I couldn’t bear to move - I couldn’t bear to move an inch. And how strange it was, I thought, that freezing rain could be so warm. Plink, plink, plink came the rain in steady drops, thick and warm over my cold cheeks, but you had wrapped me so nicely in my blankets that I felt too stiff to move. I counted the seconds, the minutes, what felt like hours of silence, of plink, plink, plink there, alone, awake and asleep. I tried to turn over in bed to see you, I tried to cry out for you when I couldn’t move. I had never been prone to sleep paralysis, but I was scared when you wouldn’t come. I was scared when my blankets grew heavier. I was scared when minutes rolled into hours. I was scared, alone, cold. There was no warmth, except for the dewdrops, for the lingering frozen rain that was so thick and so heavy and so comfortably hot on my skin.

I grew so tired that I couldn’t remember how to be awake anymore, and as I felt the noire edges of sleep pull at my vision, I wondered when the dewdrops I loved so much had turned red. In my dreams I wondered how long I would be left dreaming. Loneliness, like a disease seeping through the marrow of my bones, left the remnants of my body tarnished. Time passed through loneliness so slowly that at some point I began to forget how to think. Thought disappeared from me, and I was left with ebbing dreams of you, only filled with you, with you, you, you you youyouyou.

And then I met her.

I heard you call her Sofia. She was beautiful - orange hair, dark eyes, dark freckles all over her cheeks that spattered down against her neck. Sofia hung off of your arm so sweetly when I met her, laughed at your jokes and smiled with a gap in her teeth at you. Like the sun, she lit up the dark bedroom that you had made up for me. She kissed your lips, your cheeks, pieces of you that I kissed once, too. I memorized the impressions of her boots on the winter snow, reveled in the melody that her voice drew through the dewdrops I used to love so much. Boldly, as you passed my bed, I called out to her. Much to my surprise… she looked at me.

Sofia looked at me, and I fell in love.

Sofia! Dear Sofia, won’t you come here? 

She looked through me as though I wasn’t even there. As though I couldn’t see her, as though I couldn’t see you, as though I didn’t even exist. I passed my hands upon her cheeks, but they found no purchase, sunk past her skin like mist. Confused, I tried to affix her hair behind her ear, but found I couldn’t touch that, either. 

Sorrow befell me. I begged her to stray from you, whispered in her ear that you didn’t deserve her, that you didn’t deserve anything

Sofia. Sofia, Sofia, Sofia. You know where to find me. Dearest Sofia, I have slept so long, won’t you drag me out of bed?

I didn’t notice at first, but I had been crying. Tears of joy streamed like mist down my skin as she approached the bed you so lovingly made for me. Finally. Finally, I would be freed from my blankets. Finally, I could go home. 

You urged Sofia away from here, but she moved closer. Moving away pencil-thin branches, she drew towards the mound of me that you left behind. My bedroom, the grove that you chose for me to sleep, draped in blankets of white and littered with flowers twisted and rotting with frost. Mushrooms in the ground all around, protruding from the blanket that rotted so easily around me, marked my bed for her. I urged her forward.

Closer, I begged. Closer, Sofia!

But then there was you. You called to her, too, trying to take her away from me like you took everything else.

Your name, I remembered, was Jonah. You were dressed so finely for the winter, cravat tucked into your collar, bundled in gloves, scarf and everything you needed to stave off the cold. You always wore buckles of gold, and jewels on your hands, and everybody loved you. Jonah, with the name of a saint, charitable and always happy to help those who needed it most. Oh, Jonah! They would sing your praises so high: a nobleman with a heart not swathed in the decay of greed, free of vice. You could charm your way so easily into the hearts of those you met, as though your every word was laced with poison that nobody could see. 

Your poison, in my heart, felt the warmest. I remember the day that you dug your words into me. It was June, and I was to tailor your wedding attire. Your betrothed must have been so lucky to have you - that was the only thing I could think. To have someone so kind to guard your heart must have been such a privilege. A blessing. But I could not deny that I was envious, and I could not deny that the way you looked at me that day made my heart soar.

We eloped in September, as the leaves began to brown. You were particular about the things I wore, about what I ate. You were particular, Jonah, about who I was. You hated when I spoke against you, hated it more when I spoke to your friends. I began to think, as October came, that you may have grown to hate me. How distant you were, Jonah. Oh, Jonah, how spiteful you were, and how quick to eat my heart out of my chest. I fed it to you as though I were a silver platter because I loved you, and you ate it unseasoned.

You made me so furious, Jonah, that I grew hungrier with thoughts of eating yours. The thought of your heart - gilded in gold and perfumed like fresh potpourri - made my mouth water. I had to have you again, and I had to have you at once. As you stepped closer, my love for you and Sofia grew in my heart until it was gorged. I saw her first, and then you, and I dragged myself out of my frigid blankets with brittle bones and eyes that barely worked. But though my eyes were so milky with age and time my ears made up for it with sharp hearing, and they rang with Sofia’s screams as I rose to my feet, with my dress hanging in tatters, with my skin gnawed off by little creatures who grew hungry in the winter. 

I asked her: Why do you scream, Sofia? 

I asked her once more: Why do you scream? I want only to meet you - you, my beloved woman. I wish you would be my wife. Will you be my wife?

But you were in the way again, Jonah, and I saw red as you stepped in front of her. I cried out in anguish to you. Why won’t you let me have anything? Not a thing you have given! All you do is take!

In my fury, my thoughts all coalesced into a cacophony of noise. I could have wept, but instead I screamed because thinking was an agony, thinking only made everything hurt. All of my thoughts bled together until there was none and no longer did I think about anything except for that festering hunger inside of me. Instinct carried my feet to you again, my love. Instinct made me realize how much I starved for you, and I carried myself faster, and faster, and faster until I could finally sink my teeth into my Jonah once more. I kissed you bloody all over, savored every little bit of you inside of me.

You took everything from me, Jonah, so I ate your heart unseasoned.

© 2020 gwyndolin


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Added on August 31, 2020
Last Updated on August 31, 2020
Tags: horror, supernatural, short story, fiction

Author

gwyndolin
gwyndolin

Newmarket, Ontario, Canada



About
Gwyndolin (Gwyn is ok!) | 24 | They/them I'm an aspiring horror/supernatural author with 8+ years of independent writing experience! I'm a member of the LGBTQ(IA)+ community and I believe in the no.. more..

Writing