Promised

Lucy used the spare key hidden on the porch light to get into his house. What she found was a disaster. Smashed furniture, the smell of rot, a shape curled up in the darkness. A long, low moan. “Nooooo.” As she swung the door open, that shape began trying to drag itself away. Away from the light.

Away from her.

“William?” Lucy said, afraid of the answer.

“Go,” the voice hissed. Then, in a pitiable whisper, “Just . . . just go.”

She looked at the debris scattered around her, saw the broken chair leg with its jagged point next to where she had first seen him. He had stopped trying to crawl away. Instead, from that misshapen mass, two eyes stared back at her. Dark and beady, Lucy could only catch the smallest glint of light reflected in them. Gradually, as her eyes adjusted, she began to make out more details: bony hands, clawed fingers, back twisted into a hunch, papery skin, sparse white hair in lank clumps. Fangs. They caught the light too, vicious, dangerous things.

“What . . . happened to you?” she asked, already knowing the answer.

The vampire answered anyway. “No blood,” he said. “I promised . . . for you. No more blood.”

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Story by Gregory M. Fox

Fart

They were together at the table, just finishing their meal when it happened. “What the—” Andrew started. “Did you just . . . fart?”

“What . . . ?” Sara replied still looking at her food. “I—maybe. Yeah, I guess so.” She stabbed fiercely at the last baby corn in her stir fry. “Everyone farts. Why are you making such a big deal about it?”

“Because until today,” Andrew said, “you had never farted in front of me.”

Cheeks flushed, still avoiding eye contact, Sara said. “You’re being gross, and super awkward. It was just a fart. Can’t you let it go?”

Andrew shook his head slowly, deliberately. “I will never let it go.”

“Fine,” Sara shouted, slamming her fork down on the table. “Sorry for ruining our relationship with my flatulence. I guess you’ll just have to dump me and keep looking for that fairy tale woman with no bodily functions to date.” She pushed away from the table, but Andrew grabbed her hand.

“Wait,” he said. “You don’t understand.”

“Don’t understand what?” Looking at him for the first time, she saw his eyes wide, brow furrowed, jaws tense. “What is that face?”

Pthhhppuuuurbbbbt, he farted. “I love you too.”

“You’re disgusting,” Sara said smiling.

Photo by Ishan @seefromthesky on Unsplash

Story by Gregory M. Fox