This is my contribution to the new site, Tastes of the Darkness (see sidebar link).
By Anthony J. Rapino
The silver cover jostles nervously as steam escapes the pot; sharp overhead lights glint and Samantha watches. Her left hand grips a stained potholder.
In the distorted reflection on the pot, she sees stringy hair hanging over her face, leaving a stripe of pale flesh—forehead to chin.
Yellowed foam discharges from between lid and lip, spilling over the sides in an infected waterfall. The blue-flamed burner hisses as liquid deposits under the pot.
Samantha lurches forward and twists the black knob until the fire extinguishes. She inhales and wrinkles her nose. Using the potholder, she removes the lid and peers inside the pot. Billowing steam surrounds her face with the scent of rendered fat. It smells like night, and she knows it will taste like darkness.
She turns and stares at the unconscious man duct taped to her good dining room chair. Blood covers the left armrest where the man’s hand used to lay. Turning back to the pot, she licks her lips and whispers, “First course.”
Ladling pot liquor into a glass bowl, she considers her next two courses—the ones that will leave her alone in the apartment once more.