Unpleasant shortcuts


Beware of shortcuts down deserted corridors. There may be a good reason why no one goes that way. You should know. Did you not stumble on an ex-lover drooling over a younger woman in a disused corridor? Disgust. Anger. Pity. What did you feel? Abused. Besmirched. You wanted to cry out, to hammer your fists against his chest, to knee him in the groin. But you opted to retreat, believing it was safer. He hadn’t seen you. He was as bewitched by his prey as she was by him. Yet you did not leave. You couldn’t. You slipped into the safety of the shadows and spied. The young woman stared up at the man, wide-eyed, expectant, the perfect victim, begging to be taken. The sight of it disgusted you. Surely you had not been like that, not you. His eyes were ablaze with triumph. You could sense his greed, his lust. You knew it well. You rubbed your lips as if that could erase the trace of his kisses. His hands trembled as he reached across the table that separated them. The moment his finger touched her face, she snarled and sprang forward. The table flew from between them, crashing down the corridor, sending cups and glasses smashing against the walls. You slunk deeper into the shadows, knowing the noise would bring people running. The woman dug her claws into his face, a feral cry on her lips, ripping, tearing, shredding him apart. Blood spurted everywhere. You closed your eyes, unable to watch, aware only of a whirlwind of screams and muffled thuds. When quiet finally settled and your eyes blinked open, the horror had gone. No trace of him or her. No blood. Nothing. Well, not quite nothing. All that was left was the man’s look of surprise and disbelief hanging disembodied in mid-air.

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