They Come Once A Year

Note: I initially uploaded this on Facebook but I thought of posting it here for uh, posterity’s sake. I’m a bit iffy with Facebook Notes.

———————

He was talking in his sleep and she could hear him. But the words were faint, jumbled and insignificant. Words that made sense only in dreams.

She turned to her side and watched him sleep. The slow and steady movement of his chest heaving up and down. Up and down.

She thought he was beautiful. She traced one slender finger down the line of his jaw, resisted the urge to play with his stubble. He always looked at her funny when she did that.

“I love you,” she whispered.

He stirred.

Afraid of waking him up, she stood up, the silk sheets sliding off the curve of her thighs, revealing lace panties snug on her supple skin.

I should make coffee. She decided, and walked, lithe and graceful, towards their quaint little kitchen. It was packed with things that were for her and things that were for him. Oatmeal for her, cereal for him. Chicken for her, bacon for him. Stella Artois for her, Heineken for him.

Coffee was black for her, sugar and creamer for him, please honey, I don’t want to spend the day chattering like a monkey. She could hear his voice in her head. She smiled.

The smell of the brewing coffee floating across the small apartment woke him up. He stretched, groaned, and tried to sleep some more.

“Honey, coffee.” She said as she took a sip.

He let out a little grunt and then finally sat up. He peeked at the brewed coffee sitting on the kitchen counter; A black, seductive thing.

“Creamer and sugar, please honey, I don’t want to–”

Then suddenly big, booming knocks. The knock of a man who will sooner bash a hole through the door than have to knock again. They were familiar with these knocks. All too familiar.

Her eyes panicked. Her cup of coffee slipped off her fingers and smashed on the ground. She looked at him with the eyes of a terrified animal.

“Honey…”

He jumped up and looked through the window. “Fuck. How can we forget what day it is. Fuck. Fuck.”

They moved into position like clockwork. Something that they have done year, after year, after year. But this year, they forgot the date. And it’s that simple mistake, that simple lapse in memory that would cause him his death.

The knocking stopped. The Coveter wouldn’t knock twice. The door swung open with a heavy force.

She gasped.

The Coveter craned its long neck to survey the room. It shuddered in the warmth. It whisked its feathers as if they have been wet. Its mouth snapped.

It wasted no more time, one slender foot in front of the other it reached the girl on the bed; cowered over her; a terrified blonde mess.

The Coveter made a sound, somewhere between the hiss of a snake and the gurgle of a drowning man. Its claws, thin and sharp, were brought to light.

She cringed and wondered if they would survive this time. She thought of the horrors. She closed her eyes.

The Coveter let out its purple tongue and licked the wound it made on her chest.

And then he who stood behind the door, lunged at The Coveter, climbed over its head and slit its throat. The Coveter tried to struggle free, they don’t die that easily. But he knew that, and was prepared for it. The Coveter’s bony arms reached behind and grabbed him by the nape. They fell down and scrambled all over each other. They tumbled across the room; a blurry vision of flesh and feathers and blood.

She realized her nakedness and covered herself up in the silk sheets. There were screams in the other rooms, and gushy sounds of dismembered flesh and of devoured hearts. She looked past the broken door and saw her neighbor, Juana the spinster; the crazy cat lady, her gaze was blank and cold.

“Help… please…” she ran towards her.

“This is not my problem.” Juana watched with her dark eyes as The Coveter positioned itself over the helpless man.

“But… but he’s going to die!” She looked behind her, and the sight was enough to make her faint. The Coveter had him pinned down. There was little life in him left. He was going to die.

The Coveter killed him; dug its claws through his chest and took out his pulsating heart. It ate the throbbing human organ in one chomp, blood and juices trickled down its beak and stained its feathers. It shuddered.

And left as swiftly as it came.

“Well… think of it this way sweetheart, next year you wouldn’t have to deal with The Coveters anymore.” Juana said and left the poor girl in the destroyed apartment, on her knees, crying in deep, lurching sobs.

“Happy Valentine’s Day.” Juana clutched her chest thoughtfully, her heart still intact, lonely and unloved but safe.

At least for this year.

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