Last Meal | Rebecca Hadland

 


Last Meal

Rebecca Hadland

Romancing the Phone Award


 

It’s easy to patiently plan a meal when you’re already full.

Even as the young man sleeps next to me, like meat left to rest before serving, I swipe through my phone, cataloguing future endeavours.

Gym selfie, left. Healthy is good, but arrogance is tiresome.

Beard? Left. Reminds me of the bad old days when it was the fashion. The days of inconvenience. The days when you couldn’t get a meal delivered to your door.

Left, right. Left.

It’s poor manners to peruse the menu while your order goes cold, but I’m addicted to this age of technology.

With a guilty sigh I put the phone away and reach into my bag for the keep cup. Tempered glass and BPA free plastic. Good for the environment, which is important if you plan to live long enough to see the impact of today’s lifestyle on tomorrows landscape. Which I do, obviously.

I sit up and straddle… what was his name? Simon, Michael? Something unremarkable. It’s doesn’t matter, and if it does you’re in trouble. The same sort of trouble as my sister. As the rumpled sheet slides from my shoulder my lips tighten. No need to think about that.

I lean over the anonymous man, flicking open the mouth of the keep cup. I take a deep breath and draw in his energy. Careful not to absorb it. I don’t want indigestion. I exhale it into the mouth of the cup and snap the lid back into place. I repeat the action again and again, pressing the energy down with my tongue as it tries to escape through the cup opening. Like blowing up a balloon.

I stop when the cup is full. If a succubus takes too much life energy it ends in death. It’s happened before. I think of my sister again. You can’t keep feeding from a single source.

I pop the cup safely back into my bag and get dressed. I leave the sleeping mans apartment. It’s the second time today that I’ve done this. Last time was to eat my fill. This time it’s takeout.

As I walk towards my sisters apartment I think of her. So young, so foolish. In the past I might have understood. Back when it was difficult to arrange an elicit meeting with a man, to perform the transaction. When most dalliances happened after courtship and marriage. But to fall in love with a human in this age of social disconnect? I could hardly fathom.

Certainly I myself had never been in love, I couldn’t imagine feeding from a single human multiple times. Watching through grief stricken eyes as they weakened… until their life is completely depleted. Until I had eaten them entirely.

I turn the key in my sisters front door and call out.

“Sirena.”

She doesn’t respond. She’s too weak. She hasn’t eaten in almost a year now.

It’s hard to look at the husk of her these days, but I smile as I offer her the takeaway cup full of life saving male energy.

“I brought you a meal, you really must eat.”

What’s left of her seems to wear a sad smile, and with tears in her eyes she answers as she always does.

“Oh no,” she whispers. “I couldn’t possibly eat another thing. I’m all full up.”

 

 

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