He found her in an alley, hiding behind the dumpsters like a cat. She had knots in her hair and her ribs stuck out.

He took her home. Washed and brushed her hair. He put a fine golden chain around her neck and looped the other end around the bedpost. He made her his wife.

Every day she paced the room in a black velvet dress. She smiled prettily. She curtsied. She listened to his stories and gazed at him with adoration. He fed her on chocolates, berries, and milk.

“Are you happy, my darling?” He rubbed her back.

“Of course, my love,” she answered.

He kissed her and went to bed.

Alone in the room, she tore at the chain with her teeth. She kicked over her bowl of milk and threw the berries against the wall. She was starved. She wanted to bite into the soft part of his shoulder. She wanted to smother him with velvet and wrap the chain around his throat, wanted to pull back on it so hard that he could never choke out “My pet” again.


Mercedes M. Yardley  Mercedes M. Yardley's website writes whimsical horror and wears poisonous flowers in her hair.

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