In the sunshine of the patio, they perched on white ironwork chairs, sturdy creatures forged in a pattern to imitate delicate lace. “I assure you, you’ve never had a treat like my cheese puff surprise. Lofty, and oh so sweetly sharp.” Janice beamed as she served her guest a tiny plate.
Claire accepted with a polite smile. She took a couple of delicate bites while making humble mumbles as she wondered how to phrase a comment that didn’t declare them too salty. “These seem like they have quite a bit of um, liquid smoke?”
“Yes,” Janice smiled and leaned on the table, slowly resting her chin on an elegantly poised hand, quietly crossing her ankles before continuing, “I used a heavy hand to cover the taste of the crab, but I rather like the smoldering edge it lends, like revenge served before it goes stale.”
Claire dropped her fork. “Janis, you know I’m allergic. Quick, where’s my purse? I need my EpiPen.”
“I put it in the closet. But your EpiPen isn’t in it. The police will find it, and some other small items that must have dropped out of your purse when you visited the bathroom.”
Claire’s voice was starting to sound scratchy, perhaps the crab, perhaps from confusion and panic. “The police? What police?”
“Well, I’m sure when your husband claims the life insurance, they’ll want to investigate. Don’t worry, I can tell them I didn’t know shrimp was related to crab. If I act pretty enough, they won’t think to much of it at all.” She tossed her head back and smiled like she hasn’t since riding that boyfriend’s Harley, the one her mother hated, purring with a low rumbling fire rising between her legs.
“Fuck your morbid humor. Where is it?” Claire fumbled with her mother’s heirloom pearls, pulling too roughly in a silly attempt to get more air.
Janice waved the cheese knife through the air as if she were tracing a lazy spiral, a distant smile on her face. “Oh look, your body is fighting against itself and forgetting your need for vital breath in the process.”
She leaned closer, her crimson lips reflecting an orange, fiery tint that made her teeth look aged and yellow, but seemed to match the gleam in her eyes, brightening them with a mad rage, “Your face will be too bloated and grotesque for an open casket.”
“Janis, why?” Her voice was thin, croaky.
“Well, Claire, maybe you shouldn’t have unfollowed me on Twitter.”
Tarot deck: Archeon. Tarot Prompt: Knight of Swords.
Interpretation: Passion and wit. A sharp tongued teenager. Fire and air = smoke. Intelligence to temper burning emotions, but smoldering.
The darkness on the side of her face, reminds me of a certain demonic barmaid with fire in her hair. Looks passive, but smolders. Would totally get you back when you least expect it. Rage filled and overly rational minds bent on revenge might not forgive easily, even when something is forgivable and understandable. Especially if they already have a taste for murder.
416 words. More tarot stories.
P.S. – I already seem to be channeling the voice of the 50s housewife as cheekily portrayed in my new tarot deck, it won’t stop calling my name.
P.P.S. – I chuckled when I thought deadly crab were a gift that should be salty.