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  • Jordan Keller

I Love You(r voice)

Short story title on silk background

She didn’t know how they ended up in her kitchen with a half-drunk bottle of red wine between them and pasta simmering on the stove. She didn’t know how the casual conversation weeks ago bloomed into a friendship that transcended fan and singer. She didn’t want to think too hard on it though. Not when his song came over the speaker and, instead of skipping it, he rounded the counter and pulled her into a dance.

They sang along together, they twirled against the kitchen tile together, they laughed together. When the song ended, his hands did not leave her sides and panic churned the wine in her stomach.

Suddenly, his mouth was on hers. Claiming space the same way his hands greedily claimed her body. She pushed away but he only held tighter. His desire met her terror. Only when the smoke alarm above the stove screamed did he pull away. She shoved him against the counter, knocking the wine bottle to the floor and drenching the kitchen in red.

He reached for her, concern and confusion staining his face. “You said you love me?”

“I said I loved your voice,” she clarified.

Shouts overpowered the speakers. The trust they built shattered as easily as the wine bottle. Every moment together now shown with new light. His memories tainted with lies. Hers smothered with unnoticed flirtations. Their words drowned out the smoke alarm. A trail of wine-soaked footprints followed him out the door. She cut her fingers on the glass.

The house was silent. The mess was cleaned. A fingerprint bruise was burned into her waist. Instead of his song playing on a loop in her head, his voice replayed their fight. His beautiful voice morphing into a weapon at her apparent betrayal. A knock on the front door caused her to flinch.

She didn’t expect to see him on the other side. She exhaled before opening, exhaled his unwanted advantages, her miscommunication, the friendship that shattered. Perhaps they could apologize. Start over. She greeted him with just his name, tightening her house coat to ward off the chill. He nodded in response; the motion hindered by the bulky red scarf now wrapped around his neck. He pulled a small box from his coat pocket. She asked him what it was, and he pushed the box against her hands until she accepted it.

Slowly, she pulled the lid off. Her scream caught in her throat. Strips of muscle curling around itself stared up at her. Blood soaked into the cardboard sides. The pink color faded to brown like spoiled beef. The vocal card was in shreds.

Horrified, she looked up, and he pulled off his scarf. The fabric absorbed most of the carnage, but not all. Blood dripped from the wound on his neck. The crudely cut throat pulsed with coming infection. Each breath caused more of it to ooze onto his chest. He didn’t say anything. He couldn’t say anything. Not when she held the ability in her hands.

The instrument that brought them together, the reason for the messy fracture in their lives, lay dead between them. He would never sing again.

She dropped the box. The massacred vocal cords plopped onto the stoop with a wet slap. The box’s gift tag tangled in her fingers.

“If you won’t love me. You won’t have my voice.”

Superhero novels with romance and mystery

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1 comentario

05 jul

Loved it! Felt like something that could turn into a horror novel.

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