The Hunt

In passion, he’d forfeited his soul.

At the end of an unsuccessful hunt, he’d begun the journey home through the wood. In the diminishing sunset, rays of light shone down on her, strands of her brunette locks glimmering red as her thick lips stretched into a wicked grin. Her honey-brown eyes danced as they sipped him in; her green smock hugged her full breasts firmly. Her feet were bare and dirty, casting onto him thoughts of her wildness. Around her neck hung half a dozen beaded necklaces, colored apple-red, forest-green, and sapphire-blue.

She leaned coolly, resting a bent arm against the door frame leading into her shack. Had he been able to rip his eyes from lust incarnate, he would have seen beyond her, into her living quarters. He would have observed piles of thick books stacked on tables; bones from various animals hanging from the ceiling; and jars upon jars of all sorts of substances, lined up against the far wall.

She offered a wagging finger, and he came to her. He dared not speak as she led him to her bed. There, they spent the next hour. She excited an array of feelings inside of him, from lust to hate to shame. The wine she’d forced upon him did little to dull these intense emotions.

The act completed, his wife hung heavily on the man’s mind, like a ghostly witness to his sins.

Suddenly, he flung himself over the mattress and expelled the sour contents of his stomach onto the dusty floor. She climbed over him on her way out of the bed, and, in the light of the candles she’d lit before they’d come together, he saw that she was no longer a beautiful, young temptress, but an old, wrinkled hag.

She stood in the middle of the shack, murmuring terrible things, wonderful things, words that he had never dreamed could be uttered. She raised her hands to the sky, and, as he continued to be sick, he watched the drooping fat of her arms tremble from her movement.

Stop– he begged between the infinite fountains of rancid puke gushing out of him.

Stop she did, turning to face him. Her hair was white and stringy; her breasts, the necklaces resting between them, hung flat, resting just above her belly button; her stomach, flabby and dimpled, covered her groin. She smiled, revealing yellowed teeth. Those eyes, those honey-brown eyes remained, truly belonging to the witch.

What’s–happening–to–me?

He understood, though. He’d bitten from the forbidden fruit, and it was rotten.

The witch had poisoned his wine.

Bonnie. Bonnie was home, where the smoke drifted lazily from the chimney on a gentle breeze. Bonnie was pure and good and love. Now he clutched dearly to a vision of her sweeping, the skirt of her blue dress swaying as she performed the mundane chore.

The witch ambled over to the wall with the jars and snatched an empty one up. As she drew closer to him, she opened it, then seated herself beside him on the bed, patiently awaiting his demise. All the while, she gripped the jar in her thin, long-fingered grasp.

Some time later, the moon high in the black sky, he lay sprawled out on the floor, resting in his own vomit. He was dead.

He no longer resembled the handsome, sturdy hunter who had come to her, but a man who had succumbed to starvation.

She screwed the lid back onto the jar, the jar that now contained essence of hunter, and nodded in satisfaction. After the jar was put back with the others, she peered down at the mess the hunter had gifted her before his passing.

She would be up until dawn, cleaning up this mess.

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