The words over at Three Word Wednesday are brazen, hunger and nuzzle.
The box rests on the floor, in the middle of a sunny, white-walled room with distressed wood floors.
It’s a plain hat box, wooden with a hinged lid and a brass closure. He'd plucked it from a trash heap, on a whim, before the trash man came and swept it away.
His initials are scratched into the wood, a custom job with a penknife when he was a brazen young man, the world filleted and laid out before him.
He hasn’t looked in the box in forever. Not since the hunger left him, left for good.
Or so he thought.
Old habits die hard and as much as he’d like to admit to being a changed man, there it was, burning as bright as ever in the pit of his stomach. A yearning, ropey-thick, hot.
He pads around the box in bare feet, the wood floor groaning with each small step.
And while the yearning is definitely there, there’s also slight regret, which tastes bitter on his tongue, like bile brought up after a night of debauchery.
He summons enough saliva to back it down, wash it away, but the taste lingers and it catches him as odd that he’s grown so shy as to actually be like the rest of humanity. Cattle, he used to call them, back when he hunted for sport.
There’s a flash of anger that brushes against the hairs on his arms at the thought and he plops into a sitting position and flips the brass tongue of the lock and opens the box.
The dry hinges scream a protest, but he’s not listening.
Frothy drool appears on his lips and the corners curve into a grin as his fingers plunge into the box.
His heart quickens and it all comes back to him. The desire, the burning itch as he touches this one memento he’s allowed himself.
For all the power that twitches in his muscles, he’s gentle as his hands retreat from the box, the prize teasing his fingers as he lifts.
It’s a scalp cape, the mane of a beautiful woman he once knew.
He nuzzles the strawberry-blond hair, sweeps it across his cheeks and buries his nose in those wonderful curls. he takes in the musty smell and catches, ever so briefly, a hint of Chanel No. 5 that first drew him to her all those many years ago.