Wednesday's Three Word Wednesday

The words over at Three Word Wednesday are brazen, hunger and nuzzle.

Keepsake
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.

22 comments:

anthonynorth said...

Now that is quite an ending. Excellently done.

Carina said...

Yes...well...erm...you certainly captured our attention! Excellently written!

gautami tripathy said...

Darkly powerful. You kept us on the edge.

doing the undoing

Andy Sewina said...

Phew, I can taste it! You're so creative Thom!

(has he lifts?)

AnnSecret said...

One word: Speechless.

That was really intriguing. Made me wonder if there is a story behind it...?

Stan Ski said...

Saving the best till last...?

lissa said...

creepy, yes, I guess I was hoping for something funny, like a clown suit or something, don't know why

peggy said...

atmospheric and tantalizing.
"flash of anger that brushes against the hairs on his arms" -- such an original line.
Also liked the hint of Chanel No. 5

I look forward to your weekly offering.

p.s. Wouldn't you know my capcha was 'sates'!!!

Ann (bunnygirl) said...

Wow. Surprising and disturbing. As always, you tell a riveting tale.

Greyscale Territory said...

OOOOOOOO! It weaves with sinister tension and then ends with an explosion of darkness! A beautiful piece of writing!

Dee Martin said...

"the world filleted and laid out before him" - love that line and I love the mention of perfume - it gives us that added real sense. Of course you have totally ruined Chanel for me forever LOL

I figure this is the nice young man that takes my deposit at the bank - the clean cut one in the dress shirt and tie, who's always so polite...

Jay Thurston said...

Hlafway through this I was thinking, "do I really want to know what is in the box? Thom is playing up the suspense. I know its going to be disturbing." (sits tight, clicks seat belt and braces for impact)... and the suspense served the ending wonderfully.

You can always rope in the reader to continue even though they may know something chilling is coming.

Great writing!

Marisa Birns said...

Yep, I was nervous about knowing what was in the box!

Nothing to worry about...it was just a beautiful head of hair! Heh.

Wonderfully engaging. And spooky. :)

Laura Eno said...

Yelp! Wonderfully spooky bit. :)

Thomma Lyn said...

Oooh, shiversome and spookiferous! And as ever, masterful detail.

Michael Solender said...

creepy. very creepy, creepy good!

mazzz in Leeds said...

"filleted" - excelent line
Great imagery (or rather soundery?) with the box's hinge creaking
The ending made me smile, love a story with a scalp :-)

one more believer said...

ahhh the storyteller....engaging and hair tingling...

Lilibeth said...

yeechh! If there is a story behind it I'm not sure I'm ready to hear it.

Weezel said...

My kind of story -- very creepy in an interesting, let me keep reading, way!

TD said...

can't say that i'm a fan of creepy or horror... but this certainly was well written... i felt my stomach knot at the turn... good job...

Anonymous said...

Waited with bated breath and you did not disappoint. Very tactile feeling Thom.--Irene