#155 Blood and Wine

by Karen S. Cook

The steak was as bloody as his mood. It was tough, too, and served less warm than he would normally have tolerated, but he didn’t notice. He registered the taste of nothing, not even the Chateau Lafitte 49 he had ordered to go with the meat. The meal was costly—more money than he was in the habit of spending—but he expected Charlotte to empty their accounts, and this meal—his last—would never be noticed.

He cut another piece, which dripped on his napkin before he got past the second button of his shirt. Charlotte would have given him a look if she had seen the mess, and he heard her voice in his imagination, saying, “Damn it, Doug, you’re showing your low class roots again.” He chewed with his mouth open, glaring in defiance at anyone who dared to look at him, disappointed when no one did.

Slowly, he felt himself come down from the peak of his anger, and with it lessened, his taste buds were reinvigorated. The wine was good, though he still couldn’t savor it. When he felt the tears prick, he knew he couldn’t go through with his plan. Anger was no basis for suicide; despair was. He had passed through despair, though, dwelled for a time in hatred, luxuriated in self-pity. Now—after a bad steak and good wine—he had finally come to revenge. And that—that was worth living for.


Ilene Goldman said...

Love that first line!

Another Government Employee said...

Nice. This one should be continued.

Patsy said...

Like it.