I write character-driven dark fiction.
What do you do?

Jenny sashayed into the apartment, grinning as Gerald held the door for her, sweeping into a low bow.

“After you.”

“Why thank you!”

He closed the door behind her, pressing his back to it for a moment as if intending to keep her prisoner.

Or trying to keep the rest of the world out, she thought. He’s just trying to keep the rest of the world out.

Gerald launched himself from the door, closing the space between them in a single bound, taking her in his strong arms and kissing her almost savagely. Jenny’s breath caught in her throat as he tightened his grip about her waist with one arm, the other releasing her, the hand coming up to caress her cheek. He ran his fingers through her blond locks, causing her breath to catch again, but this time in pain as the myriad of bobby pins she’d used to fasten the wig pulled hard on her dark hair beneath.

He kissed her harder, his own breath coming in gasps, both hands cupping her face now, thumbs stroking her cheekbones, prominent below her eyes from all the weight she’d lost. Her baby fat was gone, and more, but this is what Gerald wanted; the weight loss, the blue-tinted contacts, the wig. Even the affected Southern accent. This was how he liked her.

Loved her.

He walked her back, guiding her across the room until her back pressed against the far wall. He melted against her, chest to chest, hip to hip, hands constantly roving, exploring her. “Oh, God, I love you,” he murmured, his lips moving against her lips, his breath tickling her face, filling her mouth. Jenny thrilled to hear the words, her knees actually going weak as her heart did a stutter-step.

“I love you… Oh, Sarah…”

Pain. Loss. Agony inside as she heard him mention that hated name.


Jenny, her heart screamed, my name is Jenny! Her mind marshaled itself, however, and her self-control was ironclad. She knew about his ex-wife, knew about his … obsession. She’d used it to get closer to him. He’d always told Jenny she looked like Sarah — it had been easy, oh, so easy, once the bitch had left him, to buy the wig, try the contacts.

To surprise him with the results.

His reaction to her preparations had been nearly everything she’d hoped, almost fulfilled her dreams …



All that she had done, and continued to do, and still his mind fixated on the woman he did not have, could not have, according to the courts. Could not even approach, thanks to their restraining orders. But still, Jenny had him in her arms, and she was in his, held so tightly sometimes it hurt and was hard to breathe.

I am here, not Sarah!

His mouth moved from her lips to her cheek, to her neck as he pressed against her hard, like an avalanche of flesh nearly threatening to crush her.

I am here, have always been here, and all I have to do is break his unhealthy obsession with the woman for him to see me here, to love me!

“Please …” he murmured against her neck. “…Jenny…”

Yes, she thought. That’s right! Jenny! I am Jenny!

“… please …put it on.”

Pain. Loss. Agony inside. She knew what he was asking, should have known he would be asking, but every time she deluded herself. Every time she hoped would be the time … but his obsession was still so strong. His reaction to all the changes she’d made had not fulfilled her dreams. Not until she’d gone and fetched it.

“Alright,” she said, keeping the pain from her voice. “I’ll put it on. Come on.”

Taking his hand she led him into the bedroom, where she moved to her dresser and opened the top drawer. A slight odor puffed out, and hope filled her chest that her plan might someday come to fruition.

Someday, he’ll see her for what she is,and I’ll still be here. I’ll always be here.

She’s had to go see Sarah to fetch it, had to meet her for the first time, just a month after she had Gerald’s divorce had gone through. Once her restraining order was in place, keeping him away. Sarah knew about Gerald’s obsession with her, and it had frightened her nearly as much as it saddened Jenny. Seeing Sarah that one time in person, not just in the photos Gerald still had scattered about the apartment, had driven home to Jenny just what a good job she’d done transforming herself. It was true that the two women naturally looked a bit like each-other, but now, with the weight loss and the wig, the resemblance was uncanny.

They could have been sisters.

It was not enough.

Jenny drew a box, wide and flat, Victoria’s Secret inscribed across the pink cardboard lid, from her top drawer and placed in upon the dresser. She could hear Gerald’s breathing behind her, ragged and harsh, a man balanced on the very edge of control.

She’d had to go see Sarah to fetch this, and the first time she’d worn it all her dreams about Gerald had come closer to true. But it would not last, she knew. The smell emanating from the box itself was an indication that deterioration had already begun, and it was only a matter of time until that deterioration would show, and then Gerald could not help but see his ex-wife for the rotting bitch she was. That would break his unhealthy obsession, leaving only Jenny, and her pure, healthy love.

He will love me, Jenny thought as she took Sarah’s face from the box, the unpreserved skin still beautiful, though already going slightly gray. Purely. As I love him.

She slipped the mask of flesh over her face, the disintegrating layer of connective tissue adhering slightly to her own skin as she turned to face Gerald.

His brutal kiss crushed her lips to her lips…

~ ~ * * ~ ~

The prompt was "Grotesque Love and Rotten Flesh" ... how'd I do?

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