Friday, July 10, 2009

Entry #21

Claret
by Loren Eaton


The table was sheathed in white linen, piled with pale roses and bore two crystal goblets filled to the brim with claret. When Sylvia saw it, she gasped, “Oh, Andrew!”

Andrew beamed. “Happy anniversary, love.”

“How sweet.” She took up a goblet and swirled it. “The claret looks wonderful.”

“It’s French, a Haut-M├ędoc from 1940.”

Syliva’s eyes glistened. “The year we met.” She took a delicate sip.

Andrew marveled at the smooth sweep of her throat as she drank. She was so refined. She made most of his clan look like savages.

Suddenly, her brow creased.

“What?” Andrew asked, alarmed. He wanted everything perfect tonight.

“The claret, it’s …” She passed him the goblet.

One taste and he knew: It was flat, tired. Also, too warm. He cursed himself silently. He should have selected a newer vintage, should have let it reach room temperature.

“There’s more in the cellar,” he said, composing himself. “Italian, Spanish, American—”

“Is the American young?”

“Fourteen or fifteen.”

“Perfect. Thank you, Andrew.”

He moved quickly, not wanting to spoil the mood, pausing briefly on the cellar stairs to pick up what he’d need to decant the claret. They were where he’d left them, curled in the corner, hands bound, gags in their mouth. The old man was already cold. A youth with fuzz on his lip trembled when he saw slim steel knife and the pewter pitcher in Andrew’s hands.

“Shhhh,” Andrew whispered, running a tongue over sharp incisors. “You’ll barely feel a thing.”

31 comments:

laughingwolf said...

ooooo nice twist :)

wrath999 said...

Yes, very cool and very well done. I enjoyed this a lot.

alex

Rohan said...

awesome...!

Ello said...

Ok that was absolutely freaking awesome! Perfect vignette! This is my absolute favorite!

Aniket said...

Dark. Gory. Nasty.

Just the way I like it.
Blood is tasty. Yumm.

Did I say that out aloud?

Catvibe said...

I loved this one! Wonderful twist and totally unexpected.

Aerin said...

Loren, Loren, Loren! Co-Dictator of the Entire Universe!! Your title is even more appropriately given. Well done, well done. I can say I knew you when!! I'm getting all gooshy and teary-eyed!

Therese said...

Yikes! Well done, Loren. I did not see that coming.

Laurel said...

FANTASTIC!

I was thinking sweet old couple, romantic. You know, who we all want to be when we grow up.

Here's to hoping the American is AB. According to Jaye it's the tastiest.

Oh, and he should never have let it reach room temperature. NIIIICE.

JR's Thumbprints said...

I sensed something sinister in the air with the line: Andrew marveled at the smooth sweep of her throat as she drank. What I liked is that you took the story in a different direction, you avoided temptation with the usual vampire bites neck scenario. I have a feeling I'll remember this story long after the competition ends.

Karen said...

While I did wonder about how her neck could still be smooth, I didn't see this coming. Good one!

Eric Beetner said...

Nice one. Lots of stories with twists but this one I did not see coming. Nicely dark

Briony said...

Certainly thought it was going to be romantic ending. What a thrilling and excellent twist! :D

Tessa said...

Loved the subtle way in which you draw the reader in as you set the scene of romance and memory. Then, just as we are settling back feeling all dewy-eyed and nostalgic, you plunge in..... Spine is abruptly straightened, jaw drops. Excellent in every respect. Well done indeed, Loren!

The Preacherman said...

I thought there'd be a few vampires in this comp but this is a particularly good one.

Didn't see it coming.

Very nice one old bean.



Four Dinners

Loren Eaton said...

Hey, I just found this. And I'll be darned, people actually like it. Thanks guys!

BernardL said...

A blood cellar of people... different vintages... I like it. :)

pjd said...

Ah! Lovely! I wondered about it being too warm and needing more time to reach room temperature. Very clever, nicely hidden and exposed.

Hoodie said...

A vampire wine cellar. Very clever. Kudos for such an original idea.

You brought of the revelation of the twist flawlessly.

Meghan said...

Whoah! Did NOT see that one coming! Great job.

Absolute Vanilla (and Atyllah) said...

Love it, and did so not see that end coming! Really well done!

Dottie said...

Great job.

Gughan said...

Didn't see that coming at all! Fantastic!

Beth Harar said...

Unexpected and wonderful.

Deb S said...

You're in my top 5!

JaneyV said...

Excellent job. I love how you ambiguous the beginning was - making the end all the sweeter.

Claret! HA!

Jade L Blackwater said...

Nice completeness - all the imagery and foreshadowing comes together perfectly.

Rabid Fox said...

A great creep vibe and the story capped off nicely. I almost picked this one as my "reader's choice." Tough competition, and a very good showing here.

Deb Smythe said...

I had my fingers crossed for you. Your piece hooked me in, held me throughout, and ended with a fun twisty blast.

Choosing was tough, but you were my number 1

jason evans said...

Very naughty! Refined vampires. Loved it!!

Welcome to The Forties Club!!

Loren Eaton said...

Thanks for the encouraging comments, guys. This was a lot of fun.