“The Puddle” by Susan Gibb

I watch the people go by on a late Friday afternoon. Hurrying home, quick-stopping to buy something for dinner. Some Catholics, still fish. As if this will save them from Hell.

I drink in the rain, it widens my mouth to catch it. I grow bigger, more powerful with each drop that I sip.

A mean little boy stamps his foot in my soul. I want to eat him alive. His mother pulls him away from my yawning grasp just as my tongue laps at his ankle.

A pretty young woman steps over me, avoids me, as if she is too aware of my nature. She is wearing a white slip and black panties.

It is growing dark and the crowd has thinned out. I sparkle in streetlights, my lure of the night. Footsteps come from a faraway place down the block. They slide and scuff with a pattern of sound I have become too familiar with hearing. A friend? They all are.

They come close and closer. A tip of an old bent-down hat. A face slack and unknowing. He stumbles on the flat, unguarded curb of the sidewalk. He falls with a splash and his face lands in my reach. His eyes are closed but he noisily breathes the same irregular beat of his steps. He lays there unmoving, mumbling. His hand still holds tight to a broken green bottle wrapped in a ripped brown paper bag. The wine blends with his blood and runs red through my teeth.

I am hungry. I swallow him whole.

More fiction at Used Furniture.


  1. I love the vicious tenderness of this story

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