The Music Box by Lisa Barry

For Trish Collins who submitted this amazing story starter to us!

The music box sprang open in her hand, and the tinny, cheap mechanism played a song she hadn’t heard since the night she killed him.

She could still remember his sweet blood trickling down her throat. Her teeth elongated slightly just thinking about it. She had never regretted that particular kill. He had been so sure of himself, so cocky. He deserved everything he’d gotten. And more.

She closed the music box and ran her finger along the fine detail of the wooden box before placing it back in the metal box and lifting the next item. It was a statue carved from black wood with ornate ivory accents. The statue depicted a young girl kneeling with her arm stretched out. Maura had always felt a kinship with her. The call for help that never came.

A glance in the box told her she had found what she had been looking for. Nestled beneath where the statue had rested was her first journal. The journal of a new life. She set the statue on her dressing table and lifted the book. The edges of the leather were worn, the pages yellow with age. It had an odd smell, a mix of salt and cinnamon.

He peered into the doorway of her room.

“Maury?” he questioned.

“I found it,” she answered and lifted it with a wave. He smiled; this simple action still had the ability to make her lifeless heart jump. She returned his smile knowing his angelic beauty outshone her own any day.

She lowered the book and opened it. As she flipped to the day it had happened, the day she had killed him, Raoul came to stand behind her. His fingers brushed the softest touch over her bare shoulders before settling at her hips. He looked over her shoulder easily.

She read from entry, her voice calm and soft.

His blood was better than the finest wine or the purest water. I had fleetingly wondered if I was coming to my own demise with such a delicacy allowed to my numb taste buds. I felt his breaths coming so fast and slowing, each beat becoming more and more distant, his struggle becoming less and less apparent. I breathed in his scent, delighted in it knowing it would vanish with his last breath.

And when the last of the air departed, when his heart gave its final stretch, I rested his head on my lap. I ran a hand over his porcelain skin, his pink lips before biting my wrist and holding it over his mouth. I coaxed the blood in with gentle massages of his throat. When I began to feel weak, I lowered his head to a pillow and curled into him. I could hear a haunting tune playing from a music box next door.

When he woke, he smiled. His teeth were different of course but the effect was the same. He was mine forever.

“Happy birthday, my love,” Maura said and turned her head to snuggle his chest.

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