Better or Worse by Eden Royce

The inspiring song for the first round of If Music Be The Food flash fiction is by The Naked & Famous. The song is called “Rotten”. Have a listen before you read the next entry, written by Eden Royce!

Better or Worse

It’s your smell that lets me know you’re home.

I delight in it, inhale the deep, rich scent and hold it in my lungs until my head becomes light and I nearly faint from bliss.

I lust after your scent, can barely stop my hips from rolling in anticipation. It’s been difficult, spending all of this time apart. It wasn’t what I signed up for when we promised our lives to each other. But I forgive you for this time apart—your work is important. I know that. It’s what will set us up for the future, what will keep us into old age.

No, our love will do that.

The clock strikes four and I place my bookmark, made from a strip of your homemade leather, inside the novel I’m reading to pass the time. Night is slowly fading and that’s when you’ll look up, pull your hands from the decaying cavities they’ve been immersed in, and a smile will creep across your pale face. You’ll wipe sweat and viscera from your brow and begin your climb from the basement, up the stairs, eager to see if I’m waiting.

Of course I am.

Waiting for your work to be finished so we can be together again.

The door to your workshop creaks open, bringing your scent. The metallic tang of old blood, rotting matter, of bones spurting marrow and my flesh twitches in response. I take your outstretched hand, now free of its filth-caked glove, and you pull me into your arms, kissing me breathless.

Together we climb another set of stairs, hand in hand, to look out over the world that shuns us. That denies our worth and our beauty.

The world that will soon be ours.

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