An Excerpt From Cannibal Hearts

This is a section of new stuff.  It takes place just after the characters have lost one of their friends, (the traumatic death scene that I had been stuck on for so long.)  James and Godiva are in a hotel suite that Agony provided for them so they wouldn’t have to go home.  Godiva has invited two other ambimorphs, Nancy Dew and Suzie Lightning to join them for the evening.

I am trying to get across the non-human nature of my characters by showing how the ambimorphs grieve. I’m not sure how it comes across–too creepy? Not creepy enough?  Any feedback?

The water shut off in the other room. They hadn’t closed the door, so I stuck my head in.

The girls were in the jacuzzi, the water still and thick with suds. The three of them were close together, arm and arm in arm, Godiva in the middle, hair, blond black and red, all plastered together.

It should have been sexy, but it wasn’t. They were too still, breathing in a glacial unison. Godiva opened her eyes, and the green was dark, almost black. For a moment she just looked at me, as if she couldn’t remember who I was, if the knowledge couldn’t quite penetrate whatever dark warm place her mind had been.

“You can join us,” she said, tonelessly. She’d taken her teeth out, and the tendrils in her mouth that she ordinarily kept tucked away reached out of her mouth, gently tasting the air.

“No, that’s okay,” I said. “I’m good.” Nancy and Suzie hadn’t moved at all, not even opened their eyes. They just clung to her side like leeches. “Do you need anything?”

Nancy spoke then, opening just her mouth and not her eyes. “Can you bring the rum?” He voice sounded eerily like Godiva’s.

“Sure,” I said. I went to fetch the bottle. When I got back they had all closed their eyes again, faces as smooth as manikins. A hand came out of the water and I passed the bottle to it without looking to see whose it was.

I understood it. I didn’t like it, but I understood it. She had been hurt, wounded way deep inside, and she needed to grieve in her own way, to seek the comfort of her own kind. They were lost in some sort of biochemical communion, the sybiotes in their bodies reaching out to each other, their conscious minds retreating into a cocoon woven from long chains of alien neurotransmitters.

A communion that, despite what had been done to me, I was too human to enter into. Her offer had, no doubt, been genuine, but there was no room for me in there. Unlike Godiva, I had no kind. Sui generis, that was Catskinner’s phrase. One of a kind.

Or maybe not. There was Agony, but somehow I couldn’t imagine going to her for comfort.

Instead I went back to the big comfy couch and my bottle of scotch. Maybe there was something good on TV.


About MishaBurnett

I am the author of "Catskinner's Book", a science fiction novel available on Amazon Kindle.
This entry was posted in Cannibal Hearts, On Writing and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

8 Responses to An Excerpt From Cannibal Hearts

  1. J.A. Romano says:

    Nancy spoke then, opening just her mouth and not her eyes. “Can you bring the rum?” He voice sounded eerily like Godiva’s.


    Well, I don’t think it’s too creepy. I was a bit surprised at the teeth thing, but it’ll probably make more sense to the people that read the contents before the grieving thing. All in all, the writing was good.

  2. Dave Higgins says:

    It fits with my interpretation of the characters from Catskinner’s Book.

    Adding more overt horror would risk making horror porn instead of real – but alien – emotion.

  3. Marian says:

    Sounds like them.

  4. elodymay says:

    ‘Maybe there is something good on tv.’ Bitterly reminds me of the comment in Catskinnner’s Book of ‘Maybe there was nothing good on tv that night.’ This has always stuck with me. The thought that the Idiot Box has so much more power than we realized is… Thought provoking, at the least.

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