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I find the phenomenon of standing in a line quite interesting, to say the least.

It’s a prime example of social conditioning at work, the man in front of you is, by all intents and purposes, of greater status than you in the microcosmic universe of waiting in a line. He is above you, one step closer to whatever it is you both want.

The line represents a structural acknowledgement, and that by breaking that acknowledgement, you are silently granting permission for everyone else in this structure to shame you, to shun you for daring to choose to not play ball.

And yet, there’s nothing illegal about it.

The current line that I’m standing in, is one for a burger at my local chain, Pete’s.

The place has your standard generic fast food menu, large burgers, small burgers, fries, etcetera etcetera. Now, none of that really matters, at least to me. I’m here to eat, but I’m not here to eat burgers.

That’s not to say that I don’t like burgers, quite the contrary, I enjoy a good one here and there, I find they’re particularly good for sating the hunger. But, today, at 6:45pm, my meal is not going to be from the dinner menu at Pete’s.

The line is now moving at a faster pace now, if you count a snail’s pace being faster. The overweight trucker with some political slogan on his hat that I really don’t have the interest to inspect further, shuffles forward with his beige shorts barely containing his tree trunk thighs.

My eyes water a little at the thought of him sating anybody, let alone myself, and I find myself looking around at the other people around me enjoying their grease-ball burgers to dispel that intrusive, disgusting thought.

I pass a middle aged lady with sandy blonde hair, a small child sitting opposite her. Nope. Child too young, too bland. Woman too jaded, her life withered away by the burden of slimy little spawn, judging by the weathered forlorn stare she gives her son as he drops his crayons on the floor.

My gaze moves on, settling on a seemingly Asian man, in what I’d say to be late twenties. Nice, strong, prominent facial features, dark hair and glasses. I run a hand through my chestnut mullet, a little taken aback at the gorgeousness of such a specimen. I bet his life is good.

I smirk, allowing myself to fantasize the meal. Just one touch.

I’m almost immediately pulled from my imagination by the nasally voice of the cashier in front of me.

“Can I help you?”

It seems I’m the front man now.

I survey the woman behind the counter, her auburn locks tied into a tight bun, company hat atop her head. I move down, trying my damnedest to covertly assess her bust, and I’m not disappointed. Her face is the crown jewel though, as I quickly dart my eyes back up, green eyes that shine, even if I can tell she’s bored. Nice, round cheeks and plump lips, and a rather attractive dimple in her chin. Her make-up is excessive, regrettably, and detracts from her rank on my list in here, but nevertheless…

“Sir, I said can I help you?”

I lock my eyes with hers, again distracted by the hunger, all previous thoughts of my Asian beauty lost to this starlet.

“I don’t know, can you help me?” I say in mock inquisitiveness.

She gives me a blank look, she’s clearly not interested.

“Sir, if you’re not gonna buy something I’m gonna ha-”

“Well I can’t buy people, can I?”

I interrupt her, and she gives me a very unsettled look, touching her bun awkwardly.

“O-okay sir I’m really gonna have to ask you to leave now or I’m gonna get my manager, you’re acting like a creep.” She attempts to sound assertive, but I can hear the covert sense of unease edging into her voice.

I shrug.

“Call me what you want, creep, parasite, maybe even vampire. I won’t take offence.”

I hesitate, drinking in the disturbed look in her face, and feeling the eyes from those behind me fixed on us, impatiently waiting for me to clear off.

“After all, they’re all true.”

This seems to set her off.

She takes off, walking briskly away from the counter, towards where I imagine her manager’s office is.

I smile to myself as I turn and exit the place before she can return, walking past the rows of people all staring at me, some muttering under their breath, others keeping their distance.

Now, I wait.

I drive my sedan across the street and park next to the curb, eyes trained on the exits. I have a good view of the area, and all I need to do now is bide my time.

I need to contain myself.

I’m working hard to steady my breathing currently, the elation of what’s likely going to be the best meal I’ve had in ages making me feel unimaginable lust. I am perspiring slightly, the anticipation biting into my very mind.

Take the greatest high you’ve ever experienced, then multiply it tenfold. No, one thousand fold. It’s pure, unbridled euphoria, ecstasy and pleasure packaged into one perfect sensation. That’s what feeding does to me. It’s supposed to be a choice, I don’t need to do it to live, but who could choose to not do this?

They’d do the same if they had this gift, this power.

But I have it and they don’t, and that’s their loss, and my gain.

I spend hours sitting there, waiting for her shift to end, eyes peeled, hands clammy and shaking slightly.

The urge is so much harder to keep at bay lately, and I can do nothing but indulge. The feeling is too good to stop.

Then, finally, she emerges, out of the staff exit at the rear of the building.

I take a deep breath, and look into the rear view mirror, catching a glimpse of my sharp, chiseled jawline in the process. My electric blue pools stare with yearning.

This is it.

I step out of my vehicle, breathing maintained, for now.

I watch the stunning starlet from before walk towards the parking lot, towards her own transport, and I stride confidently, mind in tunnel vision, eyes trained on her plump buttocks swaying as she walks.

I’m advancing on her, walking faster than she is, my black boots making a rhythmic sound, ever closer. She reaches her yellow compact as I fully cross the distance between us, and she turns, hearing my approach.

Her face goes from neutral to shock in less than a second.

“Look, please leave me alone, I don’t any trouble...” she trails off, mentally preoccupied with internal panic, eyes searching for someone to rescue her.

I shake my head and hold up my hands, changing my demeanor quickly.

“Hey, don’t worry, I’m not gonna hurt you, I just came to apologize and all for being creepy with you.”

I revel in the look of relief her face begins to soften into.

“O-oh, that’s okay, It’s no problem, really.”

She turns to unlock her car, and so I again speak to stop her.

“That’s a pretty necklace, can I have a look?”

She turns around again, the question clearly confusing her, as she gives me a look of puzzlement.

“What necklace, I’m not wearing one?”

It’s this split second confusion that drops her guard and allows me my window of opportunity.

I rush forward, arms grabbing hers, throwing her to the ground, compulsion taking me over completely. I place a hand firmly over her mouth, muffling the screams that are beginning to come out of her, whilst pressing my knee on her torso, keeping her pinned.

Her eyes are wide with fear, and I can barely contain myself as she struggles under my weight. She flails and cries, whimpering softly as I begin to breathe heavily. The adrenaline is coursing through me now, and I close my eyes as I place my other hand on her forehead.

I begin to focus, concentrating on nothing but keeping her pinned, and what I want to do.

In my mind, the word consume forms, my entire energy fixating on it.

It begins, with a surge of immense, unadulterated bliss running through my very soul.

I arch back as my victim starts to convulse, writhe and jolt, her very life being severed from her body, little by little, as every second passes.

She grows more violent as I let out a raspy moan, eyes rolling back, delicious intoxication from the force I am siphoning. I’m sweating profusely now, the process reaching its’ apex, irresistible, ethereal feelings perforating me on every imaginable level.

She’s terrified, the absolute horror in her face visible as she begins to gasp, in the final throes of her life, pain burning through her body.

My face cracks into a maniacal grin, the depravity and lust removing all inhibition, all sanity.

And then, it’s over.

The deceased cashier slumps back, nothing but an empty husk.

That which gave her life has been taken, taken by me, to feed my ravenous addiction.

I sit up against her car, relishing in the afterglow of this wonderful feeling. I feel content, satisfied…I feel…

…Wrong.

A feeling of dread begins to creep into my mind, I feel something fester inside of me. I feel infected, like something nefarious has taken root deep within my body, tainting it.

I’ve never felt like this before, never felt this corrupted.

I’m rotting from the inside out.

The feeling got worse, that overwhelming dread only grew, and so I went to see my doctor.

Lung cancer.

That’s what I have.

I don’t understand how this happened. My judgement is never wrong, I spent so long perfecting my selection technique. Months hanging around hospitals, eavesdropping, sneaking looks at medical records. I knew what healthy people looked like, my method worked.

So why not now?!

The doctor said I could get treatment, that I can go through radiotherapy, that I’m lucky I caught it early, but I know better.

I took that girl’s life force, her knowledge, her experiences. But I also took that cancer, an anomaly that an otherwise healthy human shouldn’t have. That undiagnosed blight is part of me now, fused with my soul. It’s as much a part of me now as my DNA.

For the first time in my life, true despair grips me. I don’t want this, I don’t want to live every day stepping closer to my demise.

And so, knowing this, I’m sitting in my home, feeling that rot slowly reduce me to nothing. It might take months, years, decades even.

But the fact still remains, my time is capped.



Written by ZugZuwang
Content is available under CC BY-SA

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