Sophia's Choice

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Flash Fiction  |  House: The Imaginarium
A short story inspired by the Imaginarium House one word prompt -- bite.

Submitted: May 31, 2017

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Submitted: May 31, 2017

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Sophia’s Choice

 

The ballroom was packed with people. Anyone who was ‘Anyone’ was there; royalty and diplomats and business tycoons galore. The ball was being held in honour of Sophia’s 18thbirthday and every man that wanted to catch her eye was in attendance. Some came with their mothers, some their sisters; others even dared to come with their wives or daughters.

 

The room spoke of wealth, from moderate to extreme. Men were dressed up in their best suits, their silk shirts, their ties. And as for the women, the sky was the limit. The most lavish, the most extravagant dresses were on display. The hairstyles were extreme, the make-up dramatic and the jewels were positively dripping.

 

Music filled the room. Men and women paired off to dance sedately, seductively, demurely or crazily – it seemed that anything was acceptable so long as people were moving. But then a door at the very top of the staircase opened and the music instantly ceased. All eyes turned and focused on the vision that appeared through that door.

 

Sophia lapped it up, the attention and the adoration. After all, they were guests of her father, at a function thrown for her. They owed her this moment! She moved down one stair then another. Not a word was said; in fact it was so quiet it almost seemed like everyone had stopped breathing. When she reached the fourth stair, Sophia waved to the musicians who instantly began to play again and the dancing resumed.

 

Sophia was tall, as tall or taller than many of the male guests. She was slim and pale, quite beautiful in a Gothic way. Her dress was some kind of concoction of silk and lace, lots of white material layering and flowing around her body. Her dark hair was swept back from her face, held in place by an arrangement of black, white and red roses, thorns still prominent on their stems. Of any jewels there was not a sight.

 

As soon as she reached the bottom stair she found herself surrounded by potential dance partners, many of whom were clearly hoping to become much more than that. Sophia smiled and danced and danced and smiled but her coolness remained. She did not make eye-contact with any of the men or women who flocked around her; instead her gaze was constantly on the move. She was searching for something or someone, it seemed, while trying to remain impersonally polite.

 

She changed instantly, becoming tense, determined. Her eyes remained focussed on one area, on one man. Everybody seemed to notice apart from the man himself, who continued to chat and flatter the girls that had gathered around him.

 

What was it about this man that attracted her attention? He certainly did not appear the wealthiest or even the most handsome male in attendance. Probably about four years her senior, certainly no more than six, he was self-assured and relaxed. He did not seem surprised to find himself so popular, in fact he seemed to relish all the female attention being heaped upon himself. He seemed to be unaware, though, that he had caught the attention of that most coveted pair of eyes.

 

Sophia’s gaze did not waver. She steered her dance partners in the man’s direction, the other dancers parting to clear her path. The girls noticed her first and one by one withdrew leaving the man alone to face Sophia’s gaze. And what a gaze it was! She captivated him in seconds with her direct look, from eyes that had appeared blue but now seemed more like silver.

 

Did they even exchange a word before taking to the dance floor? Later, when questioned about the man’s disappearance, no one was quite sure. But the man himself appeared captivated, they all agreed on that, and when the couple disappeared from the ballroom certain presumptions were made.

 

How far wrong they would have been! Only her father knew what was taking place, that Sophia had picked the victim that would receive her first bite. At 18 years old she needed to taste blood, to gorge herself on it until the man had barely a drop left. He would be dead, of course, but everyone would believe something totally different, especially when Sophia herself failed to reappear.

 

Wilson would clear up any mess later and he would always keep their secret. After all, Wilson was a part of the family and their blood ran deep.

 

 

 


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