Hot. Sweet. Rich. Deceptively subtle. Erik never tasted anything so downright delicious before in his entire life. The myriad of conflicting tastes mixing his taste buds left him wondering exactly what he was gulping down his throat yet those flavors blended so well together, he was eager for more.
He couldn’t tell if his eyes were open or closed in delightful bliss. All of his attention was focused on the mysterious item he held in his mouth, aware of something wet dripping down his chin. He bit into it, tasting a sudden burst of flavor before feeling something soft give way. A fruit, perhaps? He rolled it around his tongue, letting the sweet juice spread. Strawberry? Mango? Or was it some foreign fruit he heard that only existed in the hidden jungles of the amazon. He gulped it down slowly, feeling the soft slide down his throat and immediately filled his mouth with its delicious sweetness again.
Whatever it was, it tasted so good and smelled so mouthwatering, he knew he wouldn’t forget the taste of it so easily. Every bite was a delight. Every swallow, a slow caress and when he had finished it all, he whimpered in disappointment. Then he begun to notice his hands were covered in red sticky juice.
A strawberry then, he thought pleasantly as he licked his fingers, making sure he got everything and savoring the sweet tangy flavor of it. The rich distinct scent filling his nose, imprinting in his brain. But underneath the mysterious scent and the flavor, Erik felt it was somehow familiar. A smell he knew intimately one time in his life.
Cloying and ripe. Blood and death. The old smell stirred something in his memories, rousing it like a bear in hibernation. And slowly as if coming out of a drunken stupor, he realize his hands were not covered in sweet strawberry juice but something more darker, richer and horrifyingly barbaric.
He jerked his hands away from his face and scrambled backward, stumbling into something heavy in his way. He turned to look and found pale glassy eyes staring back at him. He screamed and quickly moved away. A girl, small and broken, sprawled lifelessly on the ground, staring at him with her dead eyes. A red stain between her chest. A gaping hole where her heart had been.
Erik gasped as he opened his eyes and quickly reached for the lamplight. The shadows in his room disappeared as he sat upright on his small bed, heart pounding and eyes a little bit wild with fear. He looked at his shaking hands and was relieved to find no blood on them but somehow the taste and smell lingered on his mouth, reminding him of how sweet it was before realizing what it truly was.
He suddenly felt nauseous.
A dream. He told himself firmly. Nothing more than a dream. It wasn’t real and therefore didn’t happen. Erik stared outside his dirty window, watching the vague images of cars passing by, evening his breath out until it returned to normal. Once he was calm enough, he laid on his bed and stared at the ceiling. Just a dream. He told himself one last time before closing his eyes and going back to sleep.
Unknown to him in a room not far where he slept, a broken doll lay in a puddle of blood. Her lifeless eyes staring at the ceiling.
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