Challenges Met:

-Gothic Tropes (disease, superstition, dreams and nightmares, eroticism, darkness, isolation, madness, witchcraft/magic/occultism, the aristocracy, death/afterlife, church/corruption, frame narrative and confusion, loners/outsiders)

-Literary Tropes (eye color denotes personality, dysfunctional family saga, childhood memories with water, someone died, title is a metaphor, purple prose, kill of the mentor, alcoholism, old professor with young student, it was all a dream, dogs bark in the distance).

-Set in the Present

-Writing Prompt: A walk through the woods helps me relax and release tension. The fact that I’m dragging a body behind me should be irrelevant.

A walk through the woods helps me relax and release tension. The fact that I’m dragging a body behind me should be irrelevant.

Tiffany had been such a bore anyway. No one in the family will miss her much. Besides, she was only a third cousin, twice removed. Whatever that means.

Well, what it meant was that she thought she could fuck my brother and get herself written into the will.

Yeah right.

Dogs barked in the distance as I paused to draw on my unlit cigarillo. The amber taste hit my palate with notes of nutmeg and oak. I’d light it once I burned and buried dear, old Tiffany. Couldn’t have anything tying her death back to me now.

Might have to smash up her pretty red mouth, too.

Her body snagged on a root, and I gave her arm a good yank before it popped out of socket. It twisted her unhelpfully, so I grabbed her foot and tugged her on. The brush, branches, and slowly-crisping leaves crunched beneath poor Tiffany’s dead weight.

I suppose nature would have to take one for the team. It was a good cause after all.

Tiffany was a waste of air before she grew breasts. And she only got worse after. All of those low-cut shirts and skimpy swimsuits, long sweaters with no pants—and likely no panties. Summers were always hell with her, screeching and giggling and flouncing around.

I dropped her and puffed on my cigarillo.

Water pushed her to be a silly twit, and it was always my strength. Jumping off the tree swing into water, splash fights, races, and tanning on the shore. I was no pale beauty. I was the tan goddess, and summer was my time to shine.

All of my brother’s friends would follow me around and gawk. Some of them were easily led out to the corners of the lake behind the docks for a make-out session and a quick hand job. It didn’t stop when my brother caught us. Instead, he’d make eye contact as he watched, his own hand moving over himself under the water as his friend groped my breast and I moaned against their skin. He was there the first time one of them slipped their hand under my bottoms and sank their fingers into my pussy.

When Tiffany showed up, I became old news. 

I couldn’t put up with that forever.

Picking Tiffany’s foot again, we trudged for the last few hundred feet to a nice hidden spot with wide, flat rocks that wouldn’t burn.

Unfurling a plastic baggie with a piece of chalk, I drew a circle around the dark stone and marked a pentagram in the center: a great means of pushing suspicion away from me. I’m a good, Christian girl after all.

Tiffany rolled into the center, and she lit up nicely. Especially since I soaked her shirt in cheap vodka. After she started to burn, I tucked dry leaves and twigs around her to keep her going.

That cheap shampoo laced her burning hair with coconut.

Become more of a cliche, cousin.

I tossed the chalk and baggie in the blaze with her and finally lit my cigarillo, and a wave of relief came with it. Fine tobacco and leaves coated my mouth and tongue and lungs with satisfaction.

Get your hands on my family’s money now, Tiffany.

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