Gregor McLoughlin nearly wept as he held the lump in his hands.
Not because it was ugly – no, never because of that. Being a bit misshapen himself, he looked upon it as a-a kindred soul.
The old woman had called it that – kindred. Had said it would grant him his heart’s desire – grant it, so only he could have it.
She had cackled when she said it. Witch.
It was a greedy thing, this mangled bit of earth and-and something – something not of this world. It sucked the light right out of the room. It seethed, hot and demanding. He could feel himself nodding at it, willing to do wherever it needed.
He understood greed. Hunger.
People said – out loud, and often to his face – he was an avaricious git. Every time he heard them, he also heard the envy in their voices – envy, mixed often with desire.
Yes, he was greedy. And they wished they could be, too, he thought.
His cupidity had brought him very far in this life. He had the best – the best cars, the best house, the best boat, the best food – everything.
The one thing it hadn’t brought him was Nanette.
Nanette of the emerald eyes. Nanette, the darling of anyone who looked upon her.
No matter how high he reached, she was always there, always knocking him back down, until he was that pimply, unwelcome high-school boy again.
One touch. That was all it would take, the witch had said. Just one touch.
Gregor looked down at the lump, turned it in his hands and searched its surface. There. There she was.
Her glorious green eyes winked and flashed at him from deep within. He had her at last.
Gregor smiled and caressed the lump.
And he would keep her.
A: At 300 words exactly, my entry into the WordPress challenge of the week – Flash Fiction.
D: Yeah, well. That was, uh, interesting. Gregor’s a little unhinged, A.
A: Yeah, he is.
D: And he keeps walking around, talking to the lump.
A: I know.
D: You’re going to regret letting him in here.
A: Possibly – but no more so than the zombie.
D: Oh by the gods, don’t remind me. It took weeks to get his . . . smell out of my cloak.
A: Oh, you poor druid.
D: You’re mocking me.
A: Gently, D. As for everyone else, don’t forget, there is also a prompt at the Community Storyboard – use the words “the first time” in your piece, or use the phrase as a launching pad to describe your first time at something – anything!