By Rhys Hughes

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I'm sorry vicar. I don't know what came over me. " Reverend Richards regarded Daniel coldly and weighed the poker in his hands. " Daniel chuckled. " And later, as he tramped wearily back up the stairs to bed, Reverend Richards began to feel very afraid. His wife was awake and her eyes glittered in the gloom. "I thought I heard voices. " Reverend Richards rotated a knuckle in an eye. " It seemed to him for a moment that he had an inner darkness that matched the outer. But then when he clambered into bed and felt the warmth of his wife, his own dearest Clara, he knew that it did not matter.

I am Viviana. Yes, you are. That must be so. I am here. You might be anywhere. Same as you. I am looking for someone. For you. For me? The search is over now. Perhaps it is. Yes, it is. This relationship of words without mouths, hopes without shapes, began to deepen almost immediately. She felt comfortable with this secret man, with his responses to her questions, sentiments and interests. They were in phase both intellectually and emotionally. It is impossible to fall in love at a distance: this fact is common knowledge.

He smiled and embraced her and carried her over to the table. Forcing her down onto the chopping board, he cut her head off with a single neat stroke. Then he sliced the rest of her body into thin strips. He whispered words of love as he did so; poems in Spanish, which he knew she would appreciate. At the very end, he dumped her, seeds and all, into the bristling pot and began to cry. Tears were always appropriate at such times. The real point of a vindaloo, he decided, was not the pleasure but the scouring pain: a pain as clean as a desert wind.

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Better The Devil by Rhys Hughes
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