The devil’s whims scrape my temples. I need to feed. I see the steeple, leaning south so the cross dips against inky clouds and dim stars. Twisted, as I walk beneath moon shine.
A lack of pulse between our fingers. My husband’s are thin like kindling and too long. I take them into my hand. Grass is black against the white well of the moon. Crisp leaves lie at our shoes, pressed into the shape of his lips. Or hearts. Or both. His hair, bound by a fickle ribbon and coarse locks.
The pastor was pronounced dead at forenight. He says.
Carmine smeared across his serrated teeth. I say nothing. Sour fruit and steel. He smells like sour fruit and steel. I pull him close by the arm, my own weaved in crooked angles. I pick a bone from my teeth, a fine artifact from the pastor’s corpse. He tasted like rot and lies, and yet I drained him whole.
Who is next? I say.
Goodwife Mary beats her children, dearest husband. He says.
Aye. She meets her last hour then. I say.
The church cries in the wind, creaking under gusts. Alive for three hundred years and the sound of suffering wood still mesmerizes me.
We walk. A door with a scrap of candlelight. Windows wide with unstained glass. The children’s screams are dull as I feast on their matriarch. Brittle blood from her neck now sits at the pit of my belly. I share drink with my husband. Her limp form passes between our teeth. The children’s bloomed bruises will heal. Goody Mary has no place in our village.
I am tender when I wipe gore from his smile.