Free Flash Fiction:
Eat Your Sandwich
By: Jae El Foster
November 11, 2018
He didn’t know his Aunt Olivia, and he sure didn’t want to have to live with her. But here he was, in the back of black car, on his way to her country home somewhere on the outskirts of Chariot, Tennessee. In fact, he wasn’t sure how on the outskirts she truly lived, as until he had been told this morning that he was moving there, he had never heard of this aunt. He couldn’t ask his parents. They were both assumed dead; that's what the people in black had told him. All he could do now was wait until the car stopped and someone told him to get out. Then, he would finally see this new home and the mysterious aunt that resided there.
In just over two hours, the car pulled onto a long gravel driveway that led up to a two-story farmhouse on several acres of clear, flat land. The house was gray with a black roof. Joey’s eyes grew wide - not from excitement, but from disappointment. He had expected a farm of some sort, but instead this was the bleakest setting he’d ever seen outside of television and movies.
On the porch stood a woman of about forty. She wore a blue dress with white trim at the cuffs. Her hair was black. Her lips were pink. She wore light blue eye-shadow to compliment the dress. While the scenery was not attractive, Joey was pleased to discover that his aunt's features were not as grim. She was lovely, he thought, and he felt less frightened than he had when this venture began.
The door opened and he stepped out.
“Hello, Joey,” the woman said, approaching him and embracing him in a hug.
“Aunt Olivia?” he asked warmly, enjoying the embrace.
“No,” she said as the hug ended. Looking into his eyes, she smiled. “I’m Nancy. I’m your Aunt Olivia’s keeper.”
“Keeper?” he wondered aloud as she took his hand and led him to the porch steps. The driver set Joey's lone suitcase beside the steps and drove off. Joey wondered if Nancy had meant housekeeper.
“Come inside,” Nancy said, opening the front door. “Let’s get you settled into your new home!”
Twelve year old Joey entered the house and nearly jumped as he heard the door slam shut behind him. He looked around. Everything in the house was old - retro but free of dust and mess.
“Where’s my aunt?” he asked, looking up at Nancy.
“In her room,” she replied in a kind tone, “and now I’ll show you to yours.”
Nancy led Joey upstairs. There were three doors here - two bedroom doors and a bathroom door.
“Your bedroom is this one,” she told him, pointing to the door beside them. “The bathroom is the door at the end.”
“Whose room is that?” Joey asked, motioning to the door next to his.
“That’s mine, of course,” Nancy noted. She opened the door to Joey’s room and showed it to him. It was plainly decorated with a bed, a dresser, and a mirror. There was a closet, open and empty. A lamp was the only item atop the dresser. The wallpaper had flowers. The room had the faint scent of old. Joey hated it.
After the brief tour, Nancy led him downstairs to the kitchen, where she made him a cheese sandwich with mayo and white bread.
“Do you drink milk or water?”
“Water,” he replied, although he would have preferred milk. Honestly, he didn’t want anything. He just wanted to return to his old home, or to at least meet this aunt he kept hearing about.
“Where is Aunt Olivia’s room?” he asked as Nancy set the sandwich and a glass of water before him.
“At the end of the first floor hall,” she said. “She’s resting.”
“Doesn’t she want to meet me?”
“Of course she does. Why, when she meets you, she’ll just eat you up!” Nancy chuckled and then went to the sink to wash the mayo knife.
“So do you think she’ll like me?” If she was the only family he had left, Joey hoped she would.
“I’m sure she’ll love you.” Nancy looked at him as she turned off the sink water. “Eat your sandwich. She insisted I feed you first.”
Once his sandwich was finished and he had drank his glass of water, Nancy cleaned his dishes and had him wash his hands. She looked him over, making sure he hadn’t a hair out of place. Then she led him down the hall to his aunt’s room.
She took a key from the top of the door-frame and unlocked the door. Opening it, she ushered Joey inside. “Go on in and meet your Aunt Olivia.”
Timidly, Joey stepped inside the room and heard the door shut and lock behind him. He looked for Nancy, but she had not followed him in.
The room was dimly lit. As he walked toward the center, he heard a growl and the slobbery muttering of jumbled nonsense. It frightened him to the point that the hairs on his arms stood on their ends.
“Aunt Olivia?” he asked with his nervousness etched in his words. “It’s me. Your nephew Joey.”
From the shadows, his eyes widened as his aunt appeared. She did not resemble either of his parents. Her eyes were as gray as her skin and her hair was as black as the night and fell like thread over her frame. She was thin - a structure of bones and skin, lips and teeth... claws and horns. From the sounds erupting from her sunken stomach, she was starving. Joey had to fight to keep from wetting himself.
She grinned at him when she saw him, and as she licked her lips, she jumped upon him and began to devour him. Joey screamed only once - as her sharp teeth bit into the side of his neck - but after that, he made no further sounds. To the melody of noises from his aunt as she feasted hungrily upon his flesh, Joey slipped off into a dreamless sleep from which he would never return.
Copyright Jae El Foster, 2018