WIP Wednesdays | Dinner Date Excerpt 1 | 3/1/2023

Excerpt from a short story about a horrific eldritch being and his kind of sort of girlfriend watching him on a date with someone else.

Long, rambling author’s notes incoming: I’m aiming to have this short story completely drafted by the end of next month. I have two thirds of it done already and the ending roughed out. I’ve gotten good feedback from several people so I’m going to flatter myself that it’s pitching-to-publishers-worthy once it’s done and polished. This excerpt is fairly short because I want to keep most of it close to the vest, but to give some context, Diederick is a shapeshifting [wo]man-eating monster and Angela is his accomplice/wannabe girlfriend/poor little meow meow. Spoilers, the story ultimately has feminist themes, but it is predicated on both internalized misogyny, plain old misogyny, and a fair amount of women dying. It’s pretty deeply problematic. Exactly the sort of story to kick off women’s history month, eh? Well, my all-female writing group liked it and the fears expressed in it, so that has to count for something.

Additionally, I set up a Ko-fi, so if you like my work, I would really appreciate a donation. Even the smallest bit goes a long way.

Angela chooses a seat within watching distance but not so close that the other woman will notice her. She exhales a long sigh after she places her order. No many how many time she watches the scene play out, it never gets any less upsetting.

Diederick likes it when she watches him, though she hasn’t quite figured out why. Exhibiting himself, maybe? Making her jealous? Humiliating her?

Dan or Marco or Yuri or whatever name Diederick picked out for the night will lure the girls out with the premise of providing a matchmaking service. And then once he’s gotten some coffee or alcohol in them–depends on the girl–he starts acting like he’s fallen in love. Swooning, touching their hands, staring longingly into their eyes.

They fall for it every time. Here was the man they were looking for, meeting the exact preferences that they filled out on the form for his service. Blond, dark, trim, muscular, hairy or smooth. Whatever they want. It’s too good to be true. And, well, it is. The reality is worse than they could possibly imagine.

Angela watches from a few tables away, eating an appetizer. It’s loaded potato skins that had probably sat under the heat lamp too long. They’re cold and greasy with a slimy texture that’s hard to swallow.

Diederick walks his fingers up the arm of tonight’s prey. He had moved over to her side of the booth, trapping her. This one’s a little intimidated by how forward he acts, lips parting when he fingers the pendant on her necklace that rests dangerously close to her cleavage. She’s pretty in a sporty, fit way. It had probably taken a lot of debate for her to decide if she wanted to put on any accessories, much less makeup.

Whatever red flags Diederick is giving her are obscured by the appearance he’d made to suit her preferences. He’s wearing the form of a clean cut gym rat, the type that isn’t vegan but has thought about it, clean-shaven, dark-eyed, too-small t-shirt to show off every bulge and curve of muscle. Diederick has never worked out a day in his life but he chats the woman up about her gym routine like it’s second nature.

Angela stopped bothering to learn their names a while ago. It’s like getting attached to stray animals, just asking for heartbreak when they get flattened by a car tire.

Diederick leans within kissing distance of the woman, prompting a blush. Angela grimaces. She is a little jealous. But just a little. A squeeze in her heart, then it’s gone. She knows what comes afterwards.

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