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๐—ง๐—ต๐—ฒ ๐—ฃ๐—ฒ๐—ฟ๐—ถ๐—น๐˜€ ๐—ผ๐—ณ ๐—ข๐—ป๐—น๐—ถ๐—ป๐—ฒ ๐——๐—ฎ๐˜๐—ถ๐—ป๐—ด

๐˜ฃ๐˜บ ๐˜›๐˜ช๐˜ฎ ๐˜‘๐˜ฆ๐˜ง๐˜ง๐˜ณ๐˜ฆ๐˜บ๐˜ด

Dan Silverback didnโ€™t read the dailies or watch the news on TVโ€”what for?โ€”so he was unaware of the series of bizarre murders which had been taking place all over the city. Even if he had been, he probably wouldnโ€™t have thought twice when Melindaโ€™s message popped up on his FindYrSoulM8t account. When heโ€™d first set up his profile, complete with naked-to-the-waist gym-bod bathroom-mirror-selfie, and detailed his request for โ€˜friends with benefits, preferably without the friends bitโ€™ heโ€™d expected to be inundated with offers. But it had already been a month and thereโ€™d been nothing. Until Melinda got in touch. And wowโ€”what a picture! She was absolutely stunning. He prayed to God he wasnโ€™t being catfished.

The following evening he met Melinda for drinks. And she was everything she claimed to be on her FindYrSoulM8t profile. Blonde and buxom, with slim waist, wide hips and long long legs which he never tired of admiring and imagining wrapped around his hips. Pretty face too. Except there was one thing Melinda hadnโ€™t mentioned on her profile, one thing Dan couldnโ€™t have been aware of. Melinda was secretly an amorphous changeling creature which had crawled out of an Amazonian swamp after two hundred years in hibernation and worked its way north to feed. Drawn by the bright lights, it had travelled to the city. What it liked to eat most was brain, which it sucked out the ear of its immobilised prey using its retractable mouth-funnel.

Soโ€”inevitablyโ€”two hours after meeting Melinda, and just like the twelve other vain and shallow men before him, Dan was back at his apartment having his brain sucked out through his left ear. Everyone who knew him would be shocked at the news. They werenโ€™t aware that he had a brain.

Whilst sucking brain, the changeling-blob released a fast-acting pheromone into its victimโ€™s bloodstream to put it into an orgasmic state, which meant that Dan became hard and quickly ejaculated as the last of his brain disappeared into the creatureโ€™s mouth-funnel. So at least he died happy. Itโ€™s doubtful this was quite the โ€˜benefitsโ€™ heโ€™d had in mind when first logging into his FindYrSoulM8t account. Still.

Unbeknownst to Dan, before his death, he was being haunted. Not by a ghost but by an ex-girlfriend. Six months earlier, during an experimental phase, Dan had briefly dated a mousy, bookish girl named Constance Payle. Constance had been suspicious when Dan first showed an interest in her. But he was a persistent and thick-skinned individual who relished a challenge. For a few weeks heโ€™d been telling friends that Constance Payle was his Everest. Though once heโ€™d stood on her summit, so to speak , he quickly grew bored. The same could not be said for Constance, however, as when she allowed herself to fall in love with Dan Silverback, she fell hard. She clung to a misguided notion that there was depth beneath the coiffured hair, perfect cheekbones, and washboard abs. Sheโ€™d cried for a week when Dan broke up with her by text message. And though heโ€™d forgotten about her within minutes of sending the text, Constance had since been following all his social media profiles and had even hacked his FindYrSoulM8t account in order to keep track of who he was dating.

Constance had been able to read all the messages sent between Dan and Melinda. Sheโ€™d been in the background at the bar as the two sipped cocktails and got acquainted. Then when theyโ€™d left the bar, sheโ€™d followed their taxi at a safe distance on her moped. And sheโ€™d been crouched in the bushes outside Danโ€™s apartment block, and watching through the window, when Melinda transformed herself into the amorphous blob-creature as Dan went in for a kiss. It horrified her to the very core seeing the creature attach its mouth-funnel to his ear and suck out his brain in one long bolt, whilst Dan jerked and shivered in the throes of orgasm. But this horror was quickly replaced by anger. The blob had killed Dan. Her Dan. The only man sheโ€™d ever loved. Barely had Danโ€™s withered body collapsed to the floor than Constance, with vengeful tears stinging her eyes, was on her mobile phone googling โ€˜best way to kill a brain-sucking blobโ€™.

To her surprise she came across a message board where someone had posed the exact same question, but none of the people on the forum agreed. FamousWhenDead stated that the only way to kill a brain-sucking blob was to blast it with a mix made from 1 cup vinegar, a few drops of olive oil in 1 gallon of warm water. Anonymous disagreed. He (or she) said that brain-sucking blobs could only be killed by being pierced under the chin with a sharp object.

โ€œIt doesnโ€™t have a chin!โ€ Constance yelled at the phone.

She was reading another suggestion from someone named Uncleskinny when she became aware of a presence close behind her. Turning, she saw a tall shapely blonde woman stood at her back.

The blonde woman smiled. โ€œHello,โ€ she said.

โ€œOh flip!โ€ said Constance.

Before her very eyes, the blonde woman transformed herself once again into the amorphous blob and out popped its retractable mouth-funnel and attached itself to Constanceโ€™s ear. The last thought that passed through Constance Payleโ€™s mind before her brain was sucked out was this:

Oh wow. So thatโ€™s what it feels like. โœฆ


Tim Jeffreys' short fiction has appeared in Supernatural Tales, Not One of Us, The Alchemy Press Book of Horrors 2 & 3, and Nightscript, among various other publications. His novella, Holburn, a ghost story set in an exclusive girlsโ€™ school, was recdently published by Manta Press (August, 2022). Follow his progress here.

Speculative fiction & POETRY ZINE
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