It starts in her hips.
A subtle shift in her gait, in the way her bones move together, a slight variance of sinew and tendon and muscle.
She orders her steak blue and considers eating it with her hands, sinking her teeth into the flesh of the New York strip on her plate, blood running down the heels of her palms, to her forearms, to the table. Instead, she sips her wine and uses the slightly dull knife from the slightly dull steak house and barely participates in conversation with her slightly dull date.
But he was never taught to guard his drink or travel in herds or carry his car keys like a weapon. He never suspects or expects what comes next.
Sometime after, she rolls him over to inspect the marks she has left. A bite at the slight nip of his waist. Deeply raked gouges from the tines of her nails. Approximately five ounces of missing right thigh.
She hangs what’s left of him by his ankles, gralloched, dripping into the cast iron tub. She heats up the kettle to warm what’s in the bath and thinks how differently these two liquids dance when water pours into blood instead of the other way around.
She soaks in it, in him, listening to the morning birdsong, picking up her phone, and swiping right.
Mave Jensen spent her childhood having nightmares in Iowa, Minnesota, and California. Now at home in Nebraska, she loves staying up late to exchange spooky stories with her son.