Writing Prompt: Last Kiss

Her lips are cold and taste faintly of chemicals and peppermint, but Leonard doesn’t mind. They’re willing, accepting of his love, and that matters more.

He pulls away to study the object of his affection. Long, straight black hair that would have hung to her waist if she’d been standing up. Cloudy gray eyes that saw nothing. A well-shaped face that would have been beautiful if one cheekbone wasn’t crushed and sagging, one temple caved in.

She’s dead, of course. All his girlfriends are.

Still, Denise – or so he names her – is one of the freshest he’s had. She was a new acquisition, freshly delivered just as his shift had started. He’d known it the moment he pulled back the sheet. She was the one. No question about it.

He lingers over her a moment longer, one pallid, somehow too fleshy hand stroking the cheek that remains intact.

“Denise,” he whispers. “I’ve waited so long for you.”

Right now, he’s unconcerned about what will have to come after. The part where he must carve into her beautifully supple flesh, weigh each of her organs in mockery of the old Egyptian rites, speak clinically into a recorder as he documents what brought her to him in the first place. That part is always hardest for him, because it marks goodbye.

He has said goodbye to too many women. Dozens, at least. Hundreds, probably. But still… Denise was special.

He kisses her again, playfully biting at her lower lip, and in his mind he hears her coquettish laugh, feels phantom fingers playfully slap his shoulder. He throbs with longing and excitement, but still he grieves.

His will be the last touch she feels. She may well be the last touch he feels. He is growing tired of his work. Night after night, corpse after corpse. He can only take so much, and after Denise, he isn’t certain he can take any more.

His problems seem solved when, just as he turns away, he hears a voice.


His name, spoken through vocal cords that should be slack and already beginning to putrefy. Hoarse, buzzing, but somehow still pleasant. Leonard smiles, satisfied that he had been right. Denise was the one. None of his other girlfriends had ever talked to him.

Another sound, this one like a parting zipper, is punctuated with a grunt of exertion. Leonard somehow knows what he will see if he turns around, but he keeps his back firmly to Denise. He doesn’t want to seem too eager.

A hand falls on his shoulder. Cold air that smells of peppermint and formaldehyde whispers across his ear and cheek. He suppresses a shudder of lust that tries to worm its way through him.

“Kiss me again, lover,” Denise says.

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