Nocturnal Pursuits of the Elderly

📅 Published on March 14, 2022

“Nocturnal Pursuits of the Elderly”

Written by Mark Towse
Edited by N.M. Brown
Thumbnail Art by Craig Groshek
Narrated by N/A

Copyright Statement: Unless explicitly stated, all stories published on are the property of (and under copyright to) their respective authors, and may not be narrated or performed, adapted to film, television or audio mediums, republished in a print or electronic book, reposted on any other website, blog, or online platform, or otherwise monetized without the express written consent of its author(s).

🎧 Available Audio Adaptations: None Available


Rating: 10.00/10. From 1 vote.
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Saturday night. It seemed to take forever to come around.

I can hardly bear it, my head buzzing like a kid on Christmas Eve, goosebumps dancing across my leathery skin. “Usual time, pet?”

“Please, dear. And don’t forget to feed Alfred.”

“Never do, dear. Never do.” Now off you fuck, darling.

“And there’s some quiche wrapped in the fridge, Marty. Needs eating.”

Quiche my arse. Kiss my arse. I’m just a child wrapped in a silly old costume. “Yes, dear. Now go on; the bridge crowd will be waiting.” I’ll get at least three hours with her, perhaps more.

She steps out of the car and leans over, giving me her gummy smile. Who’d have thought someone could get so giddy over a couple of glasses of cheap wine and a game of cards?

“Have fun, love,” I say. “Don’t get too wild.”

It made her day when they let her join a few years ago; picky apparently about who they let in. I’ve only ever met Jon—installed the security system and sensors throughout both houses—shy as a schoolgirl, he was. Nice enough, I suppose.

Ah, there she goes, my dearest Susan. As she hobbles up the driveway, I offer a wave; her oversized handbag clutched between her knobbly fingers. Doesn’t get out much, bless her, and happy wife, happy life, and all that. Forty years on Tuesday, and the majority of them peaceful.

And… we’re off.

It’s hard adhering to speed limits when urgency flows through your veins, but I don’t like to tempt fate. These nights are special, ones to be savoured, and every second counts. I wind the window down, enjoying the breeze and the smell of the night that fills me with nostalgic melancholy; long summer evenings on our bikes, legs going like the clappers as though we could escape the inevitability of darkness. I offer a commemorative howl to the already visible larger-than-life three-quarter moon.

Damn, I love Saturdays.

Forecaster said there’s a heatwave coming, but for now, coolness caresses me, going some way to calm my nerves. Sinatra sings his smoothness on the radio, too, but some punk DJ with no right to fade the master out starts spitting out words, spreading mould. So much bad news. Local politicians and their barefaced lies, homeless numbers going through the roof, an influx of drugs in the area. And beware, the full moon killer is still at large and will likely strike again next week. Please make sure you report any suspicious behaviour to your local police station. Have a pleasant evening, friends.

The changeover track kicks in, some one-hit-wonder from the eighties.

As I roll up the driveway, Alfred spies me, immediately starting to rub himself against the door, tail eloquently swishing with expectation. Susan’s pride and joy, fur as soft as the night sky, but a privileged little fucker that I have no time for. Put a cat flap in the tradesman’s entrance, but the stupid little hairy bastard still insists on using the front door.

I get out of the car and breathe in more of the evening, offering next door’s bedroom window a glance, prompting a shudder to run down my spine. Ah, to be young again.

“Get out of it!” I say, sweeping my foot across the front step, just missing Alfred’s behind. He retreats behind Susan’s greying horned statue of whatever the fuck that is, but by the time I close the door, his distorted and annoying face is back at the frosted glass, offering a forgiving and hopeful meow.

“Go play with the traffic!”

We’ve lived here for over thirty years now. Back in ’97, we decided to split the house and rent next door out. We figured it would be worth the initial cost if we could get a decent return, and being a builder myself, we came well within budget. Even converted both lofts into makeshift studios, skylights and all. Best decision we ever made, taking some financial pressure away and meaning we could retire early. It gave me a whole new lease of life, too.

Walking almost too fast for my arthritic legs, I head towards the kitchen and grab the quiche from the fridge. Quiche my arse.

Guilt? A little.

But we’ve all got our skeletons, secret fantasies, dark areas of our minds that only we have the map to. And don’t come over all innocent with me.

“Here you go, you little shit,” I say to Alfred, sliding the generous slice across the step. “A word of this to Susan, and I’ll fuck you up, okay?”

Alfred meows and strokes himself against me like a two-bit male hooker.

“Glad we understand each other. Now eat the shitty quiche.” I can’t ever remember telling her that I liked it, but I don’t have the heart to tell her I don’t.

Almost falling up the stairs, my breathing becomes fast and erratic, accompanied by a stirring down below and an involuntary squeal. In our bedroom, the familiar heavy scent of my wife’s body butter awaits, as does the obscene number of illuminated amateur sculptures on the corner dressing table, the ones she makes in the studio: half-human, half-animal, all garbage. Still, as I work at the secret panel of the closet, my adrenaline overrides anything but thoughts of my Charlotte.

There she is. Beautiful.

As I squeeze myself into it, limb by limb, the PVC suit squeaks its indecent soundtrack until finally, I begin zipping it over my belly. Gloves next. And now, the leather mask.

Alas, I’m a creature of the night, invisible, stealthy, leaving no trace.

I’m charged but feel the need to remind myself a costume is just a costume as I stagger down the stairs. There’s even a temptation to jump the last few, as I used to when my legs were more than just solidified dust, but thoughts of Susan coming home and finding me broken at the bottom of the steps, head to toe in leather, dissuade flight. I doubt she would believe I was playing at being Batman.

A cold draft swallows me as I open the basement door, bringing with it a sharpness of alcohol, the only other hobby of mine. I flick on the light and carefully navigate the concrete steps, running my leather-clad fingers across the smoothness of the stone.

Beetroot, turnip, celery; it’s incredible what you can make good wine from. Susan’s not a fan of the stuff, but I think it’s healthy to have different interests, especially when there’s an empty nest. She’s got her bridge club, her pottery, and plenty of books about gemstones, animals, even those weird ones under the bed that she thinks I don’t know about. I like making liquor, and—well—let’s call them after hours pursuits.

This space always feels bigger than it is, likely down to what I know, or possibly just the airiness of it. I added alcoves into the wall as a nice touch, a couple of my latest batch sitting proudly within.

Aways takes a few tries to locate. “Come on, where are—”

The secret door swings inwards, revealing the almost empty utility shelf on the other side. I put it together before handing over the keys-thought it a nice little touch for additional peace of mind. It’s been standing for over two decades now, just another example of my craft.

One more screw and… there we go. Clear.

And into the makeshift laundry that I helped do the plumbing for. I recall how grateful she was at the time. Said I was a genius.

Giddy with anticipation, I make my way up the steps. Inhale. Exhale. Inhale. And with a satisfying click of the handle, I’m in.

It’s a strange and familiar feeling that washes over me, a euphoric combination of anticipation, desire, and homeliness. Everything is different, softer, like a mini vacation to somewhere new. Much more than voyeurism, we have a special bond. I’ve spoken to her, made her laugh, fixed the downstairs toilet, mowed her lawn, even poured her a glass of beetroot wine on her patio. I feel part of her life, breathing her air, inhaling her molecules of perfume—a light and seductive concoction that tickles the back of my throat.

This is more like a relationship, you see. I’m the man of this—these—houses.

You may mock, but I’ve even seen her play with her hair when she talks to me, the blood rushing to her face. Seen the losers she dates, too; nowhere near good enough for her. One guy lasted a few months, but I soon put paid to that, sneaking into the bedroom on three occasions and cleaning out his wallet. Pissed all over the bathroom floor, too. There’s a new guy on the scene now, but he won’t last, not if I have anything to do with it. He’s only stayed over three times that I know of, but that’s more than enough. I dropped into town last week and picked up a lacy pair of red panties. Now, if they should accidentally happen into the pocket of his overly tight pants.

The giant television screen casts my glossy and smooth reflection as I flop into the couch. Perhaps it’s why I like wearing the extra skin; to cover the imperfections that age brings and to match the youthfulness of my mind and all the desires that refuse to relent.

I’ve still much to offer, but Susan knocks back my advances. Just because I’m getting on a bit doesn’t mean I don’t have urges. That said, it’s never my wife I imagine below me, always Charlotte, her low-cut dress up to her waist, hands on my buttocks, bringing me into her. Make love to me, Marty. Make me feel!

Love should have no boundaries, age or otherwise. And it is love; I know it is. We’d do it properly. I’d tell Susan first, and then we could escape to the country and stay in a B&B for a while until we decided the next steps.

Just keep telling yourself that, Marty.

I reach over, tonguing the rim of the wine glass smeared with lipstick, before sipping some of the remaining wine and swirling it around in my mouth. Earthiness, cherries, raspberry. It’s a Pinot-Noir, not top shelf, but none of that cheap crap either.

I could teach her about wine. We could spend the weekend in France, the country of love, where anything goes, no boundaries left to be broken.

As I push myself up, I notice three boxes in the corner of the room and make my way over. One has the word charity scrawled across the side, full of clothes, ornaments, DVDs. The other two are unmarked and full of books, everything from Twilight to Dale Carnegie. I guess she must be having a clear-out of sorts.

Untidiness greets me in the kitchen, lots of stuff scattered across the counter. Sometimes I do a bit of a clean-up, not being a fan of slovenliness, but it all depends on how the night rolls. There is nothing of much interest in the fridge, although I can’t resist fingering a dollop of cream from the mini birthday cake. Thirty-two candles squished in there, someone having a shitty sense of humour. I wrote her a poem for her birthday, and I’ll read it to her one day.

The smell of perfume gets even stronger as I make my way up the stairs. No need to avoid the creak of the fourth step; that’s only a factor when she’s still in the house. I must admit, those visits are becoming more regular, but before you start judging, I don’t get up to no funny business. I just sit in the plush chair, watching and listening: the gentle rise and fall of her smooth chest, the little moans as she changes position. Okay, once I did climb onto the bed, nestling behind her, inhaling and sucking on strands of her long brown hair. I didn’t feel so good about it, though. Drew a line right there and then.

I’m not one of those pervert types, I assure you.

As I cross the threshold to her bedroom, I’m transported to that now-familiar and different world, a mellow heaven full of dizzying scents. “Oh, Charlotte.” I pull back the sheets of the bed, take off my mask and pull the zipper of the suit down, finally letting myself fall into the softness, my tongue lapping at the linen, my bare chest slaking across her nest. Drawing back the sheets over my shoulders, I continue to squirm with delight, imagining her naked form doing the same.

“Nearly five years strong now, I knew you were the one. The others meant nothing. Fell in love with you as soon as I saw you, my dear Charlotte.” As I said, I’d leave Susan for her if that’s what it came down to. Forty years of marriage just for one night with my true love.

My eyes fall across the linen basket.

I try; I really do. Each Saturday night, as I return home, I convince myself never again, but the pull is strong. It’s not just a sexual thing; it makes me feel closer to her, the smell and taste lingering long after I remove the panties from around my face. I’m not a pervert!

Besides, nothing should be forbidden between lovers.

I remove the ones shoved down the side of the suit, sliding them into the edge of the basket, and collect the fresh ones. Almost immediately, I feel the blood running to my—

“The fuck?”

Headlights leak through the window, the accompanying engine louder still.

No, that can’t be. She’s never home before eleven.

Breath held; I run to the window, my heart pounding as I watch Charlotte’s ten-year-old Audi come to a halt, a small rental van pulling close behind.


Doors open, voices emerge. Him. It’s him with the tidy hair and tight arse who normally rolls up in the Mercedes!

I’ll never make it.

I watch them embrace and kiss, my grip on the panties tightening. “This isn’t right.”

As they make their way to the door, I search the room, opting for the closet and regretting it immediately. Cursing myself for having no contingency plan, I feel like a sitting duck in a PVC suit.

Fuck it all!

I hear laughter. And the creak of the fourth step.

“It will be dark soon,” she says. “We should make a start.”

“It’s all about the preparation, Charlie. Slowly, softly, catchy monkey.”

Charlie? That’s not her fucking name, Bozo. I press my back against the wood of the closet, sliding a dress across for further concealment.

They’re in the bedroom now, undressing. This is a fucking nightmare. The love of my life, and him.

She doesn’t even notice the unmade bed as she’s thrown across it. He drops to his knees, wrestling with her panties. Tainted, those, no good to me.

Please let this end.

He goes in for the kill, feasting on her deliciousness, the full course, not just an appetiser. I fucking hate him! The noises. Christ, the noises. I squirm against the wood, holding my breath at the accompanying squeak, but I don’t think they notice.

Suddenly I wish I was playing bridge, anything but this.

He moves on top of her, wrapping his mouth around her now exposed nipple.

I still love you, Charlotte. We’ll fix it.

His pants drop to the floor. And the shirt. Pink briefs? What the fuck is this?

His moans get louder, breathing too, and soon he is thrashing into her as though she’s a sack of potatoes. I don’t know what that means, but it all looks so demeaning. I can’t watch; it’s too much. Reciprocating the groans, poor Charlotte does her best to pretend she’s enjoying it, but how could she be?

I edge forwards, sliding my feet to the front of the closet. It has to be smooth, or the game is up.

The bed begins to shake wildly, scraping against the wall. Bang. Bang. Bang.

Oh, Charlotte, why do you cheapen yourself?






I make my move, wincing at the feedback from my arthritic legs as I drop to the floor and scramble towards the crumpled heap of clothes. Shoving the black panties in my mouth, I slip my hand in my suit and pull out the red ones. Here goes nothing, I think, sliding them into lover boy’s pocket.

Her moans grow louder still as she does her best to keep him happy. Why, Charlotte? Why?

Time to go.

Crossing over the threshold into the hallway, I get to my feet with a grimace and glance over my shoulder only to see them still entwined in debauchery. Like fucking animals, they are. That’s not love; where’s the tenderness? And so much for slowly, slowly, catchy monkey; he’s going at it like a jackhammer.

I slide the stolen panties into my suit and zip up, wondering what happened to real love.

As I close the basement door, I catch my breath and begin to cry. We’d be happy; I know it.

Susan? I love her too, just in a different way. Besides, she shows the cat more affection than me. I get lonely, see. I might be over the hill, my face wearing life and too much sun, but I still miss the tender touch of a female.

Making my way up my basement steps, I bring the panties to my face and inhale. All is well until visions of them invade my head, tainting those sheets I was nestled within only a few minutes ago.

And under my roof!

I pause halfway up, feeling lightheaded and out of breath. Their groans in my head, bouncing around, just like the bed. Bang. Bang. Bang. It’s enough to drive a man insane. Inhale. Just a mistake; we all make mistakes. She’ll regret it in the morning.


It’s a relief to close the basement door behind me. Inhale. I pour myself a whisky and slump into the living room couch, unzipping and rubbing the panties across my chest, sliding them slowly downwards. Still so early. Fuuuuccccccck! I’m aroused but can’t bring myself to do it. He’s in my head. The fucker! The neat-haired, tight arsed fucker!

She’s moving out.

My Charlotte is leaving me, and without so much as a word. I knew we shouldn’t have let her pay by the month.

After a couple more whiskies, I hear voices and move towards the bay window, watching as they carry some of her things into that shitty little van, finally driving off into the distance.

Oh, Charlotte.

Angrily, I wrap the panties around my head and fall onto the couch sobbing. Another whisky. Another. Finally, the tidal wave of exhaustion approaches.

It takes a while to realise what’s going on. A blue flashing to my left prompts me to reach out, knocking the tumbler to the ground. Shitfuck! “Hello?” Ah, shit. I aim for the green button again. “Hello?”

“It’s me, Marty. It’s 10.30. Where are you?”

“I’m so sorry, love, I fell asleep. I’ll be there in five… Can’t you wait inside?… Yes, okay, I’m on my way… Sorry, love… Yes, I said I’m sorry.”


On my second attempt, I thrust myself from the couch towards the door, and it’s not until I’m halfway down the driveway I realise I’m leather-clad with panties stuck to my face. Fuck it to Hell and back! Snapping my head up and down the street, I rush inside and slam the door shut behind me. Come on! Come on! It takes what feels like inhuman strength to peel off the suit, and by the time I’m out, I’m dripping with sweat and can hardly breathe.

Worst night ever.

Using the banister, I drag myself upstairs and shove the PVC costume back behind the panel. But true love never runs smooth, I keep telling myself.

The same temptation to jump the stairs washes over me as I slip an arm through my shirt. Finally, I’m out the door, decent but exhausted and heartbroken.

Cool evening air rushes through the window, but I have the smell of sweaty PVC in my nostrils. Fortunately, Susan couldn’t smell a fart if it slapped her on both cheeks. Traffic lights blur, the dotted white line becoming one as I drive slightly over the speed limit, a first for everything, but I hate to think of her standing outside on her own. She’s still my Susan.

There she is. I give her a flash, and she offers a wave and a smile. God bless her.

“Good night, love?”

“Have you been crying?”

“No, it’s the wind. Was it fun?”

“Always,” she says, fixing her hair in the mirror. “Did you enjoy the peace?”

“I did up to a point,” I reply, pulling away, “and then I started missing you.”

“Liar. Is that whisky on your breath?”

“Just a little hot toddy, love,” I reply, noticing how strongly I’m gripping the wheel. “How is everyone?”

“Very well.” She winds the window down and swallows the breeze. “They always ask after you.”

I clear my throat. “Saw a removal van next door tonight. Hasn’t even given notice.”

“Charlotte? She came to see me last week. Moving in with that man with the tidy hair.”

“But they’ve only been out a few times.” I lower my tone. “To be young and stupid, eh?”

“She seems quite smitten.” She reaches for my hand and squeezes. “I said I’d go and give her a hand on Tuesday. Make the tea and help her organise. Her man is out of town, coming down with the truck on Wednesday morning.”

I’m her man. “But Tuesday’s our anniversary?”

“Well, you’ll just have to cancel those tickets for Paris you booked then, won’t you? Besides, I’ve organised a little shindig for us in the evening. I think it’s about time you met the bridge club. Nothing fancy, just some wine, canapes. Jennifer said—”

Her words grow distant, my mind back on Charlotte, full of nostalgic melancholy, memories of our times together, all playing to a soundtrack of pained voices and heart-breaking chords. Part of me is tempted to say I’ll go with her to help Charlotte, but I know it would be too much. Just the thought of saying goodbye—ah, this is unbearable.

I spend the rest of the night trying to hide my sadness, but I know Susan picks up on it. I expect an inquisition, but she just keeps looking at me and smiling. God bless her.

The next couple of days continue much the same way. I do my best, but sometimes I have to leave the room, biting on my lip to fight back the tears. Susan leaves me be, but I know she’d be there for me if needed.

By the time Tuesday comes around, I’ve written thirteen poems and a top forty list of the saddest songs from my LP collection.

Oh yes, it hits hard, and not just in terms of the heat.

Through the bay window, I see Charlotte’s brown curls and the smile across her face that I know won’t last. She slams the car door shut and all but skips towards the front door, disappearing behind the hedgerow.

“Going over there now, love,” Susan says from the front of the house. “There’s another quiche for you on the top shelf of the fridge. Oh, and listen out for the door, will you?”

Poor fucking Alfie. “Wait! How long are you planning—” The door slams shut. Christ, the thought of facing guests is unbearable; all the fake smiles and superficial chatter when my heart is bleeding.

I spend the day alternating between pacing the room and flopping on the couch, occasionally picking up the crossword and just staring at it. She’s in my head. The scent, the smile, the laugh. The panties. But I’m even too heartbroken to consider pleasuring myself. I have no appetite either, but I make sure Alfred gets a generous slice of the soppy mess in the fridge just because I hate him so fucking much.

Early afternoon, already. What the hell are they doing across there?

I take to pacing again, thinking back to the time we spent together in the dark, moonlight falling across her cheek. Oh, how I longed to kiss those soft and youthful lips, slide my fingers into the negligée and caress her warmth. I’m a hopeless romantic, nourished on thoughts of walks on the beach, and rolling in the sand. Another bout of tears threatens to release, and I curl my fingers into a fist.

Tomorrow she will be out of my life for good.

The afternoon is swallowed by a black hole of grief and despair, the eventual knock at the door tempting me to scramble behind the couch. But I know Susan has gone to some trouble, and that, somehow, I need to snap myself out of this stupor and stop being so damned selfish.

I open the door to four of the dullest-looking wrinklies I’ve ever seen: two men, two women. It looks as though they were all made from the same mould. Pale and greying skin, downturned mouths, prominent hanging jowls, and eyes like flooded marsh ground. Christ, is this what I look like to Charlotte?


But nobody replies; they just shuffle past me, little bags in one hand and a covered serving dish in the other which they place on the table as they pass. Mouth agape, I watch them continue trudging through the living room and begin lining up outside the basement door like albino lemmings. “Excuse me,” I say, but another tap at the door steals my attention.

More of them. Another six clones, all with little bags and more dishes. I recognise Jon at the back of the group, only because of the twitch in his right eye.



It’s an absurd situation, and my head, already in bits, struggles to comprehend any of it. Before I can even string a sentence together, my phone begins to vibrate.

“Susan, what the hell is—… Yes, ten of them… What?… I’m not in the mood for this, Susan; please tell me what is happening… Yes, of course I love you… Yes, I trust you… Oh Christ… Oh, fuck… How? How did you know?… Look, pet, I—… No… I don’t know what came—… What? You can’t be serious?… Susan, I… Alright, alright… Yes, I’ll do it… Okay… I’ll see you in an hour.” Shit.

Drone number one turns the handle, and the others follow him down into the basement.

As the last grey-face crosses the threshold into my other world, I replay the conversation with Susan in my head. She knows about the suit. How? And what’s all this about an anniversary present? I follow the already flattened tread in the carpet, performing more laps, occasionally stopping to fill my tumbler with whisky, and eventually scampering upstairs to wrestle with the suit. It takes an eternity in the heat to squeeze into it.

What the fuck is going on?

Everything seems so futile now my Charlotte is leaving me, but this, this is the icing on the cake. How can I ever look my wife in the eye?

The phone rings again, and I tentatively answer it, feeling as though I may internally combust at any moment. “Yes, dear… Okay dear… On my way dear.”

The excitement I usually feel walking down these stairs is replaced with trepidation and an ominous sense of finality. Susan and her friends have trespassed into my world, and I’m about to establish why. I reach the last few steps to see the secret door already ajar and the shelf on the other side unscrewed and slid across. How the hell did she know?


As I walk through into next door’s basement, I get a faint whiff of familiarity: a heavy concoction of spice and smoke. And is that music? Ascending the concrete steps towards the warm yellow light makes my stomach churn. If she knows about the door—




At the top of the stairs, the music is louder still.


I approach the ever-increasing noise, noting the gemstones trailing up the stairs. And what’s that? Sounds like moaning. Or muffled cries? Legs feeling like lead weights, I take the steps one by one, my nostrils filling with more of that heavy sweetness. “Susan!” I notice the ladder to the attic pulled down and the gentle sway of the ceiling light. More prolonged groans emerge, and what the hell is that slapping sound?

I arch my neck to see the shifting light, assuming it to be a candle flame. “Susan!” My heart pounds as I clasp my hands around the cold steel.

One step at a time, I begin the ascent, blood pounding in my ears, almost surprised my legs support me. Above me, heavy breathing, squeaking, squelching, pounding. An acrid sweaty smell begins to fall across me, above and beyond what was there before.

Something horrible lies beyond that rectangular portal; I know it.

Finally, I emerge, almost losing my footing as I take in the savagery surrounding me. I see a lion, deer, cat, panther, leopard, even a fucking lobster, grunting, thrusting, bending, a twisted jungle of surrealness coming at me from all directions. I place my hands down for balance, wincing at the touch of the cold plastic that appears to run the loft’s full length, there only, I imagine, to catch whatever juices drip.

“Happy anniversary,” my wife says between pants, but I haven’t a clue which one she is. “Your present’s in the corner.”

“What the fuck is going on, Susan?”

“Oh, come on, Marty,” she says, ripping the cat mask off. I should have guessed. “We’ve all seen what you get up to after lights out.”

“What? What are you talking about?” Oh, Christ, she knows it all. But how?

“Nocturnal pursuits? Her knickers stuffed in your mouth, running around her bedroom dressed in leather, beating your chest like Tarzan.” They all take a break from their groaning to cackle in unison. “It’s okay, though, dear,” she continues. “We like what we like.” The lion behind carries on pounding into her, offering a roar.

“How? How did you—”

“Cameras all over, dear. Courtesy of Jon when he did the alarm. You can’t be too careful in a neighbourhood like this.”

Her comments prompt more laughter. The lion is now no longer a lion, back to a pale-faced twitching drone, sporting a tail, sweat dripping down his cheeks and splashing against the plastic sheet. “Hi Marty,” he says.

“Is this what you want, Susan? For me to dress up like a fucking animal.”

She looks me up and down and smiles. “I’ve decided I want to share this with you, Marty. The others weren’t sure about letting you in, said we should both have our own interests, but I think this might be good for us. Exciting. We can go out with a bang. Fuck like we did in the old days.”

A different sort of cry emerges from behind her, and I heave myself up, weaving my way between the animals towards the back of the room. “Charlotte?” She’s bound to the radiator; someone’s gigantic Y fronts shoved down her throat. She looks at me with pleading eyes, mascara running down both cheeks.

My Charlotte.

I crouch down, running my fingers through her hair, goosebumps prickling my skin within a skin. Her eyes are glassy and delayed.

“I know how much you like this one,” Susan says, pulling herself away from the lion-lemming hybrid. She holds her back as she creases towards the floor and picks up a knife. “Happy Anniversary,” she says, offering me the handle and a peck on the cheek.

I drop my gaze to the trembling blade. “What am I supposed to do with this?”

“Full moon, Marty. It’s a special night, made even more special by our anniversary. The group has accepted you into the flock. Everything is aligned.”

“You want me to use this on her?” Full moon killer still at large.

“Nourish yourself. Feed on her blood, and forever immortalise your bond. She’s our sacrifice to the animal gods.”

All those books under her side of the bed, the ones on animal worship and ancient rituals, all those twisted fucking things staring at us under the moonlight. “People don’t get away with stuff like this.”

“His fingerprints are on the knife, Marty. They’re everywhere. We’ve already sent a message from her phone saying she no longer believes him about the panties. Nice touch.”

“This is insane.”

“He’s on his way, at least two hours to go. And we’re all each other’s alibi; bridge night at our house. Full spread, the works. Just old codgers enjoying what time is left, having our night disturbed by the shouting and screaming next door.”

I feel young again, a kid on a dare, full of adrenaline. And this woman, this stranger; I can’t help feeling like I’m falling in love. “And you do this every week?”

“We only kill on a full moon, Marty.” She smiles. “Mostly the homeless, druggies, street filth. Rest of the time, we fuck like animals.”

I lean in towards Charlotte, inhaling her hair and perfume, but there’s a residue of something else—of him.

“Said she was relieved to be moving,” my wife says. “Said that she didn’t feel safe here anymore. Things moving, going missing, sometimes as though she was being watched. Said the area was going downhill, too. I guess that’s gratitude for you.”

Charlotte issues another muffled please, but Susan’s words have me reeling. Everything I did for her—the chores, tidying up, putting in the security systems to keep her safe. I feel cheated. Let down. Used. Regardless, I lean in, the salty sweat of her forehead soaking into my thin, dry lips.

Our first proper kiss, and I know, our last.

But all I can think of is the trouble Susan has gone to. For me. And all I got her was a box of chocolates and a shitty card. “I don’t know what to say, Suse.”

“You’re welcome,” my wife replies.

As I slide the knife an inch-deep into Charlotte’s chest, and as her muffled cries heighten to a sobbing crescendo, I feel charged, horny beyond belief. Blood cascades between us, and I rub it frantically across my face and chest and lick it from her wound. Soon the others join, like animals at a waterhole, lapping up the liquid, fighting for the best spot. Writhing on the floor, Charlotte reaches out to me, but our fling is over; I have a marriage to work on.

And she can watch for a change.

Thirst quenched, I borrow pasty’s mane and fuck my wife in the corner with as much vigour as I can manage for a man of sixty-seven.

It turns out I am a cat person, after all.

“Go again, Susan?”

As she purrs, I howl at the moon framed in the skylight.

Rating: 10.00/10. From 1 vote.
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🎧 Available Audio Adaptations: None Available

Written by Mark Towse
Edited by N.M. Brown
Thumbnail Art by Craig Groshek
Narrated by N/A

🔔 More stories from author: Mark Towse

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Author's Notes: N/A

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