Blood In the Honeysuckle

The summer heat was palpable.

Night was perfumed with honeysuckle, jasmine, and the ever-present scent of cedar mulch. Overhead, the sky was dark and clear, the stars twinkling down at the world. Humidity was a cloak, wrapped tight around Kara's bare shoulders as she walked down the silent, dimly lit road of her apartment complex. Her naked feet made no sound on the warm asphalt, and she watched the dew form on the hoods of the cars she passed.

It was a calm she felt. The slick trickle of sweat down her back cooled her as she paused to listen as a car sped down the road outside the protective fence of her home.

Briefly, she lamented the lack of breeze and grass. Kara wanted to hear the water of a lake and smell the greenness of summer grass. Instead, sweat pooled along the waistband of her jean shorts, and her nose was accosted by the pungent cedar she'd long grown to hate.

She walked further, to the fence that separate the complex from a neighbourhood. Here the scent of honeysuckle was sickeningly sweet. The cloying quality the flower had in the burning heat of summer could make anyone gag. It reminded Kara of congealed, rancid blood, but she never could understand why. All she knew was that every night, when she took her three AM stroll and made her way beyond this fence, her mind was filled with dark images. Rivers of blood, sticky and hot, the aroma putrid and stinking.

Kara hurried beyond it, turned left, and stopped at the swimming pool.

Chlorine and the gentle lapping of the water washed the bloody images from her mind. She remained there, staring at the bright blue pool, and smiled to herself. This was what she came here for. Even a fake body of water was still a body of water, and the coolness that rolled off the glass-like surface brought a chill down her spine.

She lingered only a moment before she backed away from the pool, crossed her arms over her midriff, and made her way over the concrete path back to her artificially cooled apartment.

All works contained here are copyrighted to S.L. Armstrong. No reproduction or usage is permitted without written, express consent by the author.