“I packed you your favorite lunch, sweetheart.” Mary-Beth held out a paper bag, delicately wrapped, and laid it at her daughter’s feet. “It’s just what you’ve been asking for. I’m just sorry I can’t make it more often, since you know what a bother it is.”

Her daughter made no move to accept the bag.

After a moment, Mary-Beth continued. “Don’t tell me you won’t take it! You’ve been begging for this for months, and it’s been so difficult not to indulge you at every turn…”

The greasy stains on the bag began to spread, and soon the paper started to sog and soften under the weight. Viscous and red liquid began to dribble from it, staining the carpet and her daughter’s clean new shoes.

“It’s a little messy,” conceded Mary-Beth, “but what isn’t, when made with love?”

Her daughter said nothing; the breath had long since departed her body. Through the intercession of the spirits in Mary-Beth’s head, she had been begging for months for a sweet embrace about the throat and a meal of her father’s fresh heart. Her doting mother had granted both, and when she was found the next day, still whispered sweet nothings to her child while the body of her husband cooled on bloodsoaked sheets nearby.

Inspired by this image.

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