Skin Deep

by Abhipsita Kundu

Amanda sat in her lucky emerald green dress at her favourite Chinese restaurant staring at the man she’d been on a date with. She’d gone on so many blind dates that didn’t end the way she’d have wished, that she’d almost given up all hope of ever meeting ‘the one’ until she met him. She had only known him for a few weeks and had met him in person only an hour ago but she felt at home with him.

It was Christmas Eve and it all felt perfect! The conversation had flowed as had the mulled wine. Lost in the heady sensations, Amanda had decided that she was ready to go home with him. Just as she was going to ask for the check, he raised an eyebrow at her and asked, ‘Dessert?’

She could not say no to dessert – not at her favourite restaurant and not to the man looking at her imploringly now, as if his life depended on that one dessert. So, she ordered her usual coconut tapioca pudding but looked forward to the fortune cookies which in their predictions, had often proved eerily accurate for her.

As she cracked open the cookie, her heart soared for, the message inside read, ‘Today you will meet someone who wants to know the real you.’

Before he could read her message, she quickly slipped it in her purse and winked at him. ‘Your place or mine? She asked him. ‘Mine. Always.’ he replied.

After a flurry of kisses, sweet nothings and hasty disrobing, Amanda found herself on her back on a four poster bed. As she locked eyes with the man she deemed her soulmate, he whispered, ‘You’re beautiful! But beauty is only skin deep. I want to know the real you.’

Before Amanda could process his words which were eerily reminiscent of the fortune cookie she had cracked open only an hour ago, she noticed something glint in the dark followed by a sickening sound as her belly was slashed open.

‘My God, you’re beautiful’ he kept whispering as his fingers probed her innards.

Amanda only stared in horror.

But then the horror transformed to pity for the man she’d considered to be ‘the one’.

Amanda watched silently as tentacles shot out of her core and caught him by surprise. One wrapped around the wrist that still held the knife and the other latched itself on his handsome face now contorted in pure terror.

As she watched, the tentacles bared rows of sharp teeth and continued to gnaw and devour her date.

She simply sighed in disappointment; he had seemed perfect! But then, beauty is only skin deep, she reminded herself.

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