They watched him.
The way he touched her pale cheek, traced his finger over the bone and along her the soft curve of her jawline. The way he picked at the strands of platinum hair which had fallen across her face, tucked them behind her ear. The way his mouth twisted into animal grin, a flash of white teeth.
She was a pretty thing. A little older than her mode of dress suggested, but still comfortably within the first half of her twenties. She had the look and expressions of those often thought of as “air-heads” right down to that annoying habit of tossing back her hair each time she laughed at his painfully unfunny jokes. He grimaced when she did. The jovial light behind his eyes momentarily eclipsed by hellish fire. He’d bite his lip and set his jaw, fracturing the illusion of his carefully constructed mask. It was soon repaired. Reset before she’d even completed the gesture. She never saw the change.
But they did.
They were three: the sisters. Their attentions firmly fixed on the doting pair at the bar. Their eyes unwavering as they sipped their drinks through thin straws. Conversation between them, when they did converse, was terse and not dissimilar to the snapping and squawking of carrion birds.
‘He’s clearly mine,’ Alex, the youngest, chirped. She made to stand.
Her sisters held her back with outstretched arms across her body.
‘I think not, baby sister,’ Meg hissed. She indicated towards his hand, to the band of skin around his finger a shade paler than the rest. ‘Adulterer. That makes him mine.’
Alex sat back down.
‘Tisi?’ She cooed. ‘He smells like mine, looks like Meg’s. What are your thoughts?’
The eldest remained silent and watched. The Long Island Ice Tea vanishing up the straw held against tight lips.
‘This is divine,’ she announced when the glass was empty. ‘We should have another.’
Alex and Meg exchanged a glance. Maybe she hadn’t heard the question.
‘Keep watching,’ Tisi smiled. ‘All will become clear. Until then, I’ll be having another drink. Join me?’
They watched him.
He was making to leave, guiding the beauty with a hand in the small of her back.
Outside in the warm summer air, he leant a cheek against hers and whispered into her ear. Her eyes followed his arm as he gestured towards the park. She giggled and nodded – stupid girl.
He waved away the gathered taxis and they crossed the street, disappearing through the iron gates and into the darkness of the park.
They followed. They watched.
Barely over the threshold but far enough from prying eyes, his true colours showed through. He grabbed at her arm eliciting a squeal of both fright and pain. He pulled her to the ground. She tried to scream but his hands found her throat, stifling it.
Tisi smiled at her sisters. A sharpened blade appearing in her hand.
‘It’s quite obvious he’s mine.’
They nodded, dropping their own masks.
D is for Dirae
Dirae is the poetic name for The Furies, chthonic goddesses of vengeance within the Greek and Roman pantheons. They were a trio of sisters each tasked with the punishment of sinners. Alecto (“unnammable”) punished those who showed anger towards others, Megaera (“grudging”) punished those who committed the crime of marital infidelity, Tisiphone (“vengeful destruction”) punished those guilty of murder.