Words by Samantha King | @samnthakng

Image by Julia Sansone | @thesansberryblog

I.   root

Too many will make you sick, my love.

it is sweet, but not too sweet for i.

It will rot your teeth. You will not like it when they fall from your mouth.

She may have as many as she would like. They are sweet. Sweet, sweet, sweet. Have another, darling, here, this one, the reddest.

Enough is enough. We have had our fill.

The bulb is swollen. It takes up the span of my outstretched fingers and palm. Skin is shining and rubbery, cold from its pantry home. Sage’s velvet fingers try to take it from me.

You should not have a second—let alone a fifth. Greedy girl.

I put the pomegranate on the chopping board. Press the knife in.

It is ripe, it would be wasteful not to eat, eat, eat.

yes. yes. i will have this. i deserve the sweet.

Sage is scowling, her eyes settled on my shoulder. She will yell. But after Edith has had her fill.

Eat, eat, eat.

The knife gets stuck in the red of it, white flesh winks. Edith places her fingers on mine, pressing hard enough to sting. To bruise. The knife plunges in deep. Guts spill to the board, the table, the floor.

I pop a seed into my mouth, crush it between my teeth.

From the backyard, we see Sage behind the windows. She cleans the home of our leftovers with a broom and pan. Edith smiles at me, a juicy smile full of red. A cigarette burns bright between her shaking fingers.

We will do it? Tomorrow. Yes, yes, yes. Then we shall eat for ever and ever and ever.

Her lips taste bitter-sweet, but her tongue full of charcoal. Now my mouth is red.

Like hers.

II.   branch

Isn’t the sun lovely, Sage had sung before the blade.

The knife slips between her ribs. My hands come away red, red, red.

We had only wanted a moment longer to enjoy the warmth of the duck-down covers. When Edith had dipped into me knuckle-deep, I could feel the vermillion flower blooming inside. Sage did not like that at all. My girls raged over me, fire from their mouths.

After, Sage tucked my hair behind my ear, stroking my temple with her boiling touch. She traced the fresh marks over my cheek, my purpling eyelid.

I only want what’s best. You shouldn’t be wasting your life with her.

Only hours ago, Edith and I had stubbed our cigarettes on the bricks in the backyard. Next to the bins where piles of cardinal pulp laid, she held out the knife to me.

It must be soon, must be quick, must be you. Hold it tight, tight, tight. Never flinch.

When I struck, we had been huddled on the roof to watch the sun spit its last light over the sky, a cacophony of violet and orange and red.

III.    bulb

Her throat is cold. My grip slips over her chest, her ribs, the bones of her hips. She’s. Not. Here.

Darling, darling, darling, no need to fret. It is done, done, done. We will eat, sleep and drink forever.

Sage is (so, so, so) cold. Sage is (was) blazing, inferno, light. Warm.

the stars have seen us. they have seen us with the knife that took her, edith.

She puts a seed between my lips.

IV.  seed

I scoop the seeds out of their leathery cage with stubby nails. Spade them into my mouth. Juice dribbles down my neck, my sternum, sticks to the folds of my stomach.

I still feel Sage. Her newfound cold lingers. I feel it on the tiles of the kitchen where I sit amongst the bodies and their insides.

Greedy, gluttonous, guzzling girl, Sage tells me from stiff, blue lips.

I empty another rind. I can’t shake her swollen shut eyes, rigid hands crossed over her chest, the weeping wound in her side.

Sage never stops shrieking into my ears with her silent tongue.

I crunch through bittersweet red until I gag.

Edith knots her fingers into my hair, pulling me back until my head is cradled between her thighs. She’s smiling at me so loud that Sage is fading now. Edith presses her lips on mine. Hard. They are made of frozen stone and scald my skin.

Are you sated, my youngling, my heart, my dear?

I look at the skeletons baring empty ribs picked clean.

they were perfect. sweet, sweet, sweet.

Edith grins.

Her teeth are all seeds.

Catalyst has been the student publication of RMIT University since 1944. We may be older than your parents but we’re still going strong!

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