Short Story – Civic Duty

Civic Duty – Penny had a little detour on the way home. A form of civic duty. (Warnings: violence, swearing. Rating: T12 Genre – Fantasy, Horror).

Penny found it was incredibly hard to resist the urge to rip the throat out of the man who was following her.

It was Shepard’s Pie night, and Talia would have her head on a spike if she ate before dinner. And Talia was one of the few people who could put Penny’s head on a spike, she was one of the strongest witches in the county.

Still, Penny thought, feeling her fangs with the edge of her tongue. The man had been following her for a good three minutes now, crossing the road at the same point as her, turning down the same corners. Penny liked to think she exuded an aura of do not fuck with me, but when she saw this particular specimen of trash on the bus home, she turned it off. There was something of a civic duty in murdering creeps, especially the ones that preyed on young women.

Penny’s heels clacked against the pavement loudly, echoing through the otherwise silent night. The road was dead, the streetlights flickered eerily overhead, and there was a distinct chill in the air that spoke of autumn.

She turned down one of the side streets, the one with the broken CCTV. A few minutes later, the Creep followed her.

Talia is so going to have my head, Penny thought, humming to herself. She dropped her bag to her elbow, her fangs elongating as she smelt Creep’s blood.

A hand grabbed her arm, roughly, pulling her around.

“Don’t scream,” Creep said, alcohol on his breath making Penny’s nose turn up. His blood wouldn’t be as tasty with that amount of alcohol, but it was still fresh.

“Funny you should say that,” Penny said, dropping her hand bag as she grabbed Creep’s head in one swift movement and sank her fangs into the side of his neck.


“You’re late,” Talia said, not looking up from her cooking. The cook book hovered in mid air, with Laiea perched precariously on top, cleaning her feathers.

Laiea cawed in Penny’s direction. Penny scowled at the crow.

Talia paused in her cooking.

“He had it coming-” Penny started.

Really?” Talia said, turning from her cooking and giving Penny the I am fucking pissed at you look. With her hair pulled back into an unruly bun, the look looked even more scathing.

“He was trying it on,” Penny said, putting her handbag down on the table and walking over to the sink to wash her face. Blood really was hard to get off your skin, and clothes. These Talia would have to use some magic on to get clean, orange never cleaned with normal washing liquids.

“Trying it on?” Talia said, waving at the cookbook, which snapped shut. Laiea fluttered into the air, cawing with annoyance, as she found herself another perch on the back on the chair.

“Young girl,” Penny said, gasping for air as she splashed more water on her face and neck, “can’t have been more than thirteen.”

Talia pursed her lips.

“Okay,” she said, waving her hand in Penny’s direction. Penny’s skin tingled as the magic worked its way through her clothes, dissolving the blood into the sink.

“I wouldn’t have done it otherwise,” Penny said, turning the tap off as she fumbled for the towel next to the sink, “I knew you were cooking.”

“I’m more worried about the Police,” Talia remarked, turning back to her cooking, “you know what they’re like around Halloween.”

“I was careful with the body,” Penny said, “I’m not an idiot. Not the first time I’ve killed someone you know.”

“I know,” Talia remarked, giving Penny a side long glance over her shoulder, “but they had less stringent guidelines in the 1700s.”

“I know,” Penny sighed, “it was wonderful.”

“No it wasn’t,” Talia said, waving her hand at Penny, “go change, I can still smell it on your clothes. Dinner is in 5 minutes.”

“It was wonderful,” Penny said, walking towards the stairs to get changed, “no one asked you when you killed someone, lots of people to eat-”

“You wouldn’t give up Netflix and you know it,” Talia said.

Penny stopped at the bottom of the stage.

“You know me too well,” she said, starting up the stairs.

“Almost like I love you,” Talia yelled up behind her. Penny couldn’t help the smile cross her face.

“Love you too,” she called back.

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