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An orange tabby winds himself around the black candlestick, his tail fitting flawlessly into the twisting groves of metal then he moves on to brush against velvet curtains pulled tight against the deep winter chill. The scent of mulled wine dances on air currents, touching the couch, teasing the fire, rising from the delicate glass demitasse held between her index finger and thumb, nails dipped in scarlet. Her lips painted a matching shade purse and heart chilled air blows delicately across the surface of the hot wine.

Savoring the spiced liquid she casts her black eyes around this favored room and walks to the glass encased bookshelves smiling, reading the titles of her youth. Her father never restricted her choices, answered all questions and taught her the ways traditionally only for the men of his family. This library had been her sanctuary from the town that saw her as strange, her family as old-fashioned and enough old ones were left to hiss Wareloches under their breath as she walked by. This room was a sanctuary for them both after the heartbreak of her mother’s mysterious death. A mystery that drove her father to an early grave and that the coin of her youth spent solving. The doors open and her handsome russet haired husband joins her. She smiles privately if predatorily, for his death this night will be the beginning of the blood debt his family owes to hers paid.

Inspired by: In honor of the classic Hasbro game and the unforgettable performance of Tim Curry as Wadsworth the Butler, your flash fiction or creative non-fiction piece this week should include the words “candlestick”, “scarlet”, and “library”. The words can be in any context you wish, and you have 250 words (247 of which you can choose yourself).