For Want of Chocolate
by J. F. Lewis
Nobody warned me about chocolate, which is why I was standing in the mall right
outside Godiva, and to be honest, I thought I was going to go berserk. The
luxurious bitter scent of dark chocolate mixed with other odors that I'd never
noticed before: a spicy flair, a fruity bouquet . . .
When I was human, these odors never sang to me the way they did now that my
olfactory senses had received a mystical boost.
Of course, no matter how good it smelled, I knew I couldn't have any. Vampires
can't eat . . . and I'd known that. Hell, I'd been dating one, for over a year. But in
the moment, when I got the news about mom's illness and Jason made his offer, I
hadn't been thinking about food, my job . . . anything.
My boyfriend Jason laughed at me. He leaned over the fourth floor balcony rail, by
the DVD store next to the escalators. His long black hair cascaded past his hard
muscled shoulders, and he tossed it back as he laughed. He whispered his words,
but I heard him clearly. "What? You forgot vampires can't eat?"
An older woman brushed past me, purchase made. She didn't wait until she was
out of the mall to open her chocolate. She discarded the bag, removing the multi-colored ribbon from the matte gold box. I felt like that rat in the Pixar movie, the
one that can cook, because when she opened the box, the world faded away and the
scent canceled out everything else. The nearby food court, the woman's own body
odor, even the siren call of blood itself, were replaced by this cornucopia of rich,