This is last week's entry for Microcosms which earned an Honorable Mention. I avoided horror, although it's still dark and does has the element of the horror of a drug-addicted life, but there is also romance - although not in the conventional sense being an affair of a different kind.
Elements included were: Drug addict; Victorian London; Romance
Edward slicked back his hair and pulled on his frayed jacket. Beyond his lodgings, the streets were crowded with those eager to escape the drudgery of their lives. Closing the door behind him, he too joined in their flight from reality, merging with the shifting shadows distorted by the dirty orange glow of streetlamps, becoming a ghost as the fog cloaked the poor of Stepney.
He walked quickly, eagerly, had money in his pocket, thought of nothing but his love. Her slender curves, her smooth perfection, would be waiting for him on that low bed where behind hanging curtains they could pass the time in pleasurable indulgence. But he wanted more of her, wanted her for himself, did not want others to share in his love. Tonight, he decided, she would be his and his alone. She was his one and only.
Mother Flanagan let him in, followed him through to the small low room where his love’s pleasant scent drifted towards him. She lay there, waiting. His and his alone. Behind him, Mother started to say something. She was the gatekeeper who allowed admittance. Get rid of the gatekeeper and all would be his. Still with a smile on his face, he swung round, pulling out a knife in one smooth movement. She barely registered what had happened before the life fled her eyes. Edward stepped over her body and firmly barred the door to the street. No one else would pass tonight.
Now it was just the two of them. Always they joined in silence, he cupping her in his hand with reverence before taking the sacrament of the pipe, inhaling her essence. In the bottle at his side, the rest of her waited … as she did in opium dens across the city. Poppy had other lovers.
A writer - I think that says it all.