Horror in the Woods

Gothic Bite Magazine Presents: C.M. Dutton short story, First Date

C.M. Dutton is an author we enjoy sharing work from and we hope you like the literary work as much as we do! Good scare everyone!

Who Is C.M. Dutton?

Christianmichael or CM Dutton, formerly known by the pen name Hui Lang. It is the name his son called him which means, Gray Wolf.

CM Dutton is a published author of eight short stories across several anthologies in genres of horror, pulp noir, and grimdark fantasy. First Date is his second submission to Gothic Bite Magazine.

Grey Wolf
Grey Wolf

When he is not writing, he is usually stalking prey in the woods hunting for maidens in red hoods, lurking on Facebook, or blogging about various topics related to writing.

His motto is: Blood. Tears. Carnage.
Grim Fantasy
Prey Welcomed

First Date

By: C.M. Dutton

Friends to lovers
I remember that day well
I was under your spell
You whispered
I love you
Pressed against my lips
The passion between us
Could no longer be denied
We knew then we wanted to
Forever be by each other’s
—Christine Baker

Horror - Ghost - Eyes
Horror – Ghost – Eyes

“Did you know there was a study that men who drink their coffee black tend to be psychopaths?” asked Clara, wide-eyed as she leaned in a little closer to Jack.

Jack laughed, his smile warm and wide as he settled himself into the booth, its rubbery padding making annoying noises as if he ripped one right in the restaurant. The place was a bit out of the way, but a nice little diner where one can eat breakfast 24/7, drink good coffee and strawberry soda, or sit and chat while bleary-eyed travelers and truckers rumbled on by or maybe stop for a quick bite before having a smoke.

“I like coffee, but I prefer lots of cream. Do you like French vanilla?” he asked as he stammered to make conversation.

She uttered a single chuckle, shaking her head, a slight smile blossoming across her face.

“Why did you suggest this place?” she asked. “It seems kind of remote. You’re not planning … something are you?”

Jack chuckled again, but this time it sounded kind of forced, almost as if caught with more less-than-honorable intentions.

“I-I-I … uhh … no…”

Clara leaned back, her hand covering her mouth. “We’ve chatted enough on social media. You can be frank with me.”

Jack’s cheeks turned rosy.

“I like it and think it’s perfect.” She glanced outside, the streetlight above the parking lot flickering as truckers pulled into the diner on the outskirts of the big city. The evening drew late, but Clara figured the pint-sized guy with his coke-bottle glasses probably agonized for several weeks to finally ask her out and meet her in person for the first time.

She will never figure out why she finds nerdy runts so attractive given her own tall physique and comely appearance. Already, she drew several stares from men who could be on the cover of a romance novel if they decided to shred their flannel shirts and wear tight jeans. By their looks, they considered her in their league, their thick arms capable of holding onto her hips while they plowed between her legs. But for fuck’s sake, they were boring as shit to talk to and while they could be hot in bed, most men were not—bang, bang, release, and then turning over to snore away the rest of the night or turn on the TV. Fuckers. Plus, she hated the competition. She enjoyed working out, sporting corded muscles, and hated some guy trying to mansplain his fucking work-out techniques—as if she needed his advice!

If she must endure a night of bland sex, she could at least get her emotional stimulation from elsewhere, such as Jack here. And the thing she liked about him; the guy knows he’s in way over his head. The short man’s jaw practically hit the floor when she showed up and introduced herself in person, wearing a long sleeve purple night dress that hugged her curves in all the right places with a low cut off the top showing off a nice cleavage. She wasn’t too well-endowed, but she possessed enough to give Jack something to be happy about should this date lead into something intimate.

Asylum - Horror
Asylum – Horror

The guy was mysterious though, or tried to be, but she chalked it up as the man trying to puff himself up into something he’s not. All guys did it to some degree and she found his antics not only harmless, but made him cute. He loved movies, video games, worked as a programmer, and carried on funny conversations during their chats in social media. Not once did he try to push himself on her or pressure her to meet, which meant he was about as dangerous as a doorstop.

Clara rose out of her seat. “I’ll be back. Restroom. Why don’t you hold the waitress for me?”


Clara entered the bathroom, reaching into her handbag for her lipstick. She popped the cap when a woman, a young curvaceous good-looker herself, asked, “Excuse me. I don’t mean to pry your business, but I saw you with that nerd out there. Is he your kid brother or something?”

“Boyfriend,” said Clara. “Well … soon to be.”

The lady touched her chest, her eyes wide. “You can’t be serious! If I wasn’t into guys, you’d be fucking hot. Hey, why don’t I give you my phone number? We can hang out and I know you can do better than Dorkboy out there.”

“Sure, we can chill, but I’m going to give Jack a try. He’s a really nice guy and,” she pointed at herself, “I’ve always been raised that it is what’s inside that counts.”

Brain wave
Brain wave

“The guy is like half your size. So, unless he’s got a lot of money, he ain’t gonna be a man in the sack, if you know I mean.”

Clara nodded. “Oh, I know. Been down that road quite a few times.”

They giggled as the woman pulled out her cellphone, and they shot each other an intro text. “Later, girlfriend. I hope you come around.” The lady left.

Clara finished putting on another thick application of lipstick on her face. She opened her purse and pulled out the two dissolvable pills, palming them. She checked the other contents of her handbag—the thick roll of silvery duct tape, the bottle of chloroform, a couple of rags, and a pair of latex gloves. The plastic bags, hacksaw, and big hammer were in the trunk.

She returned to the booth where Jack fidgeted, a waitress writing down his order.

The server gave her the elevator eyes and cast a look back at Jack for a moment before returning her attention to Clara. “Honey, what will you have to drink?” she asked with a thick accent that betrayed her lack of education or sophistication.

“Coffee. Black.”

Gray Wolf
Gray Wolf


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