The Last Supper
"So, are you hungry?"
Judith blushed and looked down to the carpeted classroom floor. "What I mean is," she continued, "would you like to have dinner with me? I'm going to be cooking tonight, and I could always cook for two…"
Professor Utarefson opened his mouth slightly, as if to reply, and looked down at his desk, nodding. "That would be wonderful, Judith. Actually, this would be a perfect opportunity to discuss your term paper."
Judith smiled and returned her gaze to her professor. "Really? Would you like to meet me at my place, sometime after 8:00?" she asked, already scrawling out her address on a piece of notepad paper. She licked her lips and tore off the note, holding her finger out toward her professor, allowing the note to dangle in front of him.
Professor Utarefson reached through the cloud of sexual tension that had been building up and clasped his thumb and middle finger on either side of the note, lightly pulling it off of Judith's finger. "Sounds lovely," he replied, smiling. "I'll see you then."
His smile struck Judith like a stake to her heart, and her pulse accelerated as she smiled back and exited the room. Weaving through the halls of the college building, she passed by other religion and philosophy classrooms, looking in to see students half-asleep or pretending to listen to their dull professors. It's a shame they aren't in my class, Judith thought. Professor Utarefson is a genius concerning religion.
She finally reached the building doors and pushed them open, walking outside. Her auburn hair bounced in the afternoon sunlight as she hurried to her old Ford Tempo, thinking of what she would make for Utarefson. Though her morals seemed to tighten at the seams when it came to having dinner with a professor, Utarefson had put an end to such a thought almost right away. He was the most charming man Judith had come across in years, and he was as unpresumptuous as she imagined any man could possibly be.
Judith reached her Tempo and pulled on the hot silver handle to the door, opening it. A breath of humid air exited the car as she slid her skinny legs into the Tempo, one after the other. The car groaned as she turned the key in the ignition, and finally came to life. Judith glanced in the rearview mirror, pouting her lips at her reflection, smiling to herself. She took the car out of 'park' and made her way out of the Anoka Community College parking lot.
Arriving home, Judith accelerated over the small canal of water at the end of her driveway and screeched to a halt. She frantically rushed inside and began getting ready. By half past six that evening, the bright full moon had already started making its way across the sky, and she was just starting to prepare her specialty stir fry. Her black slacks undulated against her slender legs as she anxiously moved from counter to counter in the kitchen, preparing the food. The time winded down faster and faster, and precisely at 8:15, there was a knock on Judith's front door.
Judith's white blouse hugged her tight curves as she hurried across the hallway. She peeked through the curtain, and there stood Professor Utarefson. She grinned, opened the door and greeted him. "Good evening, Professor."
Standing in the dim light in a three-piece suit, Utarefson nodded to her. "Evening Judith," he replied, holding up a bottle of Pinot Noir and glancing over her shoulder inside. "Hope I'm not too late."
"Oh, not at all, professor. Won't you come in?"
He smirked. "Gladly. And call me Kristof; 'professor' still gets my bones in a twist." He stepped in behind Judith, brushing past her body as he sniffed the air. "Dinner smells very nice."
"Thank you, it's just about done," Judith replied, shutting the door behind him as goose bumps rose on her soft, white skin. She glanced down at his polished shoes. "How did you miss the puddle at the end of the driveway? It must be almost impossible to see in the dark…"
Utarefson hesitated. "Oh, I found my way around it. No use in walking over it, right?"
She nodded, taking in his appearance. "Well, you look great." The vertical lines that made up the seams of his suit were perfectly pressed. Judith always thought he resembled what Anthony Hopkins would have looked like in his younger years. Leading him to the kitchen, she accepted the bottle of wine from him and picked up a rusty corkscrew; uncorking the bottle and leaving it to breathe. She continued to cut the steak for the stir fry. "How do you like your meat done, Kristof?"
Utarefson closed his eyes and opened his mouth slightly, taking in the air of the kitchen. "As rare as you like it, I suppose. I never could eat meat that was tough and dry."
"A man after my own heart," she said.
He opened his eyes. "More than you know, my dear."
"I enjoyed your paper on the last supper of Christ," Utarefson said, moving his napkin to his lap.
Judith blushed, setting a plate of stir fry in front of him. "Thank you very much, Kristof."
Utarefson continued. "I have to be honest though. Your conclusion was interesting. What I mean is, how you believe that it never even took place was what caught my attention. I've never had a student be so void of faith when it came to Jesus." He looked around him, chuckling. "No crosses in this house, hmm?"
Judith also laughed, sitting down to her own plate across the table from him. "I'd like to believe I have some faith. I just can't believe in someone that I'm not capable of seeing."
Utarefson chuckled again. "Touché, my dear. Touché." He took a bite of his steak, chewed vigorously, but then winced and slowed his chewing down to a halt; holding his lower jaw out toward Judith, he seemed to suspend the piece of steak somewhere in his mouth.
"Is something wrong?" she asked him.
He barely shook his head, speaking through pursed lips. "It tastes … spicy?"
Judith raised her eyebrows. "Maybe it's the garlic?" Utarefson slowly nodded to this, bringing his napkin up as though to wipe his mouth. He coughed the piece of meat into the napkin; then, pretending to continue chewing it, he smiled in artificial satisfaction toward Judith. "I'm glad you like it," she said.
After swallowing his imaginary food, Utarefson quaffed his wine, lightly swishing it around his mouth. "I do," he replied, rising from his seat and crossing to Judith's side of the table. "It compliments the Pinot, and vice versa." Utarefson placed his hands on her shoulders, rubbing them softly; she became restless, tensing up. "Very much like how lust offsets love, and likewise for the other." Judith began to smirk, but hesitated; the edges of her lips quivered as Utarefson's grip on her shoulders tightened ever so slightly, not so much as a massage anymore, but more like a clutch. She tried to calm herself but twitched, consequently making her silverware fall upon her plate in a cluttered noise of metal against porcelain. "So void of faith, Judith. I believe it was 1 Corinthians, yes? We see now through a mirror in an obscure manner…"
Judith tried not to panic and gritted her teeth in uncertainty. Looking down, her fork had fallen in such a way where she could see herself in its glossy, silver reflection. Utarefson kept talking, his grip becoming more relentless. Judith wrinkled her eyebrows and looked closer at her fork; her eyes widened at what she saw.
Or didn't see.
She stared at her own reflection, and only at her reflection. Petrified, she glanced up at the window across the table from her, seeing a mix of the night outside, her face, and the rise and fall of her shoulders; that was all. Utarefson had no reflection. Unexpectedly, something pierced the side of her neck, and Judith winced. Utarefson whispered softly in her ear. "Still can't believe in things you aren't capable of seeing?"
She closed her eyes as a tear slithered down her face, mixing with the blood leaking from her neck. She heard a final whisper from Utarefson before she eternally blacked out.
"So, are you hungry?"
I would like to thank Terry and the class for their ideas that they suggested during the writing process of this story, and for their encouragement to submit it to Fantasticoe. I would also like to thank my sister, Kate, whose writing is an inspiration not only to me, but soon the world. Thank you all!