Sunday, October 26, 2014

Gluttonie by Tyler Tristao

Tyler Tristao's bizarre and gross story of a carer who feels guilty for enabling the extreme obesity of a 1000lb man.

I'm seeing the most atrocious and sickening event of my entire life. I feel the weight of dread in my gut, physically ill. How could this have happened?

"One thousand and two pounds," the doctor announced in a deadpan voice. "I'm concerned about massive generalized edema in Mr. Hale," I heard him say from some place far away. "Other than that, the vitals have remained consistent. As per my instructions, I'll omit my professional advice. Will there be anything else?"

I couldn't in my wildest imagination think of anything else the doctor could do for my ward and I. The little tight frown on the old man's face appeared in lieu of a formal goodbye. I'm over here trying not to vomit.

"Did you call Conquistadors?" The one-thousand-and-two-pound-man asked me after the doctor quietly left. We are in a large room, which is dwarfed by the profound form of Philip Hale. Around us the space is mostly cluttered with unused medical equipment and a seventy-two inch flat screen television in front of the place where this obese man lives his entire life. Beneath his oozing form is a specialized couch. "I gave you the order already. They should be here any minute. And get me some sodas when you go back into the kitchen."

I had to clear my throat, what with the rage I'd just choked on. He finally did it: he's over one thousand pounds, I thought in astonishment. I'm not sure if I was even angry. It was almost impressive in a depraved way to see the embodied effigy of overconsumption, to be in the same room with a diseased icon of society so close you could reach out and touch its clammy, sore-riddled skin.

"If the flautas aren't double-chicken I want it sent back, Norman. I'm always still hungry after the normal order; and I wanted six orders of the enchiladas not six enchiladas. And get Ming Pai on the phone for lunch. It was fifteen minutes late last time."

"Yes. Sir," I said like a robot. God, I needed a glass of water. I retreated to the kitchen and ignored what Philip was continuing to say from the other room. That was, of course, the room that he had been admitted into specially due to his extreme obesity - before the apartment's vast reconstruction had been finished, Philip Hale had been inserted into that room and then the walls were built. It had been the only way he would ever fit.

This entire goddamned place is like a coffin. I've thought that regularly now. I pour myself a glass of water but I don't drink it. I just look at the marble countertops and the perfectly ordered two-liter bottles of soda that reside next to the sink. Every day I enable that thing in there to drink over ten gallons of various-flavored soft drinks.

I'm going to hell for this. The money is hardly worth it.

I take out my cell phone and open my contact folder. It contains two hundred contacts. One hundred and sixty of these contacts are restaurants in New York City. Every last one of those people hate me for the sheer amount of hassle my orders have caused them over the past few months. I dream sometimes of them grating at me over the phone, screaming about the substitutions and incessant, needy, awful thing I am to have ordered these things. They ask me who it's for, why I am doing this.

The truth is, I don't know.

When I started working here Philip was seven hundred and fifty-seven pounds. Okay, maybe that is a bit high but the pay is always worth it, right? The guy had just won an enormous lawsuit against the city for a handicap-mistreatment violation and he was suddenly rich in both finance and cholesterol. People of that size need help around the clock. Here I am. And I can't quite leave because I feel like this cannot go on.

Now, he'd hit The Big One. I'd kept telling myself, once he hits one thousand I'm gone. Can't live with this anymore. But here I am calling Ming Pai to order four chicken pad thai entrees with triple-fried egg, five bowls of spicy Thom Yam soup no green veggies and hold the mushrooms, eighteen deep-fried spring rolls with extra shrimp and no carrots, six spicy beef salads with extra beef, ten orders of white rice and seven orders of mango sticky rice, sauce on the side for all of the above.

"Oh, I almost forgot, add eight orders of the Thai-fried bananas!" I yell into the phone, sounding like a lunatic.

The lady on the other end grunts and hangs up.

"Did you forget the bananas, Norman?" Philip shrieks from the other room, the room where he is entombed in his own body as much as the building itself. "I want eight orders of Thai-fried bananas. EIGHT. Make sure each is in there - call back if you have to."

I don't hear him because I'm already dialing the number of a restaurant called Gilbert's where I will get Philip's fourth lunch of the day. "Hey. Gilbert?"

"Yeah, hey there Norm. Are you calling me up about the order? Because I'm working on it, alright? It'll be ready."

"Thank you. You're a life saver."

"Not with this order I'm not. One guy eats all this? Really?" he asks and I don't reply because my mouth is so dry. "Is there anything else? Otherwise I gotta get back to cooking a baker's dozen of rotisserie chickens for one order."

Yeah, real quick Gil, can you empty a package of rat poison into Philip's mashed potatoes? I mean really go to town with that stuff cause I want to see this ravenous blob choke and gargle and try to stand up as the quivering mass of his fat body seizes in failure, foaming from the mouth, and -

"Okay, Norm. Thanks for checking in." Click. The sound of dead noise interrupts my daydream. I realized some time ago that I want to kill Philip, yes. Denying it is pointless.

From the other room, beneath the percussion of delivery food knocking, I hear, "Go to the door! The food's here! And what did Gordon's say?"

Deep breaths are important. One after the other. I eventually yell, "Right on time, Philip. I'll grab the door."

Stop thinking about killing him, Norman. Stop. Don't even picture the nub of bloodied tongue he's bitten off in death throes. Ignore the bloody, frothing foam covering his fat cheeks. But what if I'm already going to hell? May as well take this awful man with me, right? Should I ask one of the delivery boys? Maybe they know what I'm going through.

Nope; the kid delivering dozens of tortilla-wrapped foods shows up at my door sweaty and looking pissed-off about having to lug enough dinner around for his entire family to eat for a week. He just holds out his hand for the money and I give it to him. I take in all nine bags from Conquistadors and before closing the door I decide to give the kid twenty dollars. It' my own money (Philip has made it very clear that if I tip another delivery boy with his money he will fire me and find someone who knows how to listen) but that's okay because it's the least I can do. It makes me feel better, whatever that's worth.

I start to bring bag after bag into Philip's room. "God, you are skinny. What's the matter with you, don't you eat?" he says to me as I open containers and boxes and bags. "You should order yourself some next time. Beef up a little, might be able to carry in the bags quicker." Philip tries at an awkward giggle after this and I can't even bear to look him in the eyes. I assemble the ungodly meal before him and by the time it's all out the jowls on his face are unmoving as he gazes over his conquest.

I leave before the devouring begins. Philip is right though: I have gotten far too skinny. I stopped weighing myself after he hit nine hundred pounds but I think I am nearly below one hundred now and I am six feet tall. The two of us make quite a picture: a tallish, skeletal man who is starting to hear a voice very like his own in his head sometimes, whispering, saying kill him kill him do it drain him of life and see the white chunks spill out of his belly -

Then, standing beside that skeleton of a man, Philip is not tall and forms the antithesis of skeletal. Nothing could be more alive as it constantly absorbs energy throughout the day. There is nothing satisfying in that consumption though. It is a bizarre motif of life, existence bent on simply existing. Only to eat.

Most of the time I am too sick to eat now, what with the darkening thoughts in my head. It wouldn't be right for me to have food after we have taken in so much at this apartment, returning so little to the world that has served it to us.

Us. I say it like Philip and I are intertwined in fate, wrapped in some cosmic burrito.

I imagine that burrito going into his chubby mouth as he chews and horks it down between ragged, weak breaths. When he eats it sounds like sex, wet and passionate and rhythmic in a fleshy way.

I'm trying not to think about killing him. I really, really am, and before I know it the door is being knocked on again. I hear Philip in the other room wiggle in such a way that his weird couch whines and creaks. "Get the door Norm! Food's here! The food is here!"

And so it is. A Thai man who appears to have even less sympathy for me than the last delivery boy is at the door. I give him the money plus twenty, take the food into the kitchen and begin to transfer the various dishes onto baking sheets. It takes fifteen to fit all the food on there. All six ovens are on, sitting at an agreeable one hundred and fifty degrees.

Philip does not like to wait long between meals, and when you eat seven of them a day I guess there simply isn't that much time between them anyway. But he likes it warm and so I prepare it that way, trying not to see the mounds of chicken and beef and noodles and vegetables.

I hear a loud, clanging noise from Philip's room. I know he is banging a spoon on a glass. The sound wakes me up in the middle of the night sometimes. "Bring in some orange soda and some grape. I'd like some before I finish the meal in here. Did the Thai food come?"

I bring the sodas. I can hardly bear to witness the carnage he has laid upon the Mexican cuisine: there are hardly any scraps left, but seeing the ragged and torn tortillas, the bits of chewy ligament-thick chicken left behind in grease and residual sauce. God, help me.

You kill him or I will kill him.

Waving his remote toward the garbage, Philip says, "Can you get this cleaned up and take care of my potty before Gilbert's gets here? And did you order the right amount of chicken?"

"Yes. Thirteen rotisserie chickens," I said but I was thinking, potty? Do you really have to fucking call it a goddamn potty? I'm cleaning your shit and piss out of a metal pan, not some Pretty Little Potty.

"I think I'd like an extra two. Could you call them up?"

"As soon as the garbage is cleaned up. Yes."

"No, you should do it now in case they are on the way."

"Yes. Sir."

So I do and the Gilbert's delivery comes and goes. Philip goes potty, the trash is tossed and I am left with a cold pit in my stomach where hunger should reside. I want to talk about the remote control Philip had especially made, but right now I am too tired.

Currently, I'm waiting for the seventh and final meal to arrive from a restaurant called Burgs that make lard-fried beef patties for their cheeseburger and every order of fries comes with in-house chili. Extra onions please! Extra cheese and fries and add two patties, no lettuce or tomato, no, and please for the love of God hold the dignity, will ya pal?

The order is complex from Burgs. It's all I can think about, sitting in the hot kitchen and listening to the vague, annoying sounds blasting from Philip's TV. Let's see here, I ordered four triple-stack burgers (substitute buns for grilled cheese sandwiches), add egg to each, ten orders of chili fries with the works plus extras, seven extra-large Cokes (because apparently they have the best Coke at Burgs, don't ask me why), and seven to-go containers of ice cream, including chocolate, vanilla, pistachio, rum-raisin, cookie-dough and if they had fucking Chili Ice Cream I bet Philip would toss a few of those onto the order too.

I have to get out of here. If I don't, I'm afraid of what will happen.

The door is being knocked on, and Philip is entering a tantrum that only sixty thousand calories can abate.

For some reason, I keep asking God for help. I should stop because it is painfully evident that there is no God. There is just Philip and I. The deliverers leave after dropping off what should go to multiple residencies, glad to be done with the chore Philip and I have caused them.

Bitter is what I'm becoming. Jaded, like him.

Midnight will be here all too soon, and I will be cleaning bed pans before I know it.



The next morning I awake and clean Philip's bedpans again. It's almost like I can smell the different cuisines, reduced down to disgusting waste that is squeezed from a caloric void; overworked organs working toward nothing but repulsive waste. It further quells my appetite, that thought, and I realize yesterday I ate not a bite.

"Did you tip Conquistadors yesterday?" Philip asks me by way of a good morning.

I clear my throat. "Yes. It was my own money though, and I think -"

"They called to complain this morning about, oh what was it, a pathetic tip! How dare they, and how dare you? I told you not to tip these people - they don't deserve it just for doing their job! It's not a hard job. You just bring food to the place that orders it. I mean, Jesus Christ, how simple is it? Huh? How simple? How simple, Norm?"

Transfixed, I stare at his remote control. It is ten inches long and thicker than the average remote. It weighs five pounds because of the golden casing and conductors, which Philip paid more than ten thousand dollars for. I don't know the exact amount he paid, because I was only able to peek at the sheet of paper for a moment before Philip yanked it away, but I saw five digits and it made me sick. Some specialist came out and worked for eight hours on assembling the remote and catering it exactly to Philip's fickle desires.

The very fact that he had the premeditated thought about how much television he would watch as he ate and gobbled and scarfed his way through tons - literally tons - of food makes me feel sick. I feel like I don't know who I am anymore because when I think about that remote control it makes me feel cold too, like I could hurt Philip.

"Call The Eggnest and see where they are at on the eggs benedict, Norman. Remember I want two regular orders, two crabcake orders, two Florentines, and three orders of the Spanish style. Bacon on the side, a half-dozen sausage patties and get that Tuscan chicken omelet I like. Get three actually."

"Done."

This part is simple. Eggs Benedict is a trivial, small thing in the long-run of my day. Soon, I will call John's Original Pies and order two separate deliveries at the same house for different times. I can already hear him now: What da fuck do ya need pies delivered for in the same day, kid? Get 'em all at once!

Well, John, Philip likes to eat cold pizza as well as scalding hot pie. Ideally, I get the first order, refrigerate it, get food from a place called Sadie's Kitchen for meal number three, and have the second order of John's pizza come later, which Philip can then eat hot, as well as cold.

"So that will be fourteen pizzas at two pm and fifteen at four?" I ask, to reiterate on the phone.

John has hung up, mumbling da fuck and something about pies.

What does it matter, really? Whether or not pizza is delivered to a hungry man won't affect the universe. It won't change anything, bringing that sustenance to a place where it is only squandered and taken for granted. I almost hope the pizza doesn't show up. What then, I wonder?

It does show up, and all at once in a single order.

"Was that John's?" Philip yells, muting his massive television. "Bring them in here. I want to make sure the right ones will be cold and the right ones hot. I swear, you people don't have your heads on straight sometimes."

I bring the towering stack of pizza boxes in and he flips out. Blubbering like a baby about cheeses and toppings and temperatures and I don't hear a word. Not really, I don't. I'm just thinking about a new plan I have just developed.

"Whatever. Whatever! Just give me the goddang pizza-pies," Philip finishes. I do so and leave the room. "Bring me some lemon-lime soda too. And the Mountain Dew."

"Uh-huh," I call back. I grab a two-liter of each, smiling. I feel like I just snapped and I am happy to get the sodas because it's some of the last this man will ever drink. I've decided that. Maybe it's judgmental, maybe I'm sick in the head but that is what I've decided. "Here you go, Philip." I hand him each bottle and he sucks at them like a pair of highly artificial teats. "Drink up." He scowls at me over the plastic bottle which is undulating and transforming into a small, withering thing as Philip sucks at it. When it is empty, he picks up his large, heavy remote control and waves me away with it.

In the kitchen I prepare his last meal. There is something poetic in it, I think, ordering a perfect meal for him that he unknowingly will despise eating. Then there will be no more. It's so, so simple.

The Bagel Factory picks up after the second ring and I feel bad for them, truly. It is pitiable, their ignorance. "Hello, my name is Philip Hale, and I'd like to place a delivery order."

"Okay, no problem sir. Just give me one sec." There is a pause and then I hear, "I have my pad and pen ready, sir. Go ahead."

"Yeah I'd like four orders of your Bagel Supreme Sandwich, each with the Jalapeno Cheddar bagel style, double turkey, add bacon, double chips. Minus tomatoes on those and sub onion rings."

"Wow - let me just write that down, sub onion rings. Must be hungry over there!"

"Oh, you have no idea. The order isn't over yet. I also want five of the garlic chicken breast sandwiches, no tomato, no lettuce, add bacon and double chips on that as well."

"Wow. Okay. Will that be all today, sir?"

"No. I want eight orders of the Loaded Potato Salad, extra bleu cheese crumbles on that please. Add nine of the Mini Bagel Biters, three of each type. I see you have the Classic, Meat Lover and Triple Meat options. I'm following the menu online."

That last part is a lie, the menu is burned into my brain like it had been a much-too-bright light I'd been unfortunate to glance upon.

"I have to ask the kitchen about this. Can I put you on hold for one second, sir?"

"No. Just get the fucking order done. I'm at 4573 Park Avenue. Deliver it ASAP."

I hung up. The food eventually arrived. I didn't give the delivery boy a single cent extra and I politely ignored that ugly grimace he gave me, along with his middle finger. Why should I have given him extra money? I certainly wasn't going to get any extra money for the kind of service I was about to perform. Think of all the food that will be saved from heedless digestion, once this one last meal is through. It's a beautiful thought and I accept the responsibility without asking for a tip.

Sandwiches are dropped off into the hands of a bagel-eating monster. Philip destroys the opposition and leaves no extra condiment or topping behind. It all goes down with a slurp and a smack and a slight look of disapproval, like the very act is shameful and no matter how much bacon or cheese you slather on the fucking thing it is still ugly. It's wrong.

What is the point of all this? The thought is such a paradox it's almost hilarious.

"What are you laughing at?" Philip says. I hadn't realized I was. "Go and get me some Coke and Pepsi. Mix them up in a big glass."

"Okay. Sure. That's fine."

"Well if it's so fine then go get it!" Philip said. He had a mostly-eaten bagel supreme sandwich in his chubby hand, holding onto it for dear life. "Go, go, go! Get my goddang sodas and leave me."

So I go, smiling all the way. This is him under comfortable conditions. I can't wait to see what he's like slightly hungry, or the hideous person he will become when true hunger sets in and his body begins to eat itself.

The good news is that I'm not depressed. I've lost my mind, yes, but that is relatively painless.

"Here you go," I say and give him the huge glass. He waves me away with the remote control, keeping his beady eyes at the soda he is sucking down. "I really want you to enjoy that."

Philip pulled the glass away from his pouting lips. "You look strange, Norm. Go into the other room. Now."

"I think I'm fine right here as a matter of fact. I might even have one of your bagel sandwiches because, suddenly, I've an appetite."

"These are my sandwiches, I bought these with my own money, and I saved two for in-between bedtime. Hey what are you doing? Get away from the TV!"

I unplugged it and then set my hand upon the razor-thin edge of the screen. My, the glass had become hot. "Shut the fuck up, Philip. You're done watching TV and you're done eating."

The way he looked at me was scrumptious, good enough to chew. There was fear in his eyes. "You're scaring me Norman. Go into the other room - go to your room I paid for you to have in the house."

"The room is plain and boring. It's depressing. Like you."

"I'm perfectly healthy!" he retorted. "What are you talking about?"

Then I snapped. Seeing the candor in his ignorant eyes broke me. "You're going to starve, Philip. I'm going to starve you to death and the world will be a better place for it. Can't you fucking see that?"

Oh, the horror in his piggy eyes. "You're nothing without me, Norman. Barely good enough to even do your simple, easy job. You know, you're lucky I'm such a kind man or you would be out on your skinny butt starving more than you already are. And you know what else? I'll tell you -"

I hit him then. It felt good to break his nose and watch the blood run down his pale, moon-like face, to see the rivulets down his greasy chins. I hit him again. I liked the way it felt.

"I might beat you to death," I said aloud, more to myself than him. The blob of a man was crying now, clutching onto his pants that he'd pissed and shit in, rocking back and forth slightly. I took off one of my socks and walked behind the couch. Pulling the sock tight, I put it over Philip's face, into his mouth and pulled as hard as I could, tying the ends behind his head. The other sock was too short to tie together his fat wrists and then I decided to leave his hands free and let him scrabble at the complicated knot I'd used. There were no sharp objects nearby to aid him, just his useless hands and a useless body that could not leave his eternal seat.

"There we go. Now you can just go potty as much as you want, Big Man. Let out all of which you've eaten. Give something back for once. This is why the two of us are different, and I see it now Philip: I'm contributing. By removing you, I'm a part of society, I'm worth something. More than just a mouth and an asshole working endlessly to -"

Two noises stopped me in midsentence, sending a dagger of ice into my belly. Two uneven knocks at the door.

Philip's fat mouth puckered in and out like a fish, trying to mumbled through his bloody gag.

"I want to cut the tongue out of your mouth," I tell him before leaving the room.

I crept to the door and looked through the peephole. An odd man stood there clutching a brown paper bag. Something unnerved me about his presence, and not only because of the fact I'd ordered no more food. I knew he came bearing something besides food in that bag.

Pressing up against the wall beside the door, I waited. Fifteen minutes passed and I slowly moved to put an eye over the peephole.

The man was still there, holding the brown bag.

"Open the door please. I have something. A gift."

He'd seen my shadow through the peephole. What could I do, with Philip in the next room looking like that? Other than getting the strange man away from the apartment, I could think of nothing. I opened the door.

I'd never seen a person like him. If I considered myself skinny, the man holding a brown paper bag was nonexistent. Clung tightly to his lithe form was something like a shawl or a robe and I mistook him for Middle Eastern in that black cloth-like material. Only his monochromatic eyes and a patch of sickly pale skin were visible through his garb, though his eyes were fascinating to behold in their grey, neutral color. I admit I stood transfixed for a moment, unable to think of anything to say.

"Delivery. Glüttoníe."

I broke my gaze away from his grey eyes. "I - I didn't order any delivery. No food. No thank you." Then I clearly stated, "I don't want this."

"It's a gift. Delivery." He'd mispronounced the word gift and not in a Middle Eastern inflection. I realized that all the words he had said were being crudely formed, and his accent was bizarre in a way I couldn't quite articulate.

"No, we are good for the night but thanks anyways for the sample."

I started to close the door when he said, "I heard your dreams. Poison." I stopped and my mouth must have hung agape.

"Excuse me?" Had he really just whispered the word poison?

"Glüttoníe. You did call us. Now I'm here. Delivery." He held the bag out to me and I admit I was afraid to touch it.

"Who are you?" I asked. "I mean, what is Gluttonie?"

"You say strangely. Do you not accept our gift?"

Fake laughter fell from my mouth in a slow, awkward way. I was at a loss for words. I'd noticed the man had yet to blink once. "I do. I do accept it," I said in a dry voice. "What is it?"

"Brain medallions. A blood pure. Yum."

All the words had been grossly spoken and I was reluctant to actually grab and hold the bag. It was lighter than I had expected it to be. "Is it free, then?"

"Are gifts not always?" he asked and his tone suggested true curiosity, as if he wanted to be let in on a secret.

"Thank you. Good night." I didn't know what else to say. So I closed the door and carefully set the bag down onto the nearby table. Ordinary enough on the outside, no obvious scent. I opened it and saw a foil-wrapped plate which I then removed, wondering what material it had been made from to give it such peculiar lightness.

I removed the foil and understood: on the colorful plate was a thinly sliced slab of pink meat and one quarter-moon drizzle of a crimson sauce. Dreams of poison. A gift indeed.

"Which sin, do you think is the most egregious of all?" I asked in a loud voice. I took the plate into the other room and placed it beside Philip who was wild-eyed and sweaty, jiggling. "Lust?" Watching him; seeing no response. "Greed?"

Chest heaving, Philip nodded quickly. "Oh? Greed? Coming from you? What about gluttony, hmm? Don't you want to eat that plate of food right there? I know you do, pig. Would you eat it even if it were human flesh?"

Philip was watching the plate now with eyes wider than the metallic surface on which the food lay. Blood caked his malnourished face from the wrecked nose and he had given up on untying the gag's knot.

"If you can chew through the gag, I'll let you eat the meal." I thought it a fitting end and so I picked the plate up and placed it slightly away from his face, all the way while watching as his eyes were transfixed on the brain medallions and what appeared to be blood. "Doesn't that look good? It smells good."

I leaned in to savor the scent, and I do admit it was quite tantalizing. Arousing even.

Then I felt my head go numb, somehow hearing and not hearing the sickening crunch.

I saw a gold-plated remote dance threefold, blood and bone stuck to the thick edges. I didn't even see the second blow; I didn't hear the crunch.



Panic consumed Philip enough to force his legs onto the ground. He was going to attempt to stand for the first time in countless months. When he shifted forward on the couch a molten agony tore the skin on his back and legs. His bedsores were furious about the move.

It wasn't going to happen. The pain was so severe he nearly fainted, coughing bile into his gag only to swallow the acid again. He chewed the sock in a frenzy, fighting back tears in his eyes.

Until a fingernail much like a razor sliced through the gag. It was the man in the black shawl. "Glüttoníe. Eat him. Dead flesh."

"I didn't kill him," Philip began to explain to the thin, strange man that had appeared behind him, hovering on the edge of his periphery. "Someone else killed him and left him here and I can't move -"

"Would you?"

Philip stopped his story, thinking he'd misunderstood the man's foreign speech. "Would I what? What are you talking about?"

"Eat human flesh."

"We need to move the body. Please call, actually no, clean up this mess and we can call the police after."

"Move body into pieces. Eat pieces." The man shuffled around the couch to kneel beside Norman's body, revealing from the folds of his robe fingers that were much too long and sharp, which he probed the head wound with. In deep strokes he plunged his white finger deep into the wound, making a strange clicking noise behind his shawl. The action hypnotized Philip in a way which he could not actively think on; he could not tear his eyes away from the glistening wound on Norman's head. Satisfied, the robed man slid one blade-like finger across the black cloth on his face, cutting it away to reveal a gaunt mouth with purple lips. "I believe the word. It is culinarian. You are one. You eat."

Philip thought he was right about that. How long had Philip been staring into the slate eyes sunken in the hoodlike folds? "I'm becoming hungry."

"Yes. I'm hungry. I want to show you Glüttoníe. A gift."

"Okay... yeah... a gift..."

The languid man smiled, showing a row of crooked, sharp teeth below his hideous eyes, and blinked once with milky white eyelids. "I have eaten. So much. Scrumptious."

"He will be too... Norman will taste like chicken... when do we cook him up?"

"Don't be greedie. Eat him. I start."

Jagged teeth parted in an unhinged jaw, the man descended, and ate.

6 comments:

  1. I don't think that I want to eat again today! A powerful and visceral tale that drags the protesting reader forwards in spite of their disgust and horror. An imaginative and metaphorical mirroring of the tsunami of consumerism that drives the economies of the western world, and exploits those in other regions. Personal self-gratification outpaces religion and politics as a force leading to the violation of ourselves and the earth that is our home: bringing us all to the brink of destruction. As in this tale, one way or another there will be consequences.
    Within the narrative, the relationship between Norman and Philip was astutely drawn. The contagion effect of the diseased towards the formerly healthy had a frightening sense of authenticity about it. The only element that I struggled with was the strange agent of doom, almost too corporeal to be magical and yet not quite ephemeral enough to have the strange powers that he had access to. However that is a minor niggle. Very well done, thank you,
    Ceinwen Haydon

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  2. all of the above and more! brilliantly disgusting, with a strong lesson in there.
    Superb

    Michael McCarthy

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  3. Wow - this story is OBESE with wonderfully disgusting (to quote Michael) lines. My plate overflows with praise. As with Ceinwen, I think I will forgo eating for at least today.
    Maybe even tomorrow.
    Well done!

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  4. I got it instantly; this is a metaphor for the U. S. Congress

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  5. This story had me wanting to contniue reading and wanting to make the time to finish the story in one sitting. That is unusuall for me, wanting to read the whole story at once. I Praise the author this was a great read !! it did leave me waiting to read the next story !! Great JOB !!!

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  6. Wow! This guy is a master of the adjective! Very provocative descriptions, an interesting spin on the narrative and great character development. A lot of story in a small package. Like a roller coaster ride. My kind of writing. I'd recommend this story to anyone interested in the genre and I'll be looking for more from this author.

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