Here’s a bit of flash written by a friend of mine and reproduced on this blog with her permission:
This last one I ate slowly, in small bites, chewing him well before swallowing. In between eating him, we talked. He wasn’t in pain – I’d guess he hardly even noticed when he lost another limb, another sliver of skin, a quivering chunk of back or thigh. My bites cut clean, without the ragged edge of wounding.
When my father came home, I’d just finished the head, leaving the lips for last, and it didn’t escape Dad that, like the others, this man’s lips were still smiling. Dad shook his head – he tired at times, and for a butcher he was squeamish about blood.
‘I don’t think I can stand it,’ he tells Mum later, over tea, ‘to see another one go.’ His teacup shakes beneath his chin.
Mum checks her watch and watches the door.
‘It’s not like she hunts them,’ Mum reasons, ‘they come to her, it should be obvious what she’s like,’ she watches me lick my lips, ‘and at least she’s tidy about it.’
I hate when they talk about me like I’m not there. A few months back, they’d had a lot of conversations like this – Dad whimpering, beside himself, Mum matter-of-fact, soothing him. It was right after the Police had turned up, wondering if we’d seen a guy in a photo. He’d disappeared, said the policeman, and somebody said they’d seen him somewhere near our house, laughing uncontrollably. Dad and Mum both said no, and I said we’d let them know if we saw anything unusual. That time Dad had been nervous: the policeman was handsome, and Dad had seen me sniffing. A couple minutes more in our living room and I might have tried to lick him, to see if he was one of the salty ones.
It had all ended with Dad bringing me meat from the shop, already gutted and skinned, unrecognisable. I shook my head.
‘You know she won’t eat animals,’ Mum had said.
Dad couldn’t think of any other possibilities, and things went back to normal for a while. But it looked like he was back to wimping again. I bet he’d taste like rubber.
The doorbell rings, and Dad shudders. My mother sucks her teeth.
‘Will you get it,’ Mum asks him, ‘or should I?’