15 March, L.I. A.S.
An effed up little cannibal story
A fellow on YouTube will be producing an audio production of this one in the near future. Related, a different person will be doing an audio production of my “King in Yellow Lost Film” story in the near future, too. I’ve had a lot going on lately with career changes in the works, including some stuff I’m excited to share with you all once it’s more definite. I’m gonna be really going places. Anyway, I wanted to just write something fucked up and “valueless” for the hell of it. I’m thinking of expanding this one out into a novella. I picture it as a book version of one of those gratuitously violent and sexual 1970’s grindhouse movies. Fun shit.
Roger yawned, then flicked himself in the face to stay awake. He was beginning to have doubts about his entire endeavor. Was all this driving around, in the exact middle of Who the Hell Knows Where, to meet some chick off the Internet really worth it? And all of that after a pain-in-the-ass work day in a boring, garbage job with a boring, garbage boss. Roger sighed and looked out the window for the millionth time, hoping to see some sign of modern civilization. Trees, trees, empty fields, and desolate barns greeted his eyes for mile after mile. Most of the trees stood dead, as bare and picked over as skeletons. Victims of acid rain, if Roger recalled his middle school science classes correctly. He’d left the highway an hour ago, and had seen a total of two cars since.
This chick better be worth it, he thought to himself. But the restaurant would be coming up soon, according to said chick’s directions. It was an old and out of the way place, she’d said, the kind that wouldn’t show up on any GPS program. Roger rolled his eyes, he was a child of the ‘burbs, loved the city, and didn’t have time for such rustic quirks as a restaurant you couldn’t find on Google Maps.
But then the car went around a bend, and, lo and behold, there it was! “Jim’s Burgers,” the big and gaudy sign out front suggested. Roger rolled into the gravel parking lot and got out to have a closer look. The sign, illuminated by a couple of flickery old bulbs, displayed the cartoon image of a bull, dressed in a stereotypical chef’s outfit, the wild-eyed animal drooling over a pile of cheeseburgers. Everything about it was off-putting: the spatula and knife in the bull’s hands, the implication of bovine cannibalism, the chipped paint and rather manic art style. Roger scoffed, walked past the other two cars in the lot and the buzzy neon “Open” sign, and went inside.
A big old cow bell on a string jangled as he opened the door. Immediately, a pale, chubby, and stubbly young man behind the counter greeted him. “Good evening sir, welcome to Jim’s Burgers, may I take your order?” The guy was probably 18 or 19 years old, but his hunched over posture and the lines and spots on his face suggested all the worst aspects of premature aging. He grinned at Roger expectantly, the smile not quite reaching the wide and bloodshot eyes.
Roger replied with an awkward, “I’m waiting for someone, I’ll decide in a minute,” then walked across the dining area to take a seat. The décor of the place resembled a big chain fast food restaurant but clearly hadn’t been updated in at least thirty years. The booth Roger chose sat mercifully out of the cashier’s line of sight, was clean enough, but with plenty of graffiti and scratches. The place was void of any other customers unless they were in the bathroom. Th smell of greasy burgers and greasy French fries wafted from the kitchen, and Roger had to admit he was hungry.
He sighed and pulled out his phone to check his texts from Casiopa. That was the girl’s name, though she went by just “Cas.” They’d met on a dating site. Cas had caught his eye straight from her profile picture, what with her firetruck red hair, ruby lips, emerald eyes, and exotic name. She’d seemed artsy and eccentric from the get go, the kind of girl who liked to act on the fly, drinking new cocktails, listening to new music, going on random trips to strange places…all the adventurousness Roger had tried to summon up in himself since his most recent breakup. So long as Cas didn’t end up being fat or a master of Photoshop, she’d make a sweet lay to break his dry spell. That is if she even showed up. He sent her a text saying he’d arrived. It’d be just his luck to get stood up after driving all this way.
“Everything alright, Sir?” Roger bolted upright in his seat, snapped out of his anxious musings. Right next to him stood another employee, this one a woman, perhaps a couple years older than the cashier, and with the same sickliness. The two workers looked like they could be siblings, and probably were: no doubt this was a family business. “Have you been helped?” She grinned down at him with that same artificial expression as the cashier, and her eyes were just as unsettling.
“Uh, no, I’m waiting on someone before I order,” he explained, attempting to hide his disgust. The woman smelled awful, like a combination of ultra-strength cleaning supplies, and old bacon. He smiled back nervously.
An expression of hostility flickered across her dark eyes, like the silhouette of a large shark gliding beneath a boat on the open sea. The look, which lasted barely long enough to register, was frighteningly raw and bestial, but her smile remained the same. He noticed the odd, pink stains on her teeth, and felt his whole body tense up and recoil. She nodded, the hostility again replaced with robotic customer service friendliness. “Alright, well, let us know when you’re ready!” Then she grabbed an old broom and dust pan, and began sweeping up the place. There was nothing to sweep off the sterile-looking tile, but she continued the activity with enthusiasm, staying always within easy earshot and eyesight of Roger.
He exhaled. Enough of this shit, he thought then got up, and walked back outside, doing his best to ignore the eyes boring into the back of his head all the way. He’d wait another five minutes for Cas. It was already ten minutes past the time they’d agreed to meet, and if she didn’t care enough to call or text saying she’d be late, well, that was it. Another disappointment.
He breathed in the warm summer’s night air, then smacked a mosquito on his arm.
Thoughts spinning and feet tapping with impatience, he wiped away the bug guts and began pacing around the building. He didn’t like the way the two weirdos inside could see him through the front window. Roger walked alongside the large and rectangular restaurant until he reached its rear. He wondered if the owners lived back there. But then he noticed something odd:
The back parking lot, unlike the front, was filled with cars. Compacts, mid-sizeds, pick-ups, Cadillacs, and motorcycle, trucks. A few new and shiny, most old and rusty, all parked tight together in neat, orderly rows across the gravel lot. It was a strange sight. Roger figured the other two cars out front belonged to the two workers, but all these vehicles…whose were they? He felt a creeping sensation of something not quite right. Maybe the Jim’s Burgers property doubled as a parking lot for whoever needed the extra space? But where did all the owners of these cars live: the closest house was a couple miles away at least.
Beyond the lot, the darkness of the tree-line stood thick and unyielding of any secrets …
Roger’s phone buzzed. He jumped, then fumbled with the phone. A text from Cas. She was here. Feeling that happy buzz of hope and nervousness that always accompanied meeting a pretty girl, Roger walked back to the front and went back inside. No new car had arrived, but maybe one of the cars belonged to Cas, and she’d just been in the bathroom?
There, patiently reading a paperback at one of the middle tables, sat Casiopa. She was every bit as beautiful as her pictures had suggested, if not more. Her bright-eyed face was a perfect picture of femininity, the elegant curves of her body proudly filling her black and white stripped dress. She looked up from her book to greet him at the sound of the cowbell, and those emerald eyes flashed with a warmth and hint of mischievousness that Roger found utterly irresistible.
“Roger?” she purred, with a flick of her deep red hair. “Have a seat, how are you?”
He happily took the invitation, and the two of them talked, laughed, and flirted for fifteen minutes that felt like fifteen seconds. It was awkward at first, like any first date, but Cas was exactly the woman he’d hoped for and dreamt of. Beautiful, geeky in all the right ways, easy to talk to, all wrapped up in that hourglass package of seductive femininity.
“Well, I’m starving, let’s get some grub!” she declared, hopping to her feet.
Roger shifted uneasily. “Uh,” he said softly, glancing at the ever-staring fast food workers, “Can we go somewhere closer to town? I honestly feel uncomfortable here. I know a great—“
“Uncomfortable with me?” Cas interrupted, giving him puppy dog eyes and a pouting lip. Then she smiled and grabbed his hand. “C’mon, the food’s great! I’ve been coming here since I was old enough to eat solid food, you’ll love it!”
The menu was simple, mostly hamburgers with different toppings. Cas recommended the chili cheese fries, and Roger, remembering with a growl of his stomach how hungry he was, happily placed a large order.
A few minutes later, Cas was practically skipping with glee when she banged down the plastic tray of steaming and fragrant food. “Close your eyes!” she demanded, “No peeking!”
Roger complied with a chuckle. “This better be worth the drive,” he joked.
Cas poked a cheesy, chili-covered French fry under his nose. He savored the spicy, meaty aroma. His mouth watered. “Open wiiiiide,” she said. Roger took a bite.
The fry was a lot…chewier, than he expected, maybe under- or over-cooked. The texture felt way too tough. He bit harder and felt something brittle crunch between his teeth. The unexpected sensation instantly set his mind into a panic, and he realized the taste was all wrong, too, though he couldn’t place his finger on what exactly it was.
Roger opened his eyes and spat the weird French fry into a napkin. His heart began to pound and he felt the urge to vomit when he saw what was on that napkin. A human finger, pink and bloated, dunked in cheese and with his bite marks distinctly cutting through the middle knuckle straight to the bone. Hot marrow dripped from the fracture, mixing with the pooled cheese and grease which soaked into a little puddle around the severed digit.
“What the fuck?!” Roger moaned, and frantically spat into his hands, trying to get out the taste and pieces of skin.
Cas began to laugh. It was a girlish giggle at first, then it gradually grew into a hearty belly laugh.
Roger couldn’t stand to look at her. Still processing the disgusting situation, he grabbed for his cup of Sprite to wash out the taste, and in his panic knocked the drink over, spilling soda all over the table and floor. Cas laughed even harder, the sound manic and cruel, and she looked at him with tears of sadistic joy in her eyes.
“Y-you,” she gasped, touching a hand to his arm. “You should’ve seen your face, oh my God!”
Roger swatted her hand away. “Fuckin’ bitch,” he said standing up, “Why the fuck would you—“
“Easy, there Sir.” The cashier had crept up behind him, and beside him was the female worker. “You’ve made quite a mess!” she said.
Roger turned to shove past the guy, away from Casiopa’s taunting laugh, away from this freakshow he’d found himself in. He’d call the police, he’d bring this whole thing down, he’d—
He felt a sharp prick in his neck. Saw the hypodermic needle out the corner of his eye. In a stunned second, the room began to spin, and he couldn’t hold his eyelids open. He began to fall, but someone held him up and began to drag his heels across the tile. “Nighty night, boy!” Cas taunted, and then Roger was out entirely.
When he woke up, even before he opened his eyes, he remembered what was going on. He had stumbled into a grindhouse movie hellhole. Murderers, cannibals, human meat in the food. In a panic, he tried to thrash, but his arms and legs were all tied down with leather straps. He felt the cold metal table against his bare back, looked towards his feet and realized he was entirely naked. His head felt a bit drowsy from the drugs, but he was unhurt otherwise.
The room, which he figured to be back behind the kitchen, was cold, smelly, and bloody. Various human parts, including arms, legs, and heads, hung from meat hooks, many of them dripping. The fluids flowed into the drain in the middle of the bloodstained concrete floor. Two long tables waited adorned with butcher’s knives, bone saws, needles, and various surgical tools that looked like they belonged to another century.
Roger struggled against his bonds, only hurting his wrists and ankles in the process. Knowing it would be futile, he screamed for help.
A long silence. Then a door slammed open and shut. Footsteps. Two people, one appearing on either side of his table. One was the cashier, dressed now in a white butcher’s apron, surgical mask over his face, and the other was Casi, dressed in her same sexy outfit. “No one’s coming for you,” said the cashier, “You’re done.”
Roger struggled frantically again and swore at his captors.
“Now, now,” purred Casiopa, stroking his forehead. “That won’t get you anywhere. Just relax and we can have a bit of fun before you’re turned into food and shoe leather.”
Roger stopped struggling, though he continued to shake like a Parkinson’s patient. The terror was overwhelming. He tasted his own tears and sweat, salty and hot on his tongue.
“Good boy,” said Casi, and now the cashier picked up a butcher’s knife, and began sharpening it as he walked out of the room. “Everyone you meet really is food you know, when you get down to it. We humans take it for granted, being at the top of the food chain,” she showed her teeth and snapped her jaws at him, then laughed. “Think about it. All our flesh is gonna be food for someone else someday, one way or another. What goes around, comes around. Just like all those poor and innocent cows, pigs, and chickens you’ve devoured in your life. If it wasn’t this, you’d just be worm food eventually.”
Roger was sobbing now, wishing to wake up from the nightmare. He thrashed again, and thought he felt the leather give, just a little.
“Don’t cry, poor baby,” Casi said with a mocking pout, “At least you’ll get to be in me.” She touched her belly and grinned wickedly. Then she ran a hand along his chest, towards his own stomach. “While my idiot cousin is in the other room, sharpening his knife,” and her breathy voice tickled his ear, “I’m going to touch you, and tantalize you,” she ran her soft, warm hand down further, to his inner-thigh, “And get you all hot, and eager,” she touched her fingers to his inner-thigh and began to rub, “The best meat should be relaxed and happy when it’s slaughtered,” she moaned, posing to give him a stunning view of her breasts, Her hand was on his cock then, which was now standing up straight as a flagpole. “You’re so flush with tasty blood,” she purred, then squeezed him so hard it hurt, “You want me, to be in me, so, so, bad, don’t you?” She turned her eyes down to his cock, which was by now a throbbing shade of red that would match her hair. She gave a quick bite to the shaft, and giggled at his frantic reaction.
“Calm down, silly,” she said, “I’m not gonna eat it. I’m just getting my latest trophy ready.” From the nearby table, she lifted a massive pair of sharp, heavy, scissors, and snapped them a couple times towards his face.
“No no no fuck no!!” Roger screamed, as she seductively stepped to the foot of the table, and took up her position. “P-please, please, what do you people want, I-I can get you money, God no fuck, please!!” he pleaded, digging the leather restraints painfully into his wrists and ankles. The bonds were made of something weaker than cow leather, and continued to gradually stretch, giving him just a bit more wiggle room with each thrash.
She ignored him and kept speaking with sadistic, maniacal glee. “I have a whole shelf of these, you know,” motioning with the scissors at his manhood, “All pickled, floating in jars. You’ll fit in well enough. And I’m going to enjoy taking the first bite out of the Roger Burger. Anyway, let’s get this done quick! I’d tell you this wouldn’t hurt, but I’d be lying!” She opened the scissors wide. Roger moaned and squeezed his eyes shut, hoping he’d pass out and somehow avoid the pain.
The door banged open, and the cashier walked back in, knife in his hand. “Cousin Cassie ,” he said nervously, “T-there’s people outside. I think they’re cops.”
“Well don’t fuckin’ let ‘em in!” Casiopa snapped, “Can’t you see I’m not done?”
“I know, I told ‘em to fuck off but they say they got cause. Mary’s talking to ‘em now, but they’re real suspicious, Cas. They showed badges, they’re those plainclothes detective types—“
The cowbell rang from the dining area, and Roger could hear muffled voices, stern and combative.
“For fuck’s SAKE,” Cas whined, “Why am I the only one around here with half a brain?! Don’t let ‘em poke around!! I swear! Here, finish off this chump and let me deal with it.” She sneered at Roger, and on her way out whispered to him: “Scream, and I will make this one thousand times worse for you than you can possibly imagine.” Then she set the scissors down somewhere behind his head, out of his sight, and exited.
Now it was just Roger and the cashier. Roger thought about yelling for help. The cops were arguing with Mary, and now Casi, he could hear, and it didn’t sound to be going well. The words “stolen property,” and “missing persons,” came through the wall. But the cashier loomed over him, leering with that big sharp butcher knife. And the bonds felt like they could rip with just a bit more time and effort. There could be a better way.
“You don’t have to do this,” Roger said, stalling for time. “Those cops are gonna find this room, find me here! Do you wanna go to jail? Get locked in cage the rest of your life? Does that sound fun? You can still run! Get out while they’re distracted, I’ll swear I never saw you!”
The cashier frowned, thoughtfully.
Roger continued talking, and also began reaching his fingertips as far back behind his head as the restraints would allow. “Is it worth going to jail, for life, just to do what your cousin says? This whole thing is her twisted scheme, isn’t it?!”
Success! The tips of his finger found the plastic handle of the scissors.
“No!” the cashier shouted, and stomped around. “She’s says she’s got the brains but she don’t! She’s just the pretty one, she helps Daddy find new stupid meat like you during the slow times!”
Roger got his finger through the loop of the scissors’ handle, and began to inch them closer. Now he just had to keep the cashier distracted long enough. “Oh, right, she is real pretty, isn’t she? And stuck up, right? I bet she doesn’t even give you the time of day!”
The cashier glowered and banged the knife’s handle on the nearby table, inflicting a dent. He groaned, then hurled the weapon across the room. “No! I mean, she’s pretty but no she’s not nice to me! She thinks I’m stupid!”
The conversation from the other room continued all the while: the deep, authoritative voice of the detectives, the sweet, innocent tone of Casiopa. The investigators sounded more irritated by the second.
Finally, Roger had the scissors in his hand. The idiot wasn’t looking his way. Now to just turn the tool around, cut through the first wrist restraint.
“Does she even let you see her naked? I bet not, she’s a tease, right? She’s gonna blame all this on you, ya know!” Roger said, “She’s gonna throw you under the bus! See, don’t do this, you’re smarter than that! If you run, right now, I’ll tell the cops it was all her!” Roger fumbled with the scissors as he talked, got the angle just right, and:
SNIIIP! One hand free. Now he could defend himself, and free the other hand.
But then things moved very quickly. First, gunshots, one, two, three, four, thundered from the dining area, making Roger stop mid-movement. “I SAID DROP IT,” a police officer shouted.
Next, the cashier turned to Roger, noticed that the bond was cut, saw the scissor in his hand. The bumbling cannibal hustled across the room to pick up his discarded knife. “You tried to trick me!” he shouted, and stomped over. “You stupid freaking jerk!”
The door burst open. Cas hurdled through, then grabbed a nearby chair, jammed it under the door-handle. Her dress and face were streaked with blood. She did not look happy. She grabbed a small chainsaw from the tool table, pulled the cord, and revved the deadly little implement to life. “You’re fucking dead meat!” she shrieked, shoving her cousin aside. The cops were pounding on the barricaded the door. The chair creaked and cracked, they’d be inside any minute. “I’ll fucking eat you raw!!” She swung the roaring blade down at Roger’s neck. The blade missed by inches, clanging and sparking viciously off the metal table. The smell of gasoline and singed metal filled the air.
But Roger’s arm was free and held a weapon now. He rolled his torso over, and cut clean through the other leather restraint. He screamed to the cops for help.
Cas went berserk with the chainsaw, swinging it one-handed faster than Roger could counter-attack with his scissors.
The sharp and spinning steel screamed and dug through the flesh of his shoulder and back, spraying blood across the room. The attack narrowly missed decapitating him. The blade slipped, then pressed into his collarbone with Cas’ entire bodyweight, filling his ear with the weapon’s deafening roar and the splattering fragments of his muscle and bone. The pain was absolutely unbearable, blocking out any figment of thought or rationality.
He screamed, squirmed, and stabbed at her with the scissors, poking bloody holes in her arm, then her sides.
She redirected the chainsaw attack to knock aside his weapon, then leaped on top of him, pinning his arms down with her knees. “Die!!” she shrieked, then dropped her head down to bite his torn-up shoulder and collarbone. Like a dog, she ripped off a chunk of flesh, sending more blood spraying, then spat his own flesh back in his face. At the same time, she dropped the chainsaw down to his wrist, tearing excruciatingly through the muscle, nerve, and bone to sever his hand.
Roger snapped his other arm free from under her, then struck her repeatedly face, instinctually hoping for a knockout or at least to damage her eyes.
Just then, the cops busted down the door.
BANG BANG BANG!
The cashier, who up till then had been trying to guard the entrance, fell to the floor with a wet thud, chest full of well-placed lead.
“DROP IT!” one of the cops shouted, now in the room. Then without waiting for a response:
Casiopa’s head exploded out the front of her face, coating Roger in blood and brain chunks. Her body went limp and collapsed over his, the facial exit wound leaned against his cheek like a lover’s kiss.
“Over here, he’s wounded!” one of the cops shouted, then began to roll the body off. The other officer was talking into a radio, calling for EMT’s, but the words were becoming vague to Roger, along with his sight, as his consciousness faded into black. He felt hands, and some sort of cloth, pressed against his neck, attempting to staunch the bleeding no doubt. Perhaps he’d live. Well, he’d have a hell of a story, he deliriously thought.
All this just to break a dry spell …