The Man who ate Flesh
In the town of Thor’s Peaks there lived an old man that no one dared go near. He’d killed others and everyone knew that, even the sheriff. The people also knew that if they kept their distance they’d all be safe. Over the course of the years there was an uneasy truce between the man and the town. The truce was they wouldn’t interfere with what he needed to do and he wouldn’t go after any of them. That was until the day I decided to break the truce.
I can’t recall how the idea first popped into my head. I’m sure it started one night when I was at Lindee’s and after one to many I decided to do something about him. At first my bar buddies could talk me out of it usually with the promise of another round. After awhile the thought wouldn’t go away. Why should this man be allowed to keep going on killing these people. Don’t these people have families? Just because everyone else is afraid of him why should I be? I’ve lived a lot of places and never saw anything as silly as a whole town afraid of one old man.
Eventually it got so bad that the thoughts were with me when I got up and when I went to bed drunk or sober. I almost brunt my face off twice at work because I was thinking about him instead of what I was welding. Do you know what it’s like to have a thought in your head and not be able to get it out? Let me tell you I can now relate to most of the people in the asylum. People told me that I was nuts but unless I did something I would’ve been driven insane.
A few nights later after I made my choice, I won’t bore you with the details of the 3 a.m. decision making process. I was at the door of the man no one would even push out of the way of an on coming bus. A sip of whisky from my flask for courage and I banged on his door.
I banged again louder this time.
This time I hit the door with all my might. Being a steel worker I had pretty good upper body strength the door started to rattle at the hinges. Finally after a few minutes the door creaked open.
I kicked the door open and I charged in.
The house had no working lights (a switch by the door proved that) the only light source came from the living room. I didn’t really care about being quiet. I was there to end it once and for all. I reached the living room when everything changed.
Instead of seeing a demented lunatic feasting on flesh and rubbing blood all over himself I found a very old and sickly looking man crying in a chair. He looked up at me with red eyes.
“Have you come to kill me?”
I nodded yes
“Then make it quick, I’ve lived like this for over thirty years. I can’t stand seeing all their faces when I go to sleep”
I reached in my pocket and pulled out my switchblade. The blade opened with that trademark sound. I walked up the old man and put the blade to his throat. His eyes pleaded with me to end it for him but at that moment I lost my nerve. I wanted to ask him why he did these things. Before I could his hand clasped mine and the knife slid across his throat. If I hadn’t been there I wouldn’t have believed that a person would or could kill themselves like that.
Blood first spewed on my face and then gushed on the floor. I wiped my face with the white handkerchief that I keep in my back pock. I wiped the blade, closed the knife and put it back in my pocket. I covered the old man’s face with the blood stained handkerchief. I really don’t think too many people will cry for him.
The deed done I went home and was fast asleep a little before four. The next morning I went to work, only one person mentioned the old man. Same at the bar most of the people had a sense of relief that the old man was dead. It was funny but it looked like some of the old timers started to stare at me with looks of dread on their faces. I guess some of them probably knew him before he went completely nuts. That night I had the worst dream of my life I had a vision of a red mist that hung over my head. I couldn’t make out any shapes. It started to swirl faster and faster until it formed a doughnut. In a voice that can’t possibly be part of anything in Heaven or Earth the red mist says “Flesh”. The doughnut turns into a cyclone and enters my stomach. That’s when I wake up.
I wake up dripping sweat and all I can think of is one of my bar buddies big meaty arms.