|The Lighter Side of Cannibalism
Author: JennifferButterfly PM
Well how romantic is this? Eating the flesh of my father’s legacy by the morning sun’s rays.Rated: Fiction T - English - Horror/Hurt/Comfort - J. Wilson - Words: 1,610 - Reviews: 2 - Favs: 1 - Published: 05-17-08 - Status: Complete - id: 4262026
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
The Lighter Side of Cannibalism: What Al Packer Didn't Tell You
The blade of the Swiss Army Knife sits in the fire. I watch the gleaming metal turn black as the flames lick the surface. It shouldn't be long now. A hot blade will cauterize anything I cut. Minimal damage for a minimal meal.
This was a stupid idea.
I should have stayed home but no, instead I get House to agree to a camp out. Wait, scratch that. He didn't agree, he got dragged along. I'm sure he'll get over it. He seems like the type of person to take advantage of anybody and everybody so, if he ever forgives me for this, I'm sure I'll be paying him back.
The blade's sharp tip glows red. It won't be long now.
We have only known each other for a couple of months and, from what I've seen around the hospital, I'm pretty much the only person he hangs out with. Probably because I buy him lunch. Yeah, I buy it for him with the same willingness that he had to come camping with me. But why should he whine? He has two very capable legs and a strong back, he can handle a four-day camping trip. Hell, he told me he was a military brat. He probably knows exactly how to handle himself out here. Out in the wilderness. Out in no-man's land. Too bad I don't have a clue.
The leg would be best.
I haven't eaten in three days. I've only had drinks of water taken from a stream I've been following. It's now day six of our trip. If House hasn't made it out of the forest by now then somebody'll know we're missing. Hopefully he did make it out, though. Hopefully they're just looking for me.
I roll up my damp left pant leg.
It was that damn bear's fault. Right in the middle of dousing the fire we had lit earlier that night House and I heard a growl. A twig snapped behind me and my mind quickly jumped to the thought of cracking bones. My cracking bones. The ones the monster would soon be chewing on. Gnawing them until they had awful teeth marks littering the surface. House brought me back to reality and told me to stop shaking- bears can sense fear. He extended his neck and perked his head up as he tried to listen for a sense of direction. Who would've thought a man who insisted on bringing a GameBoy to a camping trip would be that intuitive. He gently reached down and grabbed the flashlights, tossing me one. I caught it and, following his lead, left it off. After several more tense moments, where my heart beat so loud I was afraid it would give away our location, House loosened up and let out a deep breath. It must be okay.
I pinch my flesh.
Remember, minimal damage for a minimal meal.
That damn bear! He was playing games with us! When we got back to turning in for the night, still slightly tense, he came out of nowhere. It's his fault I'm here now! He waited for us to think it was safe and then he attacked. Well thank God we were still slightly on our toes. House dropped what he was holding and yelled at me to run downhill. See, bears aren't hill savvy. Their short front legs make it impossible for them to go downhill without tumbling down like a boulder of brown furry terror. It was night but I could make out House's silhouette. I followed him to a downgrading slope. The bear pursued. The bear tripped and rolled. I laughed.
And then I stopped. Stopped laughing, stopped running. I just stopped. I couldn't hear the bear anywhere, but I couldn't hear House either. Shit! Now I'm really screwed. I stood in the dark silence for a few minutes before finally deciding to call for him. So what if the bear heard me? I could always start running again. House didn't respond. Now I know I'm screwed.
The knife is ready. The handle is warm and the blade is as red as the flames of hell.
I never thought that I would end up here. Three days after the bear incident. Three after running blindly in the dark and getting myself lost. But now I'm here. Now I'm at this fire on the morning of the fourth sunrise contemplating how hungry I really am. Hungry enough for this? Hungry enough to become the bear?
My stomach growls.
It isn't a good feeling, when your stomach can't make up its mind on something that's a matter of life and death. It's worse than a headache that you would get if your brain were in the same position. But my brain isn't in that position. My brain knows what to do. My hands are at the ready, they know what to do too. It's just my stomach. It pains as if I had eaten glass. It begs for food. And yet, when the knife gets close, it gets sick, full, and tight. Well I think it's fair to say that at this point my stomach has lost all sense of survival. I'll have to rely on my brains now.
I place the blade to the skin. The smell of singed flesh ascends into the air.
It hurts, what kind of idiot would think otherwise. I hesitate when I first begin, letting the knife slowly burn my skin. But I soon realize that the knife isn't getting any hotter and I'm not getting any gutsier. I turn the blade so that it's long, sharp, side is even with my skin and then I scoop in.
That Swiss Army sure knows how to make a good knife.
The first layers of my epidermis and muscle tissue squeal in pain and I cringe, biting my teeth together so that they nearly break. A small groan escapes the mouth it is stuck in, seeping its way out into the open. There is minimal blood, thank God. I knew heating up the knife would be a good idea.
Don't go deep. Minimal damage for a minimal meal.
When I'm satisfied that I have enough flesh to calm my wailing stomach but not enough to stop me from walking, I turn the knife upwards. With a stiff jerk I cut through the last bit of flesh that is holding my meal to me. It's free. My jaw loosens up and I pant. Where's House? Is he going through this too? No, he's probably safe. Maybe even at the hospital trying to make a new friend to force into buying him lunch.
I put the knife's blade back into the fire so it can burn clean. I then pick up the flesh with my left forefinger and thumb. My right hand goes to my barely hemorrhaging wound. It feels like the knife did its job.
The sun begins to rise.
Well how romantic is this? Eating the flesh of my father's legacy by the morning sun's rays. It's almost poetic. Well, not really. It's just disgusting. But its life.
My leg, it sears in pain.
This is the price of my father's continuing legacy. For me to survive I must do this. I once went to a guided meditation that I had, on many occasions, recommended to my patients. I only went once but maybe I can apply what I learned there to here. Finding my proverbial happy spot I send the pain of my leg to the far regions of my mind. Let my subconscious deal with it. My active brain needs to actively get this meal of existence into my stomach.
I close my eyes and tilt my head back, letting that morning sun glow upon my face through the branches of the trees. If I want this to go as smoothly as possible I should position myself in a way that will allow my flesh to just glide down my esophagus. There's blood on my meal so it should be lubricated. I take one more deep breath and slowly part my lips.
The piece of leg stops at a mere centimeter above my open mouth. Somebody has called my name. But no, it can't be.
"Wilson! Are you there?"
It's House. I barely recognize that voice. It's not filled with the usual snark I'm used to. It's filled with worry. Well maybe not filled, but I can sure detect a hint of it. I let out a deep breath that seems to have been hiding in my lungs since I decided to resort to auto-cannibalism. I fall onto my back and breathe heavily for a minute. I'm free. Finally I call back, declaring where I am for them. Afterwards I just wait. Eventually I lift my head and examine the piece of me in between my fingers. After a minute I toss it into the fire and fall back once more, closing my eyes in relief. As I hear the footsteps of my friend and the rescuers he brought with him approach I think of only one thing.
How I'll never figure out what Al Packer was on to.