I had bought this car several months ago, and was exceedingly pleased with it's performance. So much, in fact, that I decided to go on a holiday for, say, a month, stopping at various inns and hotels on the continent. I could speak quite a few European languages, and so I was not afraid of not being understood. Besides, almost everyone knew English in the twenty-first century.
The first day of my holiday I spent crossing the channel and getting into France. I stopped at a small hotel and asked for a room. The first night of my holiday was spent there.
Late the next morning, I woke up and left the Hotel Liberté in my red Volvo. The large buildings stopped the sun from shining into my eyes, but the heat they radiated off onto me made the wait in the traffic jam almost unbearable. At last, I got out of the city, and drove aimlessly on the endless motorway, watching the setting sun. The road was in-between two sandy hills, their orange color fading with the light. Then, when the sun had set, I realised I was in the middle of nowhere, and I would have to sleep in the car tonight, because of my recklessness.
But as I drove on ahead, I made out a light in the distance. Maybe this was a hotel where I could spend the night? In any case, I had to stop, for fatigue crept over me, like the sea washing over the beach when high tide was coming. Now closer, I could see this was a large building, with some writing above the door, which was becoming indistinct as my eyes struggled to stay open, but the first word was 'Hotel'. I stopped the car and staggered, almost blindly, to the open door, leaving my luggage in the car.

She stood in the doorway, holding a lit candle, and watching the tired man. To say that she was ugly would be untrue, but her facial features were rather peculiar. She had large lips, curved upwards in a kind smile, a wide nose with large nostrils and beautifully thin, golden eyebrows. Her eyes were large and deep blue, and followed the man's every move as he tripped, but carried on walking after getting up.
Her golden hair ran down to her waist, and she wore a white dress, which blew in the evening air. As the man towards her, she silently led him by his shoulder into the hotel.

Her cold hand made me shiver, and I could feel it through my jumper as I followed her through the corridor and up the stairs. Perhaps it was just my exhaustion, but I could see cages lining the corridor, with a parrot in every cage. Even on the rail of the stairs there were quite a few. But every time I turned to look closely, the young woman gripped my shoulder tighter and walked faster. Yet every time she did this, a soft voice said something barely audible, in a language I had not heard before.
We went through a number of corridors and up many stairs until she stopped in a small room, which was devoid of cages and parrots. There were two exits - the door we had entered from and the door in front. She let go of my shoulder and pushed open the second door, from which poured a cloud of grey dust, making me choke.

The room in which she sat as the door opened was dim, lit only by the candle that she held. She was anything but like the other. Her lips were quite small, above them a perfect-shaped nose, and further up the face, thick eyebrows. Her eyes were similar to the other's though, except these were grey with a hint of green. The dark, greasy hair shone from the light of the candle, and more when the door was fully open.
The First nodded to the one inside, who stood up as the man entered and looked around. This was more of a cell than a room. The flat, thin-legged bed stood against a wall, and apart from the table, chair and bookcase, this was the only furniture in the room. Had it been day, the light would have come from the barred window on the far end of the room. But the man did not care, he just wanted to sleep. However hard the bed looked, it was quite warm here, so he lay down and fell asleep almost immediately.
In the morning he woke up, alone in his room. Wondering what to do next, he tried the door to see if it was locked. It wasn't. He went out looking for the two occupants.

I was sure that the room I was standing in now had changed since yesterday. It had a black ceiling, which I do not remember seeing. And there was a trapdoor in the floor, in the corner of the room, now. But there were still two exits - the room in which I had passed the night, and the door which was just opening, and The First entered the room. She paused, before smiling, and beckoned me to follow her. I went to the door and shouted in shock.
I was in a garden which went on for as far as I could see. A clear, blue river flowed from the horizon, as if draining the azure sky, into a pond not far away. The strange thing was that the light didn't come from a sun. In fact, there were no shadows at all. The light had to come from somewhere - but it came from everywhere! But it was all too beautiful to protest. The grass was spring green and The Second lay sleeping on it, by the side of the lake. The trees that were here and there had low branches, in which I saw something move. The First went up to a tree and lifted a hand up to the branch.

A blackbird perched on her thumb. But this was no ordinary blackbird - this one was Demented. What other one would perch on her hand? But in any case, she considered it as a friend. She liked to sing to it. She sang now, in her language, to the hopping, black mass of insanity on her hand.
"A fluffy cow! How wonderful! A fluffy cow, How wonderful!" She sang the song many many times, and the blackbird joined in too.

The strange song the First sang was curiously like 'O when the saints', even though I couldn't understand any of the words. I felt ecstatic, suddenly, because of the song. Which, incidentally, woke up The Second, who went to the First, and the body language she used suggested she told the First to clear off, with the blackbird. The First looked upset for a moment, then noticed the bird on her thumb and happily skipped to - where? A doorframe stood in the middle of this garden, and, as the First approached, the space around it became white and solid and LARGE. I was standing next to a miniature Buckingham palace! The First, however, was oblivious of this and went through the now open door.
I looked at The Second. She stood by the pond, wearing khaki trousers and a black robe which were somehow bright, although dull. When she beckoned me to come and look at the pond, I did, but she motioned for me to stop, then to come over slowly. I edged to the pond, hardly breathing, and saw what she wanted to show me. There were fisk in this pond - you can't quite call them fish, because they were too fisky. They were all large and bluey-yellow, with enormous white, bulging eyes. Another weird thing was that they all had eyebrows floating above their eyes. I frowned and looked at The Second, who just shook her head sadly, and led me by my shoulder to the house. She left me outside the door, motioning for me to wait.

As she closed the door, at the back of the house another opened. Out came a shepherd, leading a sheep, and stopped when he saw the man.
"Hey," said the Shepherd in Common Language, i.e. English. He had a heavy Scottish accent. "Like the garden? Oh - you haven't ever seen a Geerschweinchen, have you?" The man shook his head. "Never mind - here, I've got a picture. Every visitor is entitled to a free meal of Geerschweinchen." He took out a photo and gave it to the man.

I looked at the photo and saw what a Geerschweinchen was. Obviously the offspring of a guinea pig and a razorblade, the little creature had fangs, but looked sweet nevertheless.
"It's a little innocent animal!" I exclaimed. "Despite the teeth, I mean."
" That's the most foul, cruel, and bad-tempered rodent you'd ever set eyes on! It's a killer!"
"It can't be that bad," I frowned.
"Huh!" grunted the shepherd.
"OK, fine, it could do a lot of damage," I agreed reluctantly. "What's this about food?"
"Oh yeah - we're supposed to give you an entire Geerschweinchen meal, except we haven't had them since the 1999 party."
"Oh, OK. By the way, how do I get back to the rooms?" I was unsure because of the way everything kept changing.
The shepherd pointed to the door. "See you later," he smiled.
"In a while," I replied and went through the door.
I looked at the ceiling to see if it had changed. Yes - now it was a large mirror. I saw only myself and the trapdoor on the floor. Where does it lead? I wondered and decided to see where it led to.

The trapdoor in the ceiling opened and the two women hid immediately as the man descended into the room via the ladder. He looked around and saw the red ice, which had a distinctive smell of champagne around it. Where was I? He thought. It was cold here, so he decided to go back to the garden. When the trapdoor closed the two women emerged and continued putting perfume into the liquid to stop it clotting.

I lay by the pond for ages - I had lost all track of time. The First fetched me and said in sub-perfect English "My name is Elpie Nutter. Do you want to see the surprise?"
"Sure," I said, standing up, aching because of my muscles' preference of a relaxed position. I followed her to the door; we both went through, then down through the trapdoor. We were in the cold room I had entered before - a large wardrobe on the left-hand site, a table on the right, and a door in front. We went through this door to the kitchen, at the centre of which stood a table, and on top of which there was a Geerschweinchen.
"We bought a Geerschweinchen just for you," said The First, that is - Elpie.
"Er - thanks. Can I go now?"
"Watch this," she said, picking up a cleaver. The little Geerschweinchen must have sensed her intentions and leapt at her. I saw the glint from the teeth, and was amazed when I saw it being held in Elpie's right hand as she tried to cut up the Geerschweinchen with the large knife. But at the first scratch was made on the body of the animal, blood gushed from the cut, in all directions.
"Don't - worry!" shouted Elpie as she struggled with the Geerschweinchen. "It just has - a - lot of - blood, which is - really - really tightly packed - and that's - why it tastes sooo - oooo nice!" The second cut caused the eyeballs to pop out as well as another 'tap' opened. I felt really sick up to then, but I only actually fainted when the bloody, red eyeball landed in my collar.
I awoke in my bed after a dreamless sleep. The two - Elpie Nutter and The Second were standing over me. In the hands of the latter was a bowl of red mash. "Is that Geerschweinchen?" I asked?
"No," sighed Elpie, and pushed the mash into my mouth with a spoon. "Eat. We've decided to fatten up the Geerschweinchen, because you don't want to eat it."
The mash stank and tasted absolutely revolting. "No!" I screamed. "I don't want this!"
"It's good for you," smiled Elpie.
At this point I realised two things. The first was that The Second never once spoke. Another thing was that I was only now aware of my body - and only of it being numb. I looked down to check it was still, well, there, but couldn't sell because of the white sheet covering me. But the shape was there, so I guesses I was alright.
"I - I can't feel my body!" I whispered to The Second.
"Don't worry," said Elpie, "Just don't try to move until the feeling returns."
"OK," I said, unable to nod.
The two women left the room after force-feeding me the mash. In an hour, or so, I felt my body coming out of it's sleep. The only bad thing is that I still couldn't feel my left arm. Oh well, I can at least go to the garden.
As I stood up I looked at my arm and collapsed, screaming and crying. My left arm was cut off, and all that was left was an ugly stump. I could see the bone - where they had sawed it off. My left arm - my favourite arm - was gone!

They came a few hours after they left to find him sobbing in hysterics, so they put him back to bed and anaesthetised him again. After cutting off his ears, they mashed these, added a few ice cubes and woke him.
"Eat!" said Elpie.
"You evil, evil -" he began, but Elpie put the spoon into his open mouth.

This mash tasted even worse than the other one. "No No No No No No No No No No No No!" I screamed and closed my mouth.
"We won't make you eat anything that you don't want to," said Elpie, and I felt a needle being inserted into the flesh of my right arm. "Good night," said Elpie.
I awoke to find everything around me red. I could feel that my right hand wasn't missing, so I rubbed my eyes to make sure I wasn't wearing red-colored glasses, or something. When my hand touched my closed eyelid I felt a warm liquid on my hand. A tear, perhaps. Rubbing my eyes didn't help much - maybe it made it worse - but I looked at my hand and screamed. Although I could only see red, the liquid that covered my fingers was dark - not tears, then. It smelt like - like blood!
I jumped out of bed and ran through the two doors into the garden. The blackbirds sang blankly in the trees, ignoring the panic I expressed in a loud curse. I ran to the pond and lay on the grass, looking down into the water. Dark drips fell from my nose into the pink water, polluting it, driving the fisk away. And the reflection that looked back at me was of me, with an almost black ring where my eye socket was, with the dark liquid coming from there. I splashed some water over my face - which made my eyes really sting, but on the other hand, I could see the green of the grass for a few seconds, before the scarlet veil came over my eyeballs. I lay on my back and cried.

They found him lying asleep near the pond, which was now a lilac color, due to the red and cyan mixing together. After putting a tablet in the water, The Second lifted the man up and carried him into the mirror-ceilinged room. Elpie opened the trapdoor, went down into the 'lab' and caught the body that The Second threw down to her. She, in turn, climbed down and after making sure the body was correctly positioned on the table, opened the wardrobe and took out two long tubes, which she put onto the man's face. She motioned Elpie to hold the tubes while she went to the wardrobe and flipped a switch.
Russet fluid flowed up the tubes into the wardrobe. It did this until there was a loud 'plop' and a small, round object blocked up the tube. Immediately, The Second ran over to the wardrobe and switched the suction pump off. Elpie got a bottle that stank very strongly of champagne and put the neck of this into the tube that was not blocked, while The Second took out the blood-covered object from the other tube. After both these tasks were completed, The Second switched on the machine in the wardrobe, and almost immediately, the now empty bottle imploded.

I woke up feeling very, very weak. Everything now looked strangely 2-dimentional and had a light pink tint, especially Elpie, who was playing with an object, at the foot of the bed. The object was flat and silver - I looked closer and saw that this was 3 letters : OLV. Immediately, I recognised it.
"What have you done to my Volvo!!!" I screamed, or at least tried to, but all I could manage was a quiet shout. At this moment, The Second came in with a bowl. She sat next to me and pushed a spoon into my mouth. I felt too tired to argue.
This wasn't mash - it tasted horrible, but had a jelly-like texture. I looked up at The Second, who smiled and winked, first with one eye, then the other. I did this as well, first with my right eye - which made no difference to what I was seeing at the moment, then with my left, which made everything go black.
Only now I realised what The Second had been feeding me. I looked down to see if I was right, and yes - there was half of an eyeball in the bowl. After emitting another scream, I was sick and fainted.
I knew I had to wake up sooner or later. It might as well be now. But feeling the absence of my right foot made me rather reluctant. Still, I opened my eyes or, rather, eye.
I was lying on the table in the cold room. I turned my head left and saw the red ice cubes and felt the cold and the putrid stink of champagne radiating from this. And - as I turned my head to the right - I saw the eyeless Geerschweinchen sitting almost next to me, eating my disembodied toe. I wanted to get up and hit it over the head with something very heavy, but I found that what was left of my limbs were chained to the table.
Elpie and The Second came through the kitchen door, carrying knives.
"You can't kill me!" I shouted, faintly. "You can't!"
"Oh, we can," said The Second, in a cruel, sharp but low voice. "But we won't. We'll keep you just about alive so that your body makes more blood for you. But it's going to be for us." She put a small tube into my stomach after pulling back my T-shirt. That hurt like hell, and a screamed for her to stop torturing me.
"Oh, I'm not torchuring you. I'm just putting a tube into your bloodstream so that once a month we can extract all that extra, tasty blood that you don't need."
"Are you a vampire?" I asked her.
"No, just hungry. And after you said you didn't want any meat, we decided to fatten the Geerschweinchen up, but we didn't have any extra meat. So we used your limbs. Elpie and I tried some of your blood and found it much nicer than the animal's. After all, you too are just another animal, so we might as well just eat you. And that reminds me - you aren't going to be walking anywhere or using your arms so we might just as well eat that. You won't miss them. They're just making it longer for the blood to go around your body."
"Nastya!" cried Elpie, and The Second - called Nastya - turned around. Elpie waved an ice cube. "Can I have one?"
"If you like," replied Nastya, then turned to me. "We stored the Geerschweinchens' blood as ice, so that it doesn't congeal. That's what we're going to be feeding you, apart from the vitamin injections."

Twenty years from now, the man lay on the table, a nervous wreck. He was cut off at the waist, with a tube linking him to the wardrobe. The man was shaking, as he made moaning soungs through his lip-less mouth, which was devoid of a tounge. His nose was just two long holes in the middle of his face, because they gave it to Tim the Shepherd as a retirement present. The worst thing was that his lid-less eye sockets were just black, just black, and he couldn't even see when the two women aproached him with a knife to mock him or to take some more blood from his white torso. He could still hear, though, when Elpie asked Nastya if he actually needed his head, and couldn't they just take out the brain. No, the worst thing was that Nastya said that this was possible...