#4 Dietary Requirements

by Rachel Green

My brother and his wife were evangelists about their vegetarian diet. They were also the kind of people who invited themselves over for dinner but made no comment when I didn't join them, just cooked, served, and took pleasure in their appetites.

They moaned about the vegetable tart, bubbling with beetroot juice that stained the pastry like blood and the lumps of potato and swede, hand selected from Sainsbury's that swam like icebergs in a red sea. They bitched about the salad, hand-picked from my morning walk with the dogs. Everything fresh. Hawthorn leaves, nettle tips, dandelions, chicory, comfrey flowers and chopped wild garlic root. They moaned about the home-grown peas and tomatoes, the carrot juice drinks, the dessert of figs that would never ripen under Northumbrian clouds.

They stopped moaning shortly after the nettle-root coffee, when the nightshade and monkshood sauce made its presence known in the form of agonising stomach cramps. The chopped fly agaric side dish took their minds off what was happening and the digitalis seed buns, served as an accompaniment to mop up the beetroot sauce, made their hearts pump faster, faster, faster; almost bursting under the strain of pumping a melange of poisons through their systems.

I avoided the soft tissues; the liver, kidneys and stomachs. I wonder if they'd have been pleased to know I was on a vegetarian diet, too. I ate nothing but.

12 comments:

Aerin said...

OH. MY. GOSH. Intelligent, creepy, visual, with a huge PUNCH. This is brilliance.

Aniket Thakkar said...

I'm hungry, and I'm a vegetarian.

But I think I'll pass, on this meal.

Sandra Cormier said...

Holy Guacamole! I must say they deserved it.

Bruce Roush said...

Very droll. What a good story.

Jade said...

Yikes! Adventurous cuisine. I trust the narrator's digestive tract is made of stronger stuff.

Sam Knight said...

Very nice use of colors and foods at the forefront of the story, distracting from the relationships, allowing them to feel impersonal and callous for the final blow.

Rachel Green said...

Thank you kindly, your comments are appreciated.

Michael Stone said...

Terrific fare.

Gita Smith said...

HIGH marks for the creep factor and the use of monkshood. Great fun.

Stephanie said...

The very best sort of horror: human. Well done.

Sarah Laurenson said...

Love the casual tone, the indifference makes it all the more chilling. Awesome.

Jonathan Riley said...

This is fantastic.