Short Story: A Mountain of Food on the Hill

That damned whistle. That is the reason for my appearance. You giggle, you choke, you stare, you mock but know you the reason why. Long ago, my dear, before you were even born, before cruel fate thrust me out crying into this village. Wretched village! Wretched fate! An old man living on the hill, alone. How the villagers told wagging tales, tangled yarns knotted in half truths, nay, two eighth truths at the most. Yes, my dear, they made gossip, they accused, they abused. And so potent those accusations and so ignorant the police and so unjust the village law that the old man was jailed. Jailed I tell you! The rain drained out of monstrous heavy clouds, the night suffocated any light and the old man whistled, yes my dear, he whistled as he tied the noose . That damned whistle! A tune never heard before. Yes! I see it, you emplore me with your eyes, to whistle that tune. My dear, you will be cursed as I, the moment the sound hits your ears.

Or perhaps, you want to be cursed, perhaps you want to look like a vile creature. Well I would swap places with you in an instant. As that old man twitched, as he gagged and gurgled, as the rope squeezed tighter and tighter with pleasure, a curse was cast over the village. Yes! Ha! That curse travelled, oh how it travelled. Like the smell of rotting flesh. And as the curse travelled it too whistled. There was no place to hide. Be it in your bed under warm blankets, be it in the shower or in the cupboard, in your car, in a suitcase, in a mailbox, in the nostril of a feral cat. It found you! It marked your soul. Not a rubber stamp, my dear. A branding! A branding that endures from generation to generation. Look! Do you not see it. Do you not see the scar on my face.

Now that damned demon grand-spawn of the old man lives up there on the lonesome hill. He is a maniac! But, alas, we villagers cannot keep away from him. No! No, we must go up there, nightly, with food. No! No, we cannot simply leave the food and run away. No! No, we must sit at the maniacs table, and eat with him. We must listen to his stories. That is our curse, our burden. He froths at the mouth, he sprays us with saliva, he gesticulates and shouts and screeches and dances with spastic movements. And we smile, and we have fun. Oh how good actors we are. Oscar winners the lot of us. We have to be! How else can we endure such suffering. Those cursed dinners! But we draw straws, my dear. No! We cannot stand to go every night. The horror! oh woe be the man, or woman for that matter, ha ha, who has to be there, around that table, twice in a row. The heart cannot take it. The mind cannot take it. The stomach definitely cannot take it. Every night, we draw a straw. Every night one group loses. Every night one group prepares a meal, a feast. Every night one group marches up that hill. Every night one group sits through the evil machinations of an evil mind and an insatiable stomach. And every night we dread the next night. But not tonight, my dear! For tonight we send a new comer up there. Someone we lured to our village. Someone non the wiser. Tonight my dear, we send…You!


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