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The feast

Millie never should have knocked...

By Jennisea RedfieldPublished 11 months ago Updated 6 months ago 20 min read
The feast
Photo by jirayu koontholjinda on Unsplash

A single candle burned in the window, flickering light and gay, As the cabin it resided in beckoned menacingly for weary travelers. It promised something, something that was both heavy and light, both lying and truthful. Whoever looked at the candle was entrapped like a moth, drawn to the warm light.

Millie watched the dancing flame, while somewhat low and yet still ever-so-bright, flickered like someone was breathing softly behind it, dancing in the subtle and invisible breeze. They were entranced as the flame licked at the dew condensed windows, much like the inquisitive fingers of a bored toddler. They drove past this cabin hundreds of times, maybe more, ignoring the thick glass windows caked with years of mysterious muck and both yard and road overgrown with unfriendly plants such as knapweed, thistle, blackberry brambles, hogweed, nettle and sharp leafed bear grass. But now...there was a plain white candle tiptoeing in the window. And their car broke down.

Millie was not truly in a hurry home, but they made a promise to Marie. Their lovely wife did tell them on numerous occasions that the car needed some much-needed tune ups. They should have fucking listened... But it was too late now. They gently banged their head repeatedly on the cooling leather of the steering wheel, the thick plastic squeaking in protest, grumbling mild curses to themselves. Their car finally caved to the heavily desired repairs and stalled with a stuttering putter and choppy hiss by the creepy ass driveway. There was no signal, the one bar Millie normally got on this stretch of road blipped away, almost in a la-ti-da fashion, leaving them unable to give Marie a heads up, or call a tow truck. They glanced haphazardly over the plastic fibered dashboard, eyeing the lone cabin. The house had an aura, unnerving and welcoming at the same time, but it drew something from the pit of their stomach. A warning, but of what? There was no choice. They had to do it. There were no neighbors nearby or in view, so that left the cabin.

Despite the etching of caution that stabbed into Millie’s head, they left the car, walking slowly up to the house with the candle and grime. They walked past bleached yellow and white bones thrown out who-knows-how-long to the elements of nature, flinching as the long, ominous grass rustled from vermin and the like. The bones seemed to whisper to them;

“Turn around...turn around...”

It was starting to rain now, a cold, stinging feeling that made their very core ache deep inside themselves, gnawing at them like frantic ants. Despite the warmth of summer that was reigning rampant just minutes ago, there was no heat surrounding the woods and cabin. It was in fact, draped in long, chilling shadows. The tall, finger-like pines hissed out heavy threats of exposure and the promise of misery. The candle flickered again.

“Might as well chance it.” Millie sighed. Already their body was shivering violently from the encroaching chill that is brought by the influence of the turn of the night; or was it from the cabin? They took cautious and calculated steps towards the cabin door. The door was tanned, withered from years of neglect and lack of renovations, but it was solid, still in one piece, with the hinged hardly rusted and the knob shiny from being made of a sharp smelling brass. There was no bell, no knocker, just plain hard wood. They held their breath as they knocked three times, and only three times. Millie then took a few steps back, as not to be crowding the doorway and waited for any type of reply.

The bones whispered again;

“turn around...go back...go back...”

The door creaked open, with no occupant by the entrance for greetings, and Millie was surprised as they walked in, lulled into a sense of tranquility from the heat wafting from inside. It was warm, neat and cozy, and while somewhat dark, the candle illuminating a table chocked full of some wonderfully smelling food. Hell, it looked so appetizing too!

Wicker baskets full of fresh bread, roasts of various and savory meats, pitchers of a dark red drink, spiced apples, cupcakes with pink merengue, barbequed ribs, mince pies and deviled eggs topped with dried herbs. Millie’s stomach snarled with vengeance at the sight and aroma of the feast. They skipped lunch earlier to make it to their wife for dinner.

“Oh dear. Are you hungry? I have plenty of food to spare.” Millie turned to see a striking woman in a white apron smile at them. She was short, standing under their chin, with wild hair that matched the brambles outside, not too thin but with hints of plumpness and almost homely in a sense that she radiated hunger and comfort. For some reason, they could not describe her face, but it was a kindly face, welcoming as them as she gently closed the door behind them, not even looking as she flicked the lock to snap close behind them.

Their stomach growled again. Nodding, Millie allowed the woman to grab hold of their hand and lead them over to the feast. The moment she touched their hand, he felt something shift inside him, something burned through their body with compliance as the woman eased him to sit on the warm, wooden chair at the table. She served them juicy slabs of roast, the dark red drink, grilled carrots and bread. Their stomach bellowed with vengeance, demanded to feast in front of them.

Millie ate with gusto, but they felt...off. The more they ate, the less full they felt. The woman kept smiling and serving them the delicious food. They tried to retain their manners and decorum, but soon the feverish hunger told them to abandon politeness. The woman did not mind, she seem to relish in their vigorous appetite.

Millie then devoured the platter of deviled eggs, several more chunks of flaky bread, more slabs of roast, the pink meringue cupcakes and half a rack of those savory ribs. Nervous but now maddingly dry mouthed, they then reached for the red drink. It was thick, tangy, sweet and minerally in taste. It did nothing for their thirst, but they drank more and more, growing more desperate as their thirst and hunger still grew. Their mouth felt as dry as the grass in the Savannah, their stomach angry and empty as a bird's nest, one that was rendered abandoned by last year's robins.

“More....please.” They gasped, no, begged, placing the cup down. The woman smiled still. She removed the cup from their hands, placing it to the side. Milline whimpered, mourning the loss of the sustenance. She patted their hand in a soothing motion, smiling as she did so.

“Why don’t you rest for a minute? I’ll wake you when the storm is done.” she whispered; her voice softer than the butter that was slathered on the bread. Millie nodded and allowed the woman to lead them this time to a comfortable leather sofa. The pale leather of the sofa was soft, buttery even, as it creaked and creased under their weight. Their eyes felt heavy as they drifted asleep. The gnawing ache in their stomach seemed to grow faint as well. But it did not evaporate. Nearby, the woman’s grin started to look a bit sharper, more menacing. And the candle flickered again, only slightly dimmer.


Millie was dreaming. They dreamt of Marie, her gentle dancing to musicians in the park, smiling as her dress had a tiny spot of mustard from a hotdog around the collar. Millie themself was currently eating a different hotdog, topped with gooey, powder based yellow cheese and raw, white onions diced in fine cubes. The breeze was crisp as it tickled their face, played with Marie’s pale pink dress, making the skirt ruffle and fluff up like a dandelion. Millie watched as several kids joined their fiancée.

Fiancée. They were going to propose that night. Already they bought a small ring with a white sapphire, the artificial stone delicately cut in the shape of a spiral. It was supposed to be a rose. But they didn’t want to spend the money to get it fixed, so the spiral stayed.

They continued to watch beautiful Marie dance and frolic, occasionally a sugar hyped child giggling and joining her before being spirited away by their parent. Millie ate the rest of their hotdog, wiping cheese and juice on their jeans.

“spare some change?” they glanced over to see a withered, and age-gnarled old man, hands crooked and brittle as they held out a hat so worn it was just felt. They didn’t share eye contact with the old beggar, but Millie did drop some measly pennies into the hat. It was more than the old man deserved.

Millie felt something shift inside them, and a dull ache in their legs; despite being a dream. The old man looked up, grinning with too many teeth in his mouth, and eyes blacker than a void between the stars. The pennies in the hat clinked like teeth in a dental jar. The hat, so faded, looked more like death shroud as light and sound began to diminish, and Marie seemed more like a distant wish. The old man was wearing a Glasglow grin, His withered flabs called his cheeks, parted open and revealed pointed yellow fangs deep inside his blacken skinned maw.

“You should have stayed in the car...”




Millie woke up with a choked scream in their throat, chest heaving. Thick yet heavy blankets covered their legs, acting a comfortable weight that normally would soothe, but felt as heavy as chainmail. They glanced over to the window. The candle still flickered, and the branches outside swerved and slashed the air as the storm caused the wind to roar and bellow. When did it start to storm?

Once the fuzziness of sleep evaded their head, Millie noticed they were already at the table; the wonderous feast had been replaced by a simple meal, and they sat in a chair of pale-yellow leather. It was soft, buttery soft.

A new dish was in front of him: a worn-out but well-loved crock full of a rich smelling stew, and the bread had a yellowish/red dust on it for flavor. The woman was smiling now, but she looked different. There were now obvious signs of some soft crow’s feet in the corners of her undefined eyes and in the corners of her red, red mouth. She was showing more teeth in her smile too. Millie could not focus on the strangeness of her mouth, but they still recognized she was still as striking and as beautiful as the day before. Millie smiled, but they felt...off. Something was wrong. But they could not focus on why. But their hunger was too great.

“Eat up. I made it special.” she offered, cocking her head cutely to the side. Millie fought down the hungry shaking in their hands as they lifted the spoon of stew to their mouth. The chunk of meat they swallowed was soft, a bit stringy and fatty at the same time. It tasted of pork, but not quite at the same time. The meat was sweet and a bit grainy that paired wonderfully with the stringiness as well, but it was good. The flavor was strange, but Millie was so hungry, they kept eating, ignoring the bizarre flavors. The pains of their hunger was starting to fade, but not enough. Millie then dipped the bread into the rich broth, paused as he popped the bit in their mouth and was puzzled as the bit of food tasted odd. It wasn’t spoiled or anything. But they swore they tasted this flavor somewhere. The woman gave them more stew and bread. Millie moaned as their stomach started to distend as he ate more and more. The woman then gave them a glass of red juice. They drank it, noticing it was thick and pulpy, rich with minerals as the other drink, but not as tangy or sweet. They frowned at the new taste. The woman took another cup and filled it with the drink. Millie watched as the drink poured out of a pink pitcher thick and viscous, pulpy and dense. Millie knew the drink reminded them of something, but a fog enclosed inside of their brain, muddling their train of thought, shifting their focus back to the food.

“Do you have a phone? I need to call my wife. She must be worried.” Millie asked after finishing the hearty stew. They pondered on the stew for a minute, noticing that no vegetables were simmered with the fatty meat, but it was rich with spices and a boisterous bone broth. Millie repeated their question to the woman, but she then eased the pulpy red drink into their hand, smiling still.

“Drink.” the woman whispered. Millie obeyed, feeling their stomach distend even more with the drink. They drank and drank more as the woman watched. She never took a sip from her own cup, which Millie saw was filled with a more viscous version of the minerally drink. They felt so full now, so very full. But they did not stop eating. Pretty soon, Millie moaned as their stomach was fat and round, stuffed fatter than a prized hog before market.

“Can I borrow your phone? I need to call my wife.” they asked again, holding a hand to their mouth to ease off the urge to vomit.

“I have no phone. And the storm is too great to travel to your car. Stay here until the weather clears up. I have plenty of food.” the woman whispered. Millie then looked around the dark room. The one candle illuminated the entire area. There were bushels of hand dried herbs over boarded windows, pewter pots and pitchers so dull from age they repelled the weak light, small clay jars wrapped in cloth sat in neat rows along the wall on heavy wooden shelves, bowls of white berries and waxy red berries and glossy and dull black berries, and thickets and faggots of brambles and branches that nestled along shelves and windows. Millie also saw no fridge, no television, no radio, not even books. But they did see a rustic and strangely beautiful kitchen.

There was a wood stove, huge and beastlike, that stood on clawed feet four inches off the floor. Despite the candle, the wood stove also gave off a strange light. It was a dark light, almost like it was radiating oil shine. A large pewter pot sat on top, burbling and bubbling as wafts of that delicious stew simmered inside. By the stove sat a massive pile of sticks that resemble delicate finger bones, chunks of black wood held together with belts, and scraps of bones and stringy leather bundled for kindling.

Millie jolted suddenly as the woman then eased the yellow leather chair back, reclining it to lay slightly flatter. She covered them in a fuzzy blanket, adding onto the pile of blankets. She gave him a small, childlike, cup of warm tea. It was also rich in mineral taste, but it was glossy, reflecting the weak light of the room. It kind of tasted like they bit their tongue, the rush of coppery blood. But it was sweetened. They finished the cup, adding to the thick liquid in their stomach. It sat like a warm weight in their gullet, almost comforting despite the painful addition.

“Sleep now.” she whispered after Millie handed back the small cup. They rocked in place at the table, wobbling and weak from overeating, but quickly fell into slumber. The woman’s smile then grew sharper and her eyes even darker. And for the first time, Millie felt fear of this woman.




They dreamt again. This time walking past a long line of patrons at a church, some finely dressed to show off wealth, others in shabby clothes held together by spite and filth. They crinkled their nose as an old woman pasted them, her clothes stinking of cheap perfume and urine. THe line was ridiculously long, and some of the faces blurred together and seemed to repeat. They scowled as a familiar old man inched his way forward to the line. Behind him, a woman, striking and somewhat illustrious, smiled at him, her head tilted slightly enough to make her unsettling to look at. She held void like eyes, framed by black, black lashes that accented the voids on her face. Her smile was red, her teeth just a touch too sharp to be friendly.

“Time to pay...” she whispered in a singsong manner. Millie was lost.

“Pay? Pay for what?” they asked the woman. She smiled even wider.

“Pay...pay...pay...for your gree...” Millie then scanned the line of people for Marie, concerned as they could not find her. The line of beggars turned and grinned at him, teeth yellow and sharp and eyes blank and colorless.

“I haven’t done anything!” they shouted, as the demonic folks reach for them. They screamed as corpse like fingers dug into their flesh, ripping at their legs and stomach...




Millie woke again. Glancing outside, the storm still silently roared and danced to a chaotic tempo, but the candle was half melted, the flame flickering weakly and starting to dim. So much time has passed, but Millie felt the hunger return, nauseatingly strong. They shivered as a cold draft began to etch in the cabin as the light started to recede. Millie moved to sit up, to get out of the overstuffed chair, but couldn’t. They then moved the mound of blankets covering them and screamed as they looked at their legs.

Both were gone, removed from their knees, with some of their fatty thigh meat missing in neat, painless strips. Uniformed black stitching kept them from seeing into the spongy marrow of their femur, and white, too white bandages soaked up the blood seeping from their amputated limb stumps.

“Hungry?” Millie looked up and paled. The woman had a full out crazed grin, her teeth razor sharp and stained pink. Her lips looked sticky and black. And her eyes were voids, empty sockets that oozed black ichor. She kinked her neck, the bones snapping like brittle branches and making her head fall limp like a stiff pendulum. Millie gasped as their stomach groaned at the thought of food. They were hungry, ravenous.

“My legs…what happened to my legs?” Millie gasped in fear. The woman chuckled and set down a plate of roast sandwiches with a red dressing. The meat was red and dark, stringy and fatty for consumption. They knew now the wonderful meal and the luxurious stew...were made from their own flesh.

“Eat.” She ordered. Against their will, Millie began to eat. In horror, they ate the sandwiches until their stomach bulged and gurgled from too much food. The woman placed down more sandwiches and that now vile red drink. They ate more sandwiches, groaning in pain as their stomach expanded. The woman placed the glass in their hand.

“Drink.” She hissed, her smiled even wider, revealing grey gums that lined her triangular shaped teeth. Millie began to drink the beverage. They couldn’t refuse, as much as they wanted to. No longer did it taste sweet and mineral like. It was bitter, rancid and cloying like rotting meat. The pulpy bits no longer felt like bits of fruit, but like chunks of clotted blood. Millie felt a tremor of cold flow down their back. The more they drank, the more the drink clotted and soured. But they kept drinking, even as they felt the fluid trickle down their chest. Even as their stomach cramped in protest. They couldn’t stop, couldn’t do a damn thing but eat the fatty sandwiches and drink the rotted beverage.

The woman then placed a roast on the table. Millie paled at the sight of the bone in roast. It wasn’t just a roast, but Millie’s own severed foot, caramelized with spring onions and roasted in a bitter red paste. Despite knowing that fact, it smelled like a slice of savory heaven. THeir stomach felt hollow once more.

“Eat.” The woman ordered, grinning as Millie sobbed between bites of eating their own foot. Bile and acid flooded their mouth as they vomited up chunks of the foot and the sandwiches. The woman stopped grinning. They gazed at the woman, face pale and mouth soured with acid.

“Eat.” She hissed; her gentle tone stripped away with malice. And Millie cried as they ate their own vomit. He fought down the urge to vomit once more, knowing they would be forced to eat it again, and again, and again. They ate, watching as the woman swayed, like she was drunk on their suffering and misery. Millie pushed their body away from the table as besr as they could. They stared mournfully, hauntingly at the woman’s face.

“What have I ever done to deserve this? Why are you doing this to me? I am a good, decent person! Why are you doing this to me?!” Millie asked the woman, no. Not asking, demanding in a blightful panic and rage. The woman crackles as if she heard the best joke to ever have been spoken. The sound rattled around the cabin like a violent wind against shards of glass. It echoed in the room, in their skull and in their very bones.

“You knocked. I fed you. My food had you trapped in here, ensnared you with me. It was nothing personal. I have to eat too. Not my fault that the Greed of Men taste absolutely divine” She cackled, her head swinging limply as bones splintered out from her flesh. There was no blood along the bones and broken skin. Nothing but the black ichor, oily and reflective in the flickering light.

“Who are you? What are you?” Millie begged. The woman let out a much louder cackle.

“I am the greed that rests in the belly of Man, the desire of that particular want that holds dear to the hearts of humanity. I am gluttony, I am Famine.” She revealed. The woman placed down another plate. It was more of that dark, stringy meat. Their meat.

“Eat.” She ordered. And Millie ate. And ate. And ate. And ate. They couldn’t refuse as Lady Famine sliced off chunks of their thighs and arms and made them eat their own flesh. And they were horrified to admit it...

It tasted better raw.




The candle flickered out and was finally extinguished as Famine laughed. Millie ate until they popped, screaming as their inner acid pockmarked their tender outer flesh, and dissolved specks of meat. And they continued to eat as their stomach leaked out acid and chunks of their own flesh. They were still hungry. And Famine relished, moaning as her own Hunger was sated.




Outside, on the dull grey road, a woman held a stack of homemade flyers, her eyes puffy and red from fear/worry, stared at the single candle in the abandoned window. It flickered with a hidden breath, light and gay. She approached, dropping her flyers, enchanted by the flickering flame, mesmerized by the message of comfort. A chill began to etch its way into the Fall weather, numbing but persistent.

Marie then knocked on the faded door three, only three, times, then stepped inside as the door creaked open with a welcome air. A woman greeted her, soft and gentle looking. Behind her was a beautiful feast of pastries, cakes, meringues, creams and juicy pies, with pitchers of a red drink frosting slightly from the pink ice inside.

“Come one in, you are looking ravenous.” The hungry woman ignored the bones the other woman threw out into her yard, pale yellow and clean. Surrendering to her hunger, the woman followed the other, her stomach snarling for the yummy food.

On the paper, abandoned on the overgrown land, in bold large words, read:

“Missing! Milburn Jones. Answers to Millie. Last seen three weeks ago…”


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