Side Dish
by Faye Sizemore
forum: Side Dish
speculative fiction for the internet generation.

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Side Dish


       Evie stood at the side of the window and watched as the food soldiers filed past, two by two. The first in line, fanning out, and searching, the rest carrying their finds in small cages. The sight sent a shudder through Evie's small frame.

       Evie recognized the neighbors' three year old swinging by, captive now, in one of the cages. He would go to the food farm and be fattened up before it was market time for him. There were several small dogs and some cats. The flesh eaters were out in force because of the upcoming holiday.

       She shuddered at the thought of the next feast. She also was running out of the strength to evade them. Winter had come on, and her sources of nourishment were becoming limited.

       There was an old greenhouse on the other side of the city and soon, before she became too weak, Evie knew she would have to chance going there. There just might be some vegetables left inside.

       Before the takeover, there had been plenty for all to eat, but soon, the flesh eaters had overpowered all and seemed to grow in number. They had consumed almost every living organism that they could until there was nothing left except their own kind and a few stray animals.

       Evie's parents and older relatives were among the first to be harvested for food. She herself had left home as soon as she had realized what was about to happen. Joining a small resistance group, Evie had moved with them from place to place until most were captured by the flesh eaters. Everyone knew what their fate had been.

       Her special friend in the resistance movement had been captured three days ago. Four of the flesh eaters had set upon him when he and Evie were on a food foraging trip.

       Her last sight of Tor had been of him fighting a losing battle with them. He had screamed at her to run and she had obeyed. She had run until she could run no more.

       It was dusk and soon would be dark. It would be much easier to move about then. Perhaps she could make it to the greenhouse. If not, she would starve in this section of the city.

       She was missing Tor terribly now. Shaking off her depression, Evie ran her fingers through her dark hair and strode to the doorway, awaiting the first shrouds of night.

       Evie slunk out as soon as she had the cover of darkness. She had mulled it over in her mind and had decided the safest route to her destination would be straight through the heart of the city, as that was not where they would expect a Vegan to be.. Certainly not right in among them. Therefore, they would be less vigilant.

       Doorway to doorway she went until she found a stairway. Up the stairs Evie quickly went, stopping at the top to look and listen. There were footsteps ahead of her coming this way. She darted into a doorway and leaned against the door and, surprised, felt it give. She tumbled backwards into the room and quickly sprang to her feet. The room was empty.

       Breathing a sigh of thanksgiving, she looked around and saw a small doorway to her left. It was ajar. Haltingly, Evie investigated. A small dressing room with a shower and feminine clothing hanging on a metal rack..

       Dare she? Evie hadn't had a bath in what seemed like years. Throwing caution to the wind, she turned on the shower and stripped her ragged clothes off.

       Once under the shower, the warm water on her naked body felt like heaven. In wonder, she picked up the soap and hastily began to lather her aching body. For a moment. she was transported back to her first meeting with Tor.

       She had been sleeping in a small stand of trees when she was set upon by the food soldiers. They had roughed her up quite a bit and tied her hands and feet together. Remarking how little and scrawny she was, one had said that she would be a good specimen for the farm. Evie had screamed and screamed, but to no avail. She had been carried off with no further ceremony.

       They took her to an enclosure where she was made to shower and dress in a white sack type dress.. She was let out in an enclosure with other young girls. Some were pregnant. Looking closer, Evie was shocked to see that some could not have been over twelve years of age.

       The girls were quite willing to talk and began to tell her of the place they were all held in. They looked at her with eyes so sad, some were rolled into a ball in corners, crying and wailing. Evie could tell that they had given in to madness.

       They told Evie that this was a breeding station. One girl told her she was on her fifth pregnancy and four babies had been taken from her to be fattened up for the Flesh Eaters.

       One of the girls had her hands bound behind her back. She was obviously in her eighth or ninth month of pregnancy. Evie was told that the girl had killed her last baby to save it from the flesh eaters. No matter about the bound hands, as she had told the others, she would gnaw her baby's throat this time.

       Covering her ears, Evie slowly lowered herself to the ground, unable to understand the horror of her situation.

       About that time she was grasped in a strong hold by two guards, one on either side, telling her she was going to the breeding room. They had a new mate selected just for her. She could hear the nastiness and disrespect in their voices.

       They had roughly dragged her to a small four-walled enclosure with another nasty smelling guard at the door. All the flesh eaters smelled badly to her. She knew it was because of their diet of flesh..

       The guard opened the gate and the two who were dragging her, bodily threw her inside, still kicking and screaming with all her might.

       In the half light, Evie could see a form move towards her. It was a man and he did not give off the odor that the guards did. He reached for her and crushed her against him, running his hands over her body and breathing hard.

       Evie felt his lips on her throat and then they moved to her ear. She heard him whisper, "Play along and when I say ‘GO’, we are out of here." Shocked, Evie relaxed against him, sensing an ally..

       The guard leaned over the gate, leering. Actually, he enjoyed the fringe benefits of his job. The man kept caressing Evie's shivering body and maneuvering ever closer to the gate.

       Suddenly he let go of Evie, and with one lunge, brought both his fists hard and forcefully upon each side of the guard's surprised head.

       The man sank from sight and after grabbing Evie's arm, they were suddenly over the gate and running at full speed.

       Losing these sad thoughts, Evie quickly shook the water from her hair and stepped from the shower, suddenly face to face with a young woman in a maid's uniform.

       She had been so lost in the warmth of the shower and her thoughts of Tor that she had not heard anyone enter the apartment. Evie cursed at herself for dropping her guard.

       "Missy, I am the replacement you asked for. I heard the shower and laid out your clothes for the feast. Your escort will be along shortly. I will help you dress, and I hope you enjoy your dinner," the young maid spoke in a way that gave Evie to know that the girl had never met the apartment's true owner.

       Evie was saved, once again, and still remained safe for a while.. Who knew how long that would be?

       It seemed to be best to play along, and she allowed the maid to brush her wet curly hair and dress her in a pale mauve velvet dress with a long sweeping shirt. Oh, joy.. were she to run, she would have to hike the skirt up above her legs!

       Evie caught sight of herself in the mirror. Peering closer, she saw that she had matured and the girl child had quickly become a young woman, and a pretty one at that. Blushing, Evie wished that Tor could see her like this.

       The maid brought out earrings and helped Evie fasten them on her ears. "You are ready, Missy, all but your shoes," handing her low heels, but nevertheless heels.. Evie groaned inwardly and slipped her feet into them.

       There was a tinkling of a bell and the maid disappeared toward the front of the apartment. Evie looked wildly around. There was no way out of this place, save the front door.

       The maid returned and told that her escort and driver were waiting. He was also new, and the maid hoped that Evie would find him satisfactory. Of all the luck, Evie was starting to believe in guardian angels!

       The young man escorted her to a waiting vehicle below the stairs in front. There were many people on the street, and all seemed to be hurrying in the same direction. Their smell was overpowering to Evie.

       She knew there were too many of them to outrun, so she entered the car and her escort proceeded to drive her to the main part of the city where the feast was being held.

       Pulling up to the entrance to the Great Hall, they were met by the doorman, and Evie's escort said to him, "Miss Du Luc, sir." She was then escorted into a long hall filled with people waiting to eat.

       Their heads turned as she entered.. and then turned back again to each other as they realized that she was just another guest and not a waiter bringing their food.

       Across the hall on spits were human bodies, turning slowing, being basted with some manner of spices and broth. With a start, Evie recognized Tor as one of those bodies roasting.

       She almost swooned and went to her knees, but strong arms caught her before she fell to the floor.

       "Miss Du Luc," a male voice said, "you need to eat. You have grown weak from your fasting before the big feast." With that, the man drew a chair from the side and seated her at the long table. "You will be among the first served."

       Evie was in panic. Tor was dead.. dead! Nothing more than meat on a spit. Her fears had come true. She knew she was utterly alone now. The smells of the roasting flesh and the smells of these flesh eaters were almost more than she could bear. Were it not for the hatred welling up in her, tenfold for them, she would have collapsed on the floor, moaning in grief and fear.

       Evie was angry.. angrier than she had ever thought possible. She wanted to leap up and tear everyone that was in the hall limb from limb! She would find a way to make them pay. Make every last one of them pay dearly.. and she would accept nothing less than each of their deaths. Nothing less!

       Her face became serene as a platter containing bits of roasted flesh was placed in front of her.

       Evie steeled her soul and with vengeance already forming in her mind, she picked up a bit of flesh, and, under the hall's watchful eyes, slowly began to chew...

The End


copyright 2006 Faye Sizemore.

Faye Sizemore:

I am an imaginative grandmother, loose with pen in hand, who just loves a mystery from the unknown.