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Horror Suspense Teens & Young Adult

“It’s quite simple; I have been making this for quite some time.”

The oddly shaped man was toiling over a kitchen counter in a very poorly lit part of the room. Chopping sounds could be heard as his back was turned to me. He was working away and humming loudly - a small old-fashioned radio covered in a thick coat of dust was blaring oldies. The large man was sweating as he slapped erratically at the vegetables in front of him. It smelled of herbs and onions in the room -  it had a strong pungent smell. A slap and a thud -  I could only assume he was chopping carrots.

“It is a recipe that I modified from my great auntie!”

He peered over his shoulder at me, his thick framed glasses gleamed with flickers of light. In front of him, likely, were at least two gas burners that were set up too high. The fire danced up the edge of the stove grates as he continued to cut and stare. His grimace looked suspicious but I was so messed up from the drinks we had earlier. I had asked for the liquor but didn't think of how it would affect me. It had been a while since I had eaten, and even the staunch smell wafting into my face made me hungry. The clang of pots and pans could be heard as the man disappeared into a nearby pantry.

“You'll love it! I guarantee.”

He popped out of the pantry, hands filled; colander, soup pot, bowls, and other utensils. He clumsily clanged all of them into the sink. Maybe he was drunk too -  he didn't talk like he was. then again, I was not the best judge of character because I was definitely drunk. The claustrophobic kitchen and dining room gave me the impression that it was night time. It was very dark but I realized I didn't quite remember it turning from day to night -  but I didn't remember this man's name either and we met and drank together at the bar. But what was this place -Why was I here? I couldn't remember but thought it was rude to ask my host. I also found it difficult to speak up. With the state I was in - it was mostly guttural noises that I was making when I talked, if I was saying much. My host didn't seem to notice or be fazed by it. He kept moving about the kitchen - grabbing a knife, a measuring cup, and a ladle.

His pot was on the burner now and steam was slowly rising from its brim. How much time had gone by now? Why was I losing time? Did I pass out?

I could only assume that he was making some kind of soup. The smell was surprisingly delightful, even if my host and our surroundings were not. My nose swelled with the sweet smell of seasoned meat searing in a frying pan on the stovetop. I thought I smelled hints of basil and thyme. but the view of the stovetop was again blocked by my overweight cook. He was stirring the liquid in the pot and flipping and tossing the meat in the pan. As he spoke, it took me a moment to comprehend his words. 

“I didn't have time to marinate the meat - I didn't get to prepare.”

I didn't care. I was becoming hungry and antsy. Why was I still feeling so drunk? It must have been at least an hour since I came to - and I had no idea how long before that. Surely, I should have been feeling some relief by now - but NO!

“I’m sure you smell that, but it's a secret ingredient!”

I did smell it, I smelled something. The bitter smell pulled my nose hairs and made me wince. My eyes squinted and instantly I was repulsed by the odor. No longer did it smell somewhat appealing - now it was revolting.

"Blah”, I gasped and made a loud noise in order to breathe and expel the awful taste that now lingered in my mouth. Yet, the aroma flowed instantly back into my mouth and nose again. my hosts looked at me quickly, yet briefly, with disdain and simply grunted. Grumbling something under his breath.

He shuffled away from the stove again but now to the fridge. The fridge was right in front of me. I could see into it when he jerked it open with a bang! Inside his fridge were the usual items - milk, eggs, bread along with strange items - many of them difficult to make out and describe. It looked like there were some bottled green oil. Stacked nearby were jars of something pickled, a purple liquid and white round masses floating inside. The inside of the fridge was filthy, which didn't surprise me. Brown sludge dripping down the sides and speckled dead gnats filled the bottom ledge. The smell turned my attention away from the fridge, the god-awful smell coming from the heavily steaming pot was becoming way too much to handle. I found myself trying to take short breaths through my mouth but the smell converted to a flavor as it burned my taste buds. The steam was pumping out of the pot as if it was fleeing from the odor. I could hear the heavy bubbling coming from the pot. My host shoved some more items onto the counter and quickly turned the heat down on the stovetop. He removed the pots in a hurry and let the water settle some on an unused burner. He swore under his breath as he peered into the pot and it oddly made me smile to see him so perturbed.

Something changed in him and this was apparent by his body language. Earlier he had moved around the kitchen with speed, flair and energy for such a large man - now, he was moving sluggishly and lacked any form of pizzazz. He hadn't returned the pot back to the hot burner yet as the flame still licked the robust air. He had dragged his feet towards a kitchen drawer and he was hunched over gazing into it. He moved a thing or two but then he stopped and just stared down at the drawer. I couldn't see what he was looking at from where I was sitting. He was mumbling more now and still gazing downward. An aroused interest in what he was saying and doing had risen in me and I realized in an instant that I couldn't move. It wasn't just my body, arms, legs - but also my muscles! I couldn't even will them or shift them. I couldn't even look down at them. I could move my eyes about and wiggle my mouth but I couldn't seem to make movements with anything below my neck. Dread had begun to build up for the first time and I realized that the alcohol I had or the drug I was drugged with must be wearing off a little bit. I tried to speak up again but I still couldn’t make words just a series of sounds. My captor looked at me, suddenly taking his gaze off of the drawer, and stared at me.

“Soup is almost ready. Close call, almost overcooked it. It’s fine...fine.”

He stumbled over to the soup pot and I could tell he wasn’t sure if it was fine. I didn’t think anything was fine. Panic was setting in and I could feel sweat forming on my brow. I shifted my eyes around the room quickly hoping for some help but not knowing from whom or what I was going to get it. I was breathing erratically and didn’t even notice when I had started to do so. The fat, ugly cook was pouring soup into a bowl with a large ladle. I still wasn’t sure what was going on and why I was here but he didn’t seem to care for my mumbling.

“You’re going to eat this and love it. You’re making a lot of noise, so I guess the drugs are wearing off. No mind, soup and then answers.”

He walked the bowl over to my spot in the kitchen and sat it down in front of me. He lowered himself down onto a chair next to me, slowly at first and then his weight seated him quickly. He grunted and moaned and shifted himself uncomfortably on the chair. He laid his heavy arm on the table and grasped a spoon with his large fingers. He plunged the spoon into the bowl that was in front of me but out of view. I could still smell the lingering stink from before, yet, a new smell came to my nose now. It smelled sweet as if the man had added something at the last minute...maybe to correct it. It was sweet and enticed me. A hunger had been arising in me. It waned when the stench earlier filled the room but now my hunger was renewed and a twist and a gurgle were added. I was hungry but I didn’t want the soup. I couldn’t see it and I wasn’t being told what was in it. Also, there was the fact that I had no idea where I was, who he was and wh...he swiftly brought the spoon up and plunged it into my mouth. Briefly, I saw brown meat, vegetables, and broth. I wanted to push the soup out of my mouth with my tongue but he slapped his hand and blocked me from doing so. He held his slab-of-meat hand over my mouth and chin. I couldn’t open.

“You’re going to eat?”

He gawked at me and I felt so much hatred boil up but I ate - him freeing his hand up a tiny bit to allow me to chew ever so slightly. It was sweet at first - that could be tasted instantly - and I knew he had placed something creamy, almost like candy, into the soup at the end of it’s cooking phase. I chewed up the soup and everything seemed cooked evenly. I tasted no burnt meat or overcooked vegetables - it all was tender and juicy and very tasty. I obviously was confused about all that was going on still, and wasn’t quite sure why I was in this condition. Despite his rudeness, my host had made a fine soup - he fed me more - why was I not able to move? Was there an accident - was that why I was here? He had fed me. 

A few minutes after finishing the soup, my stomach started to disagree with it. The obese man had got up, served himself some of the soup in a much bigger bowl, and had sat back down to eat. His soup smelled stronger than mine - nothing sweet was emanating from it. Why was his soup different? He ate it and paid me no mind. I was starting to feel sick - he kept eating. I burped and felt some food come back up. I forced it back down my throat and it burned enough to make my eyes water - he kept eating … quickly ... greedily. As my stomach twisted again and turned more, I started to close my eyes and tried to breath through the gut-wrenching pain. The careless cook looked up at me, smirking and giggling.

“Usually what happens when people eat my soup that aren’t accustomed to it. Not everyone is the same but it doesn’t agree with many. I have a stomach for it. It’s been in the family for a while.”

He started laughing ever so loudly now and slammed his club hands on the table rapidly, with a riot of laughter.

“I’m also sure you’ve never had the meat before - hehehehehe.”

He whistled almost as his laughter was asthmatic now. He pounded his feet and howled with whoops of loud boyish laughter. What could have been in that soup? I began to cry heavily - my stomach was feeling very ill - if I didn’t get some relief soon I would certainly have an accident. One end or the other it was going to come out soon.

He looked at me and stopped laughing - hope rose - he brought his smiling face inches from mine and stared, mouth ajar - hope left. 

“It’s You!”

July 01, 2021 18:23

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