A short story.


The Meat God


There was that desire again. That hot, burning, seething desire that he knew so well was coming back again, whirling around the infernal darkness of the night. It was sharp and painful, and over the years, it had become profound—hard to deal with.

Spinning inside his empty stomach, biting its thin walls, the desire rose up to his throat, and made a lump. His stomach churned, the desire of eating meat grew larger and larger with successive spirals, and it started beating harder on him inside. The stem of his spinal cord quivered, the hair stood up on the back of his neck, and he jerked his body as if to shake off that clinging desire. A constant hammering inside his stomach, a dull thud, thud, thud of fleshless skeletal hand, and the bitterness rose up to his mouth, corroding his yellow teeth. With an animal impulse to clench his fists and bang his head against the damp walls, his body gave a start. He got up, walked to the door, and stopped.

“It was very different when Kala was here,” he murmured.

Kala was his wife, who after the fourth year of their marriage, had ran away with his assistant. From that day, he was determined to be strong, to be somewhat a callous man, and make a living through hard work. So, he butchered more and more animals—sold them in a jiffy, and took the solemn vow of not eating meat again. Five years passed like the soft evening wind, and thanks to his hard work, he had put aside enough to build a tiled hut with shiny kamero in the village.

But the desire was back again. He wished he could grab that desire, squeeze it, yes once and for all, and throw it out on the road, step on it with his mighty feet, flatten it till the life out of that desire oozed out, and it lay motionless, cold, staring back horribly, with its dark eyes of death.

Lying back on the creaking bed, he thought about that desire once again. Why was it coming back—after all these years? He turned around and ran his fingers over the wall, letting the coolness of it penetrate through his skin. Five years! He sighed.

He now felt the dampness of his room on his bones. His home, a hut with a tiled roof, was so cold, so dank that the walls were covered with green moss, and his breath left a transparent film atop the blanket as he slept. He had finished building the house in time for the coming winter, and moved in before the kamero on the walls was dry. Every night he scrunched down under the blanket, escaping the cold air knifing into the room. On the top of that, there was this desire again.

“When we’re so different in every way,” Kala had said, “it’s odd to live together.”

“It’s also odd not to live together,” he had said, rather drily; and Kala had laughed in disbelief. She always laughed at his dim-witted jokes.

She was a tallish woman, big-boned and fair, and she appeared slightly boyish. This was because of the way she used to do her hair and dress up. She took pleasure in wearing a Mohawk cut, and walking out of the house in lean trousers and sweat-shirts. But he was small, fat, dark, brittle, with large watchful eyes, and a fuzzy haircut. More than that, he was always pleased with himself—the one quality that Kala had secretly despised.

They were all minor differences. The bigger one was that she was a strict vegetarian while he was a voracious meat-eater. She couldn’t even stand the smell of meat while his whole body, even the cells within, reeked of it. During the first few months of marriage, she complained about everything: how he smelled like a goat, how he didn’t even bother to take a bath before bed, how he snored in sleep that reminded her of a wild bull. He listened her grumble, but never said a word. He often wondered why she had agreed to marry a man like him.

Now, he woke up with a start. A sharp smell of raw meat and formaldehyde was coming from the other room, mingling with the aroma of damp plaster from the walls.

Once again, he felt the same sensation, the same desire to eat meat—swelling like an interior sun inside him. It was unbearable now, its vicious flames flickering towards the depths of his belly. He tried to calm himself. He tried to stop the burning sensation inside his chest, but he simply could not.

“Enough!” he hissed, and walked out.

As soon as he entered the shop, he was glad to be there. A dozen chicken, bare-skinned and cold, welcomed him first, followed by the thick, fleshly femurs of goats, and a large hindquarter of a pig. This was what was left from selling. He was thankful that he didn’t sell all the meat, even though in the afternoon he was complaining about the low sales.

“I’ll be damned if I just stand here watching all the meat without doing anything,” he said to himself.

Alert and business-like, he rolled up his sleeves, walked up to the meat counter, took the first chicken out, and with a swift swing of the cleaver, hacked it into two. A bit of blood spurted out, tinged his hands, and tempted his senses. He bent down, closed his eyes, and took a lungful of smell. There was a momentary disillusion—time and space collapsed—followed by another bout of reverie. He was transported back to the time when he was a kid. He remembered the taste of the first chicken he had, and how it had melted in his mouth.

Opening his eyes, he straightened himself up. Now he knew what he was going to do: he was going to live his life. To the fullest.

Tearing the right leg of the chicken, he brought it up to his mouth, took the first bite after five years of abstinence. The meat was too fleshy, too greasy—the juices flooded inside. He couldn’t resist the temptation. Without chewing for the second time, he swallowed it. It went down his throat in a swift, easy motion, as if the raw meat was nothing more than a mouthful of cotton candy. He took another bite, swallowed it, and in a couple of minutes, he licked the bones bare.

Now he heard the beating of the rain—increasing as ever—as it came hammering down on the tiled roof. In came the sweet smell of rain, the new air. The dampness of the room was unbearable. With rain, more dampness was loaded. The dampness came into him down to the bones. He knew what he should do in order to get himself warm.

He took out another chicken. Without even bothering to cut it into two, he dug his teeth into the ribs, tore out its thick flesh, and swallowed it in a blink of an eye. Finishing the first two chicken, he paused for a while. For a fragment of second, he was about to think, but then the meat began speaking to him: “We’ve waited for you so long! Come, don’t delay anymore. Eat us, and let us go down into your revered belly. There we will meet our fate.”

Without waiting anymore, he took out all the remaining chicken. With his bare hands, he tore them open, gnawed at them, crunched the bones, slurped the marrows, and spitted out what remained after so much gnashing—the beaten bones.

“Yes! Devour us, once and for all. Feast on life. For so many years, many undeserving mouths have eaten us, and we have lost our lives inside the walls of ungrateful bellies. Now is the time that we meet our true beloved, our only Meat God!” The meat hissed.

Heeding to the call of the meat, he took out the femur of yesterday’s goat. Without wasting a second, he grated on it with his teeth. Chomp, chomp, chomp! And the goat was gone to the place where it was fated to be. He raised his bloody hands, looked up, and laughed a hysterical laugh. A streak of lightning shone across the sky, and in the reflection of which he was seen not as a mere mortal, but as a Meat God.

The rain pattered hard. He reached for the pig. The thick, greasy meat was all he could desire. With every bite, with every swallowing, he knew that he was more blissful, more serene and more delightful. He had attained what yogis couldn’t do in years and years of meditation. He had his moment of eureka, his sole instant of enlightenment.

“This is it. This absolutely is it,” he said, and smiled.

Bibek Adhikari




Poetry by Bibek
Read 111 times
Written on 2017-09-18 at 12:21

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Ashe The PoetBay support member heart!
This is the most descriptive story have read in ages. Not a single word is wasted. I could'nt put it down until its gruesome end. Fantastic writing!
Ashe
2017-09-20


Kathy Lockhart The PoetBay support member heart!
The Meat God is quite a read for sure! Vivid and vibrant images throughout along with a cross of Stephen King and Alfred Hitchcock mind games made this short story extremely intriguing. Well done, Bibek!
2017-09-19


ken d williams The PoetBay support member heart!
Bravo, Bibek, beautifully spun.
Ken
2017-09-18