"Oh, Lord Jesus!" Natasha exclaimed, her heart jumping into her throat as her knees gave in. She grabbed the back of the nearest dining chair and slid herself into the seat before she fainted.
Waving a hand before her face she watched in horror and fascination as Damien(more) giggled and kicked in his high chair, his chubby hands grasping at the noodles of his chicken soup as they floated in the air in front of him. Glistening and slick, they looked more like worms than noodles. One squished between his fingers and he shoved his whole fist into his mouth, a line of drool trailing down his chin to the tray.
Her momma told her not to name him Damien. 'That's a demon name. Haven't you ever seen The Omen?' Natasha didn't like horror movies, but she liked the name Damien. Maybe she should have listened.
The baby gurgled and laughed that sweet, delightful laugh that always made her smile and kiss the top of his fuzzy head. He held his fist out to her, showing her his prize as the noodles dropped to the tray.
Her baby was no demon, and she refused to believe he was possessed. She lived a good Christian life and little Damien had been baptized. It was impossible.
She pulled him quickly from his highchair and carried him to the sofa, from where she eyed his lunch suspiciously. Her whole body broke out in a cold sweat and she thought perhaps she had been seeing things.
Damien slapped his sticky hands against her arm and squirmed to get off her lap. She let him go and watched him totter around like any other eighteen-month old.
"What am I going to do with you, baby boy?"
She got up to call her husband.(less)
She crushed his throat with a quick chop to the neck. Married now for 14 years couldn’t stand one more criticism about her noodle soup. As he lay dying on the living room floor she sat in his favorite chair, held the warm bowl of comfort to her nose(more) and enjoyed its scent. His mouth drooled blood as she took a bite of pork, laughing out loud she thought, “Finally some peace and quiet from that fat bastard!”(less)
I would find my inheritance in the recipe book. That's what the attorney said as he read the will to me and the rest of the small circle of surviving kin. Grandma was never the joking type, and in the way she ran her affairs and conducted her modest finances,(more) she was plain as house paint. This riddle, this uncharacteristic twist within her parting papers, was the only surprise she'd ever sprung on me, and she'd waited until she was dead.
She had a collection of cookbooks, most of which were decades old. The Betty Crocker cookbook stood out for the prominent stain on its cover. I examined it more closely. An ancient (gravy?) spill cast a pall over the scene of brimming casseroles and soufflés circa 1973. The book had a black ribbon for a bookmark and I opened it to the marked pages(less)
Ironically enough, it was only once he was within the presence of food that Cassius began to realise how hungry he was. There had been something ethereal about his time outside the city, as though he had been nothing but a wandering specter up until the point at which(more) he stepped through the gates. Things like eating and sleeping - and, on several startling occasions, breathing - were unknown to him.
Now, he felt the ache of exhaustion begin to creep into his bones, and the first pangs of hunger gnaw at his gut. He breathed heavily, the thick air pressing against his throat. It tasted of smoke and spices and a thousand other things he could not name. He figured it would not matter if he could.
The thing crouched in the corner of the alley in which he had hidden himself had not seemed shocked to see him, providing that it could see at all, as it appeared to possess no eyes. or anything of that function. It crouched on bandy grey legs before a large iron pot that bubbled and belched an herb-infused steam, and when he approached it had filled up a clay bowl with broth and preferred it to him, grinning with terribly blunted teeth.
He'd been reluctant, but the creature was watching him intently; or at least gave the appearance of doing so.
It had tasted of chicken, and he'd been surprised. Then, he'd felt smug, as he'd explained to Pieter once that the taste of chicken must have been some sort of universal constant for literature to make so many comparisons to it. Downright infuriating it was, he'd told her. He'd find solid evidence one day, he'd said.
He'd just never imagined it would be like this. Noodle soup in an alien city. (less)