Commentary: I’m a huge fan of all things Hannibal and have wanted to write a story that had a cannibalistic character. This story fulfills that desire. The idea for the title came from some places I have seen while on the road. Some places have names such as Desperation Depot, Tearman Motel, etc. The names of these places make me want to avoid them.
I knocked on my neighbor’s door. Noise came from somewhere inside. A few moments later my neighbor George slowly opened the door.
I waved, “Hiya George! Say, do you mind helping me out with something? I saw that your car was home.”
George’s eyes narrowed, “I’m on vacation this week. What do you need Tom?”
“Well, I could use your help on the computer,” I smiled. “I need help booking flights and hotels for a trip to Oregon.”
George opened the door wider, “Sure, C’mon in.”
He had on an apron over his clothes. Red stains were smeared across it. The house had a nice aroma of Italian herbs.
I inhaled deeper, “Were you cooking?”
He nodded, “Yes, the lasagna just came out of the oven. Would you like a piece?”
“Hells yeah!” I exclaimed.
I stepped inside and followed him to the kitchen. He prepared me a plate and handed it to me. We continued through the house to where his computer resided. He took a seat in front of the computer. Without asking I took seat beside him in the nearby recliner. George fired up the internet and went to a travel website. I inhaled the lasagna. It was the greatest thing I have ever eaten in my life.
“Actually George,” I began whilst chewing the last of the lasagna in my mouth. “There is another site I would like you to try. It’s called http://www.cheap-o-fares.com.”
George typed the new name and pulled up their website.
“Alright Tom, what are the details of the trip?” George asked.
“It’s just me traveling. I would like to leave July 21st and come back July 28th. Also, I prefer leaving sometime in the morning and coming back also in the morning. The place I stayed at last time was called, The Average Inn. By the way, that was hands down the best food I’ve ever eaten. What’s your recipe?”
He shook his head, “It’s a secret recipe.”
I let my shoulders fall, “Aw c’mon man. We’re neighbors. That practically makes us family.”
He shook his head again, “Nope, good try though.”
He input the trip details into their database and we waited a few moments for the results. The results came up and I got up, placed the plate on an end table beside me, and l walked over to lean over George’s shoulder. I brought my arm up to point at the screen and accidentally elbowed George across the face.
“Oops, sorry George,” I shifted over a bit to give my arm more room and put my finger on his monitor. “What about that one?”
“That one actually comes back in the evening,” George said.
“Oh, I misread the time. Whoops,” I nodded. “None of these times look the greatest. Can we check another site? Let’s just try http://www.travel-whore.com since we used it last time.”
George went to the Travel Whore website and put in the trip details. The results were much better but they were about five dollars more expensive.
I shook my head, “Man, five dollars more. What do they expect rich people to stay at these places? Let’s see if we can find a cheaper place if we open up the search. I would like to use some of my money to possibly go to a natural hot spring which I’ll have you look up in a minute. I want to cut as much cost as I can out of the travel and lodging.”
He did a general search using all of the trip details except for the name of the Inn. There was a much cheaper option at the top at a place called, The Last Resort. I moved my arm and accidentally hit George in the face again. He scooted over a little to get away from my arm.
“Sorry again George, I’m so clumsy anymore,” I laughed and placed my finger on the top line. “The Last Resort, that price looks amazing! Book it.”
George went through the booking process and I gave him my credit card. The first card didn’t work. It was expired and I hadn’t switched it out yet. I gave him another card. It wasn’t activated yet. I had one last card to try.
“Well, third times a charm,” I laughed. “If this one doesn’t go through we may have to put it on your card for now. That or I may have to see if I can get it to work at a travel agency tomorrow. There is a lady I know that works at one.”
George lightly chuckled, “I don’t have that much on my card. I’ve had to use mine to pay some bills lately.”
The third card worked and he printed out the confirmation.
I squinted at the paper, “This is kind of small. Is there any way you can blow it up and reprint it?”
George sighed and performed some technical tasks on the computer to blow up travel information and reprinted it for me.
“Thanks neighbor, this is perfect. I’ll see ya next time!”
I walked towards the neighbor’s door. He walked slowly behind me. I let myself out and he shut his door all the way. That George is a helluva guy. It sucks he wouldn’t give me that recipe though. That lasagna was awesome!
I entered my room at The Last Resort and turned the light on. It was quaint. The light flickered a bit. It was clean but aside from that it was barebones. There was a small desk in the corner next to the bed with a chair in front of it and a small lamp on top of it. The bathroom was to the left of the room beside the desk. I sat my bag on the bed and sat down in the chair with my back to the bathroom door and took my shoes off. A moment later I felt a sharp pricking sensation in my neck. The room started to spin.
When I came to the room was darker and the only light came from the desk lamp. My hands and feet were tied to the bed. There was a gag in my mouth. I flexed my muscles and tugged at the ropes that had me bound. They didn’t have much slack in them and they were secured strongly to the bedpost. I was naked and started to rethink some of my life decisions. In hindsight, perhaps choosing at a place called The Last Resort was not my greatest moment. I had the feeling something bad was about to happen to me. I’m not sure who or what I expected to walk through the door, but I sure wasn’t expecting George.
I tried to yell through the gag, “Mmmphprumpphh!”
George smiled and shut the door, “Hello neighbor, fancy seeing you here.”
I tried to loosen the ropes again to no avail. Actually, I think I ended up making them worse. George walked over and sat down in the chair beside the bed. He had on some kind of plastic material and wore rubber gloves. On the desk there was a tool kit that had many various sharp and painful looking instruments. He grabbed one of the smaller blades and began lightly tracing the inside of my upper arm.
A sharp pain jolted through my arm as he broke the skin with the knife. Blood trickled down my arm and onto the bed.
George shook his head, “Look at you always leaving a mess. I had to pick up the plate you left on my end table. You could have at least taken it to the kitchen for me. I’m always cleaning up after you…”
He put the knife back into the tool kit and grabbed a bigger one. I opened my eyes wide as he began tracing my chest with it.
George smiled again, “Do you remember the knife that you borrowed from me on thanksgiving? It was just like this one. I had to buy a new one because you never returned it. Allow me to jar your memory further,” he jammed the knife into my chest.
My eyes shot open wider than I thought was possible. The pain was excruciating! It radiated from my chest and shot through every extremity. Blood poured out of the wound. George was a monster. I pissed on the bed for the first time as a grown man.
He scrunched his nose up at me, “Oh now you’re scared I see. You probably see yourself as the victim here too. I can see judgement in your eyes. It’s your fault really. I have a refined palate and have developed quite a taste for the way the meat of rude people taste. You have been very rude to me Tom. You have no concept of manners. Manners are the foundation of great men. Interrupting my vacation and expecting me to help book yours. The best part of that day was finding someone else to try my cooking.”
“Hmph?!” I exclaimed.
George laughed, “Yes, you too are a cannibal. The secret to my lasagna recipe is that I use ground human instead of ground beef. Also, I make my own noodles. Instead of normal flour I take skin, dry it out, and ground it up to make my own. To think, it has to end now that we have so much in common.”
I threw up. Most of it stayed in my mouth because of the gag but some shot out from around the sides of it. I wanted to throw up again.
“You know, my favorite part of the body to eat is the heart. I’m going to enjoy you,” George smiled and began carving my chest open.
It hurt like hell. Once he had a big enough hole he reached in and pulled my heart out of my chest and held it up for me to look at. It was beating quickly. He gathered everything connecting it to my body and severed it with the large knife. The black consumed me.