The Gluttony of Murmer, p.1Elodia Englemen
The Gluttony of Murmer
By Elodia Englemen
Copyright 2013 by Elodia Englemen
Every Sunday, I would crave something sweet. One particular Sunday of my immortal life, I was craving a sugar cookie.
A new batch of cookies would be arriving soon, so I was polishing the welcome sign outside of the east part of town.
“Hey, Sytri, we are getting the cookies tonight, right?” I couldn’t help but ask for the hundredth time that day.
“Yes, yes,” came the tired voice of my silver haired friend. He sat on the sidewalk, elbows on his knees. “I’m hungry, too, you know.”
“For cookies?” I turned to him, giving him a hopeful smile. For the past month, my best friend had been eating at the north end, leaving me to eat my meals alone.
Sytri shook his head, then stood up, placing his hands in his pockets. “No, sorry.”
He gazed up at the clock tower of Envy Town. The bells would chime in a few minutes, and I knew that yearning look in his golden eyes.
I incinerated the dusting cloth in my hand, and then took a few steps back to get a final look at the sign. The chipped, wooden board didn’t look a day over a thousand years old.
“Well, see you, then,” I grinned to Sytri.
He smiled halfheartedly and started to take a shortcut through the woods. He knew shortcuts to any part of the underworld, it seemed.
He stopped the moment he stepped into the grass, and turned back to give me a serious look. “Oh, and Murmer?”
“Don’t overdo it. We don’t want a repeat of last time.”
I laughed nervously, taking a few paces towards the town’s gate. “Of course not!” I didn’t even want to think about last time. Sytri gave me his nod of approval, and then vanished into the woods.
East Envy Town’s vacant streets would be filled with cookies in a matter of minutes. The gift shops were having sales, the icee stands were lined along the sidewalk corners, and a few citizens were strolling the streets. The east side of town seemed less crowded today. In fact, it wasn’t crowded at all; no one had a sweet tooth, it seemed.
“Well, more for me,” I chimed, standing against a mural on the wall of Soddy Glory Giftshoppy.
I stood there for a few minutes in silence, feeling sluggish. The store owner, a girl called Genti, turned on the radio.
I hated the energetic, lively techno song she played over and over. It made me anxious while I was trying to be patient.
But I could just picture the cookies! Soft, delicious, sweet, warm, fresh sugar cookies! I imagined the sensation of the steamy treat on my tongue, then wiped a small bit of drool off the side of my mouth.
“You’re going to overdo it again,” Genti giggled, opening her shop door. “Just let them spend some money first. I need a new television.” That girl and her money.
I was going to respond to her, insist that I wasn’t going to overdo it again, but the sound of the tour bus’s engine caught my attention. The food was here!
The pink, two story bus, filled with humans, stopped at the corner of the street.
The gates were closing outside the city; I could hear the sound of chains being wrapped around the metal bars, then the final snap of the padlock. .
I ran to the bus drop off, staring up at the frightened faces of sinners. The driver hadn’t opened the door yet, he was still giving one of his drawn-out tour speeches.
“But don’t worry, folks,” I could hear him saying. “Everyone here is friendly. We are dedicated to making your damnation as much fun for us as possible! Be sure to check out the gift shops!”
I noticed mixed glances being exchanged among the passengers.
The driver noticed me, and motioned for me to move away from the door.
I quickly did so.
He wrote the number of passengers down on his clipboard, checking in the rear-view mirror to recount to himself.
“Hurry up,” I mumbled, biting down on my lip. That demon was so slow!
The door suddenly swung open and, cautiously, the souls of the freshly deceased unloaded from the bus.
Men, women, a few scratched up teens, and one little boy began to wander around the streets.
Most seemed bewildered by the fact that Hell was not a lake of lava. To most humans, Hell was a place to be feared. It just has a bad reputation due to the biased articles humans read.
We, the demons of Hell, do not seek to torture mankind. It may be fun occasionally, on a rainy day, but it’d get boring after a while, yet alone eternity. Besides, Sytri had told me it was rude to play with my food.
I could see what these people really were, as the eyes of a fiend are much keener than those of our prey. Where their hearts should be, a tasty treat lies.
I watched as one young man, a piece of marble cake, wandered into Soddy Glory and bought an extremely over-priced mug. Genti certainly seemed happy about it, the greedy girl. I noticed that there was a crate of recently shipped energy drinks, and made a mental note to come back later and buy one.
“Excuse me,” called a rather rough looking teenager. He must’ve been wiped out when attempting something stupid, like skateboarding off a skyscraper, as evidenced by the masses of cuts and bruises all over his body.
Or maybe he’d fallen off a cliff? No, no, he’d had puncture wounds in that case.
No matter how he died, I didn’t have time to dwell on it too long. I didn’t see his face; I only saw what was inside.
All that was inside of him was a sugar cookie.
I didn’t even ask what he was wanting, but after such a long bus ride, he most likely was searching for the bathroom. There are no bathrooms in Hell!
My right hand instinctively pierced through the boy’s chest. Alive, the human body is heated, but dead, it was like sticking my hand into cold meat. The only warmth was the soul.
The boy coughed and let out a painful cry, but I paid the shrieks no mind. Holding my prey in place with my left hand, I dug my right through his insides until I felt the warm, soft goodness I had sought after the past week.
“Yes!” I let out a hungry hiss, and ripped out the cookie in a swift motion. The corpse of the now soulless dead teen fell back and began to fade into nothingness.
The cookie was still steaming and fresh. I took a bite without hesitation, the sugary goodness almost melting in my mouth.
I had a salivation problem that day.
After I had downed the first cookie, I couldn’t stop myself. I know I had sworn to myself, to Sytri, that I wouldn’t overdo it, and that I wouldn’t be a pig.
The humans that were strolling the streets, window shopping and talking amongst themselves never noticed the faces disappearing or the short lived screams of my meals.
I ate another cookie, and then another, and then a few more. Every time I finished one, another would come along.
I could hardly breathe after I’d wolfed down a few dozen cookies.
I felt sick to my stomach, and didn’t want to even think about sweets anymore. The only thing I could do was sit on the bench by the bust stop and watch my fellow demons catch their own meals. My head was going in and out of dizzy spells. The buildings would lean towards me, as if about to tip over. The laughing and conversations from the shadows of humans and demons blended in my mind. I was seeing stars, tiny little specs that clouded my vision.
The back of my eyes felt like they were being smashed with a sledgehammer.
The final wave of nausea hit me when I witnessed Eligos, a demon I’d worked with before, licking the icing off a cupcake.
I darted towards the woods in a desperate attempt to not humiliate myself in the middle of the street.
Needless to say, I lost nearly a
The forests of Hell are dark, as the canopy completely shades the floor from the cloudy sky. The woods are also quiet, most of the time. The only inhabitants are a few demons, who built cabins in secretive locations, and birds.
I panted and leaned my back against the large oak tree. “Oh, God…”
So much for privacy.
I looked over to see none other than Genti, happily holding the handle to a red wagon. In it, a large, flat screen, LCD TV was packaged and unopened. She had her jacket tied around her waist, which meant the shop was closed; feeding time was over.
She looked at me and laughed, her free hand over her mouth. “I knew you would!”
“Shuddup, no I didn’t!” I stood up, crossing my arms.
She raised an eyebrow. “Oh, really?”
“Yeah, really!” My stomach growled, despite how I didn’t want to eat anything else.
“Hey, um…there isn’t anything left in town, is there?” I asked quietly.
“Nope, all eaten. Shouldn’t have made yourself sick.” She put her hand to her forehead, thinking. “Well, there is one more.”
I grinned and stepped closer to her. “Really?! Where is it?”
“Here.” She pointed downwards to a human child, hiding behind the large television box. “He followed me. You take him.”
With that, she continued into the woods towards her cottage. The boy, who looked about ten years old, looked up at me with large golden eyes.
He had neatly combed black hair that grazed his neck, with bangs that covered his forehead.
On his back, he wore a blue striped backpack. A stuffed platypus that was missing a beady eye was crammed halfway into the bag.
But the first thing I noticed was his soul. Oh, it looked delicious!
The soul, lingering within his chest, was a cookie filled with chocolate chips, peanut butter cups, and cream filling. It was topped with sprinkles the shape of hearts. It was the most delicious looking soul I’d seen in months!
“Hi there,” I said, kneeling down to get a better look at the boy. He was a rarity, but I didn’t want to devour that face. Something about him mesmerized me. His soft expression had to be the reason why he wasn’t devoured hours prior.
The boy just stared at me.
“What’s your name?” I asked him, sinking back down against the same oak tree with a sigh.
“I’m Cal,” came a quiet voice. He sat down across from me, peering at me with large golden eyes.
I nodded in acknowledgement, then watched as Cal picked up a twig and began impaling a bone skipper against the tree. For a human to kill a bone skipper, the very insect that feeds on the marrow of corpses, was funny to me.
I laughed a little, earning a confused look from Cal.
“You shouldn’t kill those.” I watched as the insect’s flailing movements slowly ceased. “They eat out the bones from anything that just died. If they die, what will eat them?” I smiled at Cal and ruffled his hair. “So, why are you here? Kids don’t come here that often.”
The little liar knew perfectly the reason he was damned. It wasn’t like I couldn’t find out from other sources.
I thought for a long moment about what to do in this situation. I didn’t want to eat his soul, but I couldn’t just babysit him.
I forced myself to stand up, dusting off the back of my coat. “Alright, Cal, let’s go.”
“To see a friend of mine. He’ll know what to do.”
The Gluttony of Murmer by Elodia Englemen / Fantasy have rating 3.2 out of 5 / Based on16 votes