Author’s note below! 😀
It was a warm afternoon at the park when seven year old John thought of eating ice cream, just like any other kid, for dinner. He tugged his mum’s hand and asked if they could have it for later.
John is an only child and his parents thought of him as a miracle, a gift given by a god – which god? They didn’t care as they prayed to a lot of them. They had a hard time of conceiving a child, it took them six years of trying after their marriage before they had John. They wanted a second child, but it would take them another six years and by the time they reached sixty they would still be working for their child’s education. They think of John so dear and very precious they don’t want to break his heart, even on the smallest things, well at least not by them. Instead of directly saying no to him, they would look for another way to tell him. This time, they told John to ask the nice stranger sitting on the bench if they could have ice cream for dinner.
The stranger was a man in his late twenties, but by the dark bags under his eyes, roughly shaven beard, and eyes staring blankly at nothing, he looked like he’s in his forties. John approached him, staring at his feet, nervously and said,
“Excuse me, mister?” he paused, hesitantly continued as the man stared at him, “can I ask you if we, me and my mum and dad, could eat ice cream for dinner?”
Confused by the boy’s odd question he noticed John’s mum and dad gesturing nos behind the boy, shaking their head and gesturing X’s with their arms and fingers. Understanding what the parents were trying to say he looked at John with sad eyes and placed a hand on his shoulder, “I’m sorry kid, but, not tonight. Now go back to your parents.” he replied.
Disappointed, John returned to his mum and dad and told them what happened. His mum knelt, ruffled his head, “maybe next time honey,” she said and smiled so sweetly.
“Well, you see son,” his dad said, looking at his son with stern eyes as if he was about to say a lesson to learn, “some people are just jerks. Don’t worry, we’ll have ice cream next time and we’ll have your favorite” his dad continued as they walked to the car, little did he know the stranger heard his remark.
Months have passed and now comes John’s favorite month, October. He loves Halloween very much and can’t wait to wear his costume this year. He wanted to be a zombie, even before the year started. He is obsessed with it; he watched movies about them all the time, pretended to be like them, and even used his mum’s make-up to look like them, it was so silly but nonetheless his mum and dad didn’t care as long as he’s happy.
John was accompanied by his mum and dad go trick or tricking in their neighborhood until it was late in the night. After a tiring evening they went to the park to walk as they always did.
“Dad! Look how much candy I got!” John said excitedly, hopping and skipping everywhere.
“I know buddy, but you’ve got to wait for tomorrow before you eat all of those” replied his dad.
“I know dad, all this candy won’t be enough to fill my hungry tummy, I would need a whole lot more than these ones. I’m so hungry I can eat a whole horse!”
Mum and dad laughed at their son’s silly remark, wondering where he learned it. “Of course sweetie, and what would you want to eat for supper to fill your hungry tummy?” asked mum as she tickled Johns tummy.
John laughed very hard and tried to break free from his mum’s grasp. “Well,” John said, and after a few second of catching his breath, he continued, “since I’m a zombie I want to eat human flesh and braaaaaains!” then he started to act like the flesh-eating monster he pretends to be; his left leg limping, his head tilted to the right, and arms stretched in front of him.
“What?!” said his mum, wide-eyed shocked, “but . . But, ” she couldn’t continue and just looked at her husband. After a few minutes of silence as his mum and dad trying to recover from his words, his dad spoke, “Son, well. . .” He paused, looking for the right words to use, “we can’t really e-” before dad could continue mum tugged dad’s elbows to halt him. He looked at his wife and saw she jerked her head in the direction of a man sitting on a bench, understood what his wife is telling him he returned to his son, “what I was trying to say was that we can’t really tell. Your question is too hard for us, why don’t you ask the nice man over there and ask him” and he pointed at the stranger.
John once again approached the stranger sitting on the bench. The stranger was a man with a nice suit, clean shaven face and nicely styled hair. He was reading a book when John was in front of him.
“Good evening mister, ” said John, again nervous and staring at his feet. When the man raised his head, he was a bit surprised with what he saw, “whoa there buddy, you scared me there for a second, ” he chuckled, “now, what can a nice man do for you?” he finally asked.
“Well mister,” he paused, raised his head and looked at the man “can we, me and my mum and dad, eat human flesh and brains tonight for dinner?”
Taken aback from the boy’s question he noticed a couple behind the kid shaking their head and with their arms and fingers in X’s. The man understood what the couple was trying to say, but as he stared at the couple he realized something, wait a minute, he thought, those were the same parents as before. He looked back at the kid, no wonder this kid looks familiar, I didn’t notice it because of his costume. Remembered what the dad said about him, he smiled at John and said enthusiastically, “Well of course buddy! I don’t see any reason why you shouldn’t. You can eat all the flesh, you want, whenever you want to. Now go to your parents and get that brain! You deserve it.” and grinned so wide one can see his gums.
“Really mister?” exclaimed John, couldn’t believe what he heard, for this was the first time a stranger, from all the other hundred strangers he asked before, to say yes. “Thanks a lot mister!” he ended and started to run to his parents.
“Hey kid” the stranger called out. John stopped and looked back, “and cool costume by the way, you look great on it” and gave the boy a thumbs-up. This made John smile from ear to ear, “thank you!” he shouted back and waved before returning to his mum and dad.
The man stared at the kid as he went to his parents to tell them what happened, he then saw the baffled faces of the boy’s parents that turned into worry and so he smiled. “Good luck with that. That’s what you get for spoiling your kid, ” he said to himself, “Jerks” he added before returning to his book, happy with his small revenge.
Mum and dad, rather than annoyed, were very worried. What are we supposed to do? Thought dad. He took a peek at the rear view mirror and saw John, soundly sleeping.
“We could buy chicken, pork, or maybe beef in exchange of…of well you know” said dad to mum.
“Where are we going to buy those at this time? It’s already late and the nearest store is too far, ” she paused and gave out a sigh, “way too far” she repeated as her brows knitted. They love their son too much they just couldn’t say no to him, it’s ridiculous. Seeing their child sad is just too much for them.
“I’ll find a way,” said dad “there’s got to be something out there.”
As soon as mum and John stepped out of the car dad went off immediately. “Where’s dad going, mum?” asked John watching the their car drive off.
“Well sweetie,” spoke mum with a smile, trying to cover her nervousness, “dad’s going to look for. . . for some ‘meat’ for our little precious zombie” and mum pinched her son’s cheeks
“Really mum?” who still couldn’t believe that it really is happening.
“Yes, dear, so go inside, take off your costume, and take a bath. By the time you’re done supper will be ready.”
John immediately went inside and up the stairs, two steps at a time, leaving his mum in cold sweats. An hour after dad came back home with a bag full of meat. He went to the kitchen and saw mum preparing to cook. He looked at her in the eye intently, as if trying to relay a message and mum nodded like she understood it. Dad left the kitchen without saying a word, leaving mum to do her work. Mum cooked like her life depended on it, she put on her best skills trying to make the meat look like some fresh flesh his son wanted. She poured red sauce made of only she knows what to make it look like blood and then she was done. “Honey! John! Supper’s ready! Come down and help mum prepare the table!” she shouted.
John came straight down from his room and into the kitchen with a grin on his face. “Careful dear, now place the plates and forks in the table” said mum.
As John was preparing the table dad walked in the kitchen and said, “oh boy, that smells delicious! I wonder what mom cooked?” trying to sound enthusiastic.
“Geez dad, you know what it is. You’re the one who brought it” John said followed by small laugh.
“You’re right, son, so you better eat a lot because dad had a hard time looking for it” and sat at the head of the table. Mum gave dad a nervous glace but dad just dismissed it with a wave of his hand.
“Really? So where’d you get it dad?”
“It doesn’t matter son, now eat your food and don’t leave any in your plate”
John smiled, “yes sir!” and gobbled his food as fast as he could.
“These taste so good mum! Very delicious!” said John while munching.
“Slow down sweetie, you might choke on your food. We have a lot left, so you don’t have to rush yourself.” replied mum
“And don’t talk when your mouth is full son, where are you manners?” dad continued.
“Sorry dad” and John continued to eat till he couldn’t put a spoon in his mouth.
“I’m so full my tummy hurts!” John exclaimed, “I didn’t know flesh could taste this good”
Taken aback mum tried to say something encouraging, but could only utter, “yeah. . . Yeah sweetie. You’re right.” and she tried to show a smile but failed to.
“Don’t worry son, we’ll have some of this when you grow up” Dad said to distract John from his mother. Mum looked at dad with fear in her eyes. Why does he have to say that, she thought, I just hope we could get through this without problem.
Mum tried to push all her problems aside and smiled, “since you’re done sweetie, go upstairs and brush your teeth then go to bed.”
“But mom,” John tried to argue.
“No buts sweetie, it’s already deep in the night and you have to wake up early tomorrow”
“Come on now son, obey your mother” dad said.
“Ahw,” John dropped his head “fine” he added then went to his room with heavy steps.
John did what he was told. Brushed his teeth, said his prayers and went to bed. A few hours later, he woke up. Something’s not right, John wondered, I feel like I forgot something. He twisted and turned in his bed trying to remember what it was that he forgot. He stared outside his window, into the fullness of the moon and that’s when it hit him. “BRAINS!” he blurted out loud, then covered his mouth with his hands, praying it didn’t wake his mum and dad. Silly me!, he thought, How could a zombie forget his favorite part.
He got out of his bed and went to the door. He pressed his ear to the door and listened intently for a sound, when he heard nothing he opened his door to a little gap and peeked through it. When he saw nothing but darkness, he tiptoed his way out of the room and down the stairs, not wanting to wake his mum and dad. When he got to the hallway, he saw a dim light coming from the kitchen, he quietly walked towards it and heard a voice – it was mum and dad.
He pressed his back beside the kitchen door and tried to listen to his mum and dad’s conversation. “How could we do that? To lie to him” mum said, trying hard not to cry.
“Now, now honey. You have to relax, you know we had to do it” dad said trying to calm his wife.
“But he isn’t in the right age.” argued mum.
“Just think of it as something we did in the old times. We just did it earlier to him. Now,” trying to change the topic “let’s just forget about this and why don’t we have some dessert, right honey?”
“I guess you’re right,” then mum let out a heavy sigh “just let me go get it”
Dessert? We have dessert? They didn’t tell me we have one, John thought. Then he heard a knife being sharpened, now a knife? His eyes widened with excitement, it must be cake! This is so unfair! They’re eating cake without me! I can’t let that happen.
He entered the kitchen with his arms crossed to the chest, head bent down, looking at the floor, just like how he saw in his cartoons when a character is about to reveal something it knows, and said in his best authority voice,
“Mum. Dad. You see,” he paused as if thinking of what to say next, “what I see is very. . . unfair. The both of you eating dessert without me, that is.” he shook his head as he spoke and made a tsk sound three times before he continued, “So I have decided to have a piece of. . . “ He raised his head and pointed his finger at the table, “that ca-” before he could continue, he saw what really was on the table. It was his first time seeing something like that. It was horrifying, it frightened him too much he couldn’t get his eyes away from it. His mum tried to hide it with her back, but it was too late, for John had seen it very clearly.
It was the stranger’s head.
AUTHOR’S NOTE: Hi! So this is a story that I was suppose to make into a short skit but since filming requires a lot of things [actors, locations, equipment, props, costumes, time, and money] I decided to make it into a short story instead. KINDLY do excuse my English, grammar, and use for punctuation, it isn’t my first language and I am not good at it. Thank you for the patience and time.