Horror & Dark Fantasy

ScratchDaughters_NightmareMagAds_1_4

Advertisement

Fiction

New Meat(™)

“New Meat” was inspired by my fascination with mouths and the act of devouring both in the feral nature of it and the cultural taboo of being seen to do it or at least to revel in doing it. Can the envie de manger for something you haven’t ever eaten in the first place be communicated like a fever? Can the idea of eating something, the phantom mouthwatering of seeing a meal or being told of it consume you until it is all that remains? Also, I find the idea of giving yourself to a hunger to be oddly inspirational. Carpe Diem?

—JS

You dream of it at night. When you wake, a film of fat still sheens your lips. Sometimes something is stuck between your teeth. Your jaws ache for hours afterward. During the day while you drown in the droning haze of business reports and pointless presentations you catch whiffs of the smell from your dream. Your mouth waters.

Sometimes on the street, you can smell the dream on a passerby. They can smell it on you as well. You both smile, your lips spreading back from your teeth. You see that theirs are becoming as beautiful as yours.

On a day when the dream has been particularly strong and the taste of what you chewed still lingers on your tongue, you will follow one of these strangers. You don’t speak but you both know where you are headed.

The wan yellow lights of the car park spill like a spreading bruise across stained concrete. Others who also smell of the dream are standing amongst the empty cars like silent stones in a cemetery . . . pulsing teeth in a concrete jaw.

Together you wait. Soon there will be chewing enough for all.

Jordan Shiveley

Jordan Shiveley is the author of the Dread Singles (@hottestsingles) Twitter account. Their work has also been seen in a variety of short fiction collections and tabletop roleplaying games, the Old Gods of Appalachia and Caring Into the Void podcasts as well as the upcoming novel Hot Singles in Your Area from Unbound. They live and work in Minneapolis, Minnesota with a cat and partner both of whom often merge in ways unimaginable to the human mind. More at jordanshiveley.com.