Once upon a time there were two sets of stories. Both were horrid, and both concerned cannibals the most cannibalistic. There was of course, the heroine, she was She-Cannibal, and the hero (a hero of the most Byronic mould, I tell you, a Sade case indeed) was obviously, called a He-Cannibal. And there the story just began.
Now he was of the opponent tribe and he noticed her and she noticed him, but of course, it all came to naught as well it may. We might even call this ill fated couple, star crossed as they seem to be, Romeo and Juliet, except that could make them really angry, and they could eat us in a jiffy. That wouldn’t do at all. So before tumbling headlong into such insipid specificities, we shall proceed to the real story.
The She-Cannibal’s Story.
Ah, you shudder. A cannibal story and dinner? Isn’t that a tad too much? Well, in the first version of the story She ate Him. And so well might you shudder, for she didn’t know that she had done so, of course. It was truly Oreistian, the stuff tragedies are made of. Like an Amazonian, albeit with two breasts (and what magnificent breasts these were! But we digress…) she pounced into the fray, or should we say bounced? And vicious she was, all the while looking out for the man she fancied, the man with whom never a word had she exchanged, but through that natural intuition with which all women in fiction are truly blessed, she knew… this was He.
The two tribes were battling it out, battling and battling, for the tribe which won would have a better dinner. Which is always a better alternative than being dinner, and this is something that we must all keep in mind. For this is what modern society teaches us. But we digress. We also begin our sentence with but. It’s wrong.
Right. So the two tribes were engaged in fearsome battle, slaying and killing and much honour-begetting. She was right in the thickest of action. Trying to catch a glimpse of her love, she neglected to see the faces of those she killed. In an egalitarian setup that’s alright, because the women are fighting with the men. Of course she wasn’t shy of blood. She drank blood for Chrissake. For her, there was nothing like a skull of stewed blood.
They lay out the bodies of the men and women they killed of the opposing tribe. Many escaped. None was taken prisoner. She did not catch a glimpse of him. She was disappointed in him. She was also slightly glad. Was he worthy of being a Man and a Cannibal? What a sad creature. Yet, maybe this too was valiance… maybe he was saving himself for her. Maybe, if they weren’t eaten first for treachery, they could go away and be happy. If that was to be.
They sat for dinner. She, who had killed five men and three women in honourable co-educational battle, was given her choice of meat. She chose the leanest and most beautiful and was about to truss him and pop him into the community cauldron. Which she did. Then she discovered something vaguely familiar about those spare ribs served to her and shuddered.
She let out a wail of despair and ran away, away to the forest nearby and vomited out the human flesh. Out of the lowermost abysses of her guts, came the freshly dead love, out and out. In the phantasmagoria of love combined hatred she vaguely felt that humans shouldn’t kill one another, she wanted world peace. Make sex, not steak. She kept vomiting all this while. She was vomiting out her entire existence in these few moments of nausea. She wanted to wrench herself out of her surroundings. She wondered whether this was predetermined. She prayed to some Pagan gods who she knew probably did not understand. Or did they?
After half an hour, she walked back to the scene of the feast and rejoined her friends. In some strange heathen language, she wryly commented to her neighbours,
“My meat has grown cold. What a pity.”
The He-Cannibal’s Story.
And now we come to the second story, which is about the same situation-two tribes of opposing camps, and cannibalistic. Two star crossed lovers. Or would be lovers who merely saw and loved but never a word exchanged.
The women were either captured and ravaged and eaten or captured and eaten. They did not fight because the one who weaves this fiction is a man, I tell you, though cannibal he claims not to be. He would know. But we digress.
Run, he told her. But she would not run. She gaped at him. Her eyes pleaded with him. She was mute, a dumb witness to the forces she could neither grasp nor appreciate. Run-he told her again. Her eyes invited caress, even rape, but he could not. He just could not. And then there could be others, and she was so silent and so beautiful. Many years later, a poet would write “Some infinitely gentle…infinitely suffering thing…” but he did not know, did he?
He looked sternly at her. He came forward. She did not flinch from that gaze or from his outstretched arm. Of course she did not wish to die, who does? She knew her fate, for was not that the fate of all humans? Were they not all eaten up for dinner sooner or later?
She was not a stoic, but she was a nice philosophical girl who knew her place in the world. She was also a virgin. How almost-Christian she was. But we digress.
He killed her and then tore her into pieces. He hacked her into millions of fragments, made mincemeat of her, as it were. Following this he made her into an elaborate seven course meal, including stewed blood, roast meat with salt, fried fingernails, a kidney concoction, boiled liver and an assortment of other offal. Her heart he ate for dessert, or rather, he ate it last which qualifies it for dessert. It was yum. But his insides hurt as he was doing this.
When his friends saw him cook this elaborate meal, they hung around-hoping for a sip or a bite, but nothing doing. They cursed him and went away, but he was cursed anyway. She was his, and he ate her, to the very last toenail and hair. He ate her hair! Even her coarse and obnoxious pubic hair! So you can imagine how much he loved her.
He thought he could survive this dinner and survive he did. He lived till he was eighty, great patriarch he became, and had innumerable wives and concubines. He even saw many of his great grandchildren eaten.
But he remembered, always, that one delicious meal, when he ate seven courses, and wished that not even one course needed to be served. He wished she was with him, he wished she could be his First Wife, the Wife he loves best.
He wished he wasn’t so lame. But we digress…
The Omniscient Narrator’s Story.
The Narrator always has a moral to the story (stories). And I too shall not be denied my share.
Moral: *munch munch*