The Banquet Killer
The Banquet Killer
The Banquet Killer
Copyright 2017 by M. Malachi
Title: The Banquet Killer
Author: M. Malachi
Publisher: Shakespir, Inc.
Editor: Ann Anson
This paperback or e-book is licensed for your personal enjoyment, except as permitted under the U.S. Copyright Act. All rights reserved. No part of this work may be reproduced in any manner whatsoever without written permission, except in the case of brief quotations embodied in critical articles and reviews.
Thank you, for respecting my work.
This paperback or e-book is a complete work of fiction. The characters, incidents, and dialogue are drawn from the author’s imagination and are not to be construed as real. Any resemblance to actual persons – living or dead, or to actual events is entirely coincidental.
First Edition Print 2017
Cover created and designed by M. Malachi. Copyright 2017. All rights reserved.
The Banquet Killer
“I invited all of you here to celebrate our fifth anniversary together. I would never think of leaving any one of you out,” I proudly announce with my biggest PR smile.
“Now let me see,” I whisper, tapping my finger quickly against my chin. It’s a nervous habit of mine and one that I tend to do quite often when all eyes are on me.
I quickly scan the table and look over the china plates, the silverware, the crystal glasses, and the cloth napkins. Everything in its proper place… the way it should be. Not one thing out of sorts; that’s the way I demand. If anything had been out of place, I would have known right away. After all, I am quite the observant host.
And the family… the family is seated just perfect.
Debbie and Faye sat on one side, and of course, Ross and Ben on the other as good children should be. I put mom at the head of the table, as always, she takes the chair of honor.
Not only am I an observant host, I am most gracious, and thoughtful. I tend to give credit where it is due, and in mom’s case, I will admit, she deserves all the credit here.
My seat is at the far end of the table. I have arranged things so that there is space between the family and myself. That is the way it has always been… the space between us. I never have regretted that space; it is perfect, and it is what I prefer. I don’t approve of anyone or anything when my space gets mucked with. It tends to leave a bad taste in my mouth… like rusted metal.
I raise my glass in the air and stand to my feet to toast such a fantastic occasion. “You all look so wonderful tonight. Just glowing,” I say and flash my usual perfect smile. “Here’s to each and every one of you and to five-years.” I take a sip and allow the wine to slowly run down the back of my throat. It has that tickle about it. I put the glass back on the table and back in its place.
I take my seat.
The spread is quite delightful before me, well, almost everything is present but the main course. It is sitting to the side on the special cart. It will come later, all in proper time. I promise you all that much.
I almost feel as though I am the richest dad in the world as I stare at my family, yet as luck should have it, I am not by no means… rich. In fact, I have never once in my life entertained such an outlandish thought. The family just always assumed I more money than I knew what to do with. That was just another one of mom’s grand lies drummed up in her own head.
I manage though to keep the grin on my face. It’s just my way of never letting family know what you’re up too, but in this case, I think they may have finally figured it out.
Should I be surprised.
No, I am never surprised.
I tend to expect perfection and that means no surprises.
“What’s that mom, did you say something?” I asked. “Here, allow me to help you.” I get up from my chair and walk around to her end of the table. I bend down… just enough to rip the duct tape from across her mouth. The top layer of skin peels back and rips away from her face. There is no blood – just flakes and gouges of flesh. “Would you like to say something to the family, mom?” I politely ask.
Her eyes are wide as quarters and the expression on her face… a priceless mishmash of fear and panic.
I do have to confess, that pulling the duct tape off like that looked like it hurt more than what I had thought it would. Of course, I say those very words to her. “That looked like it hurt.”
Mom just looks at me with a stare, that I must admit, I find a bit hostile. I am afraid, given the chance, she would grab the steak knife in front of her and she would use it on me. Of course, that would be a little bit impossible. Being as how I have her hands confined to the table by seven-inch nails. Each carefully and so strategically placed in a perfect center through her hand and through the table.
“We wouldn’t want to grab for our knife, now, would we?” I say to mom and glance around at the children. “After all, you should set a good example for the children.”
I take a few seconds to consider the possibility that I might have appeared a little rude. It was never my intention to do so. “Here, allow me.” I say as I make my way around to everyone. I yank the duct tape from their mouths. The reaction was the same as mom. Of course, I didn’t expect less. No surprises, remember.
“My beautiful family,” I say, standing behind mom. “It’s so wonderful that we’re all together.” I take a moment to look at all of them. “Well, mom,” I put my hand on her shoulder. “This is what you always wanted… your family with you.”
I roll the banquet cart over to the table, and put the silver platter, in the center. It is the main course, what we have all patiently been waiting for. I reach for the handle of the lid when…
Suddenly, Debbie breaks out into a roll of disturbing screams, and Faye cried so loud, it made my ears hurt.
“There’s no crying at the table!” I scream over them. “The food is going to get cold.” I do my fatherly duty and console the two girls by wiping their tearful eyes with one of the cloth napkins that I selected from the table. “Now, now,” I tell them both. “Don’t scream or cry. It’s not good manners at the table.”
I scan over all the hands nailed to the table and I realize that I had forgotten to clean the blood up. I take the same napkin and dip it down into a glass of water. I slowly and carefully wipe around the nails. It’s only seeping the blood now. I am thankful for that. These things can sometimes become a bit messy.
I go back to the main course and remove the lid from the platter.
The children made a loud gasp sound, and I swear, mom just moaned. Perhaps the woman is losing her sanity or maybe she is just hungry for the main course. “I know, isn’t it delicious looking?” I say to the family. It is quite the delicacy… steamed tongue!
Five tongues laying in a bed of yellow rice.
I bend over closer to the steam and take a deep whiff of the delightful smell. “I do believe they are the most tender I have ever cooked.” One has to really wonder, if by chance, I missed my profession.
I take a tongue with a scoop of rice and put it on Debbie’s plate, then Faye’s, and then I put a scoop of rice and a tongue on Ross’s plate, and Ben’s. Finally, I serve mom.
“If I have got this right and I am not mistaken, you will each be eating the tongue you brought with you. It is after all, quite the delicacy… your own tongue. Who would know of a better piece of meat than your own self.
Ross kicks his feet against the table and everything wobbles almost but not quite turning over. I wasn’t expecting such disrespect. “Have you any manners?” I scream at him. I take a deep breath and remember that I must remain calm. I must make sure that my delicate balance is not tipped by such rude children.
“You should be ashamed of yourself,” I speak harshly to Ross.
I know that sometimes my temper may rise above what it should, especially when it comes to dealing with those who just won’t listen. Then again, that’s why I work so hard to keep a perfect balance of calm. “You shouldn’t act like an idiot in front of your sisters, your little brother, and what of your mom?” You’re ruining her grand banquet.”
Ross mumbles something inaudible, which I am finding extremely irritating.
“I can’t think!” I yell at him. “Shut-up!” I look over at mom. She is shaking her head at Ross. “Pay attention to your mom, Ross. She’s trying to tell you something.”
And the other three children begin moaning and bellowing. “Shut the fuck up!” I yell again.
Mom is now shaking her head at all of them.
About now, I feel the agitation level in me beginning to swell. So much for my perfect balance of calm. I’m starting to lose it and that’s something I can’t have. I bang my fist down as hard as I can against the table to silence the children. “Ross,” I say his name and stand to my feet. “You have now upset the table. What am I going to do with you?”
I walk over to the hutch where the plastic bags lay. I take one and grab the duct tape. I put the bag over Ross’s head and duct tape around his neck sealing the air from getting in. He kicks and moans for a few minutes, and then, he falls silent. His head tilts forward.
“Lights out,” I laugh as the entire family is giving me those glaring looks that could kill. I shrug it off. After all, family does get upset sometimes, but this one will settle down, they always do.
Being the gracious host that I am, I single handed feed everyone their tongue, bite-by-bite. I do admit it took quite some time and a bit of persuasion but, we have finally gotten there. I never watch someone eat without their tongue. That’s not easy, so, I applaud their effort.
“I so enjoyed this banquet today, and yet, I am afraid that I must be ending it,” I say as I have just enough time to bid my children and mom farewell.
The children stare over at their mom as if they were waiting for some divine miracle to save them. No, I’m afraid, no one is saving anyone today. I walk back to the hutch and grab three more bags and the duct tape. I start with Ben and put the bag over his head. I tape around his neck just the way I had done Ross. I admit Ben put up a little harder struggle but, it wasn’t good enough. I watch as he tries to breathe. I can see his face turning blue. His mom won’t look at him. I don’t blame her. The natural reaction of not being able to breathe is very unpleasant.
I put the bags over the girl’s heads and I tape around their necks. I am a little disappointed. Neither one of them put up a struggle as good as Ross or Ben. Then again, they are just girls. I did expect them to have a little better fight in them than that.
Mom will not be getting a bag this evening. I decided to leave her be. Something just didn’t feel right. I think I prefer her to watch. After all, a mom should watch her children… shouldn’t she?”
I sit back in my chair and slowly look at each of the children. They are really not children. Ross is twenty, Ben is nineteen, Debbie is twenty-one, and Faye is eighteen… or should I say… was.
I focus my eyes on mom. She’s really not looking good at all. That scares me. Maybe some candlelight may make her feel more at peace with herself. I reach over and light two candles with my lighter. “It sure is quite around here, mom” I say to her. “At least, now that the children are sleeping.”
No answer from her mouth.
So, I get up and walk over to her. I kiss the top of her head and bid her farewell. She doesn’t say a word. Then again, how could she… right? “It’s hard to talk without your tongue.”
As always, it is up to me to do everything. I run out to the shed and grab two large containers of gasoline. I pour it nicely over the furniture, the floor, and even the banquet table.
Mom remains silent. No moans, no groans, no nothing.
I light the match and quickly pick up my pace out the door. I slide into my blue 2016 PT Cruiser and drive away while I watch the house blow from my rearview mirror.
I am standing beside the most beautiful woman in the world. She looks like perfection – a goddess with long red flowing hair. She is wearing a gorgeous lace gown. The preacher tells me to put the ring on her finger. Now, he tells her the same. She puts the ring on my finger and we say “I do.” to each other. He pronounces us man and wife.
We kiss passionately.
I hear the applause from the guest.
I glance over at her two precious girls and their brother standing at the altar with bouquets of flowers smiling at us. I smile back at them – my new children.
It sure is good to be in the company of family again.
Now mom is content. She has her children, a husband, and we have our lives together. As we hold each other in a warm embrace, I can’t help but think about the future.
It will be such a great fifth-anniversary for us all.
We will have a grand banquet.
Yes, indeed! It will be a grand banquet when we gather to the table for a most delightful dish of tongue.
Author M. Malachi
M. Malachi is an author living in the United States and currently is working on his next book for publication. He writes horror, supernatural, and thriller stories.
M. Malachi has traveled throughout the United States and the Middle East. He enjoys art, playing guitar, street rods, movies, and reading fiction. Most of all, He enjoys the comfort of home, spending time with family, and his dog.
The Banquet Killer
- ISBN: 9781370575824
- Author: M. Malachi
- Published: 2017-07-12 13:50:09
- Words: 2554