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At Groks for Dinner

by Ryder W. Miller

Was he a nice man? Was he a great man? He was not always wonderful. He did not always know how to help. He stood out among the cannibals, partly just because he was taller, but some said that he had gone too far. He had found fault with Dankerville. Other cities had monsters too. Why was he not complaining about them instead. He had not given the city anything back and now people gathered to think about him. It was not quite a funeral.

Greatness did not always mean that one would find friends or inspire people. Not everybody enjoyed change. There were a few scorned women who had it in for him. He was literary, like papa, not as accomplished a writer certainly, but since he was also a journalist, people thought of him as a parent. He was not directly a parent, but he could inspire young people with his books.

But he had such an attitude. It was almost so rare to hear such things being said that it seem otherworldly.

“How about paying all the back taxes on your…,” he once said.

“You are a ….,” he once said.

“Your mother is….,” he once said.

“I would rather do it myself,” made women angry, but they were relieved to hear it.

The women were angry about this one, and they would need to teach him a lesson. Many of them were artists of sorts and they did not get to eat a lot of food anyway. They needed to stay thin to remain desirable. He could just gain wait. He had a beer belly and a bump chest. He ate what and when he wanted, even if he did not have enough money to afford a decent restaurant.

He was a poor, fat guy without a big one he figured. That is why a lot of women were not interested in him. He wanted to get an enlargement, but that was not something he could do on his own. He needed moral support. He needed to find a woman who would help him grow it, but there were none who were willing. It was not like he asked, but there was a nurse who disappointed him one time. Maybe he was mad that he was not such a good catch anymore.

It was not that he was so much worse than anyone else, but he was a bit too vocal and every once in a while there needed to be an example or a sacrifice.

The men were not always happy with him either.

“Keep it in your pants,” he would say.

“You better not be using my equipment,” he would try to say.

“Bother me again and I will punch you in the nose,” he occasionally said.

“That is really my child she is carry,” was one of the less popular things he would say.

He was short, not very short, but short inside and he needed to be aggressive to protect himself. That was understood, but not always appreciated. He had to give back. He had to give of himself, but he was not there yet.

It was one thing to be a monster in Dankerville. That really was not that original in this polluted industrial town without any tourist attractions. Dankerville would never be like the City by the Estuary. Those in the know, knew that Dankerville respected its monsters. It was a somewhat safe place for them. There were the night folks that you would only see after the sunset. They were occasionally sleak and stylish, but they were often pale. There were also the dangerous really hairy guys who would run around on the nights of a full moon. But this guy was a asshole. It was one thing to be dangerous and scary. That was understood in Dankerville, but to be annoying.

Did he have a reason? Did he not know that there were others there who also had to eat? This guy was combative and obviously from Mars which was okay, but he also went too far. That is why tonight’s celebration was so fitting. They would contemplate him tonight.

People at the restaurant volunteered to take care of the matter. They had to do this thing once in a while. It would probably be easy because he was such a freak. They would need to lure him in by placing a ad in the event section of the news paper. He would show up and the cooking assistants would start the process.

He decided to attend The Human Sacrifice Bonfire Party. They did not always have someone to sacrifice, but there were plenty there with pleasant memories. There was also the promise of free food and alcohol.

How could they marinate him the cooking assistants wondered. What was the best food to feed to someone so they would be delicious they next day? The cooking assistants, two big brawny guys who looked like they were too big to be linebackers, took on the special assignment.

They saw him in the crowd. He had brought in his own beer into the street fair. The alcohol sometimes ran out at these events and he wanted to make sure that he had drank enough.

One of the cooks was handing out flyers for the restaurant and they handed him a special one.

“Free Carnivore Dinner on Us” it said.

It was not often that he could afford a free a meal, especially a really good steak.

Why not take Groks up on a meal. It was not often that he could afford a meal in that wild and terrible part of town. He always wondered where they got their name and maybe he would be able to ask them. They had set up an appointment time for him.

When he got there the cooking assistants were waiting for him.

Things had become expensive and here was another free treat he thought.

He wasn’t actually a peaceful man they found out, but the plan worked. The dinner crowd would contemplate him tonight. He would be the dinner special tonight: “Man Who Belongs Back On Mars”. Hopefully he would be delicious, but he was bound to be food for thought.

Copyright Ryder W. Miller 2011

Ryder W. Miller is the editor of From Narnia to a Space Odyssey, and co-writer of San Francisco: A Natural History. He has published stories at MythCircle and the Lost Souls website.

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