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War of the gluttons (standard:horror, 710 words)
Author: jopoguerreroAdded: Jul 25 2008Views/Reads: 1711/0Story vote: 0.00 (0 votes)
greed
 



"Many stories tell of faeries who steal human children, particularly
newborn babies, and sometimes adults as well, particularly midwives and 
musicians. When babies are snatched, a faery changeling is left behind 
in the child's cradle. In some tales the changeling is just a piece of 
wood ‘glamoured' to look like a child; in others it is a sickly faery  
baby, or an old and peevish faery.” Terrry Windling, The Faery Reel 

It was called war of the gluttons: an eat-all-you-can feast fit for the
crowned king of the land who has liberated the people from hunger. 

Amelio, the keeper of the mortal gates, was witnessing one – he was
crouched in his hiding place not so far from the arena of food. 

He saw dozens of rows filled with great rations of victuals:  dripping
roasted animals in stakes; huge chops of meat in large platters; 
flowing rice in mammoth bowls; pickled fish and heads of cheese 
scattered everywhere; and, of course, gushing wines in gargantuan vats. 


Not minding each other, least their table manners, the people
voraciously stuffed their mouths, and pockets, with the unending food. 
Plates, knives, spoons, forks and goblets were untouched – they used 
their bare and unwashed hands to load their bellies to the fullest. 

Amelio groaned as he quelled a rising vomit inside him. 

At the end of the rows stood a huge ornate platform, its center was
adorned by a sparkling chair where a golden crown sat waiting to mount 
a king. 

After almost an hour, a trumpet gave out a blast. The feeding frenzy
slowed down as a man in crimson robe royally marched toward the 
platform. 

He was Montes, the incoming king. He was about fifty, with small dark
eyes set in plump, dissolute face. A sneer was glued to his mouth; and 
the flab under his chin consistently shook at his slightest movement. 

Montes was accompanied by three priests in hooded black robes, two
elderly men in caped garbs and a dozen knights wrapped in seemingly 
inappropriate disc armors. 

The ceremony started with long invocations and hymns hoarsely mouthed by
the priests. 

Afterwards, Montes knelt in front of the royal chair as the priests
sprinkled him with what looked like crushed flowers. His crimson robe 
was removed and another set of garments was placed on him:  a plain 
white gown, a shroud tunic, a long coat which reached to the ankles, a 
red main robe decorated with silver coronets and a gold silk scarf. 

One of the priests was about to set the crown on the head of Montes when
Amelio suddenly threw his spiked iron ball mace. 

A cracking sound exploded as the weapon landed on the face of the
priest: the crown went flying; the other priests and elderly men 
cowered in fear; the knights readied their weapons to protect Montes; 
and the people at the war of the gluttons, though still munching, were 
wide-eyed in confusion. 

With his shield and broadsword, Amelio ferociously attacked the knights
– his sword hissed on the unprotected hips of three knights who tumbled 
clutching their innards – his sword clanged successively on the helmets 
of two knights who smashingly collapsed   – his thunderous backswings 
broke the skulls of three more knights – a circling slash felled four 
knights with bones protruding from their sliced heels. Then he suddenly 
pointed the tip of his bloody broadsword on the throat of the trembling 
Montes. 

All of a sudden, the human skins of the priests, the elders, the dead
knights and Montes fell off. 

Alas! They were crimson goblins: creatures who fed on the spirits of
human babies. They steal infants by leaving changelings at their 
cradles; and after gulping down their essences, they cook the bodies 
for the various courses at the war of the gluttons. 

Some say that if a coronation of a crimson goblin was completed after a
war of the glutton, they will rule over a certain region for a thousand 
years – feeding on human spirits. 

The people at the war of the gluttons roared in great disgust when they
finally realized that what they were greedily eating were dead babies: 
roasted in stakes, chopped, ground, pickled and soaked in vats of 
blood. 

And before the people broke into stampede, Amelio cut off the head of
Montes. 


   


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