Monday 13 February 2023

Like Roses Flash - Fiction ~ A Tale from the Times of the American Revolution ~ by Kenneth M. Kapp

 




Like Roses

Flash Fiction

~ A Tale from the Times of the American Revolution ~

by Kenneth M. Kapp


            Critters come in all sizes and shapes. And we shouldn’t think that all are cut with the same cookie cutter. For example, ghouls, first mentioned in pre-Islamic stories, are as different as you and me. To say that they are just demons or monsters with humanoid shapes that look alike would be a gross over simplification.

            For example, there is Geradd G., whose main place of residence for decades was in a swamp not too far from Washington, DC. He matured over the centuries and at one point even considered becoming a vegetarian. It was a noble experiment that didn’t work. He lost so much weight that his friends were afraid he’d become a ghost. They even considered intervention, force feeding him with politicians who they claimed were just one step away from being ghouls themselves, seeing how they fed off the poor and helpless. “Really, Geradd, it would be like eating pablum. And all the southern ones taste like barbeque.”

            Geradd finally came to his senses and knew enough to slowly reintroduce flesh back into his diet. He started with corpses that were at least 50 years old and told his friends, “The meat falls off the bone as soon as you bring it to your mouth.” By the end of the year, he had regained most of his weight and his cheeks showed a healthy pallor.

            But as luck would have it, he had an itch, and it wouldn’t be proper to say where, to travel and eventually spent a year in Boston feasting on some of the original American Patriots and the later poets such as … [names are omitted to protect their descendants].  

            There were two major consequences. For one, he experienced a certain amount of gastric discomfort. He consulted a specialist who suggested that this was the result of all the Boston beans consumed before the bodies were interned. He said he could live with that.

            As for the second, he felt that he was becoming too philosophical. “I often sit on a tombstone and try to imagine what the resident thought they got out of life, whether they were happy, felt fulfilled. I guess that would be OK, but I can’t help scratching my chin and that knocks chunks of my flesh off. No problem, it grows back by the end of the week but it does throw me off my dating game.”

            His Boston friends suggested that he return to the Capital. “You’ll be happier there. No danger of beans or of philosophy.”

            And so Geradd G. returned to his old haunts but couldn’t forget some of the deeper thoughts he had while in Boston nor could he forget how he delighted in saying, “I found my corpse in Harvard yard,” thinking that he had nailed the broad A’s of the Boston Brahmins, some of whom he hinted he had consumed.

            He grew older and his travels began to take a toll on his body. He was no longer comfortable sleeping in the swamp and moved to higher ground. And being more refined, he now took care to landscape where he lay down during the day with a variety of flowering shrubs and plants. 

Proving: even ghouls like to come up smelling like roses*!

*The roses were the result of Geradd having consumed a few Royalists from the colonial times; the English have always been partial to roses.


Kenneth M. Kapp - Ken was a Professor of Mathematics, a ceramicist, a welder, an IBMer, and yoga teacher. He lives with his wife in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, writing late at night in his man-cave. He enjoys chamber music and mysteries. He's a homebrewer and runs whitewater rivers. His essays appear online in havokjournal.com and shepherdexpress.com.

Please visit http://www.kmkbooks.com.


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