The Cannibal in the Morgue {Part 2 of 6}

Crypts & Cannibals: A Collection of Short Horror Stories

The Cannibal in the Morgue {Part 2 of 6}

"Chianti or a maybe nice Merlot," pondered the doctor out loud absentmindedly as he made his way slowly down the wine aisle. The vegetables, baguette and oyster sauce were already in his cart.

"Vegetarian or vegan," asked the colorfully-dressed, lanky woman as her spindly hands poked at the cash register.

He stared at the unevenly stained, hand-crocheted Rasta sack of a hat she'd chosen to hid her greasy, unkempt hair. "I'm a butcher," he replied in a monotone voice, "I get my meat from a very select source."

"Whatever, man," the wannabe-hippy cashier replied as she handed him his receipt.

He became more and more agitated by that grocery store clerk as he drove home. What nerve she had to insinuate anything negative about someone who eats meat, especially a discerning gastronome such as himself. He noted to himself to complain to the manager on his next shopping trip.

Upon returning to his drab, nondescript house buried in a sea of interchangeable tract homes, Dr. Arilio donned a black, masculine apron and began unpacking his groceries from his shopping back and his freshly carved indulgences from his gym bag's hidden cooler.

Dr. Arilio meticulously washed the vegetables, setting them to dry on a washable bamboo paper towel, and placed the bottle of Merlot in the refrigerator to chill slightly. Red wine should be served a few degrees below room temperature, especially when enjoyed with a fine meal.

Each of the delicacies that he'd brought home from the morgue, except for the heart, were carefully washed, patted dried, placed into freezer safe bags, vacuum sealed, and labeled with the precise contents and the name "Marta Skyksamenski". He cubed the beautiful heart and tossed the pieces in a bowl with balsamic vinegar, salt, and olive oil. He then set it aside to marinate, while he uncorked the wine.

"Wonderful of you to provide me an entire week of exquisite dinners, my love," he spoke gently to the items as he placed them gently in the freezer. "I promise to make each dish a spectacular experience."

The small cubes of her heart sizzled as they hit the bubbling butter in the hot frying pan. Thinly sliced sweet potato followed, along with onions and carrots. A bit of the wine was added, along with garlic, cumin, coriander, and thyme.

He dimmed the lights in the dining room and prepared the fine china and good silver. The aroma of the meal spread through the house making him eager for the start of the meal, as he finished the first glass of wine. Once the dish was fully cooked, it was carefully plated and joined another slightly fuller glass of wine on the white linen tablecloth.

"Spectacular," mouthed Dr. Arilio in between gentle bites of his homemade feast. After he gingerly mopped up the remaining spots of sauce on his plate with a slice of baguette, he leaned back in his chair to enjoy the aftertaste of such an exquisite main course.

The remainder of the wine filled only a tiny portion of the glass, but it would be enough. He selected a very special dark chocolate truffle that he'd saved for a special occasion from the crystal dish in the middle of the table.

A somber thought raced across his conscious, and he stood up before taking the last bite of the chocolate. He raised his wine glass and proposed a toast, "To my dear lover, for that is what we are now that I have your heart, may your spirit rest in eternal peace on the dark side of this vale of life."

He gingerly swallowed the last of his wine and relished the final bite of his truffle. Once the dishes were washed and the kitchen cleaned, Dr. Arilio crawled into bed.

To be continued...