Wasty Presents: 1001 Shocks For Nightmares

With Knife And Fork

It was a bright and sunny Friday morning when Carlo and his brother Antonio Benedretti packed their backpacks. They wanted to take advantage of the weather on this extended weekend by going hiking in the mountains.
Carlo was 24 years old and Antonio only 19. Carlo put together a list of the things to take along. He now went through that list with his brother. "I think we've got everything. Gas lamp, clothes, food, ropes...", Antonio counted. "After all we will be glad too if the backpacks are not so heavy. After all, we also have to carry the tent." He was right. They indeed planned on spending the night up there. They also had to be prepared that up there at 2500 meters above sea level it could be cold and possible still have snow.
In any case, they were still in warm sunshine at home in their bachelor pad in Sora, a small village about as far from Rome as it was from Naples, and checked everything one more time. Everything seemed to be fine. They were ready to take off. In a few minutes the train would leave. Therefore they went down to the train station. Next to Carlos a German shepherd called Nero trotted along. It was very trustworthy. Even if it was Carlo's dog, Antonio liked it just the same. The dog would accompany the two. His great instincts would be able to lead them in the case of an emergency. Besides, the healthy mountain air was going to be good for the dog too.
The train station appeared up ahead. The station sign reflected the sun with a silver glow, the trees sparkled in the most beautiful greens and birds sang and flew around; truly a nice spring day for a trip into the mountains.
The three nature lovers had reached the station now. Except for the more modern ticketing machine everything was quite old and hinted that the station was pretty unimportant. The beams were rotting and there was moss growing on the roof.
They were lucky, the train just entered the station. They boarded and made themselves comfortable. They could barely conceal their excitement. Excited they started out the window. The dog whimpered and wagged its tail.
After an hour and a half of riding through initially well known scenery they had arrived. They left right away. So far the paths were well marked and well constructed. Carlo went ahead followed by Antonio who carried the tent and behind him was Nero. In spite of the low grade they started sweating under their load.
After long hours of hiking and climbing they had found an ideal spot to rest. Since it was almost evening already they decided to put up the tent. They were dog tired and fell asleep immediately after they had their dinner out of cans. They dreamed about this marvelous day. From the excitement that most of the trip was still ahead of them, they didn't sleep too deeply.
A new day dawned. Already at 5:30am the sun rays woke up the three. A little drowsy still they got up and stretched. Happily they collected wood and a few minutes later two eggs fried in a makeshift pan of wood and aluminum. A tasty breakfast in the great outdoors. Nero too got his share, a chunk of meat. With their tummies filled they packed in order to go on. This time Carlo carried the tent and Antonio and Nero went in front of him. Far up they spotted mountain goats and an eagle that got ready for an impressive dive; nothing new for the two villagers since their dad had taken them into the mountains often when they were kids. Yet they were at awe. They were now at 1800 meters and could look over a wide area of Italy. They were proud of Italy and the progress they made on their outing. Even Nero wagged its tail again. All alone up here they tried to spot their village but it was impossible. Eventually, Carlo reminded everybody that they had a ways to go today and urged to hurry up a bit. Antonio looked up to the top of the mountain but was unable to see it and agreed with his brother.
In the meantime they had gotten a lot farther as the first clouds pushed themselves in front of the sun: a change in the weather that can occur from one moment to the other in the mountains. The three anticipated the thunderstorm and tried to hurry even more. Maybe they would be able to find shelter in time.
As the first lightning came down following a tremendous thunder and brought down the first rain, the three started to feel a bit queasy. They put on their raincoats and marched on. Their good mood was spoiled. They now took turns carrying the tent, cussed silently until they spotted a half collapsed hut at the side of the path. Nero ran ahead and barked but it drowned in the rain and Carlo and Antonio too ran for the last few feet. The rain was coming down so hard that one could hardly see each other anymore. Their enthusiasm came to a halt when they discovered that the door was locked and no one was home; who would live at 2100 meters anyway? But in front of the building was a well covered spot where they took refuge and brought at a small snack. The rain just didn't want to stop. One could also see that in the worn-out faces. For the first time on their trip they felt abandoned and depressed when Nero started barking and ran out into the thunderstorm. "Nero! What are you doing? Come back!" Carlo yelled but was overpowered by the rain. At the same moment Nero and a silhouette peeled out of the wall of rain. The silhouette that Nero found was an older, tall man in new, modern clothing. He wore a shining but dull coat that seemed to be made of hair. One couldn't fail noticing his well-fed belly and his teeth. Carlo and Antonio were surprised finding a human up here and Nero even let itself be petted by the person. After a hello the man invited them all to the village he claimed to live in. He spoke in an odd dialect that seemed to be ancient. His tribe seemed to have lived here for centuries but the Benedretti brothers had never heard of it. They wanted to be taken by surprise and followed the smiling man. The rain had stopped.
Columns of smoke appeared in front of the; the village was close. Another little hill and behind darkgreen pines a small village unfolded consisting of simple wooden huts. The people had almost dog-like heads and the same strangely conspicuous teeth - what was so terribly odd about them the two didn't notice - like the man who found them. He was probably the chief of the tribe. As he brought Carlo and Antonio into the village everybody was licking their lips and jumping around. The two brothers didn't realize the really horrible about it, it just seemed odd to them for now. The village truly offered a strange sight: Little children ran around on hands and feet, women prepared a steaming goo in a rusty cauldron or wove hairs into fabric and men sat in front of huts that looked like wooden tee-pees and carved figurines and tools out of beige material. Suspiciously our hikers entered the village center where they were offered a hut right away. Watched by sly eyes they entered their hut. Nero was whimpering because it smelled of meat. Immediately they were served a platter with the finest of natural foods. Even though those creatures seemed friendly - almost too friendly - the two thought that their behavior and looks were rather peculiar. Without worrying about it any more they fell asleep, saturated. The moon was shining outside. In two days there would be a full moon and a certain village celebration would take place. Our guests were suddenly wakened by the howling of a dog. Right away a succulent breakfast was served by a person with eagerly gleaming eyes. Two hunters returned from the forest with their prey, a deer. The deer was bleeding from the throat and the teeth and lips of the hunters were smeared with blood but Antonio and Carlo didn't see this. They came out of their hut and stretched into the sun. After they had eaten they noticed that Nero was nowhere to be found. They went looking for him and called his name until they heard a bark and spotted their dog in the direction the sound was coming from. He was in a hut with a woman and was drinking a red liquid. What Carlo noticed was a nail file in the hand of the woman, a white stick and the sharpened teeth of Nero. Carlo and the woman started at each other blankly, then Carlo asked confused: "What do you think you are doing? Come here, Nero!". Reluctantly the dog obeyed.
Back in their hut they packed their belongings and proceeded to see the "mayor" where they proclaimed they had to travel on and thanked for the hospitality. But he just smiled slyly.
They barely made it to the edge of the village as several men with prehistoric spears barred their way. "Step aside, we want to continue on," Antonio begged. However, the men showed no intention of retreating but rather forced them back to the hut. They kept the dog.
With a bang the door was shut and locked then the men left, obviously pleased.
"Damn! We are locked in, we are prisoners!" Carlo swore. "Does this make sense? Have you ever seen such strange creatures? Even though they don't let us leave and are hostile in a way, they feed us well and take care of us." "It's best to just wait," Carlo mollified, even though he had a cruel hunch, and laid down on the ground in order to sleep. Antonio bit into a juicy apple and leaned against the wall. Both missed Nero.
After they had dozed for a few hours the door opened. The red light of the sunset entered and there was a silhouette of someone with a bowl of food who advised to get stuffed one more time. The creature was grinning and pointy teeth showed. A chill ran down Carlo and Antonio's spines. They were scared and thought they were going crazy.
Upset they tried to sleep again. The moon shone brightly through a small window. Tomorrow would be a full moon. Tomorrow would also be Monday and Tuesday they had to be back at work. Everything but was on their minds. But they still couldn't picture their fate. When they woke up the next morning there already was a plate with fresh fruit in front of them; the door remained locked. In order not to have to think they continued to sleep.
After some time a noise woke them up. It sounded busy and crowded outside. Antonio peeked through the small window I the hut and observed. On the village plaza was a pile of wood and everywhere people were scurrying around. He noticed the sharpened and pointy teeth, teeth of carnivores. It looked like preparations were made. There was no chance to escape. They laid down to sleep again.
As they woke up they found themselves on moist ground next to the pile of wood and were tied up. The full moon stood on the horizon, bright and shining, and illuminated what was about to happen. The men and woman gathered around. Their sharp teeth stood out white and pointy. The initially nice man walked with a torch in between Carlo and Antonio and lit the bonfire. Flames shot in the air and the two started getting hot. Their fear almost killed them already. They thought of themselves as meat on a grill.
Every inhabitant had a plate and silverware in front of him. With a horrible chant they rose and started to walk around the fire and the two. The ritual had begun...
Then they squealed childishly: "We put the knife in one hand; we put the fork in the other hand. We are hungry; we like to eat." One more time the man stepped forward; with a knife in one hand and a fork in the other hand, and started to cut and serve the two bodies. They weren't alive anymore to witness how their stomachs were served like stuffed goose, how their blood provided a warming drink and how the rest was devoured with much lip smacking.
They had pointy teeth and stared with hungry eyes.


Copyright © July 1980, Wasty, With Knife And Fork
German title: Messer und Gabel
207 lines
Reading time: approx. 14 minutes


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Last updated February 12, 2001 by Martin Mathis, e-mail lastbandit.com