applespice: it is a sparkly fairy ([autumn] leaves in the wind)
How About Them Apples? ([personal profile] applespice) wrote2011-11-30 07:54 pm
Entry tags:

LJ Idol - Week 6 - Food Memory

The air bristled with the crisp tang of autumn. The prince drew deep draughts of it through his aquiline nose, and his mustache quivered slightly. His attendants stood breathlessly in wait as he stood surveying the lawn, until at last he nodded and they rushed away like so many startled mice. Only one servant remained, a grizzled old man with white hair and eyes like a winter sky.

“Autumn is a fine time to dine outdoors, Ilie,” the prince said suddenly, his eyes fixed on the lawn.

“Yes, Your Highness,” the old man replied. “A fine time, indeed.” His own eyes were cast far from the property, reaching for the wooded horizon.

“My wife finds the air too brisk this time of year,” the prince continued, as if he had not even heard. “She prefers to eat in that dark, musty hall of mine. A miserable place. But I have always been a man of the outdoors.”

“Yes, Your Highness.”

“There is nothing quite so satisfying as devouring a meal one has killed oneself.” The prince’s mustache twitched. “And, of course, the smell of blood in the air adds a certain ambiance.”

“I heard that the stag was fearsome large, Your Highness,” Ilie said deferentially. His eyes were now downcast, tracing bootprints in the mud.

“Yes indeed, a great beast. I slew him with an arrow to the eye,” the prince said. “He was a noble creature, worthy of a quick death. Would that I could say the same of men.”

There was a sudden flurry of movement as the prince’s attendants materialized on the lawn, carrying a table and ornate chair among them. The table was covered with a white linen cloth, which flapped in the cool air like a gull's wing, and the chair was carved to resemble the curled form of a dragon. Behind these men came a caravan of servants in rust-colored livery, bearing a number of covered plates and jugs of beaten silver. As they approached, all lowered their eyes. Within moments they had set an elegant table. Ilie himself drew back the dragon chair for the prince.

One of the prince's attendants withdrew the cover from a large plate, revealing a venison steak that steamed in the autumn air. Another stepped forward to pour the prince's wine. Ilie remained behind the prince's right shoulder, and the other attendants spread in a line behind him. Most, he knew, stared toward the woods at the edge of the prince's grounds, or at the earth like he did. The younger ones let their eyes be drawn upward to the strange forest that surrounded them. He could hear the disturbed exhalations of their breath, their nervous fidgeting. He hoped for their sake that the prince could not.

A scream rent the air - a thin, tired, hopeless sound. Ilie knew it well. It was the sound of a man who has given up the last hope of living, a man who must now face intolerable pain with the complete understanding that it will only end in death. He also knew without looking that the young attendants behind him were staring, horrified, at the source of the sound and that the prince, in his dragon chair, was smiling.

"You see, Ilie," the prince said, without turning around, "there is no flesh as sweet as that of a noble enemy. Were I to meet a man as noble as the stag I killed today, I would roast and eat his flesh, and I have no doubt that it would be the finest meal I would ever consume."

The prince paused for a moment to chew a slice of venison.

"But the flesh of men is befouled with sin and cowardice," he continued. "It is not worthy of consumption. Instead it should be mortified and punished for its weakness."

"Yes, Your Highness," Ilie said. What else was there to say?

The prince nodded and returned to his meat. One of the young attendants gagged as the stench of loosened bowels filled the air. The prince seemed not to notice. He stared out at his kingdom, methodically placing each slice of steak into his mouth as if he could focus on nothing but the quality of the meal.

Around them, the spikes of raw wood reached toward the grey autumn sky. All bore dark stains of old blood, though many were slick with fresh viscera. At various points on those fresh-anointed spikes hung men, impaled in the air. Some moaned fitfully, but many had lost the ability. Still more were dead. The spikes had protruded through the mouths of the corpses. The man who had screamed was the latest of the prince's offenders. He might last for days yet.

Ilie kept his eyes well-trained on the horizon or on the ground before him. He had learned years ago not to stare at the bodies of the damned. The prince smiled his enigmatic smile, and reveled in his meat and wine.

[identity profile] 2011-12-01 02:06 am (UTC)(link)
WOW, needless to say this prince was no Charming. Well done, very well done.

[identity profile] 2011-12-01 04:53 am (UTC)(link)
Definitely not!

Thank you :)

[identity profile] 2011-12-01 02:40 am (UTC)(link)
Well done! Gives me the shivers... :)

[identity profile] 2011-12-01 04:54 am (UTC)(link)
Thanks! I consider this a good achievement! :)

[identity profile] 2011-12-01 03:26 am (UTC)(link)
I love where you went with this and the hints you gave before the big reveal.

[identity profile] 2011-12-01 04:54 am (UTC)(link)
Thanks! I wanted to keep it short, and still kind of surprising, but with a few little clues tossed in there ;)

[identity profile] 2011-12-01 03:41 am (UTC)(link)
Oh man I did not see that one coming, though I knew it was going to be creepy!

[identity profile] 2011-12-01 04:55 am (UTC)(link)
I am pretty much a huge creeper all the time, it's true! :D

[identity profile] 2011-12-01 07:10 am (UTC)(link)
My stomach is churning. Well done!

Can't imagine why his wife likes eating indoors... musty hall indeed.

[identity profile] 2011-12-02 12:55 am (UTC)(link)

And yeah, I'm sure I don't know why she doesn't want to eat in the forest of corpses!

[identity profile] 2011-12-01 07:29 am (UTC)(link)
Oh, wow.

[identity profile] 2011-12-02 12:55 am (UTC)(link)
I don't know whether to apologize or thank you!

[identity profile] 2011-12-01 08:05 am (UTC)(link)
Poor Ilie. I'm glad I don't work for this guy! Outstanding, as usual :)

[identity profile] 2011-12-02 12:55 am (UTC)(link)
Me, too! I have a delicate constitution!

Thanks :)

[identity profile] 2011-12-01 03:34 pm (UTC)(link)
Pretty gory but good.

[identity profile] 2011-12-02 12:55 am (UTC)(link)

[identity profile] 2011-12-01 09:00 pm (UTC)(link)
I'm surprised there wasn't more gagging. what a gruesome scene you created.

[identity profile] 2011-12-02 12:56 am (UTC)(link)
Maybe after awhile you get used to all the blood n' guts? Who knows! Hopefully never me.

[identity profile] 2011-12-02 01:14 am (UTC)(link)
Very vivid!

[identity profile] 2011-12-02 04:59 am (UTC)(link)

[identity profile] 2011-12-02 11:21 pm (UTC)(link)
Oh, how delightfully diabolic... love it!

[identity profile] 2011-12-03 05:53 pm (UTC)(link)
Thank you!

[identity profile] 2011-12-03 05:20 am (UTC)(link)
Man, creepy. A scream like that..I don't think I could eat!

[identity profile] 2011-12-03 05:54 pm (UTC)(link)
Thank you!

This is based on Vlad Tepes (or Vlad the Impaler, the basis for Dracula), and I heard once that he liked to eat out where he could see all the people he'd impaled! I don't know whether it's true or not, but it's so horrible that it just stuck with me.

[identity profile] 2011-12-03 10:36 pm (UTC)(link)
Perfection! I always love your entries :)

[identity profile] 2011-12-06 01:47 am (UTC)(link)
Thank you!! :D

[identity profile] 2011-12-04 12:35 am (UTC)(link)

I mean that in a good way.

Your writing is badass creepy, and I love how there's always some twisted twist at the end.

[identity profile] 2011-12-06 01:47 am (UTC)(link)
Ha! This comment is awesome! I feel as though... I've made it!

A certain king named Vlad had a reputation for doing this...

[identity profile] 2011-12-04 08:36 pm (UTC)(link)
I didn't see it coming, though. Beautifully done.

Re: A certain king named Vlad had a reputation for doing this...

[identity profile] 2011-12-06 01:48 am (UTC)(link)
I've had a weird fascination with Vlad Tepes since I was a kid - is that wrong to admit? LOL. When I saw the prompt for this week, Vlad eating under his forest of impaled enemies was the first thing that popped into my head!

Thank you :)

[identity profile] 2011-12-04 09:08 pm (UTC)(link)
ewwww! That's one memory I'd like to avoid in my lifetime. Grins.

[identity profile] 2011-12-06 01:48 am (UTC)(link)
I don't blame you!! Not a very appetizing one, really ;)

[identity profile] 2011-12-05 12:45 am (UTC)(link)
Nicely done but yuck!

[identity profile] 2011-12-06 01:49 am (UTC)(link)

[identity profile] 2011-12-05 03:41 am (UTC)(link)
oooooooooooh :D

[identity profile] 2011-12-06 01:49 am (UTC)(link)

[identity profile] 2011-12-05 04:58 am (UTC)(link)
Get me on the first chariot out of this guy's kingdom. :0

Well done!

[identity profile] 2011-12-06 01:49 am (UTC)(link)
Definitely not a place to weekend, that's for sure!


[identity profile] 2011-12-05 04:58 pm (UTC)(link)
This strikes me as a piece of fantasy--not a genre I normally like, but you do it well! I got a little lost when the scream pierced the air, however, because it wasn't clear why this man was the enemy. A little more on why men are so low in his estimation, or why he considers himself above other men, would make the story complete.

[identity profile] 2011-12-06 01:50 am (UTC)(link)
Vlad Tepes impaled all kinds of folks, really. He was incredibly sadistic! Fair enough, for the inspiration for Dracula, I suppose.

[identity profile] 2011-12-05 09:08 pm (UTC)(link)
Yikes! Didn't see that coming, for sure! How very gruesome!

[identity profile] 2011-12-06 01:50 am (UTC)(link)
Sometimes I am a bit gross, it's true!

[identity profile] 2011-12-05 09:34 pm (UTC)(link)
Ooh, creepy. I love how it slowly builds up on you. Very well-written.

[identity profile] 2011-12-06 01:51 am (UTC)(link)
Thank you!

[identity profile] 2011-12-06 12:13 am (UTC)(link)
Wow, what a lovely man. Nicely told!

[identity profile] 2011-12-06 01:52 am (UTC)(link)
A real charmer, no doubt!

Thank you!

[identity profile] 2011-12-06 01:21 am (UTC)(link)
Your writing, as always, is really nicely done. I really like your characterization here as well. Great job and a well told tale. :-)

[identity profile] 2011-12-06 01:52 am (UTC)(link)
Thank you!