The Listener

He promises his dying wife that he will bring their daughter back home. Their daughter has been happy in the city, away from their hometown, because there she has a job, her own apartment, and once her father suspected that she started drinking with boys, he knew he’d have to take matters into his own hands.

Once he reaches his daughter’s home they start arguing. She doesn’t want to go back to their hometown and get married, she’s only 23! She doesn’t want to be a housewife for the rest of her life. She wants more work experience and she wants a Master’s degree. Her father tells her that she’s already been away from home for two years and that’s more than enough. She tells him to get out of her house because it’s her life and she’ll do what she wants.

That’s when he starts hitting her. He puts his hand over her mouth so nobody can hear her screams. He keeps hitting her until she stops breathing. Why couldn’t she just listen to him?

He secretly carries her body back to their hometown.

When he gets home his wife asks him, “Is she here? Bring her to me.”

The father carries the dead daughter and places her on a chair near her mother.

The dying mother’s eyesight is very weak so she can’t actually see that her daughter is dead.

The mother scolds her daughter, “Why didn’t you come earlier? Everyone has been asking when you will come back and get married and have children! Everyone is judging us as parents! You are so ungrateful after everything we’ve done for you! You just never listen!”

But the dead daughter doesn’t reply… obviously. This further enrages the mother.

The father watches his wife berate their daughter.

His wife doesn’t have much time left. He plans to bury both mother and daughter together.

 

Writer: Rohan

Kilo Killer Kamp

She went from a size 6 to a size 9 in less than a year because she eats while sleep-walking. It’s crazy to think that while she’s sleeping, she raids the fridge like some kind of savage barbarian.

In this country obesity isn’t seen as something beyond your control. If you’re fat, society will see you as a degenerate that is too lazy to be fit. It’s as simple as that and anyone overweight for their height and weight will be fined $100 per kilogram every month until they lose weight.

She’s 5 kilos overweight and has had to pay $500 per month for the last several months. If she gains another 5, she’ll be required to pay a fortune to lose weight at Kilo Killer Kamp (a brutal fitness boot camp). If she can’t afford to pay the monthly obesity fine, she’ll be deported. If she gains another 5 kilos and can’t afford Kilo Killer Kamp, she’ll be deported!

She grabs her skipping rope from her closet and starts skipping. While she’s skipping, she knocks over a lamp. She chides herself for carelessly destroying her mother’s gift but continues skipping. 15 minutes later she’s ready to collapse but she’s determined to keep going. She must become a size 6 again.

Soon her roommate Archie comes home. As usual, he opens her bedroom door without knocking.

“Instead of skipping why not run to the grocery store and buy some food?” He says. “I’m starving and you ate all my spaghetti and chips last night!”

“There’s too much pollution outside!” She tosses the skipping rope aside.

“I don’t care. You ate all my food.” Archie says.

“It’s a medical condition okay! I can’t control it.”

“If you were the Big Bad Wolf, you would’ve not only eaten the pigs, but their houses as well!”

“Stop being mean.” She says. “Now listen, you have to help me. I need a favor.”

“Not again. ” He groans.

“Please, I have a boyfriend now! He doesn’t say anything, but I know he’d be happier if I were slimmer!”

“Seriously? You have a boyfriend? He actually asked you out… in your condition?” Archie stares at her thighs.

“Yes, you asshole! Beauty is in the eye of the beholder!”

“Only a blind eye could find you beautiful.”

“Will you please stop being you and just help?”

“Fine. What do you want?” He asks.

Archie is an annoying dickhead, but he can be a nice guy. Last month he paid her monthly obesity fine because her current job doesn’t pay very well.

“A treadmill.” She replies.

“Are you serious?”

“It’s for a good cause. I’ll pay you back… one day.”

Archie narrows his eyebrows, “Fine. You can use my credit card.”

“Thank you.”

“Wait, I have an idea about your sleep-eating.”

“What?

“Why not put a lock outside your door?” Archie suggests. “When you go to bed at night, I’ll lock it. Then you won’t be able to get out of your room. Call me when you wake up in the morning and I’ll unlock it.”

“Okay! It should work.”

She then decides to do some online research on the food she’s eaten in the past year, especially this new brand of bread called Breader. She discovers that people eating Breader are also eating in their sleep. Breader is one of the few bread brands available in the country, ever since the government banned many other brands for “health” reasons. Breader’s market share is growing every month.

Does the government want a portion of the population to gain weight knowing full well that Kilo Killer Kamps are unaffordable for most people? Does the government want an excuse to deport some of its own citizens?

The country is overpopulated so that would make sense. Most overweight people are deported because Kilo Killer Kamps are unaffordable… Kilo Killer Kamps are government-owned… Breader is also owned by the government… She smells the foul stink of conspiracy.

She throws her bread in the trash.

Two months later after skipping every day and running on the treadmill, she loses 10 kilos and drops to a size 5. She doesn’t sleep-eat anymore. In fact, she doesn’t even get up in her sleep. She looks and feels better.

Archie now finds her attractive. He tries to ask her out but she tells him that she’d rather go to Kilo Killer Kamp.

She starts applying for jobs in other countries because there’s no way she plans to stay here for the rest of her life. Hopefully her boyfriend will come with her.

 

Writer: Rohan

Snack

Part 1

My cook is trying to poison me. Lately I’ve been getting sicker after consuming any meal prepared by him. He’s been cooking for my family for generations and I’m the last surviving member of that family. Why does he want me dead? His salary has gone up every year even though he’s cooked less every year due to the demise of one family member after another.

Today he’s made spaghetti. He sets the plate down in front of me and smiles.

I smile back and offer him the first bite.

“I’ll have my dinner later.” He replies politely.

“There’s enough for both of us.”

“That’s very kind of you but I’m not hungry.”

He leaves the dining room. I roll up some spaghetti in my fork and stare at it. I always roll up the exact same amount of spaghetti for each bite. I’ve gotten good at it. So why does this particular roll of spaghetti feel heavier than usual? Has the poison made it heavier? Should I take a bite?

 

Part 2

I ate the spaghetti last night. And I felt sick. I ate oatmeal this morning. And I felt sicker. My cook, who made the oatmeal, ate the same oatmeal with me, for I was insistent that he join me. But he seems fine. Absolutely healthy. Then why am I getting sicker by the meal? How are his movements so fluid and carefree while mine are lagging and sluggish? There’s only one answer. He has swallowed the antidote. He’s immune to the poison.

But where has he hidden the antidote? I’ve searched the whole house. But my cook knows my house better than me. I used to play hide and seek with him when I was a kid. He always found me, every single time, but I never found him once. There’s also the possibility that he finished all the antidote.

The point is that my cook has left me no choice but to resort to drastic measures. I’ve been a vegetarian my whole life but that’s about to change. If the antidote is inside him, I must eat him to cure myself. I enter his bedroom in the middle of the night. He’s asleep. I approach him with a knife and fork.

 

Part 3

The doorbell wakes me up. I push the newspaper off me and slowly get off the sofa. My entire body is aching.

I answer the bell and it’s the little girl from next door.

“Hi! Do you have any cookies?” She asks.

“Unfortunately no. My cook isn’t here.”

“He went on vacation, didn’t he?” She says. “He promised he’d bake some cookies for me before he left.”

“Did he? I can’t remember.”

“You never remember anything!” She frowns.

I go back inside after promising the girl I’ll give her a hundred cookies next week.

I think my cook mentioned something about taking a short vacation this week. But I can’t remember. And my stomach hurts more than ever, especially after my last meal. I don’t even remember what I ate.

I go into my cook’s bedroom. I check the closet and the wardrobe. None of his belongings are here. It doesn’t seem like he’s gone on vacation, it seems like he’s completely moved out. Where did he go?

 

Part 4

“What’s that you have there?” The little girl’s father asks.

“Our neighbor baked me some cookies!” The little girl puts the box on the dining table.

“What?” The father looks worried. “Why him?”

“Because his cook didn’t do it before going on vacation.” She replies.

The little girl picks up a cookie and takes a bite. She immediately spits it out and proceeds to vomit.

 

Final Part

“I told you we should’ve moved a long time ago. But you said having a strange neighbor is no reason to move!” Says the little girl’s mother.

“I thought he was just strange. I didn’t know he was capable of this.” Replies the little girl’s father.

The little girl’s parents are watching the news on TV. Reporters are talking about a man who murdered his cook and used the body parts to bake cookies which he then gave to the little girl. The man claims that he is innocent and has no memory of committing such heinous crimes.

 

Writer: Rohan