A while back I attempted to write a story for every deadly sin, to be published in a book that never came to be for a couple of reasons. For one thing, the stories were way too short. For another, some of them weren't very good. It think this is one of the best of the bunch, although I don't think it's all that great. I dunno. I present it for you, my bonny droogs, for your consideration.
“CLETUS! CLETUS GODAMMIT GET YOUR ASS IN HERE NOW!”
Cletus looked down at the large stack of bills in his hands. Most of them were for food. What the Hell did that woman want now? He walked the short way through the kitchen to the back of their trailer. Before he could even open the door the voice bellowed again
“CLETUS YOU GOOD FOR NOTHING SACK OF DOGSHIT, I NEED YOU NOW!”
He shivered slightly and slowly opened the door. The shades were drawn but they didn’t help to keep the sun out, it just made the small room look even more brown and dirty than it already was. Gingerly stepping around piles of fast food wrappers and pizza boxes and trying not to smash any of the many families of cockroaches that had made this their home and primary source of food, he made his way to the mattress butted up against the far wall. There his wife lay, a hideous stinking blob of fat and flesh with eyes, teeth, and hair. She held a partially devoured chicken bone in one hand and her eyes were glued to a TV set that Cletus had mounted to the ceiling so she could watch her stories without having to sit up.
Good God, he thought, you can’t even see the mattress anymore. He took off his ratty truckers hat and held it gingerly between two fingers.
“Yes dear? What is it dear?”
She took a large bite off the end of a chicken leg, taking most of the bone with it, and sat crunching it. Cletus tried again.
“Yes dear? What did you want dear?” She swallowed and took a heavy breath to speak.
“Cletus, I want you to go out and get me some more chicken. And some ribs. And a triple-decker ice cream cone. And a bucket of pickles…”
Oh no, thought Cletus as she rambled on and on, food again. Why did I think it was going to be anything but food? Because of her eating habits they were flat broke. In fact they were worse than broke, they were severely in debt with no way out. He resisted the urge to tell her this because the room smelled awful and he wanted to get out as quickly as possible. She wouldn’t listen anyways, all she would do was yell about how he didn’t love her and then she would cry. He hated to see her cry.
“…and a ham sandwich, and two big macs from that place with the red haired clown that I like so much, and a carton of Twinkies. Low-fat though, I’m trying to watch my figure.” Cletus sighed.
“Yes Mary-Beth, right away dear.” He turned to leave.
“Cletus?” Her voice softened.
“I love you honey.”
“Love you to pumpkin.”
After he left Cletus stood for a bit looking sadly at the door. What was he going to do? What the Hell were they going to do? He covered his head with his hands and sobbed softly.
She hadn’t always been like she was, otherwise Cletus never would have married her. When they had gotten hitched, she had been darn right purty lookin’. Sure she had a lazy eye and was missing a few teeth, but he was no Dean Martin himself. They had wed at one of those classy drive through chapels and had their honeymoon in a fancy Motel-6 downtown that even had dirty movies on the TV and a cement pond outside. God she looked gorgeous in that swimsuit. Cletus sat on the couch in the living space remembering how it was on their wedding night and smiled. He couldn’t go to work anymore because he had to take care of her all day. He had to bring her food and bathe her, usually with a rag on a stick, and sometimes she just got lonely and he’d sit and tell her stories his mother used to tell him when he was a kid about elves and guys in metal suits. It was stupid shit but she loved it. Well, she used to. Now all she wanted was food all damn day and night.
Shit, he thought and frowned, we can’t afford no more food at all. He would have lit a cigarette but there was no more money for those. No more money for beer, no more money for heat, no more money for water or electricity. He had borrowed from everyone he could think of, his whole damn family, had maxed out all the credit cards, had sold his truck, but it still wasn’t enough. He sat up and looked around.
I’d better git out of here before she starts yellin’ again, he thought, I don’t think I could take it.
He quietly let himself out the front door and went for a walk around the trailer park. Walking helped him think sometimes, especially when it was nice out like today. It was Sunday morning so most people were in Church, or inside watching football on TV. Cletus smiled, he missed football. Mary-Beth used to watch games with him, even though she wasn’t a big football fan, and would cheer when he cheered and curse when he cursed. Those first few years were darn right nice, then she had got fat and everything fell apart. It had happened so fast, it was only three weeks before she was too big to walk by herself and he had to buy her a ‘lectric scooter. When they had gone to Wally-Mart she had to ride in one of them motorized carts and would fill bag after bag with food. It wasn’t any different than most people there but it still made him sad to see her like that. It was another month gone by after that and she couldn’t even get out of bed. Oh my poor poor Mary Beth, he thought…
Cletus had gotten about a block away, down by the Martens when he heard her yell. He jumped about a foot out of his boots and ran as fast as his legs could carry him back to their trailer by the gate.
She was yelling so loud that his ears felt like they were going to burst, but it wasn’t any yelling like he’d ever heard before. She was screaming some kind of garbled words over and over.
“YOSOTTH OTH, GO HEELA MORTEN FOSFERATE. RYLETH CTHULU MARTRAINS YOMORNATE…”
Cletus stood looking at the hideous thing that used to be his wife, eyes now yellow and foaming at the mouth, completely at a loss what to do. Suddenly she stopped and looked at him and in a low growling voice that sounded nothing like her own said
“GET ME SOME FOOD YOU FUCKING WASTE OF SPACE, I COMMAND YOU! GO NOW!”
Cletus stuttered, “what…what do you want to…eat, there’s no more food in the in the house and we don’t have anymore money to buy any…”
“I DON’T GIVE A FUCK WHAT YOU BRING ME, JUST BRING ME SOMETHING TO EAT!”
“oh…okay dear…don’t worry I’ll go get you something’ real good, just hold tight now…”
“SHUT THE FUCK UP AND GET ME SOME FOOD OR YOU’LL BE SORRY, I SWEAR ON YOUR MOTHERS GRAVE YOU’LL REGRET…”
Cletus turned tail and ran as fast as he could back out the door and out into the street. When he was far enough away he slowed to a walk and started to think again.
The first person that he met that bright sunny Sunday morning was Bill the Mailman. Bill was always very cheery, a bit too cheery for Cletus. Plus he was the man who brought him bills.
“How ya doing there Clet? How’s the wife?”
Cletus looked down at the holes in his boots. “Oh, she’s doing alright I guess.” he said in a low voice.
“What was that pal? I didn’t catch that ya there.”
Cletus looked up into Bill’s shiny smiling face. “I said…” Suddenly a though hit him like a ton of bricks. It wasn’t a very nice thought, in fact it was downright evil, but he was a desperate man and it was a very good idea…
He cleared his throat. “Say uh, Bill, how’d you like to come to a little uh football party I’m having tonight?
Bill’s face lit up more than usual. “Say, that’s a good idea there Clet, I’d love to. Mind if I bring my wife along? She’s a big pigskin fan herself. “
Cletus smiled evilly, “Yeah, sure, the more the merrier and be sure to invite lots of other people. Have them be there at 7:00 sharp tonight. And bring lots of food if you can.”
Bill was positively beaming now. “Sure, thanks for the invite, boy won’t the guys down at the post office be glad to hear this, they’re always complaining that they don’t get out enough.”
And with that he turned and walked down the street. He was practically skipping. Cletus stood for a bit laughing to himself and then went door to door inviting everyone in the park.
When Cletus got home a couple hours later the first thing he did was check on Mary-Beth. She was sleeping peacefully, that was good. Then he went around and cleaned up the trailer as best he could and sat and waited for the first guests to arrive. Of course the first person to arrive was Bill with his arm around his blonde trophy wife and a six pack of beer in one hand.
He smiled, “Hey Clet…” He stopped and looked confused. “Where’s the TV?”
“Oh it’s just in the other room here” said Cletus and grabbed the beer. “Come on, I’ll show you the way.”
They walked through the kitchen and stood in front of the door at the back of the trailer. Cletus smiled,
“Just in here my good friends.”
Quickly, quicker than he thought he would be able too, he opened the door and shoved them both in. Then he stood with his back to it holding the knob, listening to them yell. Bill’s muffled voice come from behind the door.
“Okay Cletus, very funny joke now let us out. It really smells bad in here and my wife has her best dress on and…”
Suddenly there was a sound, sort of like an injured cow screaming in pain, and a large FLOP of something hitting the floor. Bill and his wife both started to scream.
“OH GOD, PLEASE LET US OUT FOR THE LOVE OF GOD…”
Cletus held tightly to the door and listened to them scream, laughing to himself. Above the screams he could hear a smacking sound like wet meat hitting together and it slowly got closer and closer to the door.
“OH GOD NO, THE CAN’T BE HAPPENING, THIS CAN’T BE…”
Then there was a large snapping crunch and Bill screamed in pain and then was cut off. The crunching continued followed by a large belch, all the while Bill’s wife was screaming hysterically and clawing at the windows, which were too small for anyone to get out of anyways. The flopping sounds went away from the door and soon her screams stopped.
Cletus smiled and went back to the living room to await the rest of the guests.
Two by two and one by one they all came. Bill’s co-workers came in a large group and Cletus was scared Mary-Beth wouldn’t be able to get them all at once. Maybe they would hurt her? But it was no problem, they simply clawed at the walls and yelled while she devoured them one by one.
The Martens, The Breeches, The Shenton’s and the Pilboughs with their stupid yappy dog, they all came and were all herded to their doom. When he was sure they were all gone Cletus smiled and sat on the couch and cracked open one of Bill’s beers, breathing a sigh of relief. Hopefully she wouldn’t have to eat for a very long time now…
Suddenly he heard a loud moan. He walked over and put his ear to the door. From the confines of the back room he heard a voice say softly:
He stumbled back just as she hit the door hard, breaking it down completely. All he could see was a writhing mass of fat in the doorway, fat and teeth. Tentacles of blubber reached for him, pulling him closer to its gaping maw.
“Honey pie,” it said and took a large bite out of his face. When it was through with him it broke through the sidewall of the trailer and flopped off into the night for the trailer park just down the street.