Yeh, they had me at the mention of all ye shall eat. Chili no less. Of the five alarm variety. Of course, ‘twas down the yonder in the valley amongst the grove known to most as the Grove Of Forgotten Faces. They’s the faces of children lost to the wicked magic of witches and warlocks, casting forth creatures and demons from beneath and beyond, that roamed them woods like so many squirrels and fowls might any other. But these feasted not on chestnuts and berries but on eyes and testicles. Yeh, wicked stuff that. Years passed and the truth was lost to legend and finally to most everyone it was all just a name. Still a place to mostly be avoided. Not the best locale to place an eatery. Hence, the promotional announcement. It worked upon me, sure as the morning becomes the noon and as a man with a hunger that mighty was not enough of a word to describe I decided to take a gander. That is I decided to feast upon thee bottomless bowl of chili. Ye Olde Foodde Shoppe was a comfortable establishment given the setting, what with the gnarled forms of ancient trees casting ominous shadows and the strained kaws of sickly crows echoing through the grey leaves. Thick lichen and heavy cobwebs and the corpses of a lost generation of bad possums littered the path to the restaurant. But my hunger of hungers swayed my judgement and I trudged on through, heart pounding, stomach growling, intuition howling. Yeh, ‘twas not the most relaxing journey and I fantasized of that first sip of draught and dreamed of how ‘twould be one for the ages: a soothing infiltration of a pious man’s soul. And ye, ’twas. ‘Twas.
Ye Olde Foodde Shoppe was as down homey as mother’s mustard jam and twice as cozy and I instantly felt the fearful burden of the journey melt away like so much ice cream in the summer sun. The proprietor was a portly man of sub average height and above average jowels and the tales of his chili had travelled far and wide on the winds of appetites and tongues like butterfly secrets in a springtime schoolyard. The tale was a simple one: the chili was equal parts heaven and hell. A sumptuous inferno. God’s own volcano. But was I deterred? Nay. I was in paradise.
Bowl upon bowl was placed before me.
Ladle upon ladle was placed inside me.
And yeh, the legend of the woods, the legend of the place, the legend of the dish, were all well known for sure but on that day a new legend was borne: the one about the man what et. And et. And et.
The final spoonful slid across and down my tongue into an over-populated world of beans and meat and tomato and spice. The final sip of ale washed down with it. The ecstatic elations of gastrointestinal fantasies gave way to sated calm and a need for slumber. I bid my farewells and made my way.
The woods in the night while most probably fearful in the best of times held no wicked sway over me then. Forgive the curse, but I was just too fucking full. So evil spirits and awful ghosts and faceless phantasms be damned and I sauntered through the grove and back to my abode.
Stepping across the threshold into my cottage I made ready for my nightly slumber. But it was not to be. The gripes came hard upon me, joined by the grumbles. I gripped my guttocks to try and calm the vile tide but ‘twas not to be. Seismic shifts deep within the subterranean intestinal world of my protoplasm behooved nay bemoved me to make fast for the outhouse. I stumbled outside into the light of a full moon as gastric distress intensified to gastric calamity. Ye Olde Outhouse was but nineteen easy steps from my back perch but in that horrible moment it was like I was Christ with the cross and the privy was Calvary. Like lashes and stones and curses galore the violence inside me raged and I But barely made the shitshack without spoiling myself and my freshly manicured lawn. I tumbled into the latrine. As pants fell to the floor I fell to the orifice and my bowels detonated into the putrid cavern beneath me.
Stench and thunder.
And a new legend was borne.
It was the Dung of Ages.