At the table sat three people, two adults and a child. By their side a set of eating cutlery was placed impeccably and in front of them dishes were already served, steaming and delicious. Still, it was not until the man gave the signal to begin the meal that the woman and child started eating.
Most of the time they consumed their food in perfect silence, saved for a few scarce words. Occasionally, the child stole some frightful glances at her parents’ solemn faces as if afraid they would shatter at any minute. She had witnessed and she had known. Their silence was not a sign of peace; it was only the calmness before the storm.
Sometimes the storm paid their table a visit. As she had feared, their stoic façade did crumble. The civil manner disappeared and only in this moment could they be seen for what they really were. Without a sign, without a reason, they launched themselves at each other. Folks and knives became their weapons and the table their battlefield. The delicacies mingled with the iron taste of blood and flesh as two creatures clawed and bit in the midst of frenzy. If there were any shreds of sanity left in them, it would be their restraint from dragging their child into the mess.
With knife and fork in hand, the child left the table. In time of storm, it was vital to find a shelter and retreat in.
She was often praised to be a well-educated girl. Even in the darkness of her room, as she dined on her flesh, she still maintained her manner.
Another day, another meal.
At the table sat three people, two adults and a child. By their side a set of eating cutlery was placed impeccably and in front of them dishes were already served. As always, it was not until the man gave the signal to begin the meal that the woman and child started eating.
No trace of the previous storm was left. Her parents were experts in keeping their civil, placid shell intact. None could imagine her parents could turn beastly in a mere second if they had never seen for themselves.
On her arm was a hole from which she had feasted the day before. Her parents took a long gaze at the wound which seemed to hardly heal. For a moment she thought they would ask; she had hoped to. Yet in the end, they only looked and said not a word.
Disappointed but already accustomed to their indifference, the child lowered her head and started chewing.
The meal was tasty but no food could produce a better taste on her tongue than the flesh of her parents’ child.