Different palates appeal to different people. It’s only natural. Some people don’t like anchovies. Some people love to mix peanut butter and chocolate. Some people are vegetarians. I guess you could call me a humanitarian.
Evil tastes good. Oh come on, it may be crass, but it’s just so spicy. Tangy. Tasty. Good people just taste bland. Back when my tastes moved toward people, I started with homeless, runaways… people who wouldn’t be missed. When I became more skilled, I told myself it was only right to consume those who brought darkness to the world. Yeah, it was my way of rationalizing a bad habit, like an alcoholic. But when the glossy Shady Acres mailing arrived yesterday… oh, it was just too easy. So much evil. Old, slow evil that has marinated for so long… Acres and acres of shady folks with their guards down…
Living here has been good for me. Shady Acres is… an “active adult community” (chuckle) not exactly the type of place you’d expect to find someone like me, but I guess that’s part of its draw. There comes a point in life, when you get to my age, where the legacy that you have worked a lifetime to build becomes too heavy a mantle. When you no longer have the energy or the desire to dye your hair or trudge around in fur coats, but after creating that persona, you can’t exactly throw it all away by showing up at the local SafeWay in sweatpants. Excuse the dramatics, but if you haven’t walked in my shoes, I can only compare the weight of carrying a legacy to the burden of Atlas. At some point, you just want to let the gray hair grow and sit around in slippers drinking tea rather than chasing fool puppies.
The best thing about Shady Acres is that once you’re in, you’re in. If you can get your application past this board, you are certified, bona fide evil. Your place is permanently etched in villainry, which means that you don’t have to go proving yourself to anyone else in here. We’ve got that hag with the poisoned apple, the fella who rode round Sleepy Hollow waving his head around, you name it. And none of us traipses around in our old fool villainous getups or puts on a show. We look more like early bird time at your local diner. And no one cares. Like I said. We’ve all made it. Nothing to prove, and no energy left to prove anything, anyway.
I remember you, you’re that crazy dalmation lady. With the name – De Mille? De Ville? The director or the car, I forget. Doesn’t matter. Anyone who skins puppies has to have the spice I’m looking for. This real estate lady here, showing me around, is pointing to each house and telling me who lives there, but what I’m hearing is each brand of evil and what I’m seeing is a buffet – but instead of veal, lamb, chicken, it’s theft, murder, and… whatever you’d call skinned puppies. I wonder for a moment if she notices the crazed look in my eye when she moves on to each tender new morsel, tempting my taste buds with one depravity after the other. But no, crazy eyes are the norm around here. I almost squeal with glee! There are a few empty houses, but they are going fast. Which perversion would you like to live next to, sir?
A week after I got the Shady Acres brochure in the mail, I put my dilapidated old castle on the market and my plan in motion. I’d only been hanging onto that place for sentimental reasons, anyway, you know? It was way too big for one person. Besides, we’re in a recession, don’t you know? The heating bills alone were ruining me. It’s not like I cared about that stupid princess anymore, but I had to keep putting on the show with the raven and the blasted horned headpiece. Did anyone really think that after 16 years, I was still hung up on not getting invited to her christening? Yes, they probably did. You cannot possibly underestimate the conceit of royalty.
It was so easy, the whole spindle thing got the princess out of the way. I have to admit, it was fun becoming the dragon after all those years of creating that image in my head for my final bow, but have they really stopped teaching princes to actually check to make sure that dragons are dead when they fall over a cliff? I mean, really. It was almost too easy to slink away while he basked in his perfectly coiffed glory and ran off to kiss her. So here I am, finally able to relax, at last.
Mmm, lobster bisque…
Prompt: Be Happy That Your New Neighbors Aren’t Cannibals
Which, by the way, was a very popular prompt :) I guess you just can't beat cannibals for short fiction, huh? Almost as good as zombies...
What did we love about this piece? Well, the concept is hilarious - that there is this retirement home for all the evil people?! Ha! Cru cracked us up. Then the narrator - this horrid cannibal person eating evil people to assuage his/her conscience for being a cannibal! Ha again!
I particularly loved the line:
Naomi liked the section where the cannibal is drooling over each "flavor" of evil as he/she is being shown around Shady Acres.
It made us smile, had great characterization and was well written.
Congrats Lindsey! I think I have your address somewhere, but e-mail me with it again so I have it for sure. I will (hopefully) finish up the owls this weekend :) If any of you haven't checked out Lindsey's blog, do so - she's Dangerous With a Pen (it says so right on her blog) and quite witty as well :)