“There’s a story that must be told,” said the old man looking up towards the sky as the fire crackled nearby. The children huddled up together in their blankets and stared at him, their huge eyes unblinking.
“Ah,” he sighed, “do you know how I met your grandmother?”
The little ones shook their heads. There were three of them wrapped up together in a blanket under the starry skies.
“It was a cold starry night just like this one. She was a bookish girl. We’d all heard stories about her.
People said that she had killed her parents for money so she could buy more books. They said she had a book in every nook and corner of her home. They even said that she sometimes ate the fingers of dead people when she needed to save money. Fingers deep fried so it would look like sausages…”
“Was that true Mami?” said the little 5-year old boy, terrified out of his wits.
“Ah, that’s the thing you see. At that time none of us were educated. So to see someone who’d actually read terrifies us savages. And what do we do when we see something unknown? We fear it. Like we feared her.
But I was an adventurer. I needed to see it all for myself. So one night, I ventured out. There was one light glowing in her wooden house. The girl was probably reading. When I knocked on the door, I had to wait for a few seconds before it opened. It was then that I saw her for the very first time.
And she was beautiful. She had long hair and big, wonderful brown eyes. I told her I wanted to learn how to read, and she, dying in want of companionship, gladly let me in.
Days turned into weeks and we quickly fell in love. There were times when we’d abandon the books and rest in each other’s arms instead.
In addition to her reading skills, she also had another talent; cooking. Needless to say, I fell even more in love with her.
We soon decided to get married.
It was a simple marriage. We hardly invited anyone. Yet, we were happy.
One day, somebody died in our village. It seemed to be a gruesome death and his fingers had been cut off.
I rushed to tell my wife about the strange happening but I stopped at the window where I saw her cooking. She had spices and oil and small pieces of meat, and behold! I almost screamed when I saw it.
They were fingers neatly sliced up by the side.
That night, she served me sausages. I was too terrified of her to not eat it. It looked like a sausage but tasted nothing like the normal kind. It felt more… fleshy than usual.
Repulsed, I pretended to tell her that I was allergic towards meat and since then, I have never touched meat, especially sausages, again.
I have remained in fear of your grandmother all my life. I was too scared to leave her, I didn’t want myself to be her dinner you know?”
The old man gave a dramatic pause and put out the fire, “Now, get going children. Run along inside. Your grandmother must be sleeping, be sure not to disturb her.”
In the darkness, the three children tried to swallow down the horrible grotesque story of their grandmother as they ran towards the cottage.
The old lady was waiting at the table with some left over food. “Ooh, there you are! My wonderful kids must be hungry,” she gushed. “Here, I made some sausages for you. Do you want it?”
She saw none of the usual enthusiasm in the kids. Instead she looked at the mute, ashen faced, horrified children and then understood what had happened.
She put the plate down and sighed, “Ah, I see. The old man has been telling stories again, hasn’t he? He always throws a fit when I tell him that sausages and fried things are not good for his health…”