“Are you sure about this place?” Anna skimmed both sides of the business card again. “The logo is a bit, odd…”

“It’s just a symbol. Heck, Jimmy said the place has a stellar buffet and the hot tub rooms are to die for.” Gary zipped his suitcase with one hand while he pressed the top down with the other. “You worry too much.”

“But, look at it. It’s some kind of devil or demon or something. I read online that the place is funded by cultists.”

“Just because you saw it online doesn’t make it true,” Gary said. “Seriously, I swear sometimes…”

She sighed, looked out the window, then back at him. He had picked up their luggage and was on his way out the bedroom door. They needed the vacation but this, this seemed too handy.


flickr creative commons via Lauren Mitchell

That all changed when they arrived at the resort. It was everything that Anna had hoped for. The food, the accommodations, even the staff, their vacation had been a special one. She had hardly noticed the absence of Gary through most of it. They had taken such good care of her.

Mumta, her guide, had proven to be an expert with cocktails and the little bites of pleasure (her words) that filled her stomach and kept her at a state of bliss throughout the two days they spent at the resort. But it had proven a short two days none the less. As vacations go it had been a blur (the cocktails helped of course).

Refreshed and sated Anna had little desire to return home, to her job, to her life again. What were the words that Mumta had used, drudgery? They were something in that funny language he spoke when he thought she wasn’t listening.

Halfway through the yummy bloody mary, Mumta had just mixed for her, he told her it was time for her to learn to make the mix for herself. She would need it when she returned home. The life outside would always try to drag her down, and she would need to be prepared. He guided her through a long narrow all as she bounced against the walls. Inebriation and relaxation had loosened her muscles to a point where she had forgotten her poise and grace.

Cold oozed into the hall from the room he stood in front of. Her frosted breath billowed out as steam rose from her body. Mumta apologized for the chill but offered nothing to cover her or warm her flesh. “The cold keeps the smells at bay,” he said.

The walls of the room had been splattered red. Gary lay on a slab beside a large butcher block in the center of the room. He did not move. “The blood makes for the freshest cocktails,” Mumta said. “But it is the slow processing of the flesh that makes for the delicacies that will sustain you.”

Anna wanted to scream, wanted to run, but her mouth had salivated in preparation of the feast.


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