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Scream Fest By Forest Walker

Scream Fest

17

The Meal

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Sting sat at his computer, engrossed in his latest online game. He had been playing for hours, and the sun had long since set. As he navigated through the virtual world, he heard a knock at the door.


“Who is it?” Sting called out, his voice laced with frustration. He didn’t want to be disturbed while he was in the middle of a game.


“It’s your mom, Sting,” came the reply from the other side of the door.


Sting sighed and stood up, making his way to the door. He unlocked it and pulled it open to see his mother standing on the doorstep.


“Hey, Mom,” Sting said, trying to hide his annoyance. “What’s up?”


“I need you to run an errand for me,” his mom said, holding out a list of items. “Can you go to Nico’s butcher shop and buy some meat for dinner tonight?”


Sting glanced at the list, then nodded. “Sure, I can do that. How much do you want me to get?”


“Just get enough for tonight’s dinner,” his mom said with a smile. “And don’t forget to say hello to Nico for me. He’s always so nice to us.”


Sting nodded and grabbed his coat and wallet. He said goodbye to his mom, then headed out the door and down the street to Nico’s butcher shop.


As he walked, Sting couldn’t help but think about how unfamiliar he was with his own town. He had spent most of his life playing computer and online games, and as a result, he had never really explored much beyond his own neighborhood.


He reached the butcher shop and pushed open the door, the bell ringing above his head. A man behind the counter looked up and smiled.


“Hello, Sting,” the man said, wiping his hands on his apron. “Your mom sent you to get some meat, right?”


“Yeah, that’s right,” Sting said, approaching the counter. “She said to get enough for dinner tonight.”


“No problem,” the man said, reaching for a piece of paper and a pen. “What kind of meat would you like?”


Sting hesitated for a moment, then shrugged. “I don’t know. Whatever you recommend, I guess.”


The man chuckled and scribbled something on the paper. “Alright, I’ll give you a good deal on this then. It’s fresh and should be perfect for grilling.”


Sting nodded and paid for the meat, then headed back home with a bag in hand. As he walked, he couldn’t help but think about how different his life might have been if he had ventured out more and gotten to know the people in his town. Maybe he wouldn’t have been so isolated, he thought to himself. Maybe he would have had more friends to turn to in times of need.


But it was too late to think about that now. Sting shook his head and focused on the task at hand, determined to get home and help his mom with dinner.


Sting sat at the dinner table, poking at his meatballs with a fork. He had always been a bit of a picky eater, and something about the meat tonight seemed off to him.


“Is everything alright, Sting?” his mom asked, noticing his lack of enthusiasm.


“Yeah, I’m fine,” Sting said, forcing a smile. “I just don’t feel like eating much tonight, that’s all.”


“Well, if you’re not feeling well, maybe you should skip dinner and just go to bed early,” his mom said, concern etched on her face.


“No, it’s not that,” Sting said, shaking his head. “I just had a strange dream last night after eating that ground pork from Nico’s shop.”


“What kind of dream?” his mom asked, raising an eyebrow.


“It was weird,” Sting said, trying to remember the details. “I was in this bus terminal station, and a blurry figure approached me. He said he had a job for me and promised to take care of me and my family. He fed me nice food for months, and I grew fat. Then he gave me a drink and I fell asleep.”


“That sounds like a nightmare, Sting,” his mom said, frowning. “I’m sorry you had to go through that.”


“It was just a dream, Mom,” Sting said, trying to reassure her. “But it did make me wonder about that meat we bought from Nico’s shop. Do you think there’s something wrong with it?”


“I don’t know,” his mom said, shaking her head. “Nico has always been a trustworthy butcher, and I’ve never had any problems with the meat from his shop before. Maybe it was just a coincidence.”


“Maybe,” Sting said, still feeling uneasy. “But I think I’m going to skip dinner tonight and just go to bed early. I don’t want to risk having any more strange dreams.”


His mom nodded, understanding his concerns. “Well, if you change your mind, there’s plenty of leftovers in the fridge. Just make sure you get a good night’s sleep.”


Sting nodded and stood up, carrying his plate to the kitchen. As he went to bed that night, he couldn’t shake the feeling that there was something more to his strange dream. He made a mental note to be more careful about the food he ate in the future, determined to avoid any more unsettling experiences. After a while, Sting dozed off and entered the dreamland.


It didn’t take too long before Sting woke up with a start, his heart racing. He had just had the same strange dream again, and this time it had been even more unsettling.


He sat up in bed, trying to catch his breath. He couldn’t shake the image of his own dead body in the bathtub, and he knew he wouldn’t be able to go back to sleep. He can feel as this strange man peeled of his skin and slice his flesh. It is as if everything was real, and Sting was living in a different body without any control whatsoever.


Sting sat at the dinner table, poking at his plant-based protein with a fork. He had made a conscious decision to stop eating meat from Nico’s butcher shop after having several unsettling dreams, and he had tried to convince his mom to try some alternative protein sources, but he failed.


One day, he was tasked by his mom to go to the terminal and pick-up his aunt. Sting wasn’t familiar with the place, but he decided to go. He doesn’t want to make his aunt wait. Upon reaching the terminal, Sting couldn’t shake this sense of uneasiness as he noticed some part of the terminal.


Sting stood at the bus terminal, looking around nervously. He had never been to this place before, but something about it felt eerily familiar. He had a feeling that this was the same bus terminal from his strange dreams, and he couldn’t shake the feeling that something was off.


He scanned the crowd, trying to spot his aunt. He finally spotted her standing in a corner, and he approached her with a forced smile.


“Hey, Auntie,” Sting said, trying to sound casual. “Sorry I’m late. I got a bit lost on the way here.”


“It’s alright, Sting,” his aunt said, smiling. “I’m just glad you made it. How have you been?”


“I’ve been good,” Sting said, nodding. “Just busy with school and stuff.”


“Well, it’s good to see you,” his aunt said, patting him on the arm. “I’ve missed you. We don’t see each other as much as we used to.”


“I know,” Sting said, feeling guilty. “I’ve been a bit of a shut-in lately, but I’m trying to change that.”


“That’s good to hear,” his aunt said, smiling. “It’s important to get out and experience new things. You never know what adventures might be waiting for you.”


Sting nodded, but he couldn’t shake the feeling that something wasn’t right. He couldn’t help but wonder if this was the same place as his dreams, and if the blurry figure from his dream would appear again. He tried to push these thoughts out of his mind and focus on his conversation with his aunt, determined to enjoy the time they had together. He made a mental note to be more open to new experiences and to trust his instincts, no matter how strange they might seem.


When they reached home, the table had already been prepared. They know that their aunt made a long trip to get here and she must be starving. However, Sting was disappointed after seeing the dishes on the table.


Sting sat at the dinner table, picking at his adobo with a fork. He had always been a bit of a picky eater, and the thought of eating meat from Nico’s butcher shop made him feel uneasy. But there had been no other options, and he didn’t want to cause a scene in front of his aunt.


As they ate, Sting’s aunt suddenly choked on something. Sting reached out to hand her a glass of water, and she took a sip, trying to clear her throat.


“Is everything alright?” Sting’s mom asked, concern etched on her face.


“I think so,” his aunt said, coughing. “There was just something stuck in my throat. I think I got it now.”


She put her finger in her mouth and pulled out a small ball of hair. Sting’s eyes widened in shock, and his mom gasped.


“Where did that come from?” Sting’s mom asked, her voice trembling.


“I don’t know,” his aunt said, shaking her head. “It must have been in the adobo. I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to cause a scene.”


“It’s not your fault,” Sting’s mom said, frowning. “But this is really concerning. I bought this meat from Nico’s shop, and I’ve never had any problems with it before. I can’t believe there was something like this in our food.”


“I think we should stop buying meat from Nico’s shop,” Sting said, speaking up. “I know I’ve had some strange dreams after eating their meat, and now this. I don’t think it’s worth the risk.”


That wasn’t the end of it. As they converse, his Dad continued eating adobo. Suddenly he felt something tough that he couldn’t chew and spit it out. Sting watched in disgust as his dad spat something out into his hand. He leaned in to get a closer look and saw that it was a long, curved fingernail.


“What the hell is this?” Sting’s dad said, his face contorted in disgust.


At that point Sting’s parents decided to report the matters to the police. Sting sat at the kitchen table, listening as his parents spoke with the police officer on the phone. They had reported the incident with the fingernail in the meat, and the police had promised to investigate.


“Thank you for getting back to us so quickly,” Sting’s dad said, his voice tense. “We’re just relieved that something is being done about this.”


“We understand your concern,” the police officer said. “We sent a team to inspect the butcher shop and take some meat samples for testing. But while they were there, they found something disturbing.”


“What do you mean?” Sting’s mom asked, her voice laced with worry.


“They found a number of human body parts in the back room of the shop,” the police officer said, his voice grim. “We’re not sure how they got there, but it’s clear that something criminal is going on. We’ve shut down the shop and we’re working to gather more evidence.”


Sting’s heart raced at the news, and he couldn’t believe what he was hearing. He had always had a feeling that something wasn’t right about Nico’s shop, and now it seemed like his instincts had been right all along.


Sting sat in front of the television, watching as the news reported on the discovery at Nico’s butcher shop. The story had caught nationwide attention, and families of victims were coming forward with their own stories of how they had been tricked by Nico.


“It’s just sickening,” Sting’s mom said, shaking her head as she watched the news. “Who would have thought that this could happen in our own community?”


“I can’t believe it,” Sting’s dad said, his voice heavy. “We’ve been buying meat from that shop for years, and we had no idea what was going on behind the scenes. It’s just horrifying.”


“Apparently, Nico would use different fictitious names and go to the provinces to look for people,” Sting said, recalling what he had heard on the news. “He would promise them good jobs with excellent pay, and that’s how he lured them in. Then, after a while, he would claim that they had run away with someone and left him, and that’s how he managed to avoid the law.”


“It’s just monstrous,” Sting’s mom said, tears welling up in her eyes. “I can’t believe that someone could do something like this. It’s just beyond comprehension.”


“I’m just glad that it’s been brought to light,” Sting’s dad said, sighing. “I just hope that justice is served and that no one else has to go through something like this again.”


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