Written by Samuel Gaitskell

Photograph by   Bastien Jaillot

Photograph by Bastien Jaillot

Runner-up of the F&F Halloween Competition

Dustin woke from a nightmare, in the middle of one fine summer evening, with a craving for something. For what, he didn’t know. All he knew was that he was hungry. Hungry beyond words. Ravenously hungry. It almost felt as if he hadn’t been fed in weeks, and something deep down, something primal, needed to be fed.

With his stomach in unbelievable pain, he stumbled from his bedroom, shirtless as he had grown accustomed to sleeping as such, and fumbled into the kitchen. With a tug of pure desperation, he threw the door to the kitchen’s fridge open, the glow of the light bulb inside stinging his eyes for a moment, before his eyes adjusted, and his mouth began to water. his mother had stocked the fridge the night before.

Cheese, roast beef, cake, chocolates, pasta left over from a day or two ago, bacon, fish, fruits and vegetables galore, all just begging to be eaten. And oh, was he hungry. With drool dripping from my mouth, he began to dig in, using his bare hands to shovel item after item between his ravenously chewing teeth, the mere feeling of having food in his mouth sending waves of unspeakable, though fleeting, pleasure through his body. He didn’t care what he was eating. Thick slices of cold beef paired with hearty portions of cheesecake, generous servings of pasta served with handfuls of strawberries, large blocks of chocolate topped with blue cheese dip, it didn’t matter. All that mattered was he was eating.

… But it wasn’t enough.

No matter how much food from the fridge he shovelled down his eager throat, the hunger just kept building. Everything just tasted of… nothing, like he was eating thickened air. He needed more. Ignoring the carnage of food morsels left scattered across the floor, and ignoring the numerous juices dripping from his mouth and down his chest, Dustin pressed forward, now aiming for the pantry. He swung it open, a grunt of joy flowing from his gaping mouth when he found yet another place stocked with food.

 Chips, bread, insta-noodles, cereals, spreads, canned tuna, assorted nuts, canned corn, pasta sauce, everything just looked so good. His stomach growled loudly, begging him to feast again. And feast he did.

 He began to open can after can of tuna, mixing all the varying flavours and sauces together before letting the fishy mess slide down his throat, chased with cheesy bread. When that wasn’t enough, he moved onto the noodles, ripping open their packages with his bare teeth and eating his way through the contents, raw. Then, the cereals, which he grabbed by the handful and forced into his mouth. He ate more and more and more, but it was never enough. The more he ate, the hungrier he became. No longer did he bother to taste, no longer did it matter. There was a void in his stomach, one that needed to be filled.

 A sound splintered through the air, putting a pause to Dustin’s gluttonous feast. A sound that he was all too accustomed to, at this point, though never had he gained more joy from it than at that very point. A sound that caused his eyes to glaze over, his mouth to drip, his pulse to quicken.

 The sound of his little baby brother crying.

 Dustin rushed forward, tracing his grease slathered hands along the walls, using them to guide himself towards his baby brother’s room. He didn’t know what he was doing, nor what he was going to do, but his baby brother’s wailing was attracting him like a siren’s deadly call.

 Dustin’s baby brother’s room was decorated with different shades of blue, an art piece depicting the ocean painted onto one of the walls. Dustin took no notice to that, however, as the crying filling the room was far too tantalising.

 Dustin’s younger brother lied there, dressed in a little onesie, his face red, tears cascading from his eyes like a raging waterfall. Every tear he made, every squeal he forced out, every twitch and tremor that his body gave off involuntarily did nothing but draw Dustin closer.

 Dustin, eyes ablaze with primitive hunger, picked his younger brother up, and with one, swift, disgusting movement, he twisted his brother’s head, the sickening snap silencing him forever. Dustin held his limp brother in his hands, for a moment or two, his mouth held agape, saliva flowing freely from it, his hunger growing even stronger than before, before he finally indulged.

Flesh ripped away from the bones, torn by the teeth of the starving Dustin, in a rage of cannibalistic hunger. Blood squirted more and more with each bite taken, his bare chest coated in crimson gore. Each minuscule portion of meat felt like pure ambrosia as it guzzled down his throat. He was in ecstasy.

His feasting came to a close in a matter of minutes, nothing left behind but bones, picked clean, and a skull, cracked open. The cot that the baby once slept in was now soaked in a dark red mess. Dustin licked his fingers clean, lapping up every last drop of blood that he could manage with a greedy, gluttonous smile. Finally, the hunger had been sated.

As fast as it had left, it returned again, stronger than ever. He was just sated, finally free of the disgustingly strong hunger, and now it returned, even worse than before. His brother was small, undeveloped, thin. It wasn’t enough.

 He needed something bigger.

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