Hunger Games: A Short Story

Hunger Games

Pale flesh against the deep, glossy red was startling. Her fleshy fingers were covered in the stuff up to her wrists. It was impossible to wipe the skin clean of the stuff without sticking to jeans, hair, shirt, and her surroundings. Did she even have time to worry about the cleanliness of her deadly digits? They glistened with their new iridescent cherry red gloves. She’d never be able to smell a cherry pie with the same kind of carefree joy as her childhood had often allowed. She couldn’t enjoy that simple pleasure anymore, not when the innards were plastered all over her hands and shirt. Heavy, thick globs even stuck to her face and hair.

She was eating it, devouring it. She couldn’t afford to stop, not with the others so close. Her competitors were pushing just as hard. Breath was hard to come by at the constant onslaught of sensory overload. Cheers and cries of delight morphed together to one merciless roar that beat at her ears without ceasing. The stink of fresh victims and the shoveling of her neighboring competitor spurned her forward.

To win would mean success, would mean fame, and her family would finally have a ribbon to hang from the mantle. There was worth in this and there was pride. In the back of her throat bile turned sweetness to a burning bitterness that threatened to pour forward over her tongue. If she didn’t stop stuffing more and more back and deep into her mouth then maybe she would end up filling the deep cavernous carcass with undigested slop.

But she wouldn’t quit. She wouldn’t stop pushing. Her tongue was pressed down in submission by her messy fingers in order to force the gooey remains down her throat. One more unctuous morsel, she swallowed it back.

The wooden fold chair clattered to the ground behind her as she stood and opened her mouth for all to see. Her tongue, mouth, cheeks, and lips were dyed candy red. She showed the audience with triumphant glee that she had, indeed, emerged the victor. No mortal pie could overcome her.

A crust laden and pie-filling sticky hand was raised into the sky. “ Miss Lorietta Stevens has won our pie eating contest! Congratulations to Miss Stevens and her family. You can pick up your  free pastry vouchers from the ticket booth! Let’s hear a round of applause!”

Lorietta’s sense returned to her. She tasted flaky pie crust and bitter filling stuck to her molars beginning to harden like cement. She saw her parents, clapping and bearing their shining, sharpened teeth with glee. All of the audience cheered for the girl who could eat. The contestants fell in defeat. Eyes opened, face plastered to a half pie shell with vacant expression. They had devoured the cherry pie, but in the end it was the pie that consumed them.  There was only one true champion that day. The girl on fire, the girl with heartburn.

Lorietta caught the doe eyes of her sister and beamed. The small girl hid behind their mother’s leg, recoiling from her dripping façade. She shook her head afraid of what her sister had become. Lorietta frowned and searched the faces for a friendly face, but all were jeering and showing their teeth. The world tilted as her head felt as though disconnected from her body.  Cherry stained hands clutched her stomach as she locked her knees. Her cheeks blew out with the force of the fire erupting from her throat. She aimed like a fire hose and caught all in her proximity as she blew chunks right back into the pie plate. She suffered the same fate as all of those who had come before her because no one really wins the hunger games.

I hope you enjoyed the story. In this story I aimed to make something as silly and simple as a pie eating contest appear violent, disgusting, and dramatic. It was a quickly written piece and one I couldn’t stop laughing at as I wrote. Hope it inspires the same in you. Or maybe it made you say- ew, gross. If that’s the case then I still categorize that as a win.

Wednesdays on the blog are in flux. I’m not quite sure what to call them. I like the idea of a grab bag. I’ll be switching between book-ish, all things nerdy blogs and original fiction by yours truly on Wednesdays. If it’s something you like, please hit that little star icon. Let me know what your initial reactions were and if you enjoyed it. Come back Saturday for Selfie Saturday! I hope to have a humorous anecdote for you all then.

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