What to Expect When You Can’t Remember a Meat

June 2022 Flash Challenge, Day 11

Photo by tommao wang on Unsplash

Drew warned me about the strange hunger pangs I’d have, but I don’t think this is what she meant. She’s had three children.

I only wanted one, but it looks like I’m getting two. It’s twins for me. Identical, at least that’s what they think. How can they know any of this? The sonogram faces look like unshaped hunks of clay.

###


A vague hunger arose in my body. Some meat I’d eaten at some point in my past, veiled in layers of mist.

Vienna sausages?

Braunschweiger?

Fried bologna?

Potted food meat product?

I tried all of these, and while they tasted good, they weren’t what I had in mind. The more failures I had in identifying the mystery meat, the stronger the cravings grew.

I spent hours sampling meats in every delicatessen in town. Nothing!

Then I remember SPAM! How had I forgotten SPAM?!

The stores hadn’t opened yet, but I was sure the mystery flavor that had beckoned me so intensely for weeks had to be SPAM. I peek out my front window. The neighbor hasn’t left yet for his job in the city.

I whisper a prayer to the God or Goddess of SPAM and set off for my neighbor’s house.

I hear the morning traffic on the interstate just beyond the hills beyond our subdivision.

I ring the bell.

“Just a minute,” Collin says from deep inside his house.

“Hullo.” He says, his eyes playing catch up with where he knows me.

“Oh! You’re the new neighbor. Please come in.”

“This may sound crazy, but I’d kill for a can of SPAM. Do you happen to have any on hand? Oh, please make my day and say yes, Collin.”

“Well, this is awkward. You know my name, but I don’t know yours.”

“I’m Christina,” I say, extending my hand.

Collin takes my hand in his, and electricity surges through my veins. My hunger before was vague, hovering around a level 7 out of 10.

With that one touch, my hunger soared to about 38.

Also, I realized what the mystery meat was. It wasn’t SPAM.

###


I study the pore structure in Collin’s face; my eyes track a bead of sweat rolling down his chiseled chin.

I was sure Collin wouldn’t survive my impulsive little snack.

I was right; he didn’t. He put up a good fight for a while, but from some unknowable region, a preternatural strength fell upon me, endowing me with great physical strength, stamina, and commitment.

A part of me was appalled at how I ignored his pleas, his cries for mercy, his pathetic attempts at bargaining. Another portion of my psyche recoiled at the mess I’d made of that poor man in his pristine, white kitchen with modern appliances.

But the good news is, I identified my mystery meal and indulged in it until Collin grew quiet and very still. After that, the taste wasn’t as good, and the guilt fell onto me like an overzealous Jehovah’s Witness.

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