a n n a b e l
b l u e
c a n n i b a l
© copyright 2003 by colin james mckinlay
f a t t i n g 2 t h e f a t t i n g h o u s e
Somewhere, the husky voice of an Erinye Gray shouted, "Wake up, `Me Munchkin'! Get up off ze floor! Get into ze showers! Wake up!"
Anna felt stiff, as though she had been lying for several days on that stinking, oily floor. She could hear familiar splashes of water-drops from a leaky roof and knew she was not within the Dome. The air felt acrid and tight. She opened her eyes. The light was somber, like the inside of a filthy oven. Then, she noticed her ankle was shackled. She was, in fact, tressed by chain to a parade of naked Clones who looked very much like herself. What's more, a half-dozen big, half-naked Keretic Grays were herding her with the rest of them, like some certifiable Organic, into the Fatting House shower rooms.
A fatting house?
Anna struggled to her feet. Went berserk. Spat at a Gray who was prodding her. "This isn't right! Let me out of this! I'm a Pepperlander Indigo Meat-Walker. A `P.I.C.' A Daiad! You know me! Look at my Brand!"
A tall, ruby-eyed Erinye stepped forward. Adjusted her streaked and rusty oxygen mask. Tightened her greasy, leather butcher's apron. Cut the "P.I.C." from the chain. She scoped the long, smooth back of Anna's neck for an Identity Brand. Grinned down at Anne with black, jagged teeth. Declared in a French accent, "What Brand? I see no Brand. Too bad, `Munchkin', all you Half-Clone Baldies look alike to me."
Anna decided she definitely did not like this Woman. Tossed her the finger. "Munch on this! " "All in good time." "I know House 12 like` the back of my hand`. I'm no Phro. I'm an Indigo Blue. A Pixie from Blue Elbows, Saskatchewan. You, too, were a Blue once." That is, she realized, before you started eating yourselves. "O `Alecto'... O `Kindly One', you remember me-- Series-A . A Blue `Cannibal Annabel' from Blue Elbows, Saskatchewan."
"That's what they all say: `Oh, no! Ono! Me no Phro!. Oh-me-oh- my!'-- `Cannibal Annabel', ye're a `Keeper'-- maybe I didst know ye `when', and maybe I didst not-- so, who cares?-- some Kere Andromedas found you stuffing yer face with ze Raw. `Ye ate ze Raw and broke ze Law'. So, now, ye're pas un Daiad. Pas un Meat-Walker. Pas une `Cannibal Annabel'. Ye're joost `Organic'!"
Anna glanced toward a large, black-and-white security screen, which was, of course, dripping with oil and sweat. In its view of the City outside, the morning procession continued as it had daily for one hundred years. "This is House 12!"
The Naiadic Blues and the Blue-Eater Grays filed in from the smokey dikes. In from their nocturnal quest for Organic. In from clearing the Soot-laden Bloodline to All-Boney. Now, they would tear off their Phro-leather carbo-suits. Filters. Padding. And leggings. Now, they would throw down their axes, shovels, spears, crossbows. and guns. Peel off their SunSkin. Goggles. Gasmasks. And lenses. Feast upon the hundred Hermaphrodons Anne herself had helped provide. And, drink the powdered bone of their Great Great Grandfathers.
Comforted by the familiar sight, Anna managed to speak civilly to her Chain Master. "O `Alecto', I walked three hundred Ono here to 12 myself just a year ago. From the Moonlight Hills. And, I beat you hands down in a poker game."
"But, ma cheri, ye do not look like any Indigo I ever seen. Where iz your purple skin? Ye're joost a common old Copper Blood-Gone-Raw. A `finger licking' Blue! Une vielle grace de la nuit who `fell through the cracks'. Now, move it!"
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