Feast

I wander through a long, dark hallway.  The air is musty.  Stale.  No one has been here in a very long time.  I can see the rough stone floor, hear the soft echo of my footsteps.  Each footstep leaves a tread mark from my boot in the dust.  I cannot see beyond the edges of the floor.  The walls are hidden by darkness.  I keep walking.  

I come to a wooden double door.  Wrought iron rings for handles.  I lift the left one.  Pull the door open.  Beyond the age-greyed wood lies a great hall.  The decor is non-existent.  There are no tapestries.  No trophies.  Only weapons.  Swords of every kind.  Spears.  Shields.  Conventional, exotic, ancient, modern.  Ghengis Kahn and George Patton could outfit an army.  I become aware that this armory has a long table, set with strictly functional utensils.  

I am not alone in here.  I am in front of an empty seat, but the whole of the table is sat with men and women I recognize but do not know.  As my eyes meet theirs, we nod.  This isn’t like seeing someone you used to know in the mall.  These are brothers and sisters, even if we never met.  I take my seat.  A bell rings out and we turn to the head of the table.  

Sometimes, the figure at the head of the table is a demon.  Other times, an angel.  It gives a speech, a toast to victory.  To glory.  To comrades in arms.  We cheer.  We raise empty cups.  Or chalices.  The others tilt to parted lips, but my cup is empty.  The phantasm at the head of the table sits, and the others start to eat.  Each of us raises our right arm and takes a bite.  I resist, but I am hungry.  The hunger grows  with each passing night…

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