Author: Chad V. Broughman

Chad V. Broughman, a poet and short story author, teaches English and Creative Writing at the secondary and post-secondary levels. His fiction has appeared in publications such as “Burning Word,” “Wild Violet,” “Bound Off,” “River Poets Journal” and many more.  More work is forthcoming in “Carrier Pigeon” magazine and an anthology dedicated to Mackinac Island. As well, he earned Honorable Mention twice in the New Millennium Short-Short Fiction contest and appears regularly on the “Café Aphra” writer’s blog in the U. K. He lives in northern Michigan with his forbearing wife and two young sons and is in the throes of achieving an MFA at Spalding University.

Web: plus.google.com/104058389941790229980

In her prime, Adephagia would frolick in Sicily’s bounty – camel-hued fields of wheat and barley…

~

“No more.” She turned her head.

The dirty-pink chieftain grinned wide as a melon and shoved a squirming rodent in her mouth.

In spite, the fallen goddess chewed ravenously and lapped the vermin’s blood from her lily cheeks. And like a squall, she scanned the pigs with white-hot eyes, “You like that do you?”

“Yup!” The impish herd of swine snorted with delight; their overlord snatched more rats from the feeding cage.

Adephagia plucked a tendon from her teeth and managed to stifle a retch then pushed back her hair, now stringy and slick, trying to stay poised. “Why are you doing this?”

Several toads still flopped in her bloated belly, and she hunched over in shame; the crudeness made her cry. To block the filth and foul, the lady legionnaire closed her eyes hard and, though tightly bound, motioned about in her chains like a child, as if spinning, flying. “I used to dance amongst the harvests,” she sang out. But her feet were slippery atop the entrails – the sucking sounds were graceless.

“I remember the feathery stalks,” she said, “They were so –” the hecklers clapped their cloven hoofs and twitched their tasseled tails jolting Adephagia from her reverie. She dropped her head in despair, “– soft upon – my face,” she whispered.

 

“Yeah, yeah, let me guess. You did all that ‘so the poor could have enough’ right?” mocked the ringleader. Squeals spewed forth from the frenzied drove.

“Truly,” she begged, “Benedicite! If the meager were able to feast then we were all better off.”

The wild gluttons crinkled their sodden snouts and bleated… moving in on her.

“No wait! I don’t understand! I sacrificed. I loved!”

Amidst his trotters, the head swine clutched a knife – “Are you given to appetite ma’ lady?” he asked – and jabbed at her dainty throat but stopped abruptly.

“Wait, I almost forgot.” He dangled a writhing snake before her, “Eat only enough for you,” he grunted, “lest you have your fill, and vomit.”

“I’m in Hell!”

“No, dear Adephagia, you are mistaken. This is not your Hell, it’s my Heaven.”