The feast

Published 9:22 am Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Three days without food had gradually reduced him to an obsessive state.

The mere thought of meat caused his mouth to salivate as he looked, once again, for some relief, some way to alleviate the constant, aching feeling buried somewhere in his stomach that screamed to be satisfied. On and on he went, seemingly in circles, looking, searching, moving.

But he saw nothing.

His body was growing weaker as the hours passed. Movement was laborious. He found himself panting while performing the most basic maneuvers.

But he must go on. It was the only way. The alternative was slow death.

The sun was now directly overhead, his body casting a shadow on the earth. Looking, searching, scouring landscape, he strained his eyes to find a meal, a morsel, anything, before his body succumbed. At this point, taste was irrelevant. Just something edible. Anything that would simply go into the mouth, down the throat and settle into his belly. He unconsciously started chewing the air, imagining the real thing.

A slow panic made travel nearly impossible. Desperation set in as he, for the first time, considered death, appealing for no other reason than to end his misery. This couldn’t be happening. Not to him.

Then, instinctively, he caught a slight scent. Food! That deep, satisfying, luxurious smell of food!

He saw it! Almost hidden! As if waiting for him. Just for him!

Rushing to it, he took that first, ravenous, delicious bite of the delicacy. He savored it, the satisfying juices running down his throat and overflowing his mouth onto his chest. Another bite. Wonderful.

Intoxicating. Stupendous. Ahhhhhhhhh. He felt his strength returning as he reveled in the moment. Ahhhhhhhhhh. What a feast!

Jeremy, late as usual, barreled down Shore Lane, fixing that always rebellious lock of hair with quick glances into the mirror. Janelle, once again, would be upset at him. Why couldn’t he leave on time?

Then he smelled it. Whew! Except today it was worse. Rounding the curve, he hastened to pass the dead skunk lying to the side, a mish-mash of black and white. To his dismay, a large buzzard stood above it, unaware of the passing vehicle, his neck and head bent towards the decomposing animal. “What a shame,” thought Jeremy, his face in a grimace, “Having to eat such as that.”

Rex Alphin is a farmer, businessman and contributing columnist for The Tidewater News. His e-mail address is