Feeling a need to pace while she got into the gruesome scene she was about to paint, Kitty got to her feet. “Now, Imagine if you will, if you dare, Mr. Macabre, that there is nowhere to run, nowhere to hide, for the entirety of humanity. And try as they did, every person you love, or ever have loved, has been rounded up inside a makeshift courtroom the aliens have put together on the killing floor of a slaughterhouse.”

Turning her back to the table, Kitty paused for a few seconds, then spun quickly, and continued. “They are all in a cage, rigt in front of you. A small cage. A cage so small that they are all standing, because they have no choice but to stand. They are naked. They have been in the cage for several days. They have been pissing and shitting all over each other for days. The only mercy the aliens have shown them has been to hose them down, when the stench became unbearable. They have been denied food and water. They are exhausted. One of them, in fact, has already died, their stiff carcass now cold, presses up against others, who are revolted, but can do nothing, because the aliens couldn’t care less about giving them space. They’re just meat, after all.”

Kitty was calm as she spoke, pacing back and forth, her tone matter-of-fact. The others at the table were mesmerized. King was clearly enjoying the performance, judging by the wry smile on his mug.

“The aliens have picked you to speak for your loved ones. For all of humanity, actually. They’ve read some of your books, and figured that a twisted, ghoulish mind like yours might be able to stay composed enough to offer up some kind of reason why they should not proceed with their plan to farm us. But ain’t a one of ‘em had put any money down on that possibility, because they’ve done this before. They’ve heard it all before.” The last sentence was delivered with a sinister grim directed at King, who returned it.

Once again, Kitty turned her back to the table. This time she spun and raised her voice, “The aliens are making good use of the abattoir, even as this courtroom drama is being played out. From every direction you can hear the sounds of terrified human beings screaming, and waling, as the aliens gleefully bring the knackers’ hammers down on their heads, and then run the still warm corpses through the saws. Can you hear it, Stephen? Does it make you hard? Are you that kinky,” she asked, looking quickly at Madonna, who remained bug-eyed, and silent.

Not waiting for an answer, Miss Kaboodle, carried on. “All around you, you can see human corpses hanging from meat hooks, their heads grotesquely mashed.” Slowly, Kitty whispered, loudly enough for all to hear, while quickly drawing her rigt index finger across her own throat, “Scores of them are hanging upside down, their throats slit, the blood draining from their bodies.”

Stopping directly in front of Mr. Macabre, Miss Kaboodle said, “Not only can you see them, and hear them, you can smell them. Not their fear. No, something much more discernable than that. You can smell their flesh being seared, and roasted, deep fried, and baked. You see, the aliens always have an army of chefs when they travel. And camera crews. They’re actually producing a reality TV show for the folks back home. The chefs are competing to win fabulous prizes, as they create recipes on the spot, rigt in front of the cameras.”

Kitty ran both her hands through her hair quickly, and carried on. “Don’t you think we should produce a reality TV show from inside a slaughterhouse, Stephen? You’d be the perfect host. Personally, I think something like that should be part of the curriculum of every school on the planet. Just a minute a day would do, no need to take up too much valuable time. Then, immediately after that’s done, show the kiddies a couple minutes of a live feed from one of the world’s war zones. You know what Twain said about war, yeah?” she asked, pointing a finger at King.

“God created war so Americans can learn geography,” answered not King, but his son.

Kitty winked at Lance, then turned her attention back to his father. “So, yes, it would be a perfect fit in geography class, the war thing, that is. I have noted a growing number of people saying that kids should be taught to cook in schools, although I understand that is facing heavy opposition from the fast food lobby. But, if it ever happens, don’t you think it only rigt that the kids should know that meat is, in actual fact, murder? As is war.” Kitty’s tone turned from blasé to disgust, “It’s all legal, of course, good for the economy, and all that fucking bullshit. So, why not stick it rigt in everyone’s faces, not just the people who do the murdering, the ones who end up with PTSD. Why not be more egalitarian about it, and share the PTSD with everyone?”

The new champion of PTSD egalitarianism stood behind Lance, and rested her left hand on his left shoulder. She looked down on his head, studying his hair, for a second. She looked at Madonna, unable to read her face, and then at King, who wasn’t looking as smug as he had when he challenged her to run her mouth. He didn’t look the least bit smug, as Kitty’s black eyes pierced his from across the table, trying to get inside his mind. “Have I painted the scene for you, Stephen?” she said with a smile. Can you see it all? Can you smell it? Can you hear them? All the people you love, all the people who love you, out of their fucking minds with sheer terror, waiting for you to win their clemency. Crying out to you to save them.”

Kitty squeezed Lance’s shoulder, and he whimpered, pathetically, “Father! Father! Save me! Save us! Help us. Please! Stop them. I don’t wanna die. I forgive you father for abandoning me. For denying me. I forgive you. Please, save us. I don’t want to die. Why have you forsaken me, father! Do you not love me? Do you not love me, as I love you?”

The King of Horror, the master of macabre, looked ill. Kitty Kaboodle, the vegan prosecutor, had wiped the smirk off his fucking face, and it wasn’t coming back, so long as she held the killing floor.




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