The Men Excelling and Terrific Award
By Sean C. Wright-Neeley
Carl was to receive the Men Excelling and Terrific Award at a ceremony in Las Vegas. The driver picked him up at four o’ clock sharp. Carl handed him his bags, and settled into the SUV with the other men. He was chosen, along with the two other men in the car from neighboring cities. They introduced themselves to each other, and the car got to rolling.
The driver masked his annoyance at his passengers on the way to the airport, as Carl removed his shoes and propped up his smelly feet on the console, and smacked his chewing gum. Another passenger wore a permanently sour expression, and spewed profanity-laced statements about the traffic and weather. The other man incessantly cracked up at his own jokes – all of them either corny or dirty.
The flight went smoothly. Carl and the other two men were greeted at the airport that evening by people he thought somewhat strange. They all wore dark, well-tailored clothing, and were pale to almost transparency. The people’s aura was intensely cultured to the point of self-containment. However, they seemed genuinely happy to see Carl and the other two men.
They shuttled them to a nice hotel, told them to rest, and to be ready for dinner in about two hours. When the time came, they ushered Carl and the other two into the banquet hall, and told them to help themselves to a lavish buffet. The man with the sour face actually lessened his scowl, as he helped himself to plate after plate of prime rib. Joke Factory was quiet for once, while he stuffed his face with macaroni and cheese, swimming in rich gouda. Carl ate heartily, too, but noticed that his hosts had left. “Why aren’t they eating with us?” he asked the other men, through a mouth, crammed full of pepperoni pizza. They looked around, shrugged, and kept eating. It was curious to Carl, but he was more enamored with his savory pizza and criminally-delicious brownies. He smacked and smacked, and didn’t say excuse me when he burped.
And so it went that way for the next few days. Their hosts – who were always absent during the day – told them to enjoy themselves – eating, resting, gambling, visiting ladies of the evening, going to spas – whatever they wanted to do in Sin City. They provided food that was so delicious that the men were really too full and lethargic to do anything else. It had only been a few days, but none of their pants fit anymore.
The night they were to receive the award, the three men were again ushered to the banquet hall. The hosts didn’t vacate the room this time. Large men closed and locked the doors, as soon as they entered. There was no lavish buffet, only a large tarp in the middle of the room.
Carl whirled around. “W-where are the awards? Dinner?” The guards did not answer, only gazed at him with something like…hunger. Their hosts, the quartet of pale, beautiful people smiled covertly. The were dressed to the nines. Men wore black, three-piece suits with top hats. The women’s black gowns billowed and reached the floor, and were edged in ruffles and lace. Carl instantly thought of saloons and stagecoaches. The other two award-winners said nothing, just exchanged quizzical glances.
One of the women in black stepped forward. “Congratulations. You three won the Men Excelling and Terrific Award. You have been pampered and fed excessively for a very special purpose. Please step onto the tarp.”
Sour Face glowered and nearly spit, “Hell-fucking-no. What is this?”
Joke Factory laughed awkwardly, and spoke with a catch in his voice, “1870 called. They want their clothes back.”
“To nourish us,” one of the men in a black suit said, stepping forward as well.
Joke Factory cackled, “You gotta be kidding.”
“No,” the other man in black stated, “Unlike you, I am not attempting to be humorous. Tell me, dear boy: what does the acronym for Men Excelling and Terrific spell?”
There was a five-second silence then it was Carl who whispered, “MEAT. All this food…You were fattening us up.”
“You can’t do this!” Sour Face exclaimed, “We have friends and family back at home, waiting for us. You don’t think we’ll be missed, you sick bastards?”
The second woman stepped forward, and coolly explained things to the three horrified men. “Those closest to you offered you up. They’re going to file a missing person’s report on you in a few days, but we will be long gone by then.
“All three of you are blights on humanity, and must be removed from the gene pool. You do nothing, but agitate others, and take up space. You,” she said, pointing to Carl, “are a foul and sloppy man.” Carl dropped his head. “You,” she said, pointing to Sour Face, “are a negative person who casts darkness on the sunniest days. And you,” she said to Joke Factory, “are as annoying as they come; a crude and relentless buffoon who never knows when to give it a rest. So,” she continued, scanning their faces, “we travel from town-to-town, feasting on nominees, while humans rid themselves of dreadful people. It’s a wonderful, win-win setup. We’ve been doing it since 1873.”
Joke Factory had been right in his guess about the time period.
Suddenly, all four people in black grinned and hissed, showing needle-like fangs, and rushed at them, as the three award-winners tried to edge back towards the doors. They bumped into the guards who shoved them onto the tarp. The three men didn’t even get a chance to scream, as the quartet in black and the guards bit into the flesh of their necks.
I’m pleased to announce the release of my 8th book, Skoll’s Diary.
Africans and African Americans left Earth in 1900, and went to another planet in The Milky Way to escape mistreatment…
It’s now the year 3005 on that terraformed planet. We get a peek into the life of a bright and sensitive teenaged boy, Skoll, through his journal. He loves his world, but is curious about life on Earth. Then suddenly, an epic event casts him in the middle of a difficult decision. The fate of the planet’s community is in his hands.
Get the book here. I’d appreciate your leaving a review if you read it. Thanks in advance!