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April 28, 2021

Ep.81 – You Are What You Eat! - Prepare to Be Skinned ALIVE!

Ep.81 – You Are What You Eat! - Prepare to Be Skinned ALIVE!

Episode Notes

Who's Hungry? Aaron is going crazy over his co-workers vegan diet, but how far will he go to prove MEAT IS WHAT MATTERS? Find out, and make sure to bring napkins...

You Are What You Eat by Rob Fields

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Music by Ray Mattis

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Robbie Farns walked into Mirren Automotive, the factory where he worked, about twenty miles from Strickfield. He didn’t particularly care about the place or the job itself, but at least it was steady work with a decent paycheck. He’d been working there for a couple of years now, at least as a way to pay his way through Strickfield University. As he walked through the plant to get to his work area, he knew it was going to be hot as hell. Carrying his lunch box, he knew he would soon get even more hell from one of his coworkers about what was inside.  Robbie had been living the vegan lifestyle for the last few months. He had been careful to avoid eating literally anything that came from animals. That included – in addition to not eating meat – dairy, eggs, or any processed foods containing animal byproducts. Whenever he’d go out to eat, he was careful to avoid eating fried foods cooked in shared oil. He had even gone to a vegan festival in Erie City.   When Robbie reached his work area, he punched in at the time clock. After putting his earplugs in, he went to his locker to change into his work shoes and prepare for his shift. It wasn’t long before he was greeted by a troublesome coworker in the form of Aaron Jameston. Aaron and Robbie were opposites in many ways. Robbie was a head taller than Aaron, also thinner. Robbie had long dark hair that went down to his shoulders and was always clean-shaven, while Aaron kept his head shaved and had a long, shaggy beard. Robbie’s skin was a clean slate, while Aaron had many tattoos. The big difference was that Aaron was a hunter who always bragged about his kills, the trophies that he kept from many of them, and all the meat that he enjoyed. Then he learned that the new guy in his department, this quiet young pup, wasn’t a meat eater – a vegan – which got his attention in more ways than one.  As always, Aaron just looked at Robbie with contempt and disgust. Robbie knew and expected this every day, but he didn’t care. He’d been used to people picking on him about his vegan ways. Some of his other coworkers had asked him many questions about his veganism, mainly because they were curious. For the most part, people usually left him alone. Aaron Jameston, however, had issues with Robbie and would be anything but subtle.  “What kinda rabbit food you bring today, Rabbit?” Aaron asked, taking a seat at a picnic table across from Robbie.  Robbie remained calm, in spite of the nickname Aaron had hung on him. He looked up at Aaron. “What do you care?” Aaron was twice Robbie’s age and never liked when people back-talked him. There were times when he wanted to just lay into Robbie. Sure, Robbie always did his job and turned out great numbers. Just the same, he wanted to find something – anything – to justify giving Robbie a good ol’ fashioned ass whooping. As long as they both worked for Mirren Automotive, however, Aaron couldn’t physically lay a hand on Robbie, in or out of the plant. Not if he wanted to keep his job. “What, you don’t wanna tell me?” Aaron said in his always-threatening tone.  Robbie sighed. “Look, we both know you really don’t care about the food I bring. So why don’t you just save it?” Aaron smiled, which Robbie knew was never a good thing. “Lemme explain somethin’ to you, Rabbit. I don’t know what you think yer doin’ with all this vegan bullshit. But here, outside Strickfield, we’re hunters. That means meat is the way we do things. We love our meat. We kill for our meat. We eat meat! Now you come in here with yer vegan bullshit and expect us to just stop eatin’ meat?” Robbie held up his hand in front of him. “Whoa! Let’s get something straight. I don’t go around telling anybody to not eat meat. There are vegans out there that would, but I personally don’t care what you eat. You eat what you want, and I’ll eat what I want. I mainly do it for health reasons, if you must know. I’ve lost weight because of it.” Aaron kept on him. “So . . . you sayin’ we’re all fat fucks ’cause we eat meat?” True, Aaron was quite portly for a little man, but Robbie wouldn’t go there. “I never said that. Don’t put words in my mouth.” Aaron threw his arms up. “Why the fuck be a rabbit? Why can’t you just go bust yer ass at the gym or somethin’? Why you gotta be so fuckin’ different?” Robbie countered, “Again, what do you care? I’m not here to preach vegan. I’m here to do my job and get paid so I can keep the lights on at my place, eat, and attend college. Leave me alone, okay?” Aaron smiled more sinister now. “Yeah, yer a rabbit now.” He pointed at Robbie and shook his finger. “I seen yer kind before. Yer gonna crack. Yer gonna be back. Yer gonna eat meat again. Know why?” He leaned in a little. “’Cause that’s the way it is. Our ancestors have been huntin’ and eatin’ meat since caveman years. Meat is the way! The only way! There ain’t no room in this world for fuckin’ rabbits like you. People like you are weak. Always have been.” Just then, Robbie and Aaron were greeted by the presence of their boss.  “Hey, Aaron, you causing trouble back here again?” Mike Cruz demanded. “How many times have I talked to you about that? You looking to get wrote up or what?” Aaron wasn’t even afraid to talk back to his own boss. “You already wrote me up! What more you gonna do? I’m just havin’ a conversation with Rabbit here.” “I don’t see anybody here named Rabbit,” Mike snapped. “Last time I’m telling you, quit getting in everybody’s shit! I’m sorry about what happened to your sister, but mind your own goddamn business! You wanna keep going this way, I’ll give you your final write-up. After that, I’ll have no other choice but to walk you out. That what you want? You both do good work in this department, and I don’t want to lose either one of you. But if you keep it up, Aaron, you’re gonna be out on your ass. We on the same page here?” Aaron chuckled and looked at Robbie. “Know what, Rabbit? Yer part of a dyin’ breed. I mean it. Yer dead! Know why? ’Cause we meat-eaters hunt rabbits and other plant-eaters like you. You understandin’ me, you fuckin’ weaklin’? Only the strong survive! It’s only a matter of time before you end up like all God’s creatures . . . right next to the mashed potatoes and gravy! My sister was a fuckin’ rabbit – just like you. It didn’t keep her from bein’ kidnapped and killed a few months back. And you know what?” He pointed in a random direction. “The fucker that did it is still out there – still roamin’ free! And that’s another thing! Women are in the same place as you rabbits on the food chain – nothin’ but weak, dead weight. When the killer catches up to you . . . I’m gonna laugh my fuckin’ ass off.” Mike had had enough. “You know what, Aaron? Go home! This ain’t negotiable! We don’t need your shit here. It’s obvious you still ain’t over your sister’s death. Go home and cool off. Last warning! You come back in here tomorrow and start your shit again, I won’t worry about no final write-up. I’ll just walk you out myself, and you won’t have a job here no more.” He pointed in the direction of the nearest door. “Go home! Now!” Aaron didn’t move at first. Finally, he slammed his palms on the table, making sure he got Robbie’s attention. Then he stood up, still smiling his sinister smile at Robbie. “Be seein’ you, Rabbit.” “Move!” Mike commanded him.  “Fuck you, I’m goin’!” Aaron snapped.  Robbie and Mike both heard Aaron yelling and cursing as he moved to the exit door and walked out of the plant. Robbie was relieved to not have to work with Aaron, at least for today. 

Robbie managed to avoid Aaron when he returned to work. He started taking his lunch box to a different break area and eating there. Mike had told Aaron not to talk to Robbie, unless it was work related. However, that didn’t keep Aaron from giving him his sinister looks.  Over time, Robbie had heard around the work area about what had happened to Aaron’s sister, Susan. Aaron had never gotten along with Susan. True, Aaron was old enough to be Robbie’s father . . . and Susan’s. Aaron’s mother had taken over raising him when her husband, David, had died of a heart attack. Aaron was around ten, and he never really got over the loss of his father. After that, he looked up to his uncle, George, who was even meaner and more vicious than his dad. Still, Uncle George taught Aaron everything he knew about hunting and fishing.  Then, when Aaron had reached twenty, his mother had met a man named William Sanders. Aaron didn’t think much about it at first. As far as he was concerned, William wasn’t going to be around long. All of the other men before him had left. But months went by and William was still around, committed to his mother. Aaron never saw the surprises coming when his mother made two big announcements. The first was that she and William were getting married. The second was that she was going to have William’s baby. Aaron flew into a wild rage and threatened to shoot William. As far as Aaron was concerned, he was the man of the house – end of story. Just the same, William and Rosie were married. Months later, Susan came into the world.  Aaron would never come to accept this daughter as his sister and let William and Rosie know about it on no uncertain terms. As Susan grew up, Aaron would be verbally abusive towards her. Being an overbearing bully, he never had to raise his hand to her. Over time, Susan became both angry and afraid of Aaron. As long as William and Rosie were around, Susan felt some semblance of safety from Aaron.  Over the last two years that Susan had lived at home, she had taken up a vegan lifestyle and refused to eat anything that Aaron had put on the table for her. Aaron became increasingly frustrated and abusive with her because of it. Susan had finally decided that she wasn’t going to tolerate Aaron anymore. During her junior year at Strickfield High School, Susan moved out and went to live with friends who shared her compassion for animals, who were also vegan. It had taken a restraining order to keep Aaron away from Susan.  After Susan graduated from high school, she had gone on to Strickfield University. Aaron was around forty and had become meaner and bitter than ever. During this time, Rosie had died. William died not too long after. By then, Susan was living in a dorm room at Strickfield University.  Aaron had been arrested once for breaking the restraining order during Susan’s freshman year at Strickfield University. He’d gotten drunk and confronted Susan in Wilder Hall, the student union building. Susan decided not to press charges, and he was released. The police gave him a warning about what would happen if he broke his restraining order again.  Aaron had heard through the grapevine that Susan had met someone on campus and was seeing him. He didn’t know who the person was, but he was determined to find him and make  life hell for anyone who thought about hooking up with Susan.  A few months later, Aaron was arrested again when it was revealed that both Susan and her boyfriend had been kidnapped. The remains of their bodies were found not too long after, with their clothes on them and the flesh and muscles stripped clean off. Aaron went into a rage when he was in jail and screamed up and down that he had nothing to do with the abductions or murders.  Aaron would be released since it was proven that he didn’t abduct and kill Susan and her boyfriend, whose name he didn’t know because he never could remember it. He had been home drinking with friends, all of whom were able to vouch for him. Aaron continued to go further down the spiral, and it showed at Mirren Automotive. If it wasn’t for Mike Cruz keeping the peace, Aaron would have created quite the hostile working environment. 

A month later, Robbie had accepted some overtime at Mirren and was given an hour break to go and get some dinner. Robbie hadn’t packed extra food for the overtime period, but he knew that Rockne’s Bar and Grill across the street was a place that had vegan options and decided to go there. Robbie went in and sat at the bar. Rockne himself knew Robbie and told him of the vegan special, which was a meatloaf dinner with macaroni and cheese and a vegetable medley.  Robbie felt the glare and saw that Aaron was sitting about four seats down from him. Still, he knew that old man Rockne didn’t put up with Aaron outbursts in his bar any more than Mike Cruz did at work. Aaron gave Robbie his sinister smile, but he made no move.  Robbie looked back to Rockne. “Sounds good. I’m going to go use the restroom.”  “Your food’ll be waiting here for you when you get back, kid,” Rockne said.  Aaron watched as Robbie walked away. He watched with even greater anticipation as Rockne prepared the college rabbit’s food. He put the finished plate on the table and then put the silverware next to the plate. He finished it off by putting a glass of water down. As soon as Rockne went to the back, Aaron struck. He had a big bowl of beef gravy that he used for his plate of food. There was quite a bit of it left. He picked it up and moved over to Robbie’s plate. After making sure that Rockne was still in the back, he tilted the bowl and poured the gravy all over everything. When he finished, he went back to his seat.  When Robbie returned and sat down, he immediately noticed the gravy all over his food. When Rockne came back out, Robbie made his complaint. Rockne looked at the plate. “I didn’t put any gravy on that, kid.” He groaned. “I’ll getcha a new plate.” “The fuck you will!” Aaron called out. Then he pointed at Robbie. “You just sit yer ass down there and eat that food right there.” Rockne pointed right at Aaron. “I’m putting this meal on your tab, you little son of a bitch.” Aaron ignored Rockne and got off his stool. “Well, come on, Rabbit! Sit down there and eat.” Rockne said to Robbie, “Don’t touch that food. I’ll getcha a new plate.” Aaron glared at him. “No, you will not! He’s eatin’ this one.” He glared at Robbie. “Eat that food there! Or I swear to God I’ll fuckin’ feed it to you myself.” “Since you tainted my food, I’m not touching it,” Robbie replied in defiance.  Aaron’s glare turned into a sinister smile. “Fine, have it yer way.” Aaron hauled off and punched Robbie in the face with enough force to send him backward and flying over a nearby table. Aaron was quickly around to the other side. He pulled Robbie up and hauled off on him again. Before Robbie could fall, Aaron picked him up into a fireman’s carry. He took Robbie to another table and slammed him right top of it, making the table collapse. “What’s the matter, Rabbit?” Aaron taunted. “It’s vegan food, ain’t it? I just spiced it up a little for you.” He kicked Robbie in the gut. “This place used to be just for real men. Then you fuckin’ college kids came along with yer vegan shit. Now Rockne’s servin’ rabbit food here.” He kicked Robbie in the gut again. “You can’t even get a real man’s meal in here no more.” He kicked Robbie in the gut one more time. “Because of you fuckin’ rabbits!” Robbie tried to pick himself up. Aaron helped him up enough to punch him hard in the gut. “Look at you! You ain’t even a real fuckin’ man. Yer just some sissy-ass kid who can’t even fight me.” Aaron grabbed Robbie’s hair and pulled him back to the bar. Before Robbie could think, Aaron shoved his face right into the gravy-soaked food. Then he started rubbing Robbie’s face in it. “Come on, Rabbit! Come on! Eat that fuckin’ rabbit food. Doesn’t that gravy make it taste that much better? Huh? Mmmmmm . . . ! Eat as much as you want!” But the sound of the pump-action shotgun quickly forced Aaron to let go of Robbie. Rockne had pulled his shotgun out from underneath the bar and was now aiming it right at Aaron. “Let go of the kid, you little bastard!” When Aaron hesitated, Rockne screamed, “I said let him go!” Aaron finally let go of Robbie and stepped back very slowly. Rockne gave Robbie a wet towel. “Here, kid, wipe yourself off. Don’t worry, I just called the cops.” Aaron raised his hands in front of him as Rockne kept the gun on him. “Now, look here, old man . . . We wouldn’t want –” “Shut the fuck up, Aaron!” Rockne interrupted. “You’re done here! You hear me?! You’re banned for life from here. You ever step foot in my place ever again, and I’ll blow your goddamn head clean off. And you know I mean just what I’m saying! And don’t think I ain’t collecting what you owe me for wrecking my place.” Then Aaron heard another voice. “Hey, Aaron! You ever step foot in Mirren Automotive ever again, and I’ll have security walk your ass out.” Aaron quickly spun around and saw Mike Cruz standing there. He pointed right at Mike. “Bullshit! You didn’t see nothin’!” “I saw enough,” Mike said. “You’re fired! You hear me? Fired! Don’t even bother coming back to work. I’ll be in on Saturday. You can come back in and get your shit then.”  Mike came over to Robbie. “You okay, kid?” Robbie nodded. “I’ll be all right?” “I got the police coming,” Rockne told Aaron. “I’m pressing charges on you. You’re paying for all the damage you caused here – and that ruined plate.” Aaron pointed right at Rockne. “Fuck you, old man! You ain’t gettin’ one goddamn dime outta me.” He pointed at Robbie now. “This ain’t over between you and me, Rabbit! Yer permanently on my fuckin’ shitlist!” When Rockne raised the shotgun to Aaron again, Aaron shouted curses as he turned and stormed out of the bar. 

Around 3:00am, Aaron sat in his pickup truck and eyed the Mirren Automotive east parking lot. Aaron took another swig out of the bottle of whiskey he’d brought with him and felt the alcohol mix really good with his anger. He caressed the double-barreled shotgun that he had sitting in the passenger’s side.  “Yeah, you think I can’t think, huh, Rabbit?” Aaron muttered. “Maybe I never knew yer fuckin’ name, but I know where you leave here from. I know what car you drive. I’ll fuckin’ kill yer rabbit ass before you make it back to that panty-waste college of yers.” He took another swig, then shouted, “Vegan, my ass!” He didn’t have to wait that much longer. Eventually, he saw a small group of people coming out of the plant. He raised his binoculars and saw that Robbie was among them. He grinned with anticipation. “Ooooh, yeah! I’ll get you easy, boy. I’ll run you right offa the goddamn road. Then I’m gonna go on a little rabbit hunt.” As Aaron reached over to caress his shotgun again, he suddenly realized that it was no longer there. “What the fuck?!” Suddenly, he felt the double barrels being pressed right up against the left side of his neck. Aaron turned his head to see who managed to sneak his shotgun out of the open passenger’s side window and brought it over to his side. His eyes went wide when he recognized the face.  “You?!” Aaron choked out. “Can’t be . . . ! Yer – !” Aaron didn’t have time to finish. The person quickly raised a pistol and fired it. Aaron gasped when he felt the dart hit his chest. He blacked out seconds later. 

Aaron opened his eyes and groaned. “What the fuck . . . ?” he mumbled.  Aaron sniffed and recognized that all-too-familiar scent of smoked meat. When he managed to overcome more of the tranquilizer, he realized that he was tied up and elevated in some backyard somewhere. He looked and saw somebody was roasting a big slab of meat over an open fire.  “What the fuck?!” he repeated.  The person turned around. Then he moved over to Aaron. In the dim light, Aaron could see Robbie now. “Oh, hey! Glad to see you’re awake, Aaron. Guess that was some pretty good tranq, huh?” Aaron glared down at Robbie and demanded, “What the fuck you think yer doin’, Rabbit?!”   Robbie laughed. “Why . . . just watching you hang around. Literally! Pretty soon, you’re going into that little building right behind you. Since you can’t see it, it’s a smokehouse. Oh, and you’re going to be getting smoked to perfection. Once you’re skinned, that is . . .” Aaron screamed with rage and tried to squirm free. Robbie wasn’t in the least bit intimidated. When Aaron couldn’t fight anymore, he glared at Robbie again. “Lemme go, God damn you!” Robbie laughed. “Congratulations, asshole! You were right about me. Me being a vegan  won’t last. Okay, when we first met, I was eating vegan. Not because I wanted to, mind you. But the real truth is . . . you were the one I was hunting. See, I’m a hunter, too. Except I don’t just hunt deer and other wild animals. I also hunt for people that might make some great, tasty meat. And, yes, you were definitely right about meat being the way. Believe me, you were so right. And you are going to make some great eating once you’re all finished smoking.” Aaron growled. “When I get my fuckin’ hands on you, you son of a bitch . . . !” “Good luck with that,” Robbie said. “You might want to look down at your legs, though.” Aaron looked down to see that he not only had no pants on . . . he no longer had his lower legs!! Only stumps where they once were. “Holy motherfuckin’ shit! Oh, my fuckin’ god! Jesus fuckin’ – !” “Oh, for fuck’s sake, would you please – for once in yer life – just shut the fuck up?” a female voice familiar to Aaron called out from the back door.  Aaron looked to see the girl who came and stood next to Robbie. “I did see you outside the factory . . . Susan! But . . . but . . .  yer dead!” Robbie wrapped an arm around Susan’s waist. Then the two of them shared a kiss before they looked at Aaron again.  “Our plan worked, lover,” Susan said. “Yes, it did,” Robbie agreed.  “Goin’ to college was the best thing ever happened to me,” Susan explained to Aaron. “You see, when I met Robbie, he was such a sensitive guy. Yeah, he done has his problems, such as all the meat he eats, but he’s still all sweet on me. I mean, I literally fell in love with him at first sight.” Robbie smiled. “I used to think girls were trouble, especially the ones who lived out here in the country. Then I met your sister here – a country girl – while I was at the university. Boy, did she ever catch me off guard. Now, I don’t know how I ever lived without her. Anyway, when she told me about what an insufferable prick you were to her and how she had so many sleepless nights because of you . . .” He sighed. “I flat-out suggested just killing you.” Susan was angry now. “And, believe me, you don’t know how many times I wanted to blow yer fuckin’ head off while you was sleepin’. Robbie done showed me that killin’ you will be so easy. We’ll even benefit from you, too. Surprise! I ain’t vegan no more. Turns out I love eatin’ meat.” She giggled a little. “Human meat!” Susan picked up a knife and carved off a small piece of the meat from the roast. She turned back to Aaron. “This here’s one of yer legs over this here fire.” Aaron was horrified to see Susan put the cut meat into her mouth and eat it. She turned to Robbie. “Mmmm . . . smoked to perfection,  baby.” Robbie smiled at Aaron. “For the record, I did go vegan for the last few months. See, Susan made a little bet with me. She said I couldn’t be vegan for two whole months, so I agreed to try it. She in turn agreed to try eating human meat. If I made it two months, which I did – today, she would go back to eating meat on the full-time basis.” He turned to her. “Don’t worry, hon, I won’t hold you to it. If you want to be vegan, it’s fine by me.” They shared another kiss. Then Susan said, “Vegan food is mighty good, but I’ll consider eatin’ human steaks. As long as it don’t bother you that I still wanna eat vegan.” Robbie shook his head. “No, we can eat vegan food. You were right, it’s actually not bad. I’d say we found our happy medium, you and me.” They kissed one more time.  Again, Aaron struggled to free himself. He roared and thrashed with all his might. Finally, he realized it was useless and gave up.  “You were dead, Susan!” Aaron protested. “You and yer college boyfriend both.” “You saw two bodies we done carved up,” Susan corrected him. “Robbie and I put our clothes on them bodies. The police never even thought to do any kinda forensics to see if they was really us or not. We’re both legally dead. My new name is Megan Farns now. We got married shortly after we decided we was gonna kill you.” “Speaking of killing you, Aaron,” Robbie said, “we’re going to strip the flesh off you. Then we’ll put you in the smokehouse and smoke you to perfection, just like we did your legs. Susan wanted to keep you alive long enough so she could see you before we do what needs to be done.” “I know I’ll savor every bite of you until yer all gone,” Megan murmured.  “Still think I’m a rabbit now, you short little fat fucker?” Robbie teased.  “This is bullshit!” Aaron cried. “Bullshit!” “Puttin’ up with you all them years of my life was bullshit,” Megan snapped. “Now I’ll sleep peacefully, and with my wonderful man.” She glanced at Robbie. “I’m done talkin’ to this shitheel now. Thank you for this opportunity, honey. I love you.” “I love you, too, babe. Here, I’ll give you the honors,” Robbie said, handing her a buck knife. Megan stepped up onto a sturdy metal ladder to look at Aaron one last time. “This is for my life of hell, you fuckin’ Neanderthal!” Aaron screamed as Megan stabbed him hard in his stomach. His blood was spurting out quickly. He groaned, intent on not giving up on his life. Megan knew this and drew back again for another hard stab. Aaron Johnston knew that the second stab would be . . .  THE END!!

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