• • •
“C’m’on now, don’t get down and melancholic on us. We’ve been nothing but gracious hosts.”
“I’ve had to watch you copulate more times than God could count.”
“And you’re very welcome f’r that,” Cletus says.
“We also fed you and gave you a bed to sleep in,” Courtney adds, “and a shithouse to empty your bowels. Other folks ‘round these parts would’a taken one look at you and walked the other way if they found you in that clearing, if they di’n’t rape’r’maim you first. Pro’ly would’a stepped on ya too, just for kicks and giggles.”
“And now you’re going to eat me.” Maybe they’re being so open about it because they know he can’t escape. This must be like Christmas for these fucks. “I suppose I should be grateful.”
“I s’pose you should.” Cletus folds his arms. This makes the floor creak. “Now do y’rself a favor an’ get on up. We got a little ceremony we would like you to participate in before we prepare the firepit.”
“A ceremony? ” Jonathan Knox hisses. “What, you cannibal fucks perform a ritual too? You want to cleanse my spirit before you turn my body into a carcass?”
“Cleanse y’r spirit? ” Courtney asks. “What on Earth’r’you on about, Knoxxi Boi? We ain’in’a’all’at voodoo horsecock, not one bit. We just like the taste of longpork is all, ain’t nothin’ to it.”
“Irregardless,” Cletus steps forward, “that ain’t what this is about.”
Knoxxi Bitch reflectively sits up.
“Today is a Sunday. The wife’n’I like to sit down and watch the television on Sundays. You seemed all sorts’a curious about how our television works, so we thought, us bein’ the gracious hosts we are, we’d extend that graciousness right to the end. If you’d like, we’d have you join us for our weekly sit’n’watch.”
Jonathan Knox gapes at them for a few seconds, then asks, “What?”
“No,” says Jonathan Knox, “no I heard you, I just… this is a lot, Cletus. This is really a lot for me.”
Cletus cocks a brow. Courtney might too, but the bulk of her husband is blocking her from Jonathan Knox’s view. “Would y’rather sit up here and wait, then? We ain’t try’n’a eat ‘til after the sit’n’watch either way; fasting is part of the ceremony.”
‘Of course it is.’ “I would rather you didn’t fucking eat me,” Jonathan Knox asserts, and rather snottily at that, “but I don’t suppose that option’s on the table.”
“Fine,” Jonathan Knox concedes, swinging his legs to the floor. “Fine, I’ll come.”
“Y’will?” Cletus confirms with a smile, hands clasp’d before his chest. He turns to Courtney. “Y’hear that, baby? Knoxxi Boi’s try’n’a join us f’r the sit’n’watch!”
“I heard it clear as the day, boo’bah!” She scurries down the stairs. “I’m’a nice up the couch!”
‘Honey, there is no nicing up that couch,’ as Jonathan Knox rises wobbly to his feet. ‘That couch is soiled like the dirt.’
“I think I can speak f’r both Courtney and myself when I say we’re honored t’have you join us f’r the sit’n’watch, Knoxxi Boi.”
Jonathan Knox doesn’t even look at him.
“W’u’d y’like t’go down th’stairs before me?” He smiles and blushes a little bit. “I know I take a li’l’ while t’get down ‘em.”
“No Cletus, go right ahead.” Jonathan Knox raises his arms in stretch. “I didn’t sleep right, I need to stretch out. Don’t want the meat to be stiff for you.”
Cletus nods. “Well I appreciate that, Knoxxi Boi. You take all the time y’need, we won’t start without ya.”
With that, Cletus leaves the meat locker. The cabin cries as he maneuvers his girth down the stairs.
“Fuuuuuuuck,” Jonathan Knox sighs as he rubs viciously at his eyeballs. “How the fuck am I going to get out of this?”
He looks out the back window. Sees the shithouse and the hammock, that old hammock covered in all sorts of stains. The bonfire pit with the well-maintained spit is mercifully out of view, but he doesn’t need to look at the spit in order to see it. It keeps appearing to him every time he closes his eyes.
“Jonathan Knox is hard to kill,” he bitches to the walls. “Put out of commission by broken glass and now a couple of hillbilly fuckers are going to roast me like a pig and have me for lunch. I haven’t been here a Goddamn week and I’m already good as dead.”
The moaning of wooden steps being bent by human weight ceases after a few strained minute-and-a-halfs. Jonathan Knox takes a deep breath. “Well, I did want to see how the television worked. Maybe I’ll come up with something when we’re on the couch. That way they’ll be nice and close so they can stop me before I do anything. All I am is a sheep, a Goddamn lamb to the slaughter.”
Hope droolin’ out of him like blood from his foot, Jonathan Knox hobbles to his demise.
This has been the end of the ninth subchapter of the first chapter of the book Over the River: The Emancipation of Jonathan Knox. Here is everything you need to know about it:
Over the River
The Emancipation of Jonathan Knox
Over the River is the third book in a trilogy called The Fall of the Seven Earths. I’ve also released that trilogy as a single book called The Fall of the Seven Earths. Here’s everything you need to know about it:
The Fall of the Seven Earths
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