The Chronicles of Chheechkaduni
(© Biswapriya Purkayastha)
This contribution is part of a series:-
1. The Chronicles of Chheechkaduni (15-Aug-2014)
2. The Chronicles of Chheechkaduni (Continued) (30-Jul-2015)
| ||In the far distant future, when the seas have dried up and the rivers are gone, the renegade lord Onek Mangsho and his wives flee being turned into meat to feed the people.|
| ||Three new tales of danger as Onek Mangsho, Opodartho and Chheechkaduni make their way through the world of the far distant future.|
Caution: Contains strong violence, cannibalism and mild sexuality.
PART 1 : THE SLOBBERING RED TERROR
the hundred and tenth year of the Third Era of the Great Famine, the honour of
being converted into food for the community fell to a certain Onek Mangsho.
This was the ultimate honour, as everyone was well aware.
This was because the only way of providing any more food for the people than
one was already doing, where every action was directly or indirectly concerned
with the search for edible material, was to offer oneself as the main course.
And of course such self-sacrifice was a tremendous honour indeed, so that those
who were chosen had their names commemorated and written in stone on the
Sublime Pillar of the People.
Onek Mangsho had, of course, already done his bit for the
community. Of the eighteen children his loins had partaken in producing, fifteen
had naturally been given over to the kitchens for lesser feasts and to stave
off the pangs of the common hunger. One, who was sickly and bony, had been
judged not worth the eating, and had been used up as bait to trap a dire
lioness who had been preying on the community, unsuccessfully as it turned out;
the big cat had dragged off the bait and come back to finish off half the
hunting party as well. It wasn’t a total loss, though, since the survivors had
managed to salvage almost two of the hunters’ corpses, so the people didn’t
Yes, Onek Mangsho had done his bit to provide meat for the
people; but that had been only his duty. Everyone had to breed meat then, as
now; you, gentle reader, must have bred children for food if you qualified for
training to read and write. But Onek Mangsho’s people were far less soft than
ours are, in these degenerate times. That was the age of people who knew what
to do to survive, and they had no problems doing what they had to do to keep
the flame of life going. We should learn from them.
However, Onek Mangsho was one of those regrettable people
who do not wish to sacrifice their lives for the common good; and, when he
heard of the honour he was offered, instead of going forth boldly to offer up
his bared breast for the sacrificial knife, he decided to run away.
Difficult as it is for us, in this lax and permissive age,
to believe such an evil deed, it was even more of a deadly and unforgivable sin
in that era, when men were men and bravery and self-sacrifice was the code
everyone lived by. It is, in fact, a reflection of how utterly contemptible
Onek Mangsho was that – instead of offering himself, unasked, for the honour –
he waited for it to be bestowed upon him, postponing the moment by every means
possible; and when he could postpone it no longer, when the Grand Assembly had
decreed that it be his name that should be engraved on the Sublime Column, he
decided to run away.
Now this Onek Mangsho was – physically speaking – not a bad
specimen, overall; he was not as scrawny as the average man of the time, which
means he was – by our standards – almost obscenely obese. Have we not, all of
us, seen the art and sculpture of those eras, and salivated at the prospect of
sinking our teeth into those succulent muscles, of cracking those robust bones
for the marrow? And yet – and yet we are assured that there was once a time
when even the men of that era might have been considered emaciated almost to
the point of death. It is difficult for us today even to begin to imagine such
a plenitude of food, and doubtless there is some truth to the idea that it was
a cruel jest passed on down the ages. But, jest or not, the truth is that we
are getting thinner and thinner, weaker and weaker; and yet our moral fibre
degenerates, and perhaps tomorrow we shall even refuse to eat our children.
To get back to our account: this Onek Mangsho, coward,
hypocrite, self-centred scoundrel and moral degenerate, had – when the time
finally came, and the Grand Assembly had decreed the honour to be conferred on
him – decided to run away. To this end he had, obviously, schemed and prepared
for some time, for when the bonfires had been lit and the spices, herbs and oil
gathered for the cooking, when the knives and cleavers had been sharpened in
preparation; at the end of the three-hour period that the honoured person used
to be given to fully savour the honour bestowed on him, when they went to fetch
him, they found him not.
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