My dad had spent the two years since my mom’s death vacillating between work travel and home drunkenness, so I decided I had to fend for myself and finally took that summer job at my aunt and uncle’s shipping company; they had been bugging me about it for ages.
Aunt Deb, my late mom’s sister, had big hair, fake crimson nails, and a matching lipstick that evaded the edges of her lips. Her husband Ron was a serious, lanky man with large armpit stains on all his shirts. The offices were in a warehouse at the outskirts of the city: gray linoleum floors with black and white speckles; cheap wooden desks and mismatched office chairs. Ceiling fans were a poor defense against the scorching heat, but were strong enough to mess with Uncle Ron’s combover, much to everyone’s amusement.
My job was to make coffee, file shipping paperwork, restock supplies, and help out with whatever else was needed. Aside from me, my aunt and uncle, there were half-a-dozen office workers and a couple of dozen on the loading docks.
After I’d worked there a few weeks, I noticed that Joe, a middle-aged office employee with ashen skin and thick glasses, sometimes used black ink to make small, barely perceptible changes on shipping manifests. I held on to a few I suspected he’d tampered with and showed them to Aunt Deb. “What a shame,” she sighed. “Thanks, honey. We’ll look into it.” On Monday, Joe’s desk was empty and his space as clean as if no one had ever used it. “So Joe’s gone?” I asked. Aunt Deb nodded, and that was it.
A few days later, they hired Drew. He was tall and looked like he’d been an athlete in his youth, but now had a red face, large swollen hands, and smelled of fried chicken. At first, I could feel his eyes burning on my butt whenever I walked past his desk. Over the coming weeks, he grew bolder; he would lean toward me and ogle my tits, grinning and licking his fleshy lips. The day he grabbed my ass with both hands in the bathroom hallway, then pulled me toward him to kiss me, I knew I had to tell Aunt Deb. “I’m so sorry, honey,” she said and gently cupped my cheek, and I felt better. “We’ll take care of it.”
On Friday, Aunt Deb said she needed me to stay after hours. I didn’t mind; spending Friday nights getting wasted and blowing boys in the bleachers had stopped being fun long ago.
After everyone else had left, Aunt Deb waved me over into Uncle Ron’s office. In the middle sat Drew, his hands tied behind his back. He was gagged with one of Aunt Deb’s floral-pattern scarves, sweating under the tungsten light bulbs, mumbling and trying to wiggle himself free. I entered and closed the door behind me.
“We figured we’d ask you what you wanted to do with him,” said Aunt Deb.
I approached him slowly. His eyes widened as he saw me, but he quickly looked away. Sweat was pouring down his face in thick streams; I felt the urge to taste it. A bulging blue vein was pulsating on his left temple and I pressed my tongue to it. Warm and salty and delicious. Like piss.
I looked over my shoulder. My aunt and uncle were behind me, leaning against the edge of Uncle Ron’s desk. Uncle seemed serious, with arms folded across his chest, but Aunt Deb was relaxed, propped on her hands and smiling. “Go ahead, honey,” she said. “You’re doing great.”
I turned back toward Drew and straddled him. In his left ear, chunks of orange cerumen hung on the coarse, overgrown hairs. I stuck my tongue inside, rolled it around, and slurped; the wax was creamy and tart. My insides felt hot, like my stomach was horny. I breathed heavily as I bit the top of his ear. He went completely still; he was enjoying this.
I clenched my teeth together, his ear still between them, and jerked my head to the left with all I had– So much force– I’d never known I could do that– The ear came off easily and was now hanging from my teeth.
My heart pounded as I placed Drew’s ear on my palm. I didn’t care about his muffled screams or the wellspring of blood where his ear used to be. I felt hungry–famished. The moist, supple skin complemented the crunchy cartilage. The ear was gone in three bites.
My aunt and uncle seemed unperturbed; Aunt Deb smiled and gestured that I go on. After Drew’s other ear, I moved on to his fingers, and was surprised by how easily the segments came off once I focused both my incisors and canines on the joints. By then, Drew had passed out from the pain, so I could nibble in peace. The sound of fine bones crushing under my molars reverberated through my chest.
After I’d bitten off the top two knuckles from most of his fingers, I knelt by Drew’s feet, unzipped his pants, and pulled out his limp dick. It was cut; the head was pale and dry. As I put it in my mouth, I could taste the piss and a hint of cum; he must’ve jerked off at work earlier that day. I closed my jaws hard and severed the head from the shaft, then spit it out into my hand. I rolled it between my fingers–a blood-tinged stress ball, squishy and strangely soothing–before I took a bite. The texture was rubbery, like mushrooms. I’d always thought dicks looked like mushrooms, anyway.
I got back up. Flushed. Sated.
“Oh honey, I’m so proud of you!” Aunt Deb came over and embraced me.
“No, you’ll get all dirty!” I protested, but her arms around me felt really good.
“Oh, pish. Don’t worry about it,” she smiled and pulled back, holding me by my shoulders. “I know all about getting blood stains out.”
I glanced at the unconscious Drew and my hands started trembling.
“I just ate him…”
“You sure did, honey. It’s a family tradition of sorts,” she smiled at Uncle Ron. He was still leaning against his desk, but his arms were no longer crossed and his face looked soft.
“What? You two?”
“You bet. I’m so happy we’re here with you for your first time, since your mom isn’t around. She would’ve been so proud of you!”
“My mom? What about my dad?”
“He married into it, like Ron. Although I don’t think your dad ever really developed a taste for it, poor fellow.”
The puddle around Drew’s chair spread slowly, like red molasses. I felt thankful for the grey linoleum speckled with white and black.
“Now we clean up and freeze the leftovers. Ron is quite the carver; you’ll see. Between Joe and Drew, we’ll have enough for a few family feasts.”
“Well, we couldn’t have him forging numbers on shipping manifests and drawing attention to us. We’ll have to redo all of his work from god knows how far back. Selfish bastard.”
“But, what if someone comes looking for them?”
Aunt Deb waved off the question like an annoying fly. “We wouldn’t do this to anyone who would be missed.”
Uncle Ron walked over to Aunt Deb and me and put his arms around us. His eyes glistened with tears and he seemed overcome with feelings, softer than I’d ever seen him before.
“I am so happy you came to work with us, honey,” he said. “You know that Deb and I don’t have children and we’re hoping to keep the business in the family. I think you have a real future with us.”
“If you want, you can come live with us,” said Aunt Deb. “And, in a few years, when you’re ready to settle, I will introduce you to some really nice boys. It’s a blessing to be able to share everything with your husband.” She raised her chin and Ron placed a kiss on her lips.
I felt a lump in my throat, which I was pretty sure was due to a surge of emotion and not a knuckle I had swallowed without chewing properly. For the first time since my mom had died, I felt like someone had my back. Like I had a family. Like things would be OK.
The three of us were still in an embrace, when Drew awoke and started moaning.
How rude, I thought, interrupting a tender family moment.
I walked over and bit his nose off.
Maura Yzmore writes short-form literary and speculative fiction, as well as humor. She lives in the American Midwest and teaches subjects with a lot of math to college students. Some of her darker pieces can be found in Trembling with Fear, Occulum, Gone Lawn, and The Sirens Call. Website: https://maurayzmore.com Twitter: @MauraYzmore.