Warning: This chapter contains graphic material. Not for children.
The feast was in full swing, and Sam was awed by it all. Still holding her jar of honey with one arm, her other hand curled around the Fox’s tail, she continued to make the rounds with him. It was so splendid to meet so many amazing people. “The Fox was right. They all love me here”, she told herself.
In circles they went, closer and closer to the center of the feast, until finally they stood before a most impressive giant of a man with a strong jaw and piercing eyes standing at the very center of the hall.
“Lord Ichabod, I would like to introduce my lady Sam to you.” the Fox humbly said to the giant.
Lord Ichabod turned, “Ah, Mr. Fox. You are back. Is this the Sam I have been hearing so much about? The one with the most amazing honey?”
Sam beamed at his words. “This important man has heard about me and my honey”.
“Yes, my lord. She is my lady.”
“Yes, so you said earlier, Mr. Fox.” he dismissively told the Fox. Turning to Sam, “My dear, Mr. Fox never told me you were so beautiful.” he told her nicely. “Mr. Fox has wonderful taste.”
Sam blushed. This whole experience was overwhelming.
“Now, dear Sam. Let Lord Ichabod try your famous honey.” with that he closed his eyes and opened his mouth.
Sam looked at Mr. Fox and he nodded to her, she dipped the spoon into her jar to serve the giant lord, only to scrape its empty bottom.
She had no more honey.
Sam looked at Lord Ichabod, still with his eyes closed and mouth open, then to the Fox who had sensed something was wrong, “I have no more honey”, she whispered to the Fox. The Fox’s eyes showed very quickly his alarm.
“Sam” he told her. “You cannot run out of honey.” he told her sternly but still in a whisper.
“I have no more honey. I have run out.” she simply revealed.
“Where is MY honey?” Lord Ichabod was now towering over both Sam and the Fox. “Is there a problem?”
“No problem.” the once confident Fox cowardly replied.
“Then why am I not tasting ANYTHING!” the large lord screamed at the Fox turning his beautiful red hair gray.
Sam saw this and was struck with fear, “My lord, she fell to her knees. I have run out of honey.”
The Fox’s face filled with fear, the musicians stopped playing, the divas stopped singing, the funny men looked in horror, everyone who was pretending to be anyone stopped. The feast had come to a halt.
“RUN OUT OF HONEY?! RUN – OUT – OF – HONEY?!” Lord Ichabod fumed. “HOW DARE YOU COME TO MY FEAST AND TELL ME YOU HAVE RUN OUT?!!!”
Sam could feel her whole body shaking in fear. She had never been more afraid in her life. She looked for the Fox but he seemed just as afraid as her. He was now completely ash gray.
“Sam, Sam, Sam, Sam”, Lord Ichabod now gently spoke to her. “Did you really think that you were just going to come here, enjoy MY feast, and walk away without paying?”
“I didn’t know I would have to pay. The Fox never told me.” she said, now about to cry.
“HE didn’t?” Lord Ichabod told her as a feigned inquiry.
“OF COURSE HE DIDN’T!!! OF COURSE HE DIDN’T BECAUSE IF YOU KNEW THE REAL PRICE OF THIS FEAST YOU WOULD NEVER HAVE COME!!! NOW – WHERE – IS – MY – HONEY?!!!”
As is with all regrets, we only find that the price for our folly is much much more than we are willing to pay when it’s too late.
“I’m so sorry, Lord Ichabod. I am very honestly telling you, I have no more. I have no more honey.” Sam was crying now, completely gripped by fear.
Lord Ichabod looked at her. His gaze felt like it was disintegrating her. Unlike David, who could see through into her, Lord Ichabod was ripping her to pieces.
“What shall be done with you?” Lord Ichabod asked her, now calm once again. “You enjoy my feast, do you not?”
“I did.” Sam said between sobs.
“You did? So you are no longer enjoying?”
“No, my lord. I’m so embarrassed.” she cried. The shame of running out of honey in front of all these people. She remembered her conversation with David when he first invited her,
“What happens if you ever run out of honey? What will people respect about you?”
“I’ll make more. Besides, I’m more than my honey. I can show the world other things.”
“You don’t have to show anyone anything Sam. You’re really beautiful. I think you’re great. That’s why I wanted to invite you.”
Sam started to cry even more thinking, “I thought they loved me here. Why is this happening?”
“Well Sam. I’m really not interested in your tears. No one is. Anyone here want tears?” Lord Ichabod mockingly offered as his giant frame paced the center. “You, Mr. Fox. You brought her here. You must like tears. Taste her tears and tell me if it tastes like honey.”
The Fox, with no hint of the pride he once held, simply licked Sam’s face.
“Does it taste like honey Mr. Fox?” Lord Ichabod asked incensed. “Do you think Lord Ichabod can have tears instead of HONEY??!!”
“No, my lord.” the Fox said without looking up.
“Then why did you bring me this snivelling thing when you told me I would have HONEY?!!!”
The Fox cowered even more to the ground.
“What else can you offer me Sam.” Lord Ichabod’s charming voice now spoke again.
“I don’t know.” Sam was too terrified to think.
“WHAT ELSE?!!!” he screamed into her face. It was so loud it threw her back. She hit a few legs of the crowd that had circled around her, watching what would happen to her.
“Sing for us.” Lord Ichabod told her.
“I’m sorry. I don’t know how to sing.” she said as she continued to cry.
“TRY!” the dark lord told her.
The crowd started to demand of her “SING! SING! SING!”
“I don’t remember any words. Please sir…”
“You don’t have honey and you can’t sing. Dance for us.”
The crowd joined once more “DANCE! DANCE! DANCE!”
“I don’t know how to dance sir.”
“TRY! TRY! TRY!” Lord Ichabod screamed.
Sam was so afraid. With tears steaming down her eyes and paint coming along, she trembled as she stood. Her body was stiffening, and she could barely feel her legs, much more truly get them to move. She tried to remember her ballet lessons but her mind was a blur. She tiptoed, lurched over, and threw up from the tension.
The crowd backed away from Sam. Every complimenting gentleman, every admiring lady, everyone who had partaken from her honey, backed away. Many were disgusted, many were laughing, many were dismissive, all had backed away.
And the giant Lord Ichabod’s eyes grew, and his face started to redden and his body started to bulge, he looked like he was going to explode but with the most frightening roar Sam had ever heard, he started expanding, and expanding, growing longer and fatter, into a giant caterpillar-like monster of hideous form.
Sam looked up at this towering monstrosity looming over her. She had never seen anything so abominable for this truly was an abomination.
“I AM HUNGRY” the monster roared from above her. He slithered his ugly head to stare directly into her eyes. Sam was shocked at how hideous this once great lord had become. He slithered towards her, grabbed her vomit and sweat stained dress, and tore the front off, leaving her exposed.
Sam fell to the ground to hide her shame.
“STAND UP!!!” Lord Ichabod commanded.
And Sam stood, weeping, afraid, and ashamed. How crucial the people we entrust our lives to for they will greatly dictate how we will someday stand.
The monster circled her closely. She could feel his sticky, hairy, rough skin brushing her.
“BECAUSE YOU HAVE SUCH A PRETTY FACE, I WILL BE GENTLE WITH YOU” Lord Ichabod told her, using his giant slimy finger to push her chin up.
“IT’S OK THAT YOU HAVE NO HONEY…” he trailed off a bit.
Sam was trembling but hoping that this was her release.
“I SHALL INSTEAD HAVE YOUR FACE!!!” and with that the abomination that was Lord Ichabod bit a large part of her face. Sam screamed in incredible pain.
Her hands flew to her face as she lay on the ground screaming in extreme agony. The lower right side of her face, her cheek, part of her chin, ripped away by the monsters powerful jaws.
“OPEN THE PIT” the monster said, still chewing Sam’s cheek, “DINNER HAS ARRIVED. LET THE FEAST BEGIN!!!”
The ground underneath the hall started to rumble, and Sam noticed the floor moving to reveal a large round pit in the center of the hall.
Holding her torn face in her hand, bleeding profusely, Sam looked at the Fox, now gray-haired and cowering in fear, weakly she said, “Sir Fox, help me. Please help me. I’m in so much pain.”
The Fox pretended not to notice.
“OOOOOH… SIR FOX, YOU ARE COLD” mocked Lord Ichabod. “CAN’T YOU HEAR YOUR LADY?”
The Fox was shaking like a kitten. There is no fear like the immense fear that enters those who would practice evil once they have seen Evil itself
Desperately, crawling on the floor, Sam looked around the room, “You sir. You tasted my honey. You said it was exquisite. Please help me.”
The man shouted back, “But you have no more, so what is exquisite about you? NOTHING!”
The crowd laughed at his comments. Crowds are always entertained by someone’s fall and someone’s stamping him down.
Sam turned to another who had given her a most flattering collection of compliments she could not define but felt nice, “And you, sir, will you please help me? I’m bleeding.”
The man looked at her, “I’m not blind, my dear. I can perfectly see that. I can also see clearly that you have no more honey. You are empty. Nobody likes empty.”
And nobody does like other people once they are empty, not even the empty themselves, especially the empty themselves, because they are most needing to find someone they can suck dry. Like leeches the hungry devour the once whole, attracting them with the thrill of the feast and the promise of happiness, yet leaving them a hollow shell of themselves. This is the true nature of the feast.
The crowd jeered, “Empty! Empty! Empty!”
And it hit her, she was empty. The whole night as she feasted on the compliments, as she sustained herself with the thrill, the euphoria, the wine, and vanities of the feast, she had not had a single bite to eat. The hunger that drove her to the feast, that hunger that she thought so desperately needed filling, remained unfulfilled.
How tricky the ways of our hungers. How foolish are we to forget man’s multidimensionality, and in simplemindedness try to fill ourselves without thought on which part of us is truly calling out.
Man has a body, so he must have food.
Man also has a soul, so he must find love.
Yet these hungers are mixed in the feast, and the mindless cannot distinguish, this is the way of the feast, to elevate one so above it all, that he is caught in his desire to be desired, and so loses his ability to distinguish – to judge – what is true, noble, right, pure, lovely, admirable, and truly praiseworthy.
Sam cried, she shouted at them, “You said I was beautiful?!!! You ate my honey! You finished my honey! Have you no gratitude?”
Everyone laughed at how naive she was. There is no true gratefulness in a place that believes “Me Above All”, and that is the celebration of the feast, its mantra, its biggest attraction, “Me Above All”. Who cares if she was in pain? Who cares if she was bleeding to death? Who cares if she had given them her most prized possession? Who cares if they had taken her best? Who cares what compliments they had showered her with? Who cares if they had just minutes earlier called each other friend? None of these matter when a people subscribe to “Me Above All”.
“Love yourself first before you love others”, the Fox taught her the rules as they walked to the feast, and Sam thought this wise, “How can I love others if I myself am not loved?” she reasoned, not realizing that in feast where everyone loves himself or herself first, no one walks away truly loved.
“Me Above All” he made her say, and she thought this wise as well. “If I’m not thinking about me, who will? I need to make sure I’m happy too.” she considered. Yet when man’s main consideration is himself, the only circumstance that is possible is a man eat man existence – and so man devours man – and he sees no wrong.
“No regrets” she believed the Fox’s words, but even he now regretted how it all came to this. There are regrets because there are mistakes, and the sun does set leaving us to endure the night with our choices.
“MR. FOX” Lord Ichabod thundered. “FIX YOUR MISTAKE! THROW HER INTO THE PIT!!!”
And the crowd cheered. Oh how evil the things we as a mob cheer when we do not allow scrutiny. How senseless the things we celebrate when we are one in praising “Me Above All”.
Sam looked at the Fox, hoping he would come through, but she saw him smiling.