Story by Wolvun
Within the halls of the Samhein Manor, there are places where the flames burn eternal. An oddity considering the residences of the estate have little need for food in the way most beings do. So why would there be a kitchen in use if there are few that need it?
The kitchen smokes and smolders due to a single being that calls it home. A Pumpkink that had earnt its just reward and ritualed itself into a great monster able to claim the forgotten room of the manor as its own.
The room looks little like it had before Serena. The center of the room dug out into a crude pit. Blackened logs burn and simmer here. While all around the sides are a mix of ovens. All of the alight with flame. Even the electric ones filled with wood to burn. All overseen by the Chef.
A creature of leathery orange skin, two empty sockets glow with an unatrual light carried over from its old Pumpkink days. Folds of flesh criss-crossing the creature’s face. No nose, only the impression of a jagged smile melted together into the scarred smirk. Clad in a dirty apron and chef hat.
Hunched over as it lurches about the kitchen; glaring into the smokey glass of his ovens; tossing in more wood in one, while retrieving the burning charcoal from others; tossing them into the middle.
All the while, whimpering escaping from the oven. Inside, bound and gagged, is a woman. Her skin blistering in spots as it turns brown in other places. She no longer struggles, the dry heat and agony of the flames having sapped her will to live long ago. Only waiting now for it all to end.
Chef’s empty eyes glow in sick approval. Repeating this progress over and over until heaps of charcoal are sitting in the middle pit. Lurching out of the kitchen and though a metal door. His skin cracking yet does not appear to bother him in the sudden chill. Stomping along to retrieve a woman hung in the freezer. Tearing off the coat as he returns to the blistering heat of the fires. Breaking the woman’s frozen bounds and setting to work with metal wire. Affixing her onto the long metal spit kept in the pit for this purpose. Long enough to run a full groan hog though. Or any sort of long pig one can imagine.
It’s apron wet as the meat is heaved over the charcoals. Extra logs tossed on to feed the infero before starting to turn. The meat sweating and blistering quickly. The sudden shifting heat plus whatever influence this creature has on this place causing her body to grown and tighten. As though the skin was being cured right there on her flesh. Fruitless struggle does not deter the creature. It only turns to keep an even cook.
The creature turns. The scarred face twisting into that of anger. Three woman stand there. Each of them clad in strange armor akin to that of gladiators. Each of them has a ball gag hanging about their neck.
These were members of the Ill Manored: a group of ex-slaves organized inside of the Samhein Estate.
The one that spoke not breaking eye contact with the abomination before her “We’ve come to bargain.”
“Ain’t interested. Am Hunger.” A muffled reply comes from the creature. It’s voice as crude and cracked as its skin.
“We come with an offering.” The woman continues standing firm as Chef stops turning the spit to approach her. “We’ve come to bargain.”
“Ain’t interested! Am! Hunger!”
Chef now stands before the three. Towering head and chest over even the tallest one. It’s eyes looking down over them. Judging them hungrily. It’s apron still moist. The creature’s hands could easily drag each of these annoyances to the empty ovens. Why would it-?
“But do you thirst?”
Chef stands there. Hands outstretched but still taking it on faith that she now had its attention; she signaled the other two, sending them out of the room.
“Fresh from Vandor’s Cellar.“
The two woman return with barrels. Rolling them in quickly before setting them right side up. For it mattered which sides of these barrels were used. Each of the barrels held a person. A head sticking out of them along with their legs. Each set of deadened eyes staring forward. Lips worldly mouthing meaningless whispers. A cork placed into the side to keep what has fermented from spilling out.
“Three of them for all of these.” The defacto leader declares before stepping back quickly.
“Move,” She hisses quickly to the others. There will not be much time.
Indeed, Chef did not wait. The apron that had been soaking wet was pulled aside. Exposing a twisted maw of broken jagged teeth. A tongue lolling about as the creature grasps the first barrel, Flashes of its old memories, of gnawing at the barrel to no avail. Such aged suffering. Such an elixir of misery. Such things that had taunted him in days past now within his grasp once more.
Broken wood shards burst as the barrel gives away. Crushed in the monsters grasp. Without a moment’s hesitation, it forces the content in its maw. Red viscera spilling from broken lips. Broken teeth mauling the woman until only a slurry is slurped down. A faint wisp escaping from the mouth as the creature turns to the next barrel.
The Ill Manored work quickly. Moving with practiced precision. opening the many, many ovens lining the walls. Grabbing the bound people inside with bare hands. Gritting their teeth as they endure the heat and flame as they pull. Cutting their bonds and directing them toward the door. Those that couldn’t or wouldn’t move…well, they would have to decide who they can drag along. There would only be this chance to save them.
Why were they doing this? Why had these Ill Manored volunteered to come to the belly of the beast? Because they needed more people. Those that came from the flames here had an odd trait they desired. Because of how Chef cooked them, their skin became tanned and leather like. Magically so. An unatural defense that might save them from the numerous other things in the manor. But they had to decide. They couldn’t save everyone. Especially the poor sods in the freezer. Several of the past member that had tried were reportedly locked in by Chef.
The three woman converged onto the bound woman on the spit, pulling the heavy spit from its holder. Working feverishly to unbound her ankles.
But the slurping had stopped.
Chef had finished all three barrels.
Time to run.
Whispering a prayer for forgiveness. The three woman bolt. Dodging the roaring Chef as it grabs wildly at the thieves. It’s exposed jaws red and dripping. It’s fury knowing no bounds as the three woman escape.
Panting and snarling, eyeing its meat victim with a broken smirk…her arms still bound to the spit, soon to be helpless against the hungers of the Chef.