"You bought the biggest turkey we had in the store."
"It's for my first Thanksgiving as a host," Bob mumbled, almost embarrassed. He made his way out of the store as quickly as he could. Before more conversation followed.
It was his first time as a host because he never had many friends. That might have been what drove him to the Postal Service in the first place. After losing that job he drifted further from humanity and its rituals. Floating in the darkened landscape of desperate loneliness civil servants traversed as guides and the long term unemployed often found themselves thrust into.
He traveled the road alone, his tiny social group withering to nothing.
In the suicide support group that he found friends again. They were freaks. They were pathetic, lonely losers. Having those things in common bound him more closely to them than the ties of blood and placating friendship ever had with others.
So, he was cooking dinner for thirty. Any one of whom might slip off during the gathering to use his lavatory as a convenient place to slit their wrists. The room was used to human waste and tears though. It could see worse.
The "hallucinations" never stopped. Not really. They just slowed down.
They no longer surprised him. He still had a sense of something dark on the horizon. That might be why someone offing themselves in his bathroom didn't bother him that much. So, the Dickensian looking ghost showing up in his kitchen shocked him not at all.
The creature beckoned. Bob knew cooking was done. He did not bother turning the oven off. Perhaps his guests would arrive and think to baste the bird. He followed the chain rattling ghost through the streets to a home that looked a little too Cleaverville for any modern home.
The juxtaposition of the spirit to the house was not lost on Bob. He did not waste energy on deep thoughts about it though. When the phantasm passed through the door, after a brief look over his shoulder, Bob opened said door and followed without hesitation.
He knew the young women running hands over him were not one of his "episodes" but he almost wished they were. Thos soft palms running over his chest, stomach, and thighs were too perfect. They were things he did not deserve but very much wanted. As half-clad bodies pressed in against him, Bob barely repressed a shudder.
It was not desire though.
He shivered in terror. He knew they were bringers of darkness. This was an army of the type the crazies in Waco had been rumored to be, except for real.
The beautiful woman rounded the corner. Bob had not seen her in years, and he might not have recognized her, if not for the children. They were older as well, but the little boy looked at him with the same piercing eyes and spoke words that made Bob's soul drop out of a trapdoor in his stomach, into a vat of liquid nitrogen.
"Mommy, I told you that man sees too much."
The daughter had the privilege of saying grace that year. Everyone looked at her with drool on their chins, waiting for communion to begin.
",,,and that is we all get to eat hamburgers. Amen."
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