Walter had always loved to dote on his mother, ever since he was a boy. Fatherless from an early age, he took it upon himself to be the man of the house - her provider and protector. When she’d fallen ill, he dropped out of medical school immediately, less than a month until completion, to care for her. Her illness brought with it not just a sense of immeasurable sadness, but also inadequacy – an inability for Walter to fully perform what he felt was his most important duty in life. Despite his efforts, he was unable to ease either her physical pain or her emotional anguish. When she had strength to talk, her words came out in a raspy whisper, each word dripping with a morbid finality that only the terminally ill can truly affect. Walter couldn’t bear the thought of her leaving him, yet couldn’t bear to see her live in such a way.
Ironic then, that his mother’s death solved both problems.
* * * * *
Walter was sprightly as he opened the curtains. She had taken a physical downturn after passing on – a bluish tinge to her skin, slight flesh atrophy here and there; simple bedsores had grown to some nasty lesions and of course a touch of stiffness in the joints. But her awareness and vitality had in part returned, and although still bed-ridden she was remarkably animated for a corpse. When she barked “MEAT! MEAT!” at him, sure it sounded like she was hocking up phlegm, but there was an energy there that was totally at odds with the life-less shell she’d been before she was actually lifeless.
And when she ate! Ravenously wrenching chunks of steak or pork chop from his hands with the strength of a pit-bull! Of course he’d tried introducing vegetables into her diet, but these inevitably wound up on the floor or on him. Walter didn’t mind. He was just glad she was here with him. Exclusively carnivorous and undead she may have been, but those early weeks after her death were among the happiest of Walter’s life. Feeding her Mongolian lamb, wiping hoi-sin sauce and garlic off her chin, having one-sided conversations where he reminisced about his childhood while she drooled and grunted. Although gaining strength daily, she was still entirely bedridden which suited Walter fine. Even at medical school - learning to analyse, operate, heal, cure, save lives – he’d never had such purpose to his life.
Of course, the good times had to end. Walter's life had again and again proved to him that his happiness would only ever be temporary so he was only mildly surprised when one day, in a particularly ravenous moment of frenzied hunger, his mother chomped her teeth down so suddenly on her chicken Maryland that she took the tip of his right middle finger with it. As he clutched the bleeding digit, his mother looked greedily at him as she licked blood off her lips and growled primally.
* * * * *
It hadn’t been a difficult decision really. Mother was hungry and she now rejected all the meat he prepared for her, snapping her teeth wildly at any part of him that came close to her. For Walter, this constituted a basic equation, with only one solution.
For the first time in his life, his obesity would be a positive. His weight had been the object of ridicule all of his school life, and had denied him any female attention later. But now it meant that his mother’s new preferred diet could be provided in abundance.
He still had plenty of his mother’s medication for her illness, painkillers without equal. Knocking back two pills with a glass of milk, he’d gotten straight to work. Though he had only light, sparse hair on his belly, he’d shaved it anyway. It wouldn’t have been right to ask his mother to eat a meal dotted with charred stubble.
It was slow work getting a decent sized steak from his left side. Although the knife was sharp, he’d had to go inch by inch over a period of two hours to give himself plenty of time to stem blood flow between slices. There was too much responsibility resting on his shoulders to risk weakness from excessive blood-loss. He’d come to the conclusion halfway through the impromptu surgical procedure that body-parts that could be tourniqueted would probably make the process much easier. He kept at it anyway. This was, after all, a learning experience.
At the end off this long and arduous ordeal, he had finally prepared a nice-sized slab of medium-rare Walter sirloin, lightly seasoned with sea salt and rosemary, with a crispy and aromatic layer of skin on top.
Clutching his left side, Walter entered his mother’s room to find her eagerly awaiting him, her longing gaze focussed intently on the plate he carried. The enthusiasm she exhibited devouring the meal brought a tear to Walter’s eye.
* * * * *
The words were muttered weakly as Walter stumbled toward his mother’s bed on his makeshift crutch. His chemical-addled brain dealt with a swarm of mixed emotions. This was, after all, the final meal he would serve.
The timing couldn’t have been better. Mother’s health had finally reached a level where she could fend for herself, just as the last of the painkillers had been used. Walter had tried to keep himself well nourished to provide for his mothers needs, but the level of damage he had inflicted on himself was such that he could continue no longer.
His left leg was gone from mid-thigh down, the femur jutting out from below the tattered flesh. It had served well for several days of meals. Both his buttocks provided a number of tasty rumps, which his mother had especially enjoyed. Several fingers had been the victims of bolt-cutters – deep-fried and served in chilli sauce as a midafternoon snack. Plus an assortment of cutlets here and there had also been required for her recovery. It had been worth it though. Looking at the healthy state his mother now enjoyed, Walter smiled broadly. Rather, he smiled on the inside. Smiles were no longer possible, as his lips, cheeks and the rest of the flesh from his lower face had been painstakingly removed with a scalpel and lightly sautéed with some ginger, soy and lime juice. His joy now manifested itself as a gory, leering rictus.
Propping his back against the headboard, Walter sat down in bed next to his mother. She looked at him tenderly and spoke to him, her first real words he’d heard since she had died and the last words he’d hear before he died: “You’ve taken good care of me Walter. Thank you. Now it’s my turn to take care of you.”
Walter had thought his body would be too weak to produce an erection, but as she unzipped his pants, he hardened instantly. As she took him into her mouth, a feeling of absolute relaxation swept over him. He knew that this was her way of thanking him, by giving him this moment of intimacy that he had never shared with another. As she worked him expertly, tears sprung to his eyes to run down the exposed muscle of his face and drip into her hair, his remaining fingers clutched at the bedsheets frantically as his climax approached and pleasure surged through him. When the moment of orgasm arrived, and he exploded into his mother’s mouth, pure ecstasy engulfed his being, and he knew there could be no greater way to spend his final moments. His soul was full to the brim with unconditional love. No pain, no fear and no regrets.
So great was his pleasure, that he barely felt a thing as the teeth closed together on the base of him, his blood mingling with his semen in the mouth of his life-giver. His penis had served its purpose, so it only seemed natural that his mother, its sole beneficiary, should keep it inside her. As she swallowed and gazed up at him, Walter just continued smiling.
He smiled as fingernails sunk into his throat and tore outwards, warm wetness splashing onto his chest.
He smiled as teeth tore into the flesh of his belly, tongue probing his intestines.
He smiled as dizziness surged over him and his vision grew hazy.
He smiled as he looked down at his mother, seeing pieces of himself torn away to slide down her throat.He smiled. Happy that he could die as he’d lived, providing for his mother, and being what he’d always desired to be. A good son.