Toplin by Michael McDowell
Trade Paperback – Valancourt – 2016 – 151 pages
BUT COME BACK SOON, the sign said. Obviously it was a lie. The people in the grocery store just wanted to make sure he couldn’t buy the spice he needed to make the recipe he’d selected for that night (recipes must be followed exactly). Obviously they wanted him to eat out … to meet the waitress, Marta, … to see her horrible, unspeakable, unbearable ugliness. It was obvious to him: her maimed, twisted face was the living desire to be dead. He had to help Marta be dead.
His teeth are perfectly white. He can’t see colors. He keeps a combination lock on his door and has twelve shelves of cookbooks. His walls bleed blood. His suits each have a number, S-1 through S-6. And life goes on.
Life goes on, if you can stand it. Life goes on, for the brave and the damned. Life goes on, but come back soon . . .