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Feast Night

by Edd Vick

A dozen crystal chandeliers hover above the Amazon rain forest, illuminating thirty square meters of greenery. A single parti-colored macaw bursts from the canopy, flinging itself across the sky into midnight darkness. A pair of dusky titi monkeys cling to each other, chittering softly.

The canopy of the forest smoothes itself, becoming more solid, more level. Branches climb here and there, twine themselves, become rough then more polished chairs and a great rectangular table.

Leaves widen, become cup-shaped and dish-shaped. They float up to the table. Guavas, acai berries, and mangoes give up their juices. Ten squealing tapirs rise above the canopy, their heads rip themselves from their bodies, and numinous fires roast the bodies.

The heads pile themselves on the table.

One moment the only sound is the faint plop of fat dripping from the carcasses. Then twelve chairs sink under the weight of unseen beings. The thirteenth chair remains unused.

Meat and juice disappear bite by bite, sip by sip. Bones fall through the forest's canopy. By the time the meal is over the cups and plates are sodden, decomposing. Holes appear in the table. The chandeliers dip one by one to plunge into the jungle. The chairs decay and crumble.

The thirteenth chair is left. Finally it too decays. When the last of it drops away it is as if a presence withdraws from the world. Night once more claims the jungle.

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