By Dan Hoeweler

It is December of 1999, soon before my death, and I am sitting with my roommates smoking an odd substance. My roommate Phil sits next to me telling me to inhale deeper. We have fallen for the same girl, and she sits across from us watching as I hold the smoke inside of my lungs. I exhale and giggle uncontrollably at the two of them.

I went to sleep not knowing that I had already signed my own death. A chemical cocktail of stress and substance X were simply too much, and began eating away at my brain.  That night stews were being brewed that would change my life forever. I was poisoned, and my fate was worse than death. My brain died that night, and became possessed by this other.
Most call it schizophrenia. I call it my possession by Reverend Paranoia.

Reverend Paranoia, for me, is an evil preacher who stands upon a pedestal in a church preaching lies to different parts of my brain, telling them the horrors of the world where “decent people” live. The different parts usually listen and marvel at the preacher’s incredible speech. My optic nerve can see what he preaches at times. My audio nerve can likewise become fully convinced of his sermon. Reverend Paranoia is so convincing that I can become his undying servant, and no naysayer could convince me otherwise.
That night while I slept Reverend Paranoia whispered softly into my ear.

Why live in a world so cruel? Why not create your own world? Here anything is possible. Here you will be king.

He tempted me, and I obeyed. Trance like I followed. I would soon be running through the streets of Boston, in the middle of winter from imaginary gang members that were following me, while tears streamed down my eyes over my own death. I would soon be hearing voices from dark alleyways that had never been heard from before. It is soon my funeral. Most will experience their death in the end. I am special. I will experience mine before the end.

My psychosis began with a question the following day.
What happened last night?

I knew I had been smoking something, but there seemed more. Being confused as to the answer, there lie in front of me an infinite number of possibilities. Many things could have happened that night, yet to the rational mind there are bounds as to what could have transpired. Somehow I broke those bounds making anything possible.

Strange ideas started flashing inside of my head. At nights I would stare at the ceiling with these bizarre thoughts racing through my head, unable to sleep. Soon five sleepless nights passed. I dropped two sleeping pills and lied on my brother’s bed, in a futile attempt to rest. Something seemed amiss and horribly wrong. I couldn’t sleep.

Sometime within those five sleepless nights a portal opened and the Reverend was on the other side tempting me to step through. Something must have seemed better in this other universe, where I was God over all things. The universe where I could create many things yet could not control what they were. At some point I took that final step.

I began to play with the idea my former friend was monitoring my every move. It seemed an epiphany of reality that he did so through his mafioso thugs. I saw visions of them peering at me from rooftops and driving their vehicles on my street. I was scared to do anything, and petrified at the reality of being spied on and chased after. Everything I saw or did became a part of this storyline, which began with the unanswerable question that I had asked some weeks before.

What happened last night?

I finally found the answer. Everything happened last night.
The world I had created from nothing was dangerous. I needed allies to help me in order to survive. It wasn’t safe for me now, and I knew this. Worried about my safety I decided to tell the cops about my roommates plan to murder me. Walking through the streets of Boston to the police station I heard voices coming out of the alleyways that seemed so eerie and perfect only the devil could have created them.

“I’m going to get you.”
I looked down a dark alleyway.
“Come here”
Said the deep voice.

I walked into the Cambridge police station and preached my sermon, about how things had transpired; how the mafia was going to kill me, and my roommate had hired them to do so. I wanted protection from these villains who were trying to destroy my life. The two officers stood shaking their heads at me. They said they didn’t have time for me and that I should go back to Allston where I came from. I was shocked, and couldn’t understand how two officers could not investigate these crimes against me. Perplexed I ran back to my brother’s apartment.

My father soon called the apartment wondering what was going on with me. He had heard from my brother that I had gone mad. On the phone I spoke with him for some time telling him my predicament with the mafia, desperately trying to get him to believe me. On the phone I asked my father if I was going insane. He told me I probably was. Scared I hung up the phone. An argument then broke out between my brother and his roommate over me staying at his apartment. Apparently he won as I slept that night to the sounds of his crying, while I lie in the next room listening to imaginary conversations.

The next day I decided to visit a psychologist so that he could help ease my pain. I walked into the doctor’s office in the middle of the winter with nothing more than my pajamas on asking to speak to him so he could give me some valium; I just couldn’t take the anxiety of having people following me and spying on me all the time. Into his room I went realizing that this man in front of me was a CIA agent posing as a doctor. He spoke with me and afterward handed me some poison and tried to convince me to take it.

Walking back home through the snow in my pajamas I saw agents taking pictures of me in their cars passing by while the cold winter wind blew against me. Still I felt nothing. When I arrived at home my unbelieving brother tried to change my undying belief in this world of endless possibilities. I sat there in bewilderment at his false sermon. He then told me to take the poison the CIA agent had given me.

This world was mine, yet simultaneously there was a parallel world to this world, the world in which most live in. It was occurring at the same time on a different plane and somehow these two worlds collided, allowing these two very different places to view each other. Both were baffled, one cursing at the other, wishing each other dead. On the plane that most live in I was dead and replaced by this other. I was a demon, a curse on decency and normalcy, a travesty to all that is moral. That is what many thought, even those who were once very close to me. My existence was out of place in a world of logic, reason, boundaries and scientific reality. This reality did everything to discredit my existence, to deny my being and humanity. My existence is an existential dilemma to this other world; my experience was that beyond the human condition. People are paranoid about what they don’t understand. I was paranoid about the real world, the one I didn’t understand.

A world of spies, plots, mafia agents and endless persecution surrounded me. Everywhere I went I was in a story, where I was the protagonist fighting an army of antagonists. The place I lived at seemed like a haunted house where imaginary crimes were taking place. I was always on the lookout for clues of how my roommate Phil was trying to kill me. To counter his plans I had taken countermeasures. I went to the hardware store and purchased two deadlocks for my upstairs apartment door, so that Phil could not enter and kill me while I was sleeping. I had on my coffee table, next to my bedside a knife that I obtained from the kitchen in case an intruder would find a way to bypass the locks I had put in place.

I thought of ways I could trick the cameras and agents that were spying on me everywhere I went. I changed my clothes many times a day so they wouldn’t recognize me when I left the apartment to go to school. A hat with a visor low to the brow was the best way to avoid cameras that were overlooking me from the building tops, I had decided.

Walking home from school was daunting and nerve wracking for me. I believed the majority of spying on me was occurring outdoors and that it was difficult for the mafia to infiltrate inside of buildings. Everyday I walked a different path to and from school weaving inside of buildings, ducking into alleyways to keep the mafia from spying on me and evading any would be followers. Sometimes I would take a longer route thinking it would be easier to shake my adversaries.

Entering the door in my room I felt that I had reached my “safe zone”, since the mafia was unable to infiltrate my room which was littered with locks over doors and windows. I had also carefully placed tape on the inside of my doors, signaling if someone had surreptitiously slipped into my room while I was away. For this reason I knew that no agents had infiltrated my room as of yet.

When I was home I only need worry about my roommate, and former friend, who I wrongly believed had his sights set on my death. Convinced he was a psychopath, I spied on him at times, looking through his stuff to see if I could find his plans on how he would destroy me. I was always able to find some bit of “evidence” that convinced me of his guilt. There was the note on how he had bronchitis and was unable to attend class that week. Then there was the time his parents sent him an “I love you” letter, telling them how proud they were of him. These items I saw as clues in a detective mystery that I had created within my mind.

I would collect these bits of data, and try to piece them together in a coherent manner that was logical for me at the time, and present them to my psychiatrist as evidence of the crimes my roommate had committed. He always remained so unconvinced of the evidence I brought to him, and so impatient in hearing my case against Phil.

The doctor kept asking me questions about my feelings and other nonsense that didn’t make sense to me at the time. How would you feel if the CIA and Mafia were following you all the time? All I wanted from the doctor was some sign of empathy and understanding of how frightening it is to have people following you all the time. I received none.

He kept telling me to take the poison he prescribed for me, saying it would relieve me of my confusion. At times I would take the poison, and at other times I wouldn’t since I knew he was wrong. I knew I was of sound mind, and thinking clearly. The one prescription I would take was the anti anxiety medication, since I was under intense pressure having people constantly follow me around.

There was no evading these thoughts I was having, as I became obsessed with them. I would sit up in my room all day thinking only of my immanent death, and how it would come to pass. At nights I would sit huddled in a corner, knife close by, staring at the lock on my door. I was waiting for something to happen, for my door to be barged through. It never came to be, there was only silence. Somehow I found this very disappointing as I was waiting for the final showdown between good and evil, and I would be the hero.

I was considered dangerous so few wanted to help me. This barrier between these two worlds called morality and law was insurmountable and for this reason I was left to fend with my own irrational devices. The abandonment issue was extreme, as few had the time, money or understanding for me, so like a 21st century leper nearly all my friends and family drifted away from me in fright. They told me I was trouble, and their once impenetrable love vanished nearly instantly. I began feeling hatred for the world, as I became a pariah and lacked friends. While most of the students at my college were busy drinking, socializing and studying my life revolved around my hellish imagination.

Eventually I ended up moving in with my brother, away from the tension and turbulence of my current living situation. It helped relieve some of the stress I was experiencing. Mostly I would sit in my room during this period chain smoking and playing with strange ideas and theories in my head, breaking bounds and boundaries that had been set out before me.

It was difficult to study as my mind kept drifting away from my textbooks into the fantasy world I had created. I began asking strange questions.
Perhaps Phil would find me here? Perhaps he knew what I was doing at this moment?
Statistically this was nearly impossible, but that one in billion chance seemed so real to me. A mathematical fallacy was becoming a reality, just not in a real sense. I was now working in the surreal and unknown, a world so unlike this one, and yet grounded in its hell.
Though I lived with my brother, my mind was still with the haunted house I had lived in. I would walk by it after school sometimes, transfixed upon it’s evil energies that seemed to emit from it’s being.

I thought I would hear screaming outside from the vile acts that were committed by my former friend. I saw pictures of secret rooms filled with bodies, torture and mayhem. I just needed to prove it, to show the world the truth of the situation, and yet I couldn’t because I no longer lived with him. I could no longer gather the evidence that I needed to present to the proper authorities of these horrible criminal acts.
On and off I would go the Psychiatrist, not telling him of my delusions and beliefs that penetrated inside my psyche, knowing he would no longer understand or see my reality. It seemed like our sessions were futile and boring to me. I did think he was a good human being and not on the wrong side. One day I thought I would convince him, and he would believe me. We would be partners in fighting crime after this. A phone call would be made to the cops by him. He would tell them the truth and I would get my revenge.

The sickness had not completely taken my mind, so it was still possible for the doctor to attempt and reason with me on some level. These grains of sanity were all my doctor had to work with on a psychological level.
Despite these attempts at rationality my mind was nevertheless drawn towards my fantasy realm. It’s lure was intense. I was obsessive about my delusions, they seemed more important to me than anything in my life at the time. It was an escape in some sense from my real problems. They didn’t seem to matter any more.

Later in the summer of 2001 my life was about to take another turn. After my initial episode I took up the nasty habit of excessive alcohol and drugs, to help ease some of the depression I had been feeling.

During this summer I had little money, and didn’t have my own apartment to stay in so I was left to fend for myself. Although I could have stayed with my brother during this period I opted instead to stay with my friend due to the easy access to booze and drugs at his place. The disadvantage was that I could only sleep outside on my friend’s porch where I had little to do there other than consuming alcohol and smoking marijuana. I often went hungry during this period, as I had little money for food and other necessities. I realized double cheeseburgers at McDonald’s were the cheapest meal in Boston, so I ate them almost daily. I smelled rather awful most of the time, since I rarely showered or changed my clothes. It didn’t seem important to me at the time.

Most disturbing of all was the lack of sanitation on the porch I was sleeping on. My friend and I would grill food there and leave it out for the rats to eat. I would hear the vermin underneath the couch before I fell asleep. There were a lot of them, and they came every night.
I felt like I was on exhibit at times living on that porch. People would walk by on that busy street in Allston and wonder what was wrong with me. Perhaps they were asking themselves why someone would choose to live on a porch with rats. Whatever they were thinking, I’m sure they were happy to not be me.

The excess of booze, drugs, stress and bad diet wore me down, creating a second episode that occurred towards the end of the summer. I soon landed in my psychiatrist’s office after the summer ended and spoke with him, in an excitable way. My emotions felt intense on edge and unbalanced like a canoe ready to tip over at any moment. The doctor eventually prescribed me Risperdal and Depakote, which helped ease the severity of the emotional and psychotic symptoms, yet left me as crippled as before. The medication had severe side effects that left me a manageable zombie. Unable to take care of myself I eventually moved back to Cincinnati and a new disturbing chapter in my life.
I was disabled during this period of my life from the intense side effects of the medication, and therefore left to the hands of others. During a typical day I would sleep 10 hours, then go to my computer and engulf myself in some sort of online fantasy world. I realized quickly that people thought I was a drug addict since I noticeably seemed drugged from my psychiatric prescription medications.

The psychiatrist I was seeing at the time seemed a big follower of Freudian Psychology as he often used our appointments to discuss the id and the superego. Our sessions were quick as I would see him 5-10 minutes and he never really seemed to have anything to say of importance. He usually just quietly passed a script to me with the usual medications that were poisoning me at the time, brushing aside my complaints of the side effects.

I started to realize something was amiss about my treatment as I felt I wasn’t getting much better. Eventually after many years of suffering I acquired a new psychiatrist. On my first visit I told him of my difficulties with the medication I had been taking. He listened carefully and we began experimenting with different types of these and their effects.
There was a lot of shuffling around with the medication over the next year, and eventually an unexpected breakthrough was made. Some seven years after my initial episode, a foreign substance in the form of a pill would enter my brain that would strike a crushing blow to the demons which lie deep within my psyche.

I was introduced to Aripiprazole by my doctor when I started becoming delusional towards the end of 2006. Arriving home I popped one of the little pills in my mouth expecting nothing to happen. I fell asleep and then awoke feeling an unusual sense of calm and clarity, that I hadn’t felt in years. Initially I thought it was just a temporary stopping point until the demon would arise again. I took a much needed shower and went for a car ride, confused as to how well I was feeling at the time.

Some years before that day, on Christmas Eve, I wished for a return to sanity. Every Christmas, underneath the tree I received many gifts, yet the gift I wanted most eluded me. How strange it was that sometime soon after Christmas one cold January morning I was to receive the gift that I had wished for most.

This unusual moment of clarity, a seed of sanity and well being extended to the next day and then the next week. The air smelled fresher, the sun shined brighter and colors seemed more vibrant than they ever had in years. Though not cured, my feeling of normalcy felt almost miraculous.
Once upon a time I was told that my DNA would never allow me to lead a normal life, and that because of this I would be destined for failure. I firmly believed this statement and thought that my life would always be limited, and that I would never be able to work, have friends or live a normal life. If I only understood how false this statement was, as I currently have received all of these.

Years later I began to write horror stories that were filled with villainous C.I.A agents, malicious aliens and nefarious talking rats from the days of yore. I did so because I wanted others to know what it is like to experience the psychotic realm. I bring them now to you throughout the remainder of this book. They are tales of madness that few experience and even fewer live to tell. Tales that haunted my mind for years and continue to haunt the minds of millions.

Acidic Comedy
By Dan Hoeweler

The aliens hover high in space building plots, schemes and thought control devices to be planted in the heads of those they despise. At nights they insert these in certain human’s despicable heads to make them their slaves. This makes these lesser creatures behave as they wish in a manner they decide. Like puppets these hated humans are destroying the lives of those whom they love.

Fred is a man who has many of their contraptions within him. A microchip in his head planted by these outer space creatures controls his thoughts and actions, making him a machine of destruction. It speaks to him daily, giving him company in his loneliness. It tells him evil ideas, wanting him to kill himself and destroy those that surround him.

“I’m going to get you Fred, one of these days I will destroy you”
”I know you are speaking with me now, my aliens. Someday I will escape from you and your evil ways. I will find a way to trick you just as you have tricked me”.

Fred sits in his comfortable bedroom chair thinking of ways to destroy the electronic devices the aliens inserted within him. He tires of being monitored and controlled by alien technology. He thinks of an idea then goes to the bathroom and glides his fingers slowly over the surface of his body, jabbing at certain areas. He finds a lump on his forearm which he pokes hard at believing it to be the device he has been searching for.
Opening his drawer he finds a rusty knife and places the blade on his skin cutting slowly and deeply several times till its blade scrapes against the bone. Blood drips to the floor, yet his mind is concentrated solely on the removal of the tracking device. Cutting a straight three inch line he places his fingers into the wound feeling around for the tracking device.

“What are you doing Fred? Look at you standing there covered in blood with the mess you have made on the floor. Your mother just bought you that rug.”
“I’m sure you find this very entertaining. I am sure you think of me as some sort of play toy you like viewing.”
“Yes you are. My friends and I are sitting in front of the spaceship’s monitor watching a comedy going on right now.”
Fred throws the rusty knife at the wall in frustration. His gaping wound is flooding the floor with fresh blood, yet Fred feels little physical pain.
“Give up Fred you are stuck with me. If you struggle I’m just going to make it worse for you.”

Fred paces thinking of new ways to stop the aliens, cursing at the top of his lungs while doing so. He goes to the basement, takes his electric drill and then walks back up to the bathroom. He stares at the mirror.

“I know you are in there, you bastard.”
He holds the drill and places it on the forehead. With no anesthetic Fred begins to drill attempting to perform brain surgery in order to remove the microchip within his head. He drills slowly and methodically, penetrating deep inside the skull. Once he reaches the outer wall, he pulls the drill out, and blood begins to ooze from its crevice. Looking into the mirror, he sees a long stream of blood running down his forehead. He soaks the blood with a dry rag located on top of his laundry basket in order to see clearly while the surgery is being performed. Fred then hears a booming laugh.

“This is too good Fred. My friends and I are sitting here from afar very entertained, laughing our heads off.”
“I will have the last laugh you bastards. I am too good a person to be nothing more than your entertainment.”

Fred gathers items below the bathroom sink and in the basement that he needs to put a stop to this madness. He then lays face up on the bathroom floor, blood still oozing from his forearm and head, and places the nozzle of the funnel he gathered inside the hole in his forehead. He smiles aware that he will finally destroy the alien electronics inside his head. Grabbing acid with his right hand he slowly pours it into the funnel till everything goes black. The acid eats away at his frontal lobe and the alien circuitry as he is passing out. Fred’s body then begins going into spasms. Blood and a gel like substance begin to seep from his eyeball while he flops uncontrollably around on the floor.
Far above aliens were viewing Fred on their monitor laughing hysterically. Eventually they click the monitor off as Fred’s dead body lay silently on the floor. His death was considered to be the climax of an entire television series that many an alien watched on their home planet. The tabloids later stated that it took some two months before his corpse was found, as he was a very lonely man. Reruns were shown for months, about this very funny occurrence.

Code Yellow
By Dan Hoeweler

Some years ago Code Yellow was sent to all C.I.A. agents. It’s message was simple;
They know about us. Find them.

Thousands of C.I.A. Agents received it and knew what to do. Scouring the city they tapped every phone line and watched every citizen, to find the schizophrenics. Many of the schizophrenics were eventually found and placed in institutions. Fewer escaped and ended up in hiding. Others still roam the streets suspicious and unsure who to trust.

Frank is currently in charge of operation code yellow. He is a high ranking schizophrenic hunter because he has captured more of them than most C.I.A. Agents. He keeps a tally of all the schizophrenics he captures and reports the numbers to the government. His office is littered with pictures of the ones he has helped capture.

Frank knows what happens to them afterward. He knows that they are poisoned with medication, and that tracking devices are implanted underneath their skin to keep tabs on them, but he doesn’t like to think about it. He doesn’t deal with that side of things, only the cat and mouse game that he plays every day with them in the C.I.A.’s intelligence room.

Inside this room is where all the spying takes place for operation code yellow. All information about the schizophrenics are sent here for further analysis by Frank and his colleagues. Today Frank discusses with the other hunters ways to capture them in his intelligence room. Computer monitors on a screen within are tracking the most knowledgeable and therefore dangerous schizophrenics.

An agent warns Frank of a particularly dangerous schizophrenic.
“I’ve found a level nine schizophrenic. His name is Bill and he is hiding underneath a bridge. We are worried he knows too much about our operation.”
“Send out an agent to stop him. Implant a thought control device in his head while he’s sleeping to wipe his memory clean.”
“I think we can’t wait on this one Frank, he plans on spilling the beans today about our operation today.”
“All right I will deal with this.”
Frank grabs his microphone and speaks directly to Bill through the microchip in Bill’s head.
“Bill, can you hear me?”
Bill listens and is worried about the voice he is hearing.
“Bill we are worried that you know too much about the C.I.A. I have a button here in my office that can instantly stop your heart from beating. If you ever tell anyone about us I will press the button and kill you.”
Bill nods in agreement to Frank. He isn’t ready to die yet.
“Bill if you ever defy me I will kill you. Don’t get any strange ideas and spread the truth to the world. I have ways to stop you.”
Bill responds to Frank through pure thought knowing that Frank’s technology can Track his thoughts.
I will find a way to escape from you. There must be a way to deflect your mind reading and tracking devices. I will find and build devices to counter yours.
“Bill, many have tried and all have failed. I’m warning you for the last time Bill.”
“Kill me then. I’d rather than die than be your slave.”
Frank then pressed the button knowing that thousands of miles away Bill’s heart would explode.

Something happened that day, as Bill’s death hit a special nerve in Frank’s heart. For once he actually felt sorry for a schizophrenic he had killed. He went home that night feeling guilty for the thousands of schizophrenics he had murdered, tortured and imprisoned over the years. Some days later Frank decides to tell the world about the C.I.A’s operation. On this day everyone heard a voice in their head telling them this:
“People of the world, I wish to tell you that during your lifetime you have been lied to in every concievable way. All along we at the C.I.A have been watching your every move and monitoring your every activity so that we may control you. You have believed yourselves to be free when in fact you are all slaves to us. My job for the past century has been to track down and destroy those who are aware of the ways of the world, so that you may remain oblivious. People of earth, I tell you this so that future generations may no longer be slaves underneath our thumb. I tell you this so that you may be free.” Soon after this message panic and anarchy ensued, as everyone had seemingly become a schizophrenic.

Dinner for Eight
By Dan Hoeweler
Who wants to know George Appleton? Only the rats that dwell in his small raggedy house in the middle of the Arizona desert do. He converses with them in his loneliness while rocking back and forth in his chair. Their shrieking, wispy voices speak to him as they scurry about eating the bits of food he leaves. The leader of them is Ike, the alpha rat, who visits George most often.

“The world hates you George” Ike says as he nibbles on a bit of cheese, “that‘s why you‘re stuck here in the middle of the Arizona in this raggedy shack.”

“I hate the world, so it makes sense that the world hates me. It is my destiny that I am to die a lonely, poor man.”

Ike scurries back home with his family, living the life George wants, one in the company of others. George is jealous of this, and sometimes thinks of killing him, but then realizes that Ike is his only companion.

“Why don‘t you do what you‘ve wanted to do all these years? Are you afraid? You are slowly dying as a lonely old man, with your only company being rats. Do it. Kill yourself, you old bum.”

An old revolver hangs on George‘s wall, with bullets in his drawer. Ike keeps Tempting him to use it, urging the old man to off himself. The old man‘s hatred for the world brews in his stomach, sometimes it makes him want to leave this world.

“Why don‘t you go live in your filth with the rest of your kind, rodent?” George says, “Going around and feeding off garbage, you are disgusting. Get some real food.” “You are a useless old man.”

Ike replies, “You don‘t work, no one loves you, and you live off your paltry social security check. The world doesn‘t need another useless person. Think of it as population control George.”

“I‘m going to start setting out rat traps you vermin. How do you like that? I can off you and your whole family.”
“You are no better than me. You live in filth and scrounge around, waiting for the government to throw you a piece of food to eat.”
“I‘m going to sleep, and I‘ll take care of you and your friends later.”
The old man tries to sleep, but the rats scurry about underneath his bed. He hears them playing.
“Kill yourself.” the rats whisper repeatedly into his ear.
“Go away you little demons.” He yells, throwing his shoe at them.

They briefly scatter, only to return later and torture him. They keep the old man up the entire night.
At sunrise Ike speaks.

“Your wife died years ago,” he says, “your kids abandoned you and never visit. What‘s the point in continuing? You‘ve destroyed your life and the lives of those you surrounded yourself with. You are poisonous to the touch.”

The old man thinks of his wife, and tears began building up. He thinks of the sins he committed against her; of the infidelity, abuse and lack of love he showed her. He thinks of his son, whom he abandoned because of his disability, of his daughter that he beat. These sins begin to build up within his soul and heart.

Later that night he pulls the trigger of that old revolver that hung above his fireplace. Ike hears the shot and giggles with his pals inside of the hole of George‘s wall. He peaks out and sees George‘s dead corpse face down in a puddle of blood

.
Ike prances around in bliss with all his pals, and laps the blood of his old adversary. Blood covered after this tasty shake, they all decide to try the main dish. They eat wonderfully for weeks, licking their chops and laughing at the old man and his foolishness. Ike feels particularly proud of his accomplishment, and believes it to be the tastiest meal he has ever eaten.