The night had been planned to perfection right down to the full Harvest moon – an especially nice touch, I thought – that now beamed down upon my guests as they sat at crystal-laden tables, dining on what would be their last meal.
Oh, dear. Now I’ve spoiled the surprise, haven’t I?
Captains of industry, they had pillaged the world of its wealth, sending the ships in their charge crashing onto rocks where the sea butted against stone, leaving only debris floating on warming oceans in their wake. And yet, having it all, they still lusted for more. Always more.
I know this, for I was once one of them.
The velvet pouches at each setting, befitting of the pirates they had become, contained a solid gold coin imprinted with their name, likeness and the date that, unbeknownst to them, would be that of their demise. How they delighted in such a souvenir, worshiping their own images while turning the coins over and over in their hands, like young children enthralled with a shiny new penny.
I would later add them to my collection.
The finish on the coins was beginning to take its paralyzing effect as it seeped through their fingertips and into their nervous systems, stealth as the whisper of a Brazilian Wandering Spider from which the toxic substance had been sourced – the very same spider whose habitat, deep in the rainforests of South America, was being decimated at the corporate direction of my dinner companions.
Wonderfully ironic. Don’t you agree?
The surgical team quickly moved in, for the harvesting must take place before their vital organs could be affected. Soon these hearts, lungs, and kidneys would find their way to the poorest and most desperate in places throughout the world where surgeons, whose only interest was saving lives, would not ask questions about their origins.
A dish of crème brulee, lightly-flavored with just a touch of Grand Marnier, was set down before me. I savored its subtle orange scent, anticipating its warm sweetness on my lips.
Pity my guests would have to miss dessert.