Biting Back

milk carton and glass illustration

A man wakes with a start and finds himself wet from the waist down. He tries to take in his surroundings. He’s half submerged in a white, milky liquid, and all he can see around him is metal.

He tries to move his arms, but he can’t. He looks down and realises he’s been tethered with rope. He’s attached to a metal pole which is digging uncomfortably into his back.

“You’ll pay. We tried to warn you.” He hears the voice, but he doesn’t know where it comes from.

He looks up and sees there’s an end to the metal walls around him. It looks like he’s in a barn or a warehouse; he can see rafters above his head. A huge chain hangs from one of them and is clipped to the top of the pole upon which he’s tethered.

“Who are you?” the man calls, his voice hoarse and straining feebly in his throat.

“We know what you do to our kind. We’re biting back. Dunking, and biting back.” The voice is soft, almost gentle. Very nearly reassuring.

“Tell me who you are?” the man calls desperately. He can feel panicked tears burning at his eyes.

Something slowly emerges into the man’s view from the other side of the tank. Something circular, with rough, craggy edges. It’s not a person, notes the man. A weapon, he considers. Something to drown him with.

No. It has eyes. It has bright, shining eyes which peer down on him. And then he sees a mouth; a wide, smiling mouth which looks like it could eat him alive.

But it’s certainly not a person. Not human.

It’s a cookie. A giant cookie.

“I think you need to soak a little longer,” it says. “You won’t make good eating just yet. Dunk him!”

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