I always loved jelly beans as a kid. I remember keeping a small amount of my school lunch money after school that I would use for jelly beans that I would buy at the gas station on the way home. Every day I would go to the same gas station and see the same smiling lady who would happily sell me the same jelly beans. I would down the entire pack on the walk home so my mother wouldn’t be upset at me for wasting my lunch money on sweets. I kept up my routine until high school.
As I got to my high school years, jelly beans were becoming less and less popular among people, they became a bit harder to find. They were no longer sold at the gas station, by the time I had my license, the only thing I would stop at the station for was gas. Every day after school I would have to stop at the gas station, fill up my tank, drive to Wal-Mart, search the candy aisle, get my jelly beans, then from there it was a fifteen minute drive home. This was my routine for about four years. By the time I graduated from high school my mother had passed away and given me the house. Though this was a down time in my life my bean addiction comforted me.
New flavors began to raise, tropical fruit, sour, mint, all tastes of the flavor spectrum. Then there were the strange flavors, Bean Boozled Packs, Bertie Bott’s Every Flavor Bean, containing such flavors as ear wax, vomit, dirt, earth worm, etc. Bizarrely enough… I quite enjoyed these disgusting flavor experiences. I found myself eating all the decent tasting beans first and saving all my atrocious heavens for last. Dirty diapers, boogers, baby wipes, they all satisfied my taste buds.
Then a few days ago with the coming of Halloween brought new gross flavors of beans to experience; Monster Slime, Brains, Mummified Bone, and Blood. Even though all these were all new flavors, on the box there was only the spiky bubble with the word “New!” on the blood flavor. I bought a package, went home and tried each flavor. “Monster Slime” tasted like a mixture of vomit and grapes, “Brains” tasted like boogers and liver, and “Mummified Bone” tasted simply like dog biscuits.
Disappointed in the poorly conjoined flavors I just took a handful and put them in my mouth. I felt two splats in my mouth and immediately knew the taste; the salty and metallic flavor filled my taste buds. At first I was shocked. “Is my mouth bleeding..?” I asked myself in my head. It took a few seconds for it to hit me but then I realized; The blood flavor! The jelly bean company had precisely made the blood flavor at a disturbingly accurate level. It really, really tasted like blood. I swallowed down my mouth full of jelly beans and then before I knew it they whole package was gone except for about two or three blood beans. I picked them all up and ate them slowly, one by one, savoring the texture and salty, iron flavor of each for nearly twenty minutes.
The very next day I went to Wal-mart and noticed that there were packages of each individual Halloween flavor, along with the mixed pack that I bought the day before. I was searching desperately for my new favorite flavor. I saw all the others, “Monster Slime”, “Brains”, “Mummified Bone", and there it was, not called simply by its flavor, “Blood” like all the rest, but the package was called, “Vampire Pack”, it was $5.99. A lot more expensive than the others, but I knew my metallic tasting candies were worth it.
I bought the package and drove fifteen minutes back to my house. I had become addicted to this new flavor; the taste and texture impressed me so much that the day after I once again returned to Wal-Mart. This time with a wallet full of money, willing to buy out the entire stock of Vampire Packs. I arrived in my usual parking spot, went to the candy aisle, and searched for the savory beauties. To my surprise they were all gone, along with the other “Monstrous Halloween Flavors”. I noticed one of the Wal-Mart employees checking stock in the aisle, she looked kind of familiar but I disregarded that, instead getting right to my point.
I walked over to her and got her attention, “Excuse me miss?”
“Yes?” She looked up from the shelves.
“Might I ask what happened to all the Halloween themed flavors?” I said casually trying not to look panicked and full of withdrawal.
“I’m sorry sir, they were recalled,” she said. A big grin crossed her face as if she knew this was torturing me, “They were probably too terrible tasting for the children anyways,” she said, like someone waving steak in the face of a starving dog. The teasing manner of which she spoke these words made me want to strangle the life out of her, but I didn't.
Though my addiction was strong I wouldn't let it control me. “Alright, th-thank you…” I said nodding my head, uncontrollably twitching my eye as I shake a bit. I began to walk away when I noticed something, underneath the shelf where the woman was working; almost out of sight I could see the “V” of a Vampire pack. I knew they were here, I heard them calling to me. I pull out my cell phone and pretended to text for a little while until the lady left. When she left I felt under the shelf like a child looking for a lost toy and to my surprise I found not only one, but three Vampire Packs! I knew there was no way I could just purchase them though, as they were recalled. I quickly snatched them up and shoved them in my hoodie, down by my stomach, I zipped it up and went on my way.
I exited the store happily and went to my car. I started it up and looked at the time; 8:26 PM. I hated driving at night, but it was only a fifteen minutes to home. On the drive home I thought I felt my stomach rumbling, though I didn't really feel hungry. But nevertheless I reached into my hoodie, opened one of my Vampire Packs. I finished the whole pack in the short drive. The beans metallic taste, bloody splats, and viscous texture relaxed me for the dark drive.
I was finally home, I pulled into my driveway, turned off my car, unlocked my house door, stepped inside, sat down at my computer desk and tried to research the reason why my beloved beans were being recalled. Strangely enough, I couldn't find anything about a jelly bean recall. Hell, I couldn't even find the Halloween Flavors ever existed! I took a Vampire Pack out of my hoodie, got a bowl and poured them in. I took out one remarkably large bean and set it in the middle of my desk; I looked away from it and turned on my lamp. I examined it for 10 seconds; it was a deep red color like real blood with the company's signature white stamp on it. Why were they recalled? And why did they taste so real? I heard the sound of something dropping. After looking around for a second I noticed that one of the beans had fallen out of the bowl. I stared at the odd thing for several seconds. How did that fall out of the bowl? There’s at least an inch between the bean at the very top of the pile and the edge of the bowl.
Suddenly I felt a sharp pain in my left hand, I looked over to see that the bean that I was examining was biting deeply into my hand! I could see it pulsing with blood that it was draining from my hand! I grabbed onto the bean and pulled it off, as I did so I saw its legs and face. This wasn't a bean, oh no no no, to my terror when I brought it to the light I saw that it was a tick! A big, fat, squirming, dark red, blood filled tick! My right hand spasmed in disgust, trying to get the blood sucking creature away, in doing so I knocked down the bowl full of beans onto the floor, they all began to move and crawl towards me. I felt pains in my chest and stomach; I looked down my hoodie to see that the little monsters were bursting out of the Vampire Pack! They were latching onto me, draining me of blood, then I fell down. I realized the irony of the name, it wasn't called “Vampire Pack” because they were blood flavored; it was called that because there were vampires inside. So many thoughts were filling my head and I was in a panic from being covered in these grotesque parasites. The thought that I had eaten nearly a thousand of these filled my head and I began to throw up. My puke covered the floor; I saw the ticks emerging from my vomit. The ones I had eaten must have been full of eggs and they were all growing inside of me! I was covered in ticks, inside and out, the smell of blood and vomit filled my nostrils, my vision began to fade from fluid loss, I could feel all the little Dracula-like parasites draining my blood through their little fangs, I was too weak to escape, too weak to move, I was too weak to do anything. All I could do was lay still as the small creatures covered me, I could feel them crawling, biting, draining. The began to coat my face, I felt them ever steadily crawling into all my facial orifices, my nose, my mouth. My eyes were the worst.. I could hear them scratching, biting, eating away into my head. Then my eyes. One forced open my eye lid and I saw it, so so close. I could see even the finest hairs on its fangs just before then dug into my eye with immense pain and finally I passed out.
I thought, no… I hoped I was dead. My vision began to come back. I looked around and took in my environment. I was in a hospital bed, bandages were placed helter-skelter all over my body, one covering my left eye. A nurse came to my bedside; I didn't look up at her face.
“Where am I..?” I asked.
“Why you’re in a hospital sir, some trick-or-treaters found you in your home on the floor, bleeding profusely. They thought it was just a Halloween prank but when they realized you weren't faking they soon called the police,” she said. I pulled up my sleeves and looked at my arms, they were covered in red dots from all the little blood suckers. “Here,” the nurse said, placing something in my hand. It was a small box. I looked up at the nurse, she was smiling at me, it was a smile I knew from somewhere. “I thought you would enjoy these.” She said, and then happily stepped out. Then it hit me, the lady at the gas station when I was a child, the lady at Wal-Mart, the nurse, and come to think of it, even the same cashier that would always cash me out at Wal-Mart whenever I would get my beans; they were all the same lady. She hadn't aged a day since I was a child. How could this be? Who was she? Why was she always there?
I looked down in my hands at what she had handed me.
I read it out loud, “Vampire Pack”, I smiled.
Written by TeamKillerCody