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Who doesn't love the smell of baked goods? The scent of bread rising, or a pie cooling. Scent is more closely related to emotional reactions than any of the other senses, and fresh baked pastries are the ecstasy of the scent world. A few months ago, a bakery opened a few doors down from me, and the smell sliced through the polluted air of the urban landscape like a knife though butter, causing olfactory euphoria to anyone within a mile of it. Now don't ask where this seemingly heavenly bakery is because it's not in anybody's best interest to go anywhere near that place. I should introduce myself before I tell you about “Der blutige Vielfraß Bakery”. My name is Samuel, I live... lived... with my girlfriend in a cramped, albeit comfortable apartment above an electronics store in the downtown of our city. Her and I both had part-time jobs, neither of us could afford college and we knew it, but we both aspired to go into the culinary industry some day; maybe open our own restaurant. When we heard a German bakery opened down the street we were ecstatic, but momentarily confused... how could we not notice any construction, or promotional signs... we walked by its location every single day and would've noticed. We disregarded this, blamed it on routine disregarding of our surroundings in the city. We walked excitedly down to the bakery to try their goods.
The first thing that hit us as soon as we left our building was the powerful scent of bread, pies, cookies, and all the other delicious baked goodies. We looked at each other in gleeful surprise, we were still a block away but the scent was as clear as it would be in the kitchen. A minute or so later we arrived in front of our destination. It had a colourful, yellow, black and red awning, a big clear window in the front, and written in a big playful font on the window it said “Der Blutige Vielfraß Bakery. The Best Bakery Outside of Germany”. We eagerly walked inside, but stopped dead in the doorway, paralysed by the olfactory onslaught caused by the freshly baked strudel just coming out of the oven. After we awoke from our momentary bliss filled unconsciousness, we looked and saw that the bakery wasn’t very busy, a few customers at the small tables, seemingly entranced by the sheer deliciousness of the pastries in their possession. We walked up to the counter and were greeted a by a five foot tall, three foot wide man with an ear to ear smile, a handlebar moustache, a white coat, and a tall chef's hat; the perfect cartoon chef.
“Guten tag, friends! Velcome to mien humble bakery!” the Cook greeted us with a thick German accent, “Vhat may I treat zis lovely couple to today? I've juzt finished a batch of vonderfull mulberry strudels if you are interested!”
“Mulberry strudel?” I asked with optimistic curiosity, “Now there's something you don't see very often, I'll give that a try!”
“Very good, very good,” replied the cook, “Und for ze lovely lady?”
My girlfriend responded, “I'll try whatever you recommend, chef, surprise me.”
“Ah, a surprise eh, I vill see vhat I have for a voman of such beauty,” the cook said in a playful tone, “Und please, m'lady, call me Franz.”
“It's very nice to meet you, Franz,” I said, “It's about time we got a half decent bakery in this crap-hole town; How much do I owe you?”
“Vell it iz mien grand opening, zo I vill give you a discount, I'll get you some tea vith your pastries and I’ll only charge you $2.50.”
“2.50? That's amazing!” I responded with glee, “You, sir, are a welcome addition to this town.”
I handed him the money, and we took a seat waiting for our food.
When our food was brought to us, I was met with a plate sized strudel that made my salivary glands go into overdrive, my girlfriend was handed a massive slice of what was apparently strawberry apple cream pie. I found it an odd combination, but upon having a taste of it I was met with a rainbow of flavours sending me into a foodgasmic dreamland. When we had finished our food we felt as if we had eaten two Christmas dinners, satisfyingly full. My euphoria was broken when I saw the clock, it was 4 o'clock, we had been there for six hours. I jumped up, shifting the mass of food in a way my stomach did not approve of. I fought through the slight nausea and went home with my girlfriend. I had to work in an hour. I work at a bar and it was Friday night, if I missed work for happy hour on a Friday my boss would have my head. I managed to get my clothes changed and ran down to the bar with only a minute before my shift started. My boss gave me a stern look, but that was the worst of it. My night went fairly normal except I couldn't figure out how my girlfriend and I managed to be at that bakery for six hours... it just wasn't natural.
I always walk home at 3 AM, after an hour of cleaning up the bar I'm exhausted so it's more of a stumble home. As I approach home I begin to smell the bakery, it's much weaker as there's no baking being done, but the scent lingered. I took a deep inhale, but a few seconds into the breath my nose is attacked by the most disgusting scent I've ever encountered. I gagged, and immediately fell to my knees heaving. The foul odour was only there for a few seconds, but those few seconds were enough to move my gut into my throat. It smelled like a dead animal that had been rotting in the sun, or a warm compost pile. It smelled like decay, and it was disgusting. I was right next to the bakery, I looked over to it... the air was filled again with the pleasant scent of baked goods, but after that shock I was not about to breathe too deeply. In the back of the store I saw, what looked at the time like the silhouette of Franz, but much... much larger.
It moved slowly and jiggled with every step. I lost sight of it after a few moments, and decided to continue my way home. I was just outside of my building, having already forgotten the strange situation I had just gone through, when I heard a deep, guttural, disgusting belch loud enough that it should have woken the city. No human could make a gaseous outburst of that calibre, and me being an immature young man, I know burps when I hear them. This was not natural, this was not human. After staring towards the bakery in disbelief for a few moments I simply passed it off as exhaustion. I walked into my house, and passed out next to my already sleeping girlfriend.
I never had another experience like that near the bakery, but I never had to be near it in the middle of the night again. My girlfriend and I continued to go to the bakery on an almost daily basis. Each trip staying for less time, and eating our massively portioned pastries more hastily... like we needed them. It was two weeks after our first visit to this bakery that our lives changed forever. We were about to leave the bakery when Franz called for us to come back.
“I've heard you two vould like to get into ze culinary arts zomeday,” Franz said gleefully, “Vould you like to zee mien kitchen? Perhaps assist vith some of mien baking?”
I looked at my girlfriend, shocked by this, and we both turned to Franz and in almost perfect sync my girlfriend and I replied, “YES!”
Franz led us behind the counter and opened the door, we walked into the kitchen, and stood frozen in shock. Behind the door labelled “EMPLOYEES ONLY” was not a kitchen, it was... a dungeon, of sorts. I was about to turn and run, but before I could I felt a sharp blow to my head, and everything went black.
I awoke what felt like hours later in the same dungeon I had just been lured into, but this time hanging from a rack, shackled by rusted cuffs that dug into my wrists as my body weight pulled down on them. As soon as I took a breath I was met with the disgusting fume of decay which I had smelled outside of the bakery weeks ago. I immediately vomited, and began to cry.
“Ah-Ah-ah, ve can't have zat,” said a familiar voice, “Ve need you to be good und fat, so zere vill be NO more of zis vasteful expulsion.”
It was Franz, but he had a much more malicious tone than his usual cheery voice. He stood in the middle of the wide hallway and shouted “VAKE UP!”
There was a sudden influx of movement, met shortly by screams of terror, cries of helplessness, vomiting, and panicked questioning voices. All quickly silenced by a guttural belch. I looked over to where Franz was, but whatever stood there wasn't Franz, it wasn't even human... there stood a ten foot tall, obese monstrosity with chunks of torn flesh covering spots of bloody muscle tissue. It had long, thin arms that dragged behind it as it hobbled down the corridor. It got close enough that I could see its head, all it was was an enormous mouth, with yellow teeth, and a thick tongue hanging out of the side. There were no eyes, nor nose, nor ears. I felt my gut turn, but I was too shocked to vomit.
This beast eventually reached the end of the corridor, grabbed an extremely overweight woman and ripped her from the shackles, tearing her arms from her body in the process. She screamed in pain and begged the beast to leave her be, but it was too late. The beast brought the engorged gut of its victim to its huge mouth and in one swift chomp bit the space between her shoulders and waist straight off. She was silenced immediately, as her disembodied head and legs fell to the floor in a puddle of blood, bone shards, and tissue. The only sound in the corridor for the next five minutes was this beast chewing, loudly, obnoxiously. You could hear every rib snap, every swallow, every bit of flesh tear in the teeth of this abomination. I passed out from sheer disgust.
I was awoken by the scent of pie, apple pie, my favourite. It took me a moment to realize I was still in captivity, but after I felt the stinging scraping of the rusted cuffs it all came back. The gruesome feeding I had witnessed burned into my brain, the screaming. I cried for a minute but stopped when I realized that I smelled apple pie, and not an overbearing olfactory onslaught of death and decay. I looked down and saw a pie the size of my head resting on a metal pedestal, on the crust, written in a blood red was the word “EAT”. A few moments later the pedestal moved up to my face level and I felt a metal plate against the back of my head. The plate forced my face into the pie.
I could hardly breathe, I had to eat my way out... I knew that that thing was just trying to make me fatter so I'm more tasty when it devours me like it did that woman. But I couldn't help it, I had to get out or I’d suffocate. I ate through the whole pie and my stomach was on the brink of bursting, but I held it down to avoid angering the beast, wherever it was. I looked at my shackles, I was amazed that these flimsy metal cuffs could hold anything, let alone an obese man. Fate seemed to be in my favour, as I saw a crack in the chains, a large crack, I looked around to see if the beast was nearby... I couldn't see it. So I lifted my legs up, and kicked them down with all the force I could muster. I heard a crack, and the chain weakened. Unfortunately at the same time I heard the guttural moans of the monster. It knew I was escaping, it was coming for me. I kicked my legs down again, weakening the chain once more. I heard the stomps of the beast approaching, my heart pounded faster than it had ever before as I panicked. I put all my strength into one final kick and with a massive snap the chain broke, and I fell.
I hit the ground hard, twisting my ankle as I did. I held back the scream and looked as I saw the monstrosity clumsily moving towards me. Adrenaline began to pulse through my veins as my survival instincts kick in. Run. I got up and ignored the pain and began to run away from the beast down the corridor. When it saw me it let out a howl that shook my bones to the core, I had to slow to cover my ears but as soon as it was done I continued running. The abomination ran after me, with each step it took its massive arms flew to the side and struck another prisoner. Everybody was screaming at this point... either fear, or joy that someone had escaped, it was hard to tell as the blood from my adrenaline fuelled heart filled my head. But through the screams I heard something that made me stop dead in my tracks.
“SAM!” it was my girlfriend.
I looked at her, she was between me and the monster. I saw her looking at me crying. I looked at her one last time as she mouthed the words “I love you”. The monster's gigantic arm flew up and crushed her skull in a shower of blood, landing the remains of her skull right in front of me. I broke inside... my one true love, beheaded by this demonic abomination. I was angry, but thankfully the anger and pain did not completely blur my logic. The adrenaline began again to course through me as I made my way towards the exit. It was in view, I could see it. I smiled prematurely as I suddenly felt a claw grab my ankle, and rip my foot clean off. I screamed with all the breath in my lungs as the monster swallowed the foot whole. I crawled to the door and managed to slam it shut behind me. I was in the alley beside the bakery. I was about to get my phone out to call an ambulance, when I heard that loud, obnoxious belch again. I cringed, and blacked out.
When I awoke, I was in a hospital bed. I was told that a passer-by found me and called an ambulance just in time, I would need a prosthetic foot and some serious physiotherapy but I would be alright. When I asked about the bakery, they responded as if I was insane; claiming there is not, nor was there ever a bakery in the place I said. The doctors blamed it on stress and reactions to the medications but I know the truth. The bakery is gone now, an empty lot sits where it once stood but the memories live on. As for the reason I'm writing this is because of a text my friend from across the border sent me. It simply read:
“Dude, next time you're in town you have to come try this bakery, it's the best food I've ever eaten, it's called 'Der blutige Vielfraß Bakery'.”