Pseudopod 208: The Evil-Eater

By Peadar Ó Guilín

Read by Wilson Fowlie

The giant left them to be replaced by a man bearing a pair of earthenware bowls containing a dark, lumpy substance. Marie watched it warily, and Toby knew she was already thinking of leaving. She had expected champagne and chandeliers; a feast of caviar and lobster while famous men took time out from their wives to steal glances at her across the room. Her dreams did not include the absence of a menu, brown lumpy stuff and a waiter who looked like he’d eaten bad chicken the night before. In fact, Toby noticed, while the wine stewards were all fine, strong men, the food waiters who passed through the flickering firelight were frightening to behold. Their faces shone with a veneer of sweat which beaded and ran into the rough spun tunics they wore. They shook as though palsied, and each of them moved as slowly as possible, hurrying only under the glare of the wine stewards. Not one of them looked Irish.

“What is this bleedin’ crap!” hissed Marie.

“Er-Erta,” said the waiter. He looked terrified. “Erta.”