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(A short story of 3554 words)

The Boetmen

Fantasy Fantasy - Speculative

by Tim Kelly

Who are the Boetmen? What are the Boetmen? What do they do? Take a journey into the world of eco-horror In this terrifying representation of toxic masculinity.

In comes the dinner, uplifted by firm female flesh. The men make noise of welcome. Onto the tables are laid pontoons of coalfish, horse-mackerel and herring. In come platters of gummy shark, garpike and whiting; salvers of slimy yellow eel, dogfish and black bream follow. Steaming soup of fishgut, heads and bones and floating fish eyes fill tureens upon the tables. Fistfuls of bread are torn from trenchers topped with loaves, then dunked in oily broth or stuffed with sliced fish gut and roe. Men cram full their mouths, lick dribble from greasy fingers, belch, slurp, munch heartily. Soup and slobber run in rivulets down wiry beards.

The women serve. The men eat. The former is a pretty sight, the latter not so...

And then to whoops and cheers in comes the sacred delicacy: egg-cup o’ cod is placed before each man. Soft boiled egg topped with salt and sliver of rarest cod – all golden dripdown. Each man pauses. Some look up to thank their Maker. Then, eggs held aloft, they slurp down slimy yolk-soaked cod. Some suck at shells to gain the final morsel. Other stick lewd tongues into the cavity. All is eaten.

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