Blimpo: The Third Circle of Heck

Blimpo: The Third Circle of Heck by Dale E. Basye

Book: Blimpo: The Third Circle of Heck by Dale E. Basye Read Free Book Online
Authors: Dale E. Basye
bellyaching,” it chortled wickedly. “There’s plenty of that around here.”
    * * *
    The Cafeterium, or Lose-Your-Lunchroom as the locals called it, was not what Milton expected. It actually looked kind of nice. The tastefully lit room was monopolized by a large oval waterway shuttling little buoyant plates of food. The plates, elegant boats upon closer inspection, were laden with delicious cargo—jumbo grilled hamburgers, towering ice-cream sundaes, apple pie, pizza slices with layers of succulent toppings—leaving port from the kitchen, visible through a small opening in the wall, before embarking on their circuit around the room.
    Milton’s Pang suit rippled with hunger. He strode toward one of the boats—the SS
BLBTB
(bacon, lettuce, bacon, tomato, and bacon sandwich)—and ham-handedly grabbed the plate before it floated away. Just before he cast the sandwich, boat and all, into his ever-widening mouth, he noticed the sandwich’s dull shine, flat coloring, and faint smears of glue around the seams.
    “A plastic model,”
Milton moaned with disappointment as he capsized the sandwich and flung it back into the faux-food regatta. He noticed a small grate in the ceiling, where tufts of flavorful smoke drifted out. Someone snickered from the kitchen.
    “That never gets old,” muttered an enormous man with a red face like a landslide and a white sagging chef’s hat on his head.
    Milton, irritable not only from being hungry but also from wearing an uncomfortable disguise that was,in itself, starving, stomped over to the kitchen window. The cramped kitchen was a mess of pots, pans, and large familiar-looking jars. He thought he could detect the faintest whiff of barbecue.
    “Ha-ha,”
Milton said sarcastically. “You’re a riot. Is there any
real
food here?”
    The cook looked Milton up and down. His chins jiggled like bowls of Mexican jumping bean Jell-O.
    “You must be new,” the cook replied. “I always remember a face. And if I had seen yours before, I would remember trying to forget it.”
    Milton was tempted to lob the classic “I’m rubber, you’re glue” comeback at the rude, revolting man, but his Pang tongue was more interested in eating than in arguing. The cook grinned, his cheeks a pair of round, shiny, rotten apples.
    “Of course there’s food,” he said. “Wouldn’t be much of a Cafeterium without food, now, would it?”
    “Great! What do you have?” Milton replied with a glee that surprised himself. “Something sure smells good….”
    “You have your choice,” the cook replied, shoving a plate through the window. “Bacon and eczema …”
    Milton gawked sadly at the plate piled high with unappetizing lumps and flakes.
    “And my other choice?”
    The cook held out a mound of deep-fried carbuncles atop a stale, moldy biscuit in his grimy hands.Underneath his fingernails was enough dirt to support a small organic vegetable garden.
    “Kentucky fried chicken pox on a biscuit.”
    “What’s the biscuit?” Milton asked with trepidation.
    “One of Dr. Kellogg’s ‘Off the Eaten Path Dusted Double Lentil Trail Mix Biscuits,’” the cook replied. “With all the mold, it also acts as its own penicillin, which would come in handy, considering where this biscuit’s been—”
    “I’m fine, thanks,” Milton muttered with disgust.
    “Suit yourself,” the cook said as he pulled down the blinds of the kitchen window.
    Milton turned and ran straight into a pudgy, freckle-faced boy.
    “Excuse m—
Virgil!”
Milton exclaimed with joy as he gripped the boy’s shoulders.
    Milton’s best friend backed away suddenly.
    “Hey, I like hugs as much as the next guy, maybe more so,” Virgil said as he regarded the beast of a boy in front of him, “but usually I reserve them for friends.”
    Milton recalled he was draped in another creature—one that had been liberally smeared with makeup. He leaned into Virgil and opened his mouth as wide as he could, which was far wider than

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