by Mikeytron

You are what you eat. A horror story for Halloween.

5,527 words Added Oct 2021 13k views 4.9 stars (47 votes)

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“Ladies and gentlemen, it’s my pleasure to be here today to present our latest results. We’re all very excited about them down in the lab, excited about the implications for the company and for the world, and I hope you all will be too. So, without further ado, let me introduce… ‘Goliath.’”

The PowerPoint advanced from the title to the first slide. There was puzzled silence as the board attempted to understand what they were looking at. Some kind of… fleshy mass. One by one, the viewers noticed the man standing next to the grotesque thing, dwarfed by it, providing a horrifying sense of scale. The camera was well back to fit it all in frame. The blob had to be at least thirty feet tall and twice as wide. It was… not identifiable as an animal of any kind, yet it clearly was made of meat.

The man giving the presentation seemed oblivious to the dawning revulsion in his audience. He plowed ahead, enthusiastic. “Goliath is 18 months old, and his growth has slowed but not yet stopped—most bulls reach full adult size around the two year mark and we believe he’ll be no different. Goliath began life as a normal bovine embryo; we infected him with a modified version of a herpes simplex virus shortly after his birth to alter his DNA, and, well, you see the results in front of you. A single specimen like Goliath should yield more than 80,000 pounds of harvestable beef, comparable in texture and flavour to high quality Angus, for a fraction of the feed cost of an equivalent herd of cattle. We project profits of–”

“Stop,” the CEO said, simply, sternly.

“But… there are videos…” the hapless man advanced to the next slide, and a short animation of the genetic aberration began looping. This time the revulsion among those watching was immediate and vocal, wordless cries of disgust from the assembled board. The formless heap of beef was… twitching and pulsing, flexing as if trying to move, yet unable, entirely immobilized by its unnatural muscle mass. The poor creature was a blimp of pure muscle literally the size of a house. No features such as limbs were visible. Whatever bones it had were buried deep in the pulsing flesh. The camera—clearly some kind of drone—flew in closer and the… thing’s face appeared over the horizon of its own grotesquely overgrown body, almost engulfed by the writhing sea of meat around it. Big cow eyes, vacant yet steadily blinking, not too different from any other cow, but everything else about it was wrong. Even the muscles of its skull were hypertrophied into a grotesque mockery of nature, its face bloated and wrong-looking. A feeding tube quivered and shook with the force of the pump feeding it, pulsing nutrients into the unfortunate animal, ensuring it would only swell larger still.

“Turn it off!” one of the board members yelled.

The lights went up and the presenter stood there, deflated and confused. “Don’t you people understand? This is a gold mine. We can produce ten times the meat for half the cost. The environmental impact is so much lower than a traditional herd of cattle. This is a win for everyone involved, it’s—”

“It’s never going to see the light of day,” the CEO said grimly. “This isn’t a goldmine, it’s a mad science experiment gone wrong and a PR disaster in the making. The general public is already squeamish about so-called frankenfoods, and you bring us this… grotesquerie. If these pictures and videos ever leaked they could very well ruin this entire company. Destroy that specimen. Immediately. Effective right now this project is disbanded. You’ll… you’ll all receive new assignments in your email once we figure this out. But I can’t allow this project to continue one day more. My god.” The other board members nodded their agreement as the CEO spoke. One of them took a note in all-caps: REVIEW NDA. She double-underlined it so hard the paper almost tore.

The presenter was crestfallen. He really thought the board would share the enthusiasm he and his fellow researchers felt. They’d taken a mere cow and made something so much more. Something with the potential to be a cheap, delicious protein source with a low carbon impact. They thought they were saving the world. And the board turned out to be a bunch of close-minded fools with weak stomachs.

But this was his job, they paid him well, and they were the boss.

“…Yes, sir, I’m sorry to have upset you all. I’ll… I’ll go now.”

He gathered his things and hurried out of the conference room. After he was gone, the assembled board shared looks, as if unsure who should be the first to speak. They were shaken. Several of them looked physically ill.

“What the fuck is wrong with those nerds down in R&D?” one of them finally said, and the group erupted into nervous laughter, as if reassuring themselves. They were safe from… whatever it was they had just seen. They were better than the sick degenerates who would create such an abomination. They were in charge, here. It felt good.

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“How’s Goliath?”

“Oh… well, it’s kind of sad. The brass made us destroy him.”

“What?! No! I’m so sorry! You guys all loved that big boy.”

“He was kind of our mascot, yeah. It was just nuts to see how huge he could get. Just a normal little calf when he was born. He wasn’t done growing, you know. We had a bet going to see if he would hit six digits.”

“Six… six digits?”

“Yeah, 100,000 pounds.”

“Oh, well… I guess if it’s orders from the top there’s no arguing.”

“I heard they had a shit fit when they saw what we had created. Just really grossed out by this mega-cow we’d engineered and raised.”

“Well, what are you going to do with the… you know?”

“The meat? I don’t know. It’s almost twenty tons of good quality beef. I guess we have to treat it like medical waste and destroy it, but it’s a shame. It’s perfectly good meat.”

“You know who’d appreciate it?”

“Who’s that?”

“You know James? He’s on night security, sometimes when I stay late he’s on the front.”

“I don’t think I know him, no.”

“You might know him to see him. Fucking massive bodybuilder. Like 6’3, 290 pounds, bulging out of his uniform. Young guy, maybe 25 or so, blond hair, blue eyes, jaw that could cut glass, ass like—”

“Shh, you know how HR is. But yeah, yeah, him. Of course I’ve noticed him. He’s pretty damn noticeable.”

“He must go through a ton of beef every week. Bodybuilders have to eat insane amounts of food. You should save him some choice cuts. I bet he’d thank you, his grocery bill must be nuts and we don’t pay security all that well.”

“Well… you know, maybe that’s an idea.”

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“Whoa, what’s all this?” James said as he waddled into the break room for the first time that evening. His feet were sore and aching—it wasn’t easy to carry all his weight on them for hours without a rest. He was bulking hard and had just broken the 300 pounds mark for the first time that morning. As much as it excited him, there were practical downsides, like sore feet, chafing thighs, and narrow doorways.

José, who was just finishing his break, grinned at him. “It’s free beef, man. Apparently research and development had to destroy a bunch of cattle, but instead of the meat going to waste they’re just letting us take what we want before they burn the rest in the incinerator. It’s pretty great, I’ve got a chest freezer at home so I’m taking like twenty pounds of it for myself.”

James’s eyes quickly swept the break room. It was full of coolers; the one with its lid off was stuffed with flash-frozen cuts of beef. There was so much of it, hundreds of pounds. “Holy fuck. Meat is getting so expensive lately, this is crazy. It’s really free?”

“Yeah, I know right? There’s a note over on the bulletin board if you wanna check. The pay here is pretty shit but every now and then the weirdest perk comes through,” José said as he stood and prepared to get back to work. He was an average middle-aged Hispanic guy, laid-back, friendly, family man, always with a grin for his big lunk of a coworker.

James grabbed his protein shaker out of the mini-fridge, bid José a friendly see-ya later, and kicked back in the chair that was still warm from his coworker’s ass. The cheap office furniture squeaked and groaned ominously under his huge weight. He probably weighed about twice what José did, he realized, his soft dick twitching at the thought. He started playing with his phone as he took swallows of cold thick sludgy protein. Scrolling Instagram, seeing the results of the recent Mr O contest. The guys just kept getting bigger and freakier year after year. He wanted to see himself up there, some day. He was still pretty young, but he knew he’d have to make his move soon if he was going to make a dent as a pro—he needed to win his next local show, do well at nationals, get his pro card, qualify for the Olympia… He kicked back a little and rested his feet on one of the numerous coolers crowding the break room, admiring how his quads overfilled the legs of his pants, stressing the fabric. Yeah, this free beef would not go to waste, not at all.

James’s break passed by way too quickly. It felt like he’d just lowered his enormous ass into the too-small chair when the door opened and Omar, the other guy on tonight, sauntered in for his break. “Hey man, check out all this free swag!” James said, not yet getting up.

“Hey meathead. Yeah, I saw it earlier. You gonna take some?”

“Some? Bro, I’m thinking about sneaking off to grab my truck so I can fill up the whole bed. Free beef!”

Omar half-grinned at his bodybuilding-obsessed coworker, but he also kind of shook his head. “I dunno man. Something’s fishy about it. What was wrong with the animals, that R&D had to destroy them all? And if the meat’s good, why not just sell it, recoup some profit? I dunno. Nothing’s really for free, man.”

James shrugged. “Strikes me as kinda paranoid, but whatever, you do you. It just means more beef for me!” He flexed his biceps, grinning. “I’m a growing boy, I need to feed!”

Omar laughed. “You’re such a cocky bastard. Careful, if you eat all this beef, you won’t fit through the door next time I see you.”

James smirked. “Wouldn’t that just be awesome? We can dream.” He heaved himself up from the chair. “Well, I should let you start your break. See you in a few hours, man.”

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James had a big, mostly empty chest freezer in his garage, and his talk of fetching his truck was no idle threat—he hauled home hundreds of pounds of the free beef and filled the freezer to the brim. In the days since that fateful night he ate it for just about every meal. It was good meat, rich, flavourful. Every time he left for his nightshift he’d take three or four pounds of it out to thaw for the next day.

His bulk was really kicking into high gear. He’d never trained this well. His diet was always pretty good but with this enormous source of free protein he was really on point, able to stuff himself day after day with the nutrients he needed to grow, no empty calories. His muscles just soaked it all up like dry sponges, eager to expand.

Two weeks after the huge windfall of beef, he stood in his straining XXXL underwear, struggling to see his digital scale’s display over his massive pecs.

332.4 pounds.

Fuck. He was really blowing up, fast. “Must be the gear,” he rumbled to himself as he awkwardly stepped off the scale, his bloated thighs having to circle around each other with each step. But he knew there was nothing different about his gear. It was the same bread-and-butter test and deca cycle he always ran during his bulks, the same doses as the last couple of times he’d done it. He’d never been able to crack 300 before, and here he was busting out well over 330, with ten more weeks to go.

His ab-quilted gut rumbled like an approaching thunder storm. All this muscle required constant feeding. “Better get to eating,” he muttered as he unconsciously angled his body to fit through the bathroom doorway, feeling the frame scrape his ruddy traps and chest, the cotton of his speciality-sized briefs audibly tearing as he waddled away, nearly plugging the hall.

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“Holy fuck, James,” José said as his coworker awkwardly squeezed through the too-small doorway into the break room. He’d already upsized his uniform twice, and was now wearing the largest size available, made for obese guards who sat around watching (or “watching”) CCTV monitors all night, emptying boxes of donuts. James was exploding out of it. The sleeves had already ripped around his bulbous arms, each the size of a thin man’s waist. The buttons on his shirt were gaping, holding on for dear life. His ass stuck out a mile behind him, and as he bent at the waist to reach into the mini-fridge the fabric ripped loudly. José choked and bit his tongue as he saw James’s hairy bare ass; the man wasn’t wearing any underwear. Quite possibly he had none that fit him.

The huge man seemed to be in kind of a daze, however. He didn’t react to his pants splitting right across the seam. Didn’t seem to notice the cool air on his beachball glutes. He no longer bothered with protein shakes. Instead he pulled out an enormous Tupperware that was mostly full of beef. The small amount of rice and broccoli seemed there more as a formality than anything else.

José couldn’t help but gape and stare as James simply popped the Tupperware’s lid and began stuffing cold beef into his mouth with his bare hand. No microwave, no utensils. “So hungry,” he mumbled to himself. José got the feeling the huge man wasn’t even aware there was anyone else present.

“Take… take it easy, big guy,” José said as he cautiously moved to the door. “Maybe… lay off the beef a little?” If James heard him, there was no sign of it. He stood there, alone, shoving handful after handful of meat into his ravenous mouth. If José had stayed and watched carefully, he just might have noticed his co-worker growing there where he stood.

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“You’re looking great, José,” Omar said as he finished his circuit of the premises and stopped at the front desk to check in with his coworker. “You hitting the gym lately?”

“Nah, amigo, but thanks. To tell the truth I have noticed things fitting a bit better. Tighter in the shoulders, looser in the waist. Maybe it’s just better diet. I have been laying off the beer and snacks lately.”

“Well, whatever you’re doing, you’re in great fighting shape. Wish I could say the same for James.”

José frowned. “What are we gonna do about him? He must be on some kind of crazy cycle of steroids, no? I don’t really care, he can do what he wants, but he’s like… too big to do his job. He can barely shuffle around, God help us if he ever needs to chase down an intruder. We’re picking up the slack for him. I don’t mind doing it for a little while, he’s a good guy, but like… this can’t be a new normal.”

“He’s a good guy sure, but lately it’s like he’s a zombie or something, haven’t you noticed? All he does is eat and grunt and speak in one word sentences. Don’t know the last time I heard him speak more than five words together.”

José frowned. “I don’t feel like I’m close enough with him to say anything, and I know I’m closer to him than you are. I don’t wanna report him to the boss or anything, either. I’m no snitch. I dunno. Maybe he’ll snap out of it soon.”

Omar looked unconvinced. “Yeah. Maybe.”

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The alarm nearly made José jump out of his skin. It was an actual intruder alert, down in the R&D labs. The night shift was usually so quiet he sometimes almost forgot this sort of thing was a possibility.

Omar came charging down the hall within seconds. “What the fuck man?!”

“R&D labs, intruder alert.”

“You think maybe one of their animal experiments got loose? We haven’t seen anyone enter the building all night.”

“Maybe. I’ll get down there ASAP, you guard the entrance in case this is a distraction or something, or in case whoever it is down there manages to get past me. The building is locked down until I give an all clear.” José took off then, running, his muscular legs and ass pumping. Omar had never noticed just how beefy his coworker’s lower body was, before. He looked like a rugby player, a trim one.

José could see straight away that it was a proper break-in. Whoever had busted down the door had made zero attempt at subterfuge; it swung open, the locking mechanism hanging from its wires, splinters on the floor.

José drew his gun and approached cautiously. His heart pounding in his chest. He heard… some kind of wet rhythmic sound from inside. Grunting. Some kind of wild animal? Who knew what sort of abominations the mad scientists cooked up down here?

His back pressed to the wall, José gathered his nerves and spun into the open doorway, weapon extended in front of him.

What he saw chilled him to the core.

Something like a man was hunched over a freezer. Ribbons of fabric where his clothes had exploded off him. He was… disgustingly muscular. Unnaturally so. His limbs looked freakishly short, because they were so thick with muscle. His legs were splayed so wide his hips looked on the verge of dislocation, yet the backs of his thighs pressed hard against each other down to the knee, and his calves seemed in threat of touching. His ass was as wide as the bumper of a SUV, yet it was dwarfed by the width of his lats, sickening heaps of muscle warring for every millimeter of space. From the back, his traps rose so high that only the blonde fringe of the creature’s hair was visible.

This… thing was grabbing frozen chunks of meat and ripping into them. His jaws were freakishly muscular, José could see them bulge from the door as his teeth ripped through the frozen meat. He was gulping down huge chunks of it, ravenously, as if starving. The sound was stomach-turning. As if the creature’s mouth was some kind of meat-grinder.

Clearly it was some kind of bizarre genetic experiment from the lab that had escaped. José’s heart was pounding. He didn’t want to have to destroy company property. Was this thing a threat to him, though? Yeah it could rip him limb from limb, or bite his damn arm off, but it looked almost too muscular to move. It was struggling even to feed itself, he could see now, barely able to reach its own ravenous mouth.

That’s when it noticed him. José and the beast both froze. Their eyes met.


“Holy fuck,” José breathed.

James whimpered. “Had to,” he said. “So… so hungry.” His voice sounded different. Thicker. Deeper. Yet also childlike, confused, scared. The words were hesitant, like he was having trouble putting them together. James turned away from the freezer, his mutated overly-muscled face running with thawing blood and meat juice. He took a painful shuffling step forward, barely able to manage even that. José almost choked when he saw his coworkers penis swing briefly into the light. The thing was clearly fully soft, and it was longer than José’s forearm, its head larger than a fist. No way had James been packing that. No way. That thing could never fit into any human hole.

“Let’s…. Let’s get you home, James, I think you need a little rest. I’ll cover for you.”

James nodded, pliable, docile even. He stepped forward again, awkwardly. It would take an hour to get this musclebound freak out of the building, José realized. James took another slow shuffling step, and the light from the door struck his face. José expected ice-blue eyes, like usual. Instead, they were big and brown. Cow’s eyes.

José’s radio burst into life. Omar. “How’s it going down there, buddy?” His voice was tight with anxiety.

“It’s… a false alarm. But I got a lot down here to clean up. It’ll take me a few hours. Think you can hold down the fort tonight, Omar?”

Brief pause. José could imagine Omar sighing, thinking ‘aren’t there supposed to be three guards on right now, not just one?’ Then, the crackle of static. “Sure thing, buddy.”

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José didn’t feel comfortable telling Omar about what he had seen. But he had to come up with something. There was no way the busted door and the half-devoured remains of a freezer of meat would be missed when everyone showed up for their shift the next morning.

He had barely been able to stuff James into the back of his car. He filled the damn thing. Shoulders pushing against both doors, head brushing the ceiling because his damn ass was like sitting on five pillows at once. José had to push both front chairs way forward and even still James’s pecs pressed against the back of the seats. As they drove, James whimpered softly. José was barely able to get the address out of him. As they approached, James’s huge ab-quilted roid gut started to rumble like a distant avalanche, growing ever nearer.

“Just… go to bed, man, no more ‘roids, no more gym, eat a salad, drink some water. Maybe… maybe you’ll deflate in a couple days.” Fuck. Probably not, but what did José know?

Should he have taken James to the hospital instead?

On the drive back to work, his car stinking of his muscle-monster coworker, sweat and testosterone and raw meat, José’s mind raced over what he could possibly say in a report to cover for James. He couldn’t say anything, really. If he claimed he just found the place trashed when he responded to the alarm, they’d check the CCTV and see that was a lie. Hell, they’d probably check it anyway, regardless of what he told them. Fuck.

José solved the problem by ignoring it. He’d wait for them to call him in, and then he’d just… he’d tell the truth, probably. He couldn’t see anything else to do.

But he never got called in.

He fully expected an email or a phone call. None came. He showed up for work the next night. Omar was there, and he seemed none-the-wiser. It was just two of them. “James… James is off sick,” José said. Omar seemed to accept it without concern.

Days went by and nothing happened. José was scared to visit the R&D lab where he’d discovered James in his frozen beef feeding frenzy. But on the second night after it happened, he forced himself to go down the corridor.

Working nights, he seldom got spooked. Often he was all alone in corporate environments meant for dozens of people. It never fazed him, and he liked to think that made him good at his job.

Walking down this corridor on this night, though, he was jumpy as a fawn. He turned the last corner and he had to force his feet, one in front of the other.

But it was all repaired. It looked good as new.

What the fuck was going on here?

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Finally an email. Simply saying that James had been placed on stress leave for an indefinite period and they would be getting a new coworker, a woman named Janice, in the next couple of days, after she’d been brought up to speed, had all her paperwork in order and whatnot.

“Good,” Omar grunted. “Doesn’t matter how good she is at the job, she’ll be worth a hell of a lot more than that useless heap of meat.”

José felt his stomach sink. He didn’t like this. He raised his arms and put them on the back of his head, a gesture he often unconsciously made when he felt uneasy.

The sound of fabric ripping caught both men up short.

José’s shirt had exploded down the length of his lat, exposing his warm brown skin to the cold fluorescent light. His bulging bicep threatened to do the same to the sleeve encircling it like a sausage casing.

“What the fuck. Don’t you pull a James on me, man,” Omar said. Maybe he meant it as a joke but neither of the men laughed.

“I… I’ve got a spare in my locker, I’ll… I’ll be right back.” José walked away, aware of his ass pumping with each step. Had he always had that bodybuilder strut to his walk?

His mind was racing. What happened to James? What was happening to him?

The beef. The thought hit him with the force of a freight train. José had taken a couple dozen pounds, was eating it here and there, two or three times a week.

James had been devouring it daily. Trying to bulk up.

Could it be that? If it was some kind of weird muscle growth virus that had escaped the labs, why wasn’t Omar affected? Why was James affected a hundred times worse than José? It had to be the meat. The tainted meat. José’s heart was pounding, his breath coming fast.

So where was James now? José fumbled with his radio. “Omar,” he said into it. Trying to sound calm.

“Yeah bro.”

“Omar I… I need to go home and get my other uniform, I forgot it’s not in my locker after all, I’ll just be twenty minutes man, promise… I promise I’ll order you pizza.” Calm down, José. Calm down.

A pause before Omar answered. José could hear his exasperated sigh. “Yeah man, do what you need to do. Pepperoni and mushroom, put in the order now, I’m hungry.”

José fumbled with the app, placing the order, wanting Omar pacified and occupied. Then he grabbed his car keys and almost ran for the exit.

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James’s house was dark. Maybe it was a bad sign. Or maybe it was just 1 am on a Tuesday. José’s heart raced as he cut the ignition and trotted up to James’s front door. The night air cold on his exposed lat where his newly enlarged muscles had ripped open his shirt.

It was unlocked. He pushed his way in. Everything was dark inside. There was a foul smell. He’d never been in James’s place before. The dark shapes of furniture, hanging coats, all took on ominous form.

“James?” José forced himself to call, his voice high and tight.

A weird, animalistic moaning in response.

“J-James?” José called again, stepping further in, leaving the door open behind him in case he needed to fucking run for it.

The moan again, a little more agitated.

James cautiously walked further in. He could see into the dark kitchen now. Could see some sort of shape filling it. Taking up almost all the space in the room. Knowing he shouldn’t, knowing he should just fucking run for it and forget all about it, burn what was left of his share of the meat and never speak of it again… knowing all that, José still made his fateful next move.

He reached out and flicked on the light switch.

James, or what used to be James, stood there. No, not stood. He was seated on the floor, but his ass and hams and calves were so huge that his feet dangled uselessly in the air, his face was on a level with José, his traps just about brushing the ceiling. His limbs were spread-eagle, but it took a moment just to see that. Every square inch of him was stuffed with muscle. His tiny hands flopping uselessly, about to be fucking swallowed up by forearms bigger than José’s torso. He was totally immobile, his head like a grape in a vise, squeezed by his pecs pushing his chin and his traps pushing the back of his skull. His fucking skin had ripped open here and there where it just hadn’t been able to stretch enough to hold in all this muscle. Little trickles of dried blood alongside veins thicker than garden hoses.

His dick was almost as long as José was tall, projecting out of a cavern formed by his roid-gut and his quads, so that the bottom half of it was squeezed tightly in a trap of his own flesh. The head of it, about the size of José’s own head, shone in the bright kitchen light, slick, oozing, the piss-slit gaping like a mouth.

James moaned again, barely able to open his mouth, just an inch or two. But José could see. He was… he was chewing.

José had been stumbling backwards unconsciously, his fight or flight response taking over, unable to cope with the sight of what James had turned into. How much did he weigh? At least a ton. Maybe more? Maybe a lot more? There was no frame of reference. José was backing away in primal terror, about to turn and run for his life. Then he bumped into something.

He whirled around. Biohazard suits. Plastic windows. Faces behind them, vaguely familiar faces. Faces he knew from work, researchers who stayed late sometimes, not leaving for home until 11 or 12 at night, if there was an important deadline approaching.

José could hear himself babbling. Incoherent. There were at least a half dozen of them. More coming in through the open door.

“Excellent timing,” the one he’d backed into said, voice muffled by the biohazard suit. And then the tranq dart hit José. He crumpled to the floor, but he held onto consciousness for a few moments more, just long enough to hear the researchers speak as they stepped over him, prepared to remove James, possibly to take him to some secret lab for study. Or possibly to dissect him.

The same one who had spoken looked down at José as the security guard’s consciousness ebbed away. “The virus is acting a lot more slowly on him, but it is acting on him. And you know it bonds to nerve endings, there’s no removing it once it’s in there. We’d have to disappear him eventually, too. May as well do it now.”

“It’s sad, really.”

“Eh, maybe. I get the feeling he got what he always wanted,” the researcher said, nodding at the room-filling mountain of meat that used to be James, his abomination of a cock audibly dripping pre. “This one, though,” she said, toeing José’s prone form. “Yeah. This one is pretty sad. Ah well. Can’t make a super-cow without breaking a few eggs, I guess.”

And that’s all José remembered.

5,527 words Added Oct 2021 13k views 4.9 stars (47 votes)

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