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Fantasticoe 1997

Cooking With Julia Child

Shawn C. Whittington

As Queen's Bohemian Rhapsody comes to a close, signaling a beginning to another broadcasting day on HBS (Hellish Broadcasting Service), Nicodemus turns his camera toward the elaborate kitchen of the "Cooking With Julia Child Show."

Julia's death and subsequent banishment to hell for the sins of gluttony and perpetual drunkenness due to the over-consumption of wine, is considered by many to be hell's greatest acquisition ever. Lucifer had decided upon a unique way for Julia to spend her eternal damnation, but he never expected his decision to have such an impact on life in hell. The show became so popular after the first season that he had been forced to close down all the torture chambers and turn off the fire pits at nine every morning, so that the imps and demonic hordes would not revolt because of missing their favorite cooking show.

As the opening credits come to a close, Nicodemus pans his camera across the kitchen to pick up the Master Chef who is smiling and waving to the studio audience as he runs out to the island counter that is the centerpiece of the stage.

"Hellooooo everybody, I am your host Leonard Pith Carnell, and I would like to welcome you all to the Cooking with Julia Child Show!"

The audience erupts with the clopping of cloven feet upon the bare brimstone floor. One overanxious incubus in the audience stands and shouts, "Forget the formalities, Leonard! bring out the soused, Saxon ninny, and let's get cookin!!!" Which brings cackles of insane glee from all those around him.

Leonard chuckles malevolently at this interruption.

"Well, without further ado... devils and demons, succubi and incubi, and even the flow of maggots in the back row... please join me in giving a warm... nay... an exceedingly smoldering welcome to the damned soul of ... Ms. Julia Child!!!"

With the announcement made, Leonard's assistant chef/torturer wheels the rotund, naked Julia Child onto the stage, bound to a dolly.

Were there a person alive in all of hell at this moment they surely would be frightened to death from the unworldly cacophony that erupts from the studio audience. Banshees wail, goblins bang their heads against walls, ghouls howl, and the flow of maggots pop with the implosion of several thousand of their kind.

As the inharmonious caterwauling quiets to the level of a minor volcanic eruption, Leonard turns to the show's namesake.

"Welcome once again Julia. How are you feeling today?"

Julia raises her weary head. With sweat dripping from her brow and three chins sagging from her jaw, she turns to Leonard.

"Ohhhhhhh," she began in her scratchy, cockney contralto, "Leonard. I am sooo parched...would you be a fine dear and pour me a glass of that delightful sangria that you have on the counter?"

Leonard chuckles as if he finds her response amusing, which he does.

"Ummm let me think about that for a second Julia, no!!"

As Julia bows her head in agony, Leonard turns to face Nicodemus' camera.

"Today we will be fixing a painfully exquisite meal. We will create our appetizer, side dish, and entree with the assistance of my co-host Julia. At this point you may be saying to yourselves... Tell me Leonard where would I get a Julia Child with which to make these delicacies? Have no fear my dear audience for we have begun cloning Julia's body and soul, so that you may have her assistance in making her delicacies in the comfort of your own homes."

With this announcement made Leonard turns back to face Julia.

"To prepare our meal today you will need one wrinkled, obnoxiously high-voiced, decrepit Julia Child that has been slowly marinated in various zinfandels and Bordeaux over eighteen television seasons."

Picking up an apple corer, Leonard advances upon the bound and helpless woman.

"First we will begin with the appetizer"

Wrapping his fist tightly around the corer, Leonard places his other hand upon Julia's forehead. Raising the implement above his head, he thrusts it forward, and with one vicious stroke buries it to an inch beyond the hilt in her left eye. Leonard turns the corer back and forth and yanks on it until he finally, after severing the last of the optic nerve, pulls the eyeball free of its socket. After placing the eye in a small skillet, Leonard removes its mate from Julia's other socket and places it in the skillet as well.

"As you can see, well as most of you can see, we have the beginnings of a fine appetizer. From this point you should place two tablespoons of butter, one clove of garlic, and half a cup of onions in the skillet. Set the heat on the stove to simmer, cover the pan, and allow the eyes to saute for ten minutes. If you like a bit of spice with your eyeballs you should feel free to add a couple of tablespoons of fresh bile to the creation."

At a signal from Nicodemus, Leonard turns again to the camera.

"Unfortunately, we must take a break for a quick commercial from our sponsors. But don't go away dear audience... the entree is still forthcoming."
 

"Hi! I'm Bob Villa, and I would like to invite you all to our next episode of This Old Brimstone on HBS. As you may remember, last time we visited I had just nail-gunned my hands to a piece of plywood that I was running across the circular saw. Well they grew back last night. Why don't you join us this evening to see me accidentally leave the zipper on my Levi's open? It seems my genitalia will have a rather interesting run-in with the drill press. Heh... that should be rather... ummm... exhilarating... ummm... Ohhh... ummm sorry, but... couldn't we talk about this... I mean c'mon guys... I didn't really mean it when I said I would sell my soul to get my own Time-Life series of books...
 

"What?... Oh! Welcome back. It seems that Bob is having a few problems. I guess we should feel a bit sorry for his poor soul....nah!!. Well, anyway, where were we? What's that? Julia seems to be mumbling something."

As Nicodemus follows him with his camera, Leonard walks over to Julia and leans close to hear what she is whispering.

"What's that dear? No, I am sorry you cannot sell your soul for a sip of sauvignon blanc. You see, we already own your soul so that would be a bit of a fruitless endeavor for us."

With the realization that she forgets after dying at the end of every show, of the never-ending torture that will plague her for all eternity, Julia begins to bawl uncontrollably. This is much to the delight of the audience, and produces a clamorous cheer. Chuckling with amusement, Leonard turns back to his audience.

"While we were at commercial break, I began the side dish. As you can see, by looking at my scrumptious co-host, we have cut a rather ragged incision up her right flank using a chipped and rusty razor. I reached in, after accidentally spilling Tabasco sauce all over my hands, and removed her spleen, right kidney, liver, and pancreas. I then placed these in a saucepan with some oregano, parsley, basil, three cups of her blood, and half a bottle of a wonderfully dry merlot."

Leonard moves toward the stove that sits at the back of the stage, and lifts a large saucepan to show the studio and home viewing audiences his delightfully savory looking creation.

"Now, what we have all been waiting for... the entree. Tonight, we will be dining on a set of mouth-watering, barbeque ribs."

With this declaration made, Leonard reaches behind his central counter and raises a pair of bolt cutters high above his head. The audience cheers him on as he saunters toward Julia.

"Place the mouth of the cutters in the incision you have made in her right side. Then, as you feel the lowest rib fall into place between the teeth, grasp both handles firmly and with one swift motion snap the bones, ligaments, and tendons. Continue doing this all the way up to the top rib."

Leonard cackles insanely as Julia erupts in screams of agony. Oh, how he loves his work, the blood gushing from her in massive spurts, and a river of intestines streaming across the floor of the studio as they uncoil from her now open abdomen. All of this mixes with her pleas, which resound over the bellowing legions amassed in the studio, to give Leonard a warm-fuzzy feeling deep within his bowels.

Turning again to face the camera, everyone can see the sneer that forms upon Leonard's face.

"Once you have reached the collarbone on both sides you may find it difficult to cut with this tool. At this point I would suggest using a sledge hammer, such as this one with a ten-pound head, to shatter the clavicles."

Raising the hammer high above his head, he brings it down upon the center of the chest, smashing not only both clavicles and her sternum, but her spinal column as well. All these bones break with a resounding crack that is so loud it shatters poor Julia's eardrums.

"Now if you will take hold of the center of the rib cage, it should easily slip from the carcass."

Leonard does as he said, but one last piece of sinew holds the sternum to the shards of Julia's clavicle. Grunting in disgust at the fact that she refuses to cooperate, Leonard grabs the fireman's axe that hangs over the studio doorway.

"If any flesh or sinew holds the rib cage to the body, you can use a common knife to remove it. I, however, believe in overdoing things.

Swinging the axe in a wide arc, Leonard buries the head deep into Julia's neck. Separated from her body, the rib cage now falls to the floor with a wet smack that sounds like liver hitting a hot griddle.

"Now dear audience, take a fileting knife and remove the skin from the outer rib cage like so. Next return to the body and collect two cups of blood from which to make the sauce. Add one cup of Worcestershire sauce, a dash of chili powder, one can of tomato sauce, and salt and pepper to taste. Take this sauce and coat the ribs liberally. Then place them in an oven at 350 degrees for fifty minutes, basting them with the leftover sauce as necessary."

After placing the ribs in the oven Leonard returns to Julia's side for the final time this episode.

"We are nearing the end of our show this evening, but wait! What would a fine meal be without a dessert?"

From behind his back Leonard removes a six-foot long staff. Tapping it once upon the ground a two-foot blade erects itself at a ninety-degree angle to the staff, forming a rather impressive scythe. Taking the scythe in both hands Leonard, with one smooth stroke, lops off Julia's head. The head, now free of its attachments, rolls off her shoulders, thuds twice upon the floor, and winds up setting upright upon the stage facing the camera. The eyelids that adorn the now empty sockets blink a few times and the mouth opens.

"Ohhhhh what I would not give for a nip of a damn good Beaujolais right now."

Chuckling at her final words, Leonard walks across the stage and grabs the head in both hands.

"The head should be placed in a freezer not less than one hour. When your guests are ready for dessert, remove the head from the freezer, crack the top of the skull open with a ball-peen hammer, much the way you would with a cantaloupe, and serve the chilled brains garnished with fresh spearmint and peppermint leaves."

Running to the stove and oven to get all of the pre-prepared courses, Leonard busily sets about placing each on the central counter in presentation to the audience.

"Remember, dear audience, that all of our recipes are available by writing to the Cooking With Julia Child Show care of HBS. Please include the date of the show with all requests."

Bowing deeply to his audience, Leonard lifts a spoonful of Julia's brain to his mouth and faces the camera.

"Simply delicious!!! I hope you all have a hellish day, and see you all again tomorrow when we will again... cook with Julia Child."
 

Acknowledgments: Those who reviewed both drafts of this work expressed how different the two were. This was entirely due to Terry Heller who called the cannibalistic Helen, in the original version of this story, a "Julia Child of human flesh." Many people in class suggested that this story was lost in its gruesomeness and grotesqueries. I would like to thank those people for they confirmed I had managed to get across the morbidity and repulsiveness I had been attempting.




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