To Serve God

I’m setting the feast table for you, O Rama, son of Dasharatha, Lord of Ayodhya, Seventh Avatar of Vishnu, Prince of Earth.

The table is to be laid high with wine, ale, candied nuts, dried fruits, thigh meats, cured meats, goat’s milk, game birds, scented waters, sherbets, and spiced breads. Yet these lavish foods are mere morsels, simply snacks, fit only to wet one’s gullet for the hearty centrepiece that is to come.

I have your wife, Exalted One. Each night she lies with me in my perfumed chambers. I stroke her hair, and I watch her eyes sparkle, and I observe the rich texture of her flesh. For the rakshasa are eaters of men, Lord Rama, and I am their Everlasting King.

Were you to mount your war chariot and venture forth from your shining capital, Ayodhya, you would find that the lands of Man belong to me. One thousand rakshasa roam the jungles and roads of your dying civilization, ravaging the countryside and falling like the wind upon your human subjects, cracking their bones and devouring the marrow within, their hunger insatiable. Behind them, one hundred million demon soldiers stand guard beside the Channel of Lanka, and on its farthest shores, one hundred million more. Their hunger and their hatred burn brighter than the arrowheads of Shiva, and they long to taste your blood.

Still I know, Lord Rama, that you will come to me. No matter the odds against you, you will come for your lovely-eyed wife. You will fight your way across the Channel for the right to dine with me tonight. And the feast that we shall share, Vishnu-son, shall eclipse all other feasts since the dawn of Maha Yuga.

Mere demon-mouths are sated by the taste of human flesh. But not I, Lord Rama. I eat and I drink, constantly consuming, but it is not enough. I am Grand Master of the Four Vedas and the Ninety Million Shastras, but it is not enough. My hunger outlives Reason, outlives Time. It cannot be quelled or slain. I am that which will one day be called Devourer, Greed, Wendigo, Ithaqua, Cronus, Moloch, Leviathan, Dracula, and Hannibal Lecter. I am the Eater of Flesh, the Feasting Maw, the Emptiness Undying.

I am setting the feast table, Rama son of Dasharatha. I am waiting to devour you.

Yours in Hunger,

Ravana, Demon Prince of Lanka.

P.S. Could you pick up a case of beer on the way? We’re all out.

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Xander Bennett rearranges words for fun and profit. Read a preview of his new book at

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