A collection of short stories, mostly written for 'Screams!'
| The Mango Man
My name is Jasper Crowe. I've got to try and hold on to that fact, but it's hard... so hard...
It wasn't always this way. All through my teens and early twenties I was just a pretty regular guy. Average grades, average looks, not especially athletic. I was never one to aspire to the heights of any kind of fame and fortune; really, I was quite content with my nine til five job, and a wage packet that would let me survive and leave a little bit over for fun.
That was then, before things changed. Before I changed.
I could blame my sister, Sharon, for she was the one that started me on the diet. What would be the point, though? She was one of the first to go - a victim to this sudden uncontrollable urge.
"Just eat mangoes for a few days," she had said. "That will make you a new man."
I did. And it did.
I bought enough mangoes to last me a week, and I did not eat anything else. Mangoes and water - enough to sustain me. I did feel better, almost cleansed from the inside out, until something took root in my very soul. I was suddenly obsessed, possessed, by those succulent fruits.
How could I have ever lowered myself to eat them? Those that remained, I placed in a padded bowl, lined with the softest of velvet. They might not have a long life once they had been picked, but they would have a comfortable one.
I could not concentrate at work. I could not sleep. I was consumed by the image of mangoes, innocently waiting on the supermarket shelves to be picked, sliced, eaten. It made me sick, it made me shake, until eventually I knew what I had to do.
I called in sick and made my way to the fruit aisle of the biggest supermarket in town, and there I waited. No one gave me a second glance; I guess that is one of the perks of being average. From my position I could see the mangoes, and more importantly, I had a clear view of any shopper that stopped and picked some up, put them in their trolley.
My anger then became hard to control, but control it I did. I would rescue those mangoes.
I'm not a violent man by nature, never have liked the sight of blood. Thankfully, for the most part the shoppers would hand over the precious fruit for nothing more than what they had paid, but there were some that wouldn't.
The awkward ones could sometimes be bribed. I'd pay them double, treble, even four times what they had paid for those fruits. Some just said no and refused to part with the mangoes, and then blood would be spilled. It was a last resort for I still hated the sight of it, but better blood than the juice of those fruits.
My name is Jasper Crowe, otherwise known as the Mango Man, or the Fruit-Aisle Slayer. Their juice flows through my veins.