It's safe to say that everyone in the world has some sort of secret or perk that they'd rather no one knew about. It's even safer to say that there are some secrets that never need to be known.

Ken Maple was, more or less a very normal man. He held a steady job as an insurance salesman. Ken made decent money and was pretty well off. He also had a girlfriend of nearly one year, things were a little rough between them at the moment, but he was sure they would no doubt work it out, they always did. The relationship they had was one that Ken depended on for a reason to stay around. He loved her to death. Ken lived in Los Angeles and had a very nice, but small house that was as far away from the busy city as possible. He liked to be a little further away from everybody else. He planned to ask is girlfriend, Lisa to move away with him out to the countryside somewhere. He lacked the guts to ask such a question though.

Yep, "A fairly normal guy" is the only way to describe Ken. But like most people he had a sickness. Something that could not be cured. Ken had an incredibly strong hunger for human flesh. Simply put, he was a cannibal. Ken enjoyed the taste of it so much, that he would have the meal at least once a week. Now along with a hunger for such a thing, comes the task of acquiring it. It's not as if you can go to the grocery store and ask for 3 pounds of human, right?

Early in his days of cannibalism Ken would "hunt" the unimportant people of society, the so-called "burdens of the American population" these included homeless people, drug dealers, prostitutes and so on. It was sickeningly easy to find a meal in the dark streets of the big city. Prostitutes were the easiest, he thought. They would get into his car without so much as a second guess. After all, he looked nice enough, and was. He was just extremely hungry.

The routine was easy. Find a victim and bring them back to his house. The prostitutes would go willingly, the other people he sometimes had to knock out with a baseball bat, or slip some kind of drugs. Once back at his house he would incapacitate the victim. At this point Ken found it easiest to avoid making a mess, so he would have the guestroom of his house covered with plastic garbage bags, the entire room would be lined with them, so as to prevent a messy situation. In the room he had several tools, including a large saw, perfect for cutting through bone, several knives of varying length and blade type, as well as scoops, buckets and so on. As much as he enjoyed the meal that followed afterwards, he truly looked forward to the work that went into preparing it.

He would drag the victim into the room, making sure they were gagged as well as bound at the wrists and ankles. He would read a book or amuse himself until they finally woke up. He enjoyed seeing the terror in their eyes as they looked around trying to figure out what was happening. He'd often play music while performing this ritual, usually Mozart or Beethoven.

The first part was the easiest. A forceful, sickening blow to the head with a sledgehammer would easily open up their skull quite easily. He'd work the knife around the inside of the skull and pull the brains and other tasty treats out. Afterwards he would make a deep cut in the neck, admiring the way the warm blood gushed out of the newly formed wound. It was strange, he thought, how blood would spray so far from the human artery, even though the victim was already dead. Once an incision had been made at the neck he would put his fingers in and pull the skin down while working the knife around, it was a very messy procedure, but he had become a pro at such things and would soon have several pieces of meat ready to go. The whole process would continue until, he cleaned the bones of all the skin, meat and muscle and reached the feet

The remaining body, innards and extremities would be cut into small pieces and placed in a garbage bag, where he would dispose of them afterwards. Ken would sometimes grow impatient with the monotonous activities and would sometimes just take a piece of the raw flesh to chew on while he worked and hummed along.

Ken would collect the cut flesh and cook it in a variety of ways. He found it most extravagant to fry the meat and season it with various spices and sauces. For the rougher cuts of meat, he would create a stew using carrots, celery, potatoes and then he'd throw the meat in, together, he thought, the created an amazing tasting concoction. His house would fill with the intoxicating smell of charred human flesh, it was comparable to that of steak, but somehow smelled very different. He'd sit down to the meal, listening to Beethoven and enjoy every single piece of the meat he could get his eyes on. It was a feast and ritual that had become quite an addiction.

This is how the routine had gone, in the past. He had done it 13 times now. Such an easy task, he would tell himself, and definitely worth it. The police, of course never said a word. Not many people were willing to pay taxes so the police could waste time hunting down missing prostitutes and homeless people. They were scum, better off without them.

Ken had recently grown tired of eating scum. He needed a real prime cut of meat, something fit for a millionaire. And so it began.

Not far from his house was a schoolyard playground, yellow slides and massive jungle Jims aplenty. Not to mention the feast he could get from there. To him, it was no different than a breeding ground for deer, or a farm where beef came from.

On his way to and from work he would drive slowly past the playground and see the kids having a good time, enjoying life for all it was worth. He noticed that every child in that playground had a smile pasted to its face, so he too, smiled and laughed to himself.

Several weeks went by until the day that he finally but his plans into motion. It was a late Sunday afternoon so there were only a few kids at the park. There were two of them playing in the sand. As he parked his car some 100 meters away. It was at this time where Ken realized that these Children were going to be quite a small meal. So he thought he might as well bring two of them back. After 10 minutes Ken emerged from his 1990 ford Taurus and walked around to the back of the car, popping the trunk. He reached inside and undid his black duffle bag. Inside were several lead pipes, hammers and baseball bats. He took a small pipe and hid it in the back of his jeans while his jacket concealed the rest of it. There playground was in the middle of a large clearing and was partially blocked by a large hill, but he knew that there were several houses of which he would be in plain site of. He didn't much care as he walked toward the unsuspecting children.

Ken's shadow covered the two children and they turned around and gazed upwards at him. "Hi guys," he said crouching down to be at the same level with them. "Whatcha doing'?" He asked. "Jus' playin' in the sand mister" said the older child. "Great, great" he said softly. "How would you two like a ride home, your mom told me that it will be getting very dark soon, and she'd like you home right away". " Nah, we are just gonna play here, our mom is sposed' to come get us soon" replied the other child squinting as he tried to look past the sun, towards the stranger standing before him. "Ok kids, sorry about that, see you later" said Ken, turning his back and walking away slowly. After a few steps he turned around and noticed that the children's attention had returned to playing in the sand. He crept up slowly and reached for his pipe. The children turned at the last second as Ken brought the hard pipe down across the top of their heads, first one, and then the other, in one fluid movement.

Back at his house he did the same to the children as he had done to so many people before that. This time though, he decapitated the body's first getting blood all over his own face made him excited.

Ken was watching sports highlights on television, picking his teeth after the amazing stew he had just finished when the phone rang. Ken reluctantly got to his feet and picked up the phone. "Hello" he said, cheerfully. "Hi" came a voice. "Oh Lisa, hi, how's it going?" "I'm not sure Ken, we need to have a talk, can I come over for a bit?" asked Lisa, sounding distraught. "Uh, no, sorry, but I can come over there if you give me a few minutes, what's the matter, anyway" asked Ken, "We just need to talk, please, I'll see you soon, goodbye" And she hung up the phone.

Ken stood there for a few minutes, the phone still pressed to his ear. He thought of Lisa And what she could possibly want. He knew things were certainly not going as smoothly as he'd like, but she couldn't want to talk about what he thought she did, could she? His head pounded with thoughts of not being with her.

After Ken cleaned up his mess he went to his girlfriends apartment. He went there with thoughts swirling through his mind. He didn't want to lose the only thing he had left. The one girl he truly thought loved him.

Needless to say, he came back with her stuffed in the trunk of his car. He had hit her with a vase of flowers and tied her up. When he got out of his car he could already hear the muffled screams of Lisa through the duct tape around her mouth. He thought about what he had done for a while, and realized it was too late to do anything differently. He opened the trunk and saw, for the first time, saw a look of sheer and disturbing terror on her face. Tears streamed down her face, and made her makeup run down her cheeks. She seemed to be pleading with him, but he didn't want to hear it. Ken picked her up and slung her over his shoulder and went into his house. He then realized, that he was feeling slightly hungry.

Once inside he set her in a kitchen chair and tied her up tightly. He left the kitchen and readied the guestroom by placing plastic over the floor and walls. He worked mechanically and coldly without any regrets or second thoughts. It had to be done, he was sure. He returned to the kitchen to see Lisa staring at him, the fear was present more than ever as he approached her slowly. "Listen to me" he said, "You are right. Me and you, we are quite different" "I'm a very simple, caring person" "You, on the other hand are tied to a chair and about to be eaten" he watched as her eyes widened and she shook her head frantically from side to side. Ken crouched down and brushed the hair from her face.

Laughing lightly he lifted her up, chair and all and awkwardly dragged her into the guest room. He pulled the tape from her mouth and put his lips to hers and kissed her for the last time. He drew back, slowly looking right into her eyes, before she could say a thing he brought the knife quickly across her throat. She started to make choking sounds and gasped for air as blood filled her mouth. Ken closed his eyes and dropped to his knees.

It had to be done. you've simply got to eat.

Written and owned by Dan Chubaty 2002