“I torched an orphanage one time,” she says. “None of the kids were harmed. We just stood outside and watched and laughed whilst the deep-red bright-yellow flames took the whole of that horrible place down to the ground.”
I don’t have anything to offer.
“When the constables arrived—after the fire brigade and the one unnecessary ambulance—everyone said it was me. The kids all bold and happy with the fact, you know? Proud that I had rescued them from everything that went on there. They thought the grown-ups would understand. Be grateful.”
A pause while she lights another cigarette. No matches. She just holds it between her fingers and the end sparks and catches just-so. If there’s a trick to it I don’t see how it’s done. Something chemical or… Continue reading
What did he look like?
I don’t understand what you-
Like a French actor maybe. One of those ones from the seventies or eighties? Unshaven, rail-thin and scruffy at the edges, but cool with it in a rumpled blue suit, black lace-up shoes; like he’s been out all night and doesn’t care who knows it. His nails were clean and long. That’s all I remember. I didn’t get a good look.
What was he doing when you saw him?
Walking and watching, mostly. Step a few paces from here to there, stop, and then wait and look around, like that, you know?
And that’s all you-
I saw him reach into an inside pocket of his jacket. He took something out—a few times—put them in his mouth. You could imagine the crunch. Continue reading
Rupert Wong, Cannibal Chef by Cassandra Khaw
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
This is glorious. For something so short it certainly crams in a lot of ingredients: gods, monsters, down-at-heel ex-mob chefs, gluttons, gourmands, angry ghosts, colonialism, assimilation, ancient vs modern, a bustling cityscape both bright & wild and grimy-drab…
It’s got everything and all of it is mixed to perfection to produce a noirish yet numinous tale of one strangely compelling not-exactly-hero caught in the midst of a grand parade of terrifying grotesques.
Cassandra Khaw brings incredible depth to her world; a turn of phrase or well crafted image hinting at onion skin layers of history and politics and meaning and mystery, all waiting to be revealed beneath every place and every action. Despite the supernatural subject matter, this reads always as a story of real place, and real (strange) people.
Rupert Wong, Cannibal Chef rattles along in fast and thrilling style and manages to skip from visceral horror to easy violence to genuine heart-breaker pathos whilst never missing a step or leaving you behind. Highly recommended.
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#RPGaDay question one: Real dice, dice app, diceless or some other resolution method?
Has to be dice, doesn’t it. I’ll get back with some details later. In the meantime, a picture