To Serve Mankind
It started as a pleasant ferry ride to the island with Nigel. Although, he was looking far too intently at the rolling sea. I feared he was becoming ill.
“Nigel, ole chap,” I said. “What pray tell is on your mind. I‘m about to get sick just watching you.”
“Just looking at the sea and wondering,” Nigel said.
“Wondering,” I said. “About what?”
“Right and wrong,” Nigel said.
“What aspect of write and wrong,” I said hoping to detract from the sea and the possibility of him vomiting on my new shoes.
“If lost at sea on a life raft for days and death looming,” Nigel said. “Would it be morally acceptable to eat a ship mate in order to live?”
“Must everything be explored as to what is right and wrong?” I said repulsed at such a scenario.
“By doing so in advance we can determine what actions should be taken and what to expect of others,” Nigel said looking at me quite curiously.
“That is to suggest we can predict the actions of others. That is fraught with error of speculation,” I said and began looking at the rolling sea as I feared Nigel looking at me as a possible entrée.
“Would you consume another person so that you might live?” Nigel said leaning toward the window to glimpse at my reaction.
I looked at him straight away. “Why dabble in the macabre? It only opens your mind to the perverse and gore associated with what should never happen.”
“But those things do happen,” Nigel said with a peculiar mixture of evil and innocence.
“Only by those who rest their minds on them and think them out ahead of time,” I sternly warned.
“Who thinks of eating another’s flesh?” Nigel said as if the whole thing were nothing more than a joke or an amusing diversion to an otherwise uneventful ferry ride.
I raised my eyebrow and said, “You, so remind me to never be in a situation that even the remote possibility may exist. In fact strange questions come from strange minds. Find yourself another meal, ahem, ahem; friend. I shall be sitting elsewhere.”
“I’m sorry to offend you, old chum,” Nigel said. “Perhaps I can buy you supper at the inn tonight as a recompense for my strange inquiry.”
“Hmm,” I retorted. “For what reason; to fatten me up? No thank you, I shall be dinning alone.”