Food is Power

Polite Society Might Eat With Their Eyes But Down Here We Use a Plate and a Fork


“If it smells right, we’re gonna eat it. Cave folk are more clever than those elite prats up top give us credit for, by golly. And that gave us an edge in the beginning. But some of them folk rightly suspected we wouldn’t go down easy after the great purge. So, they barred access to real food, rationed clean water, and gave us some genetically engineered corn powder to choke on instead.

“And they call themselves ‘polite society’ — Pffft, ain’t nothing polite about them gluttonous blubber monkeys. How you gonna rise up and take back your planet from the edge of extinction when half your clan is malnourished and dehydrated?

“People who’ve never experienced the mean growl of hunger drilling through their core like a rusty auger bit used to say, ‘folks eat with their eyes’.

“Hell, I don’t know about all that hoitey-toitey baloney, but I eat with my mouth, from a plate, with a fork and sometimes my fingers, if you wanna get picky. And my food? when I get it, don’t have to be pretty, it’s just gotta smell right.”

Tara waggles a few crooked digits in the air for emphasis then taps her nose. The antique dragonfly earring piercing her left lobe flashes silver as she nods in agreement with herself.

“Come to think of it, it was them that got us into this mess in the first place. Hoarding resources like nobody else was worthy of a plate of food, or a drink of clean water but them and their inbred family line.

“Now, they’ll get what they deserve. The only place left to grow real food is down here. They’re gonna have to swallow their pride, which last I heard has no nutritional value, and ask us for help. Or die. Poetic, dontcha think? You know, them old Greeks got it wrong. Justice was never blind, she was just hungry.

“Starving ain’t no way to go though. I’ve seen it. Them folks up top are in for a helluva ride after their metabolism gobbles up all their fat reserves.

“Cave folk aren’t animals though, we’re gonna feed ’em, alright, but we ain’t gonna be in no hurry about it. They’re gonna have to understand the repercussions of their actions first. It could take awhile.”

Tara taps the homemade armor covering her chest and then her shoulder where a crudely stitched patch was affixed.

“See this? That plate and silverware was the only symbol of the resistance we all could agree on. We’re a diverse group of survivors down here and it was tough going in the beginning. But the fear of seeing our children starving before our eyes united us. Now, we’re gonna be able to put real food on our plates. Maybe even have Lucinda stitch us a nice bouquet of broccoli to put on our patch, but I don’t wanna jinx it. Food is power. But when you got it, and you take it for granted? things can go south real quick. So above all, we’re grateful for what we got and we’ll share it.

“Bon appetite, my friend.”

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