The Da Twinkie Code (Chapter 1)

ONE

Timothy Woods blinked awake.  He was in a large room with high ceilings, tied to a beam.  As his eyes slowly adjusted to the darkness, Woods realized he was on his own factory floor.  Woods was the CEO of Hostess, the largest snack cake manufacturer in the world, home of the Twinkie.

Prisoner in his own factory.  Woods thought he knew how he got here – just before leaving for the day, he had eaten two Twinkies, as he customarily did.  Today the second one had tasted a little funny.  He remembered reaching his car, but realized he must have passed out at the wheel before driving anywhere.  That was the how; the why was more elusive.

Suddenly, a circle of small electric candles warmed to light around him.  A figure in a yellow robe, the shadow from its hood obscuring the face, stepped forward from the darkness, standing just outside the circle.

“Sorry to keep you waiting,” came the figure’s voice.  It had the deep, marble-mouthed quality of electronic modification.

“What’s this all about?” Woods demanded.  The ritualistic setup worried him for instinctive reasons he couldn’t quite pin down, but he tried to maintain his composure.

“I think you know, Mr. Woods.”

“I don’t…” Woods trailed off as the figure turned around.  On the back of the robe was the image of a banana.  A shiver rolled down Woods’ spine.  “You’re a Bananist?  But they haven’t been active since-”

“1973.  Too long.”  The figure walked back off into the darkness.  Woods heard some noises.  “What are you doing?” he asked nervously.

“Making sure everyone knows that we’re serious.”  The reply was tinny and echoing, and Woods became more afraid.

“What are you trying to prove?” he called out.  “We already reintroduced the banana cream Twinkie in some markets!  We’re a company with a bottom line – if it sells, we’re going to produce more and roll it out nationally!  I’d think that would make the Bananists happy!”

The figure walked back into the light and stepped into the circle, approaching Woods.  “The Bananists aren’t happy, Mr. Woods.  The Bananists aren’t happy at all.  You’re still producing that bastardization you call a Twinkie and you expect us to be thrilled over some retro limited rollout?  This isn’t a game.”  The Bananist exited the circle again.  There was the sound of a machine turning on.  The Bananist returned carrying a length of hose.

“What is that?” Woods asked, but immediately he realized, and turned white.  “No.  Please.  Why are you doing this?”

The Bananist came right up to Woods.  A mask, yellow with an upturned banana forming an eerie smile, obscured the face.  Only the smallest part of the eyes were visible.  “Because you didn’t listen.”

Woods opened his mouth to scream, but the hose was quickly forced into it.  The Bananist turned the spigot, and cream rushed down Woods’ throat.

Click here for Chapter Two…

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