Cheesie People

 

Say goodbye to Cheese.
A short story for all Mark’s special book-reading friends.

Ivor Grator weighed twenty stone but was content as a rat with a gold tooth. Some years previously he staked his inheritance to win the Caerphilly rolling cheese race, a certainty he being whippet like in his youth. Since that day, in retirement, he pursued his phobic habit of tasting cheeses. Cheddar, Feta, Camembert, Applewood, Emmental, you name it, he’d eaten it.
The mistake he’d made was to marry her. A sweet looking Barbie doll, oozing sexiness, Maggie Limerick toured people’s houses applying false nails to bored housewives and sensual massages to excitable husbands. But she had a mean streak, as long as a flitch of bacon, fed by the desire to find a rich man to marry. She had visions of speed boats, horse races, shopping, shopping and more shopping and finally, after one evenings’ massage appointment, she convinced Ivor to tie a new knot.
As their married life progressed, she couldn’t make the proverbial butter spread to all four corners of her oversized toast, as Ivor frittered everything on cheese. He had Brie on his Weetabix, Edam at lunch with a huge glass of wine and at dinner time, two veg, Yorkshire pudding, roast potatoes and yes, a great slab of Cheddar. She warned him, “You’re going to turn into a piece of cheese, probably an over kept stilton with the stench of a pig wearing your socks!” “Clear off!” he said scoffing another runny Camembert, to which she replied, “I blooming well would if I could.”
As Ivor developed furry blotches of mould on his skin, Maggie’s researched revealed that from decrepit cheese, mycotoxins had invaded his body poisoning him. “Great stuff!” she thought feeding him further rind, crusts and furry remnants until his skin blotches began to get bigger like seas on the moon. Even the sleep in his eyes, grease between his toes and belly button fluff all changed into a foul-smelling un-kept blue stilton. “That’s it!” Maggie declared, “We have to say goodbye. I’ll dig out his insurance policy and his will and polish him off myself!”
Maggie turned to face-book, “My boy-friend has a rare condition, his multiplying mycotoxins are turning him into cheese, even his dandruff looks like grated parmesan,” she added “share this if you’re female and have a man.” Un-beknown to her, Ivor had purchased a phone to spy on her disguised as fictitious “Agony Andrea”, providing sympathetic advice.
At the marbled breakfast bar one morning, coffee in one hand and toast in the other, Maggie heard Ivor’s elephant feet clumping down the stairs in his monster onesie, depicting a large piece of cheese and musical caption, “Sweet dreams are made of cheese, who am I to dis a Brie.” She tutted exasperated, moving aside without acknowledging him, watching as he opened the bread bin for a thick slice from off the un-sliced loaf. “He’s going to need a knife to cut his bread.” she said with a murderous intention as she slid open the draw, grabbing the first blade that came to hand. Expecting a giant glinting carving knife, she embarrassingly pulled out a white plastic picnic fork, as Ivor took a pre-sliced loaf from the bin, “Pre-sliced, since when?” she gasped, whilst emptying the draw of plastic cutlery as if it were from an inbound middle-eastern aircraft. “I’m just making adjustments to living,” Ivor said, “we wouldn’t want an accident!”
That night Maggie arrived home after applying new sets of nails, to a brexitier from the local UKIP party and rifled through Ivor’s safe finding his insurance and his will, stashing them in the meat locker, an Ivor free zone. Then creeping upstairs to thunderous snoring from Ivor’s bedroom, she opened a large sack of plastic bags, that Ivor had been saving. He was lying in bed on his back, like a basking shark with his mouth disconnected from his bottom jaw, no doubt dreaming of cruising the seas not for krill or sardines, but little cubes of cheese together in a giant bait ball. Quickly she covered him in the bags, difficult as Ivor’s out breath blew them into the air, but as the weight built up they began to suffocate him. “Not long now!” she whispered sneaking out of the room. She gave it an hour in all, long enough, but upon returning she realised things hadn’t worked out, as the sound of snoring had-returned. She had made the mistake of course of using the bags Ivor had his cheese delivered in and tasting so nice, he’d simply eaten them all without opening an eyelid.
Later, after asking herself when Ivor would be most vulnerable, Maggie left an extension lead behind the toilet with bare wiring crawling up the skirting board, waiting for Ivor to miss the pan, electrocuting himself where he stood. But amazingly, as every pot scrubbing wife would agree, he proved to be more accurate, that or he’d coupled his number ones with number twos.
As Ivor’s cheesy habit now became vile, he stopped eating the toast or veggie supplements and was now supplementing the meat supplement with a supplement of cheese. Meals now composed of a cheddar cheese, the two veg were cubed cheese with chives and shredded emmental and the roast potatoes were golf balls of Edam, topped off with a melted soft-cheese gravy. This powder keg lay heavily on Ivor’s stomach until he would waddle to the toilet and explode into the pan leaving nothing more than cheese strings! Maggie was desperate, she couldn’t wait much longer, having seen a delectable car for sale with pink sheen paintwork, a woman thing apparently!
As Ivor resorted to having his cheese delivered by Amazon prime, the veins in his legs and arms turned blue and his complexion deepened until he took on a tint of Chinese yellow, smelling of oriental spices. “At this rate,” Maggie told herself, “he really would turn into a piece of cheese.”
Then one afternoon the perfect opportunity arose. Ivor had finished his lunch of Caerphilly Cheddar, draped with Roquefort and a pudding of creamy Boursin cheesecake, when sunshine leapt from behind a cloud and bathed the bedroom balcony in summer heat. “How can I refuse.” he told himself and in nothing but boxer shorts bulging at every quarter, he took a barrel of grated Pecorino and some Ritz, outside for a snooze. “This is the life, away from the murderous Maggie.” he shouted whilst stretching out on the lounger.
But things were to get a whole lot warmer as Maggie with a devilish look in her eye, crept up behind Ivor and locked the door behind him, leaving him stranded. She was well aware of the climate out there, the way it absorbed every solar flare and X ray, resulting in massive temperatures of fifty degrees, she smiled, “Hopefully that’s goodbye from him then” she said creeping down the stairs.
But before the sticky smell of cheese overwhelmed even Ivor, he stood and went for a re-frigerated cheese dip. “What!” he said rattling the balcony door handle, “Its locked! How did I….no… how did she?” he said as he pulled on the handle becoming green in the face. “I’ll bet she’s counting my money, looking for the will and insurance.” he said as he began to blister and bubble like cheese on toast.
As Maggie returned from repairing the bitten fingernails of the local secondary school head-teacher, in unprecedented heat for August, she couldn’t see Ivor, unusually for his size. She playacted an enquiry, “Hi honey, I’m home!” hoping for no reply, which was correct. So, treading quietly, not to disturb the dead, she crept cat-like into the bedroom. The keys were still in the lock, so she turned them and pushed the door open slowly.
Hit immediately by ferocious heat she found no Ivor, not to speak of, only a sheet of melted cheese glue as from a carpet underside. Everywhere she put her feet, cheese latched on holding her like the snaking roots of a century old oak tree. She couldn’t fight it and toppled prostrate on the floor, helpless like a wasp on a honey trap.
The only sign of Ivor was his green stained boxer shorts. “My God!” she said as a tinge of madness surfaced from deep within her, “He’s only gone and melted, he has, gone and melted! It was his fault, he was more bleeding cheese than toast!” She lay trying to take things in. She knew that the authorities would never believe her and would blame her, but she knew a few people in places where dishonesty gave rise to a second income and would have no problem obtaining a death certificate and claiming the insurance! She began to plan a grand burial with masses of friends and family, before embarking upon some luxury shopping trips all over the world!
Days later after visits from various suspicious characters, the coffin was loaded into the hearse. As the convoy of polished cars sped as arthritic as a tranquilized tortoise, off to the cemetary, Ivor’s mother was nowhere to be seen, un-nerving Maggie. As friends and family, filed reverently into the chapel, Ivor’s coffin sat decorated in multitudes of cheeses. The vicar was asking for quiet to read a short thank-you, when a voice croaked, “You’re all so keen to say goodbye to him, but don’t be looking in that coffin, he’s not in there.” It was Ivor’s mother stood with a police officer in one hand and shock of horrors, Ivor in the other. He smiled a cheesy grin after his ordeal, having jumped into a Rhododendron bush and running home to mum. The only thing he regretted was leaving the barrel of grated cheese on the table, which of course had melted.
Ivor walked from the rear of the chapel to the front, as the vicar froze and many a relative sat down. But Maggie didn’t see him coming until her smug grin was wiped unceremoniously from her face as he rounded the last row of seating standing blatantly in front of her. He smiled lifting his instamatic -camera to his face, focussed and said “SAY CHEESE!”