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THE CUSTOMER IS ALWAYS RIGHT It was certainly the oddest order Kim had even gotten. She had answered the phone smartly, ???Zook???s Fine Housewares, a division of Zook Enterprises,??? a cheery lilt in her voice, just as the training course had recommended. There was a brief pause on the other end; then, an eerie voice with an odd accent. It kept pausing every few words, as if the caller was short of breath. ???Hello. I need???a special ohr-der???of ser-ving wahre?????? ???Yes, sir,??? she said brightly. ???We specialize in special orders. What do you need.??? ???I neeed?????? came the voice, ??????a plat-ter larzh enough???for a hyu-man.??? The owner of the voice began giggling. On the other end, Kim frowned, looked down her computerized checklist of platters. The well-endowed blonde was attired in a smart business suit, her round knees peeking under the bottom of the hem, her huge cleavage straining at the frilly blouse. ???Our largest platter is 36 by 24 inches, sir,??? she said. ???Anything larger will have to be custom made.??? ???It must be lar-zhur,??? the voice breathed, ???for a hyu-man.??? Kim thought about it. ???60 by 36? Would that do it???? The voice laughed, maniacally, ah, hee???ah, hee???ah hee???, and finally said, ???Yessss???yessss???would you fit on that plat-ter???? ???I believe I would, sir,??? she said primly, smoothing her skirt with her free hand. ???Will there be anything else???? ???Yessss,??? it intoned. ???A coh-ver???for the plat-ter. And plates, and gob-lets, and bowls. And larzh knives and forks???for serv-ing???the hyu-man.??? And the squeaky giggling began anew. Kim was writing it all down. ???How many of each???? ???Twelve,??? it responded; in the background, Kim thought she could hear sobbing. ???My eleven broh-thers???and me???for eating the hyu?????? ???Yes, sir,??? said Kim. ??? I need mailing and billing information, please.??? ???No mail!??? it said. ???You bring the plat-ter???to meeee.??? ???Very well, sir,??? said Kim, checking the box next to ???Home Delivery???. ???Our men will?????? ???No men!??? it demanded. ???You???bring the plat-ter???to meeee!??? Kim sighed. This would be a big sale; she needed the commission. It was only her second week on the job, and she didn???t want to lose her first crack at a new account. And if she turned it down, that skinny brat Andrea would probably get the deal. She looked at the calendar. ???Next Tuesday???? she said. On her way out with the small Zook???s delivery truck, Kim had some second thoughts. A hyu-man? Serving a hyu-man on a platter? She thought back to the sales course. Lesson 1: ???The customer is always right, even when she???s wrong,??? they had instructed her, over and over. ???It???s none of your business what the merchandise is used for, girl,??? she told herself. ???If they don???t serve a hyu-man on your platter, they???ll serve a hyu-man on somebody else???s platter.??? The house was huge, ramshackle and forbidding; when she pushed the doorbell, heavy chimes sounded. The door creaked open. He was human, and yet not. Nearly seven feet tall, with a huge, craggy smile that seemed fixed, the curl of his lip never moving. Small, piercing eyes. A shock of hair, tinted a little green. Dressed entirely in black, in a getup that looked like it was out of a Victorian daguerreotype, even a little hat. Hunched shoulders, frame strictly erect. He fixed his little eyes on Kim, head to toe, taking in her huge breasts, wide hips, thick legs. And he laughed; Kim knew she had the right address. ???Good afternoon, sir!??? she said, in as friendly a voice as she could muster under the circumstances. ???I???m Kim, with your Zook???s Housewares,??? He said nothing for a moment, just rubbed his hands, continued looking Kim up and down. And then, most unnervingly, his tongue peeked out of his mouth, slowly worked its way around his thin lips. Finally, he said, ???You are perr-fect! You will bring my plat-ter!??? ???Uh?????? the stuff was heavy; Kim looked over her shoulder at the truck. ???Could I get a little help???? The being kept staring at her, stopped rubbing his hands together long enough to clap them, sharply, twice. Three others showed up. This was getting really creepy, Kim decided. The faces of the other three all looked identical to the first one???s, but they were all different sizes. One was short and round, one somewhat thinner???and the third, the exact same proportions but two feet shorter than the apparent boss. All were dressed the same; well, thought Kim, after all, they???re broh-thers. ???This???iz a new one,??? the first strange guy breathed. ???Shee iz??????Kim???. Shee hazz???our plat-ter.??? And with that, they all laughed the same way, ah, hee???ah, hee???ah, hee??? ???This way, gentlemen,??? she said. They followed, hopping and jumping; the smallest one came right up behind her, buried his face in her backside. ???Sir!??? she said sharply, spinning around with her hands on those wide hips. ???Zook???s does not tolerate unseemly behavior from customers.??? But she needed the dough, and smiled. Lesson 12??????Let their hands roam, as long as those hands end up writing the check.??? The weird little man just grinned, his facial expression never changing; the others picked up heavy crates, carried them back into the house. ???You!??? said the Boss. ???You come, too!??? ???Of course,??? she said, regaining her smile and poise. ???We have to collect payment, after all.??? They had set the cases down in an anteroom, next to the kitchen. ???Wee were???die-ning,??? said the Boss. Kim could see a roasted human leg on the table, half the flesh stripped away. The strange men were in a state of high anxiety as they opened the boxes. They laid out the plates, felt the serving forks against their pale, clammy palms and the carving knives against their wrists. The last box, with the platter and its cover, brought squeals of excitement. It was inlaid with swirls of color, faux gold trim; it was heavy and durable. It was big enough for a hyu-man. ???You!??? said the fat one, pointing at Kim, who was checking the order against the invoice. ???You will get on the plat-ter.??? ???On???? she said. She slipped off her shoes, stood on the heavy serving dish. ???It???ll hold up to?????? she checked the invoice??????250 pounds.??? The Boss said, sounding ecstatic, ???Two hyu-mans.??? The Boss??? little doppelganger pointed at Kim???s nylon-sheathed feet and legs, and then at the plates and cutlery delightedly. The fat one said, ???No???you will get down on the plat-ter???like so.??? With difficulty, he crouched down on all fours next to the giant dish, looked up at her. ???Like this. And, you will be nay-ked.??? ???Nay-ked,??? shouted the other three, jumping wildly and waving their arms. ???Can???t it wait until I finish writing up the order???? asked the saleswoman. ???Nay-ked,??? they repeated, over and over. Lesson 7: ???The customer will sometimes make unusual requests. The salesperson who can honor those requests will win the business, and the customer???s unending respect!??? Kim shrugged; two buttons and her jacket fell to the floor. Then, she began unbuttoning her blouse. The fearsome foursome???s mouths fell open as one as the stacked blonde???s lusty bazooms spilled out of her shirt. When she unclipped her brassiere, they went hog wild. ???They are so larzh,??? breathed the Boss. ???They will be gooood,??? answered Fatso. Lesson 9, thought Kim??????Make the client happy, and you???ll be even happier!??? Ziiiip! went the skirt; Kim wriggled out of it, inching it down her full hips and heavy thighs, past her plump calves. With a little effort, she bent over, peeled down the pantyhose, and stood there in nature???s own. Well, Kim thought, the sight of her naked had overwhelmed many a man, but never like this. The four odd ducks were gibbering, their tongues protruding; they would hover over her, cupping their hands as if to touch her, and then fall back. ???Perr-fect! Perr-fect!??? they kept saying???and then Fat Boy reminded her, ???On the plat-ter.??? Obediently, Kim crouched down on her forearms and shins on the dish. Her rump in the air, her boobs squeezed against the china, its chill against her pubes; she became aware that all four of them were licking their chops. ???Yes! Yes!??? said the little one. ???Will this do, fellas???? she asked from the floor. ???It???s cold down here.??? ???Up! Up! Cumm???with mee!??? said the leader urgently; the voluptuous blonde struggled to her feet, grabbed her clothes. ???No! No more clothes!??? he said, pointing with a skeletal hand to a staircase heading down. ???This way!??? She fished her order book out of her jacket pocket, and obediently headed down the stairs. The clip-clop of the stranger???s shoes contrasted with the soft padding of Kim???s bare feet as they descended???a long way; the ceiling over the basement was twenty feet high, and the floor was earthen. It was lit, not by electricity, but by smoky torches. He stopped before a padlocked iron door; Kim could hear muffled cries behind it. Pulling an ancient ring of keys from ten feet above the floor, he unlocked the door; it opened with a loud creak, and again he pointed. ???Are you fellows new around here???? asked the nude saleslady. ???We are???from down below; we are what hyu-mans call thee???gob-lin,??? he responded, still pointing through the door. It was even darker on the other side; as Kim???s eyes adjusted, she heard whimpering. A tiny, thirtyish brunette, also naked, was laying before them on a pile of sawdust in a little stall, clay walls on either side. Her wrists were shackled; a rusty ankle cuff joined her by a chain to an iron bracket in the floor. Her flesh was soft and bright pink. She looked up; Kim caught the reflection of the dim firelight on her tear-streaked cheeks. ???Re-jeen-a,??? said the head goblin, who examined a clipboard hanging next to the woman. ???She???sold us???ov-en. Com-mer-shul size, for hyu-mans.??? He shook his head. ???No goood, Re-jeen-a. You gain no weight. Eat up, now, or?????? The frozen grin still on his face, he stuck a bony finger into her breast, which yielded. ???B-zip! B-zip!??? ???B-zip???? Kim asked Regina. ???An electric prod,??? whispered the brunette. ???Oh, please, help me???!??? ???You know,??? said Kim, turning to the goblin (Lesson 18??????Turn your client???s disadvantage to your advantage! If you find out she???s not up to date with the latest conveniences, make the sale!???), ???Zook???s Farm Supply, a division of Zook Enterprises, has fine electric equipment. Lights, electric gates???yes???even prods!??? The goblin continued to finger Regina???s pillowy little breasts as the dark haired girl choked on tears. ???We need more prods. My broh-thers could each yoooz one.??? Kim wrote furiously in her order book. He continued, ???Shee sell us a good ov-en. We coook two salesladees in it al-red-dee. Wood burn. Do you have electric ig-nye-ter???? Kim nodded, kept writing. He turned to Regina. ???B-zip,??? he repeated. ???Ah-hee! Ah-hee!??? With her eyes glazed with terror and fixed upon him, she reached into a trough beside her with her fettered hands, pulled out handfuls of some glop, put some in her mouth. ???What is she eating???? Kim asked as they walked down a dark corridor, leaving the whimpering commercial oven sales rep behind. ???Spes-shul feed,??? said the Boss. ???Feed for pigs???mixed in with fat. Spes-shul fat,??? he added. ???Hyuh-man fat. Save from salesladees we coook in big ov-en. She coook there soon, herself!??? ???Zook???s Alimentary can provide balanced feed rations,??? Kim went on. ???We get outstanding results with any kind of livestock.??? Boss turned around; curiously, he poked Kim, pushing one of those boney fingers halfway into her fleshy belly, then into one of those mammoth teats. ???You eet those rah-shuns? You are???well-fed.??? She gritted her teeth, remembered Lesson 15: ???Ignore the customer???s social shortcomings; money will soothe a bruised ego any day!??? Besides, being naked, it???s not like she was hiding anything. ???Well,??? she smiled sunnily, ???perhaps I???ve put on a few pounds. I???ve been thinking of going on a diet?????? ???No, no,??? he replied. ???You must???get fah-ter.??? He turned a corner. Another enclosure, another nude girl. Chubby, maybe twenty, stringy brown hair, huddled with her chained hands around her legs. ???Die-ann,??? said the Boss. ???Money for coll-idge???sell us cutlery. Ah-hee???Ah-hee???Ah-hee!??? This time, Kim joined the laughter; bewildered, the helpless college girl looked back and forth at her tormentor and the naked, stacked blonde laughing at her. The tears welled up in her eyes; she unwrapped herself, got to her knees???her breasts were almost as big as Kim???s???and staggered forward, beseeching a surprised Kim, ???They???re going to kill me, and eat me!??? The head goblin was studying a chart like the one that traced Regina???s weight. ???Right now!??? he proclaimed, and again clapped his hands twice. Diane fell back, covering her mouth with her pudgy hands, and started to weep; Kim could see she had a bit of a spare tire, fleshy arms and legs. ???Faht-ten???six weeks,??? said the Boss, ???right on sked-yule.??? Two more goblins showed up; one as tall as Boss but maybe half the weight, and another short and wide. ???Slaw-ter,??? he said, pointing to the unfortunate Diane, ???feast too-night.??? Eagerly, they unlocked the ankle chain of the bawling young lady who???d had the bad luck to offer cutlery to creatures that eat human flesh, and trundled their helpless, screaming package down another corridor. ???We also sell chains, you know,??? said Kim. ???Locks and other security devices.??? The goblin nodded; she marked it down. ???Cummm,??? he said, stalking after his brothers. They had taken Diane to a windowed room in the center of the dungeon, brightly illuminated by lanterns; Kim could see that the two goblins were in the process of slaughtering the college student. The plump girl was hanging by a rope around her ankles, straining at her handcuffs and letting loose with an unending series of high-pitched squeals; the Boss??? brothers were bustling around the room selecting knives. Reflected in the light from the windows, across from the door to the little room, was another pen with yet another naked, shackled woman, a petite Asian. She had been watching the scene in the small room with horror, but shrank into a huddle at the sight of the Boss, eyes showing fear. ???Mih-ki,??? he said; ???sells us???Tuh-pur-ware. For saving extra food.??? He shook his head. ???Mih-ki is not getting faht.??? ???Try our rations,??? Kim assured him. He glanced at her sideways???the frozen grin seemed even wider???and they entered the central room. There was more bloodstained sawdust on the floor, a stainless steel table, a couple of electric saws, and another door, this one steel reinforced. ???Koo-ler??? said the head man, opening the heavy door to the refrigeration unit and showing Kim three headless women???s bodies, nude and eviscerated, hanging upside down. He closed the door. ???You must kill them when they are finn-ished,??? he said. ???Not too faht. Must guess.??? ???Zook???s can help you with that, too,??? Kim shouted???Diane???s screeches were rising to deafening levels; ???An ultrasound we provide the livestock trade???measure her fat percentage until she???s right at slaughter weight!??? The helpless college girl???s screams died to a gurgle; the skinny hench-goblin was slitting her throat with an 18-inch butcher knife. As her struggles ceased, she gradually stopped swinging from the rusty hook; her blood spilled out on the sawdust. The gaunt creature plunged the knife into her brisket between her large, downward-hanging breasts, slashed upward to her navel; the wide one busily removed entrails, separating them on the table. The head goblin abruptly turned and shoved the door open; stepping carefully to avoid getting Diane???s blood on her bare feet, Kim followed. The Boss walked toward a huge wooden door. ???Wee continue worr-king,??? he said, the nude Kim trailing and taking notes, ???after dinn-ner,??? and threw open the door to reveal a banquet room, glowing orange and flickering with light. Dinner, Kim had to admit, was not bad. Between the sources of the light, two large candelabra, there was a headless, roasted girl folded double on the new Zook???s platter she had just brought; she was being served in large helpings to the nine other goblins by yet another woman. This one was nude, of course, a short, chunky strawberry blonde with large bosoms and a plump bottom; she didn???t look very happy to be there. Kim???s bare bottom nestled into the comfortable, plush chair. ???Brand noo chairs and tay-bull,??? said the Boss, proudly. ???Delih-vurred by her?????? gesturing to the roasted carcass in the center of the table. ???Steff-uhnee,??? he cackled. ???Alreddee nice and faht; slaw-ter same day.??? Sullenly, the strawberry blonde set a plate full of thigh meat in front of Kim. Lesson 6: ???Your most important meal of the day is the one with your client that closes the sale,??? so Kim dug in. ???Mih-shell,??? said the head monster, pointing to their waitress, ???bring us gore-may spices; she ah-gree to be our coook.??? ???Until we get hun-gree,??? said the Boss??? little double, ???for Mih-shell.??? Ten laughed as one???ah-hee???ah-hee???ah-hee??? The Boss tore into his helping of ribs, a large breast cooked to a deep brown and oozing fat still attached. ???Goood coook hard to find,??? he confided to Kim around a mouthful of breast. Kim finished swallowing her forkful of thigh. ???Have I told you,??? she said brightly, ???about Zook???s Temporary Services???? The goblin looked at her, dropped the knife and fork he???d gotten courtesy of the young lady now hanging in their little butcher shop. Two claps. A large, wide goblin and one with a small torso and long arms and legs jumped up. Terrified, Michelle turned and ran out the door with a sob, her plump buns rubbing against each other as her stocky legs churned; the two goblins quickly followed. Kim heard Michelle???s fading screams, ???EEEEE???EEEEE???EE?????? and then silence. ???Too much meeet,??? said the Boss. ???All yoo salesladees. Gonna neeed a bigger koo-ler.??? Confidently, still chewing on a bite of Stephanie, the saleswoman reached for her order book. Dinner was done; Michelle was securely shackled in a fattening pen. Kim and her client walked down another corridor; stopped before another stall, this one empty. Squinting in the dim torchlight, Kim consulted her book; when the commission on this deal was in, she decided, it was time for about two weeks in Cancun. ???This is quite an order we???ve assembled, sir,??? the bare blonde said, looking up and handing the goblin the book. ???Would you care to review it???? The Boss took the book, looked down at Kim???s lengthy notes???looked up, at Kim???s beefy, busty body???looked back down again. Looked back up again. Kim bit her lip; she was getting a little nervous. ???Is everything all right???? she asked. She couldn???t tell; he had never stopped grinning. ???Thiss,??? he said, pointed at the number on the bottom of the invoice. ???Thiss???is the phone nomm-berr???? ???That???s right,??? she answered. He nodded, tucked the book under his arm, and clapped. Twice. ??????and with one of our smokehouses,??? the woman was telling the tall, strange looking being, ???you can preserve meats for months!??? ???Wee???stockpile a lot of meeet,??? he admitted. They stopped in front of an enclosure, walled on both sides. The goblin took the chart; while looking at it, he said, ???Show mee???how your ma-sheeen???works.??? Tall, slender, auburn-haired, the woman looked down at the plump blonde shackled inside the enclosure. Both were as naked as jaybirds. ???Hello, Kim,??? the slim girl smiled, and held the round end of the pencil-box sized device up to the other woman???s back. ???Andrea???? cried Kim; she lay on her flank, next to a half-empty trough of livestock feed mixed with human fat, rendered from Diane and Michelle. The blonde had gained more weight; her belly had a roll to it, her boobs hung low. The manacle that secured her ankle to the iron ring in the floor was cutting into her flesh. ???Well, somebody had to take the order,??? said Andrea, pressing the button on the device and squinting to read the LED in the dimness of torchlight. ???Thirty percent body fat.??? ???Perr-fect,??? said the goblin, still studying the chart. ???Feast too-night,??? and clapped twice. Two of his brothers emerged from the darkness; Kim looked up at her smiling rival and began to cry. ???Please,??? she stammered, ???not now, not yet.??? ???Now, dear,??? said Andrea firmly, ???Rule Number 1.??? And indeed, saleswomanship had carried the day. For although Kim was slaughtered most hideously, sobbing and screaming as she dangled by her feet from a hook in the little room; and although she was beheaded, dressed, roasted to a golden brown and served in her own simmering juices???the smiling, naked Andrea doing the honors, basting her colleague???s plump, meaty body and seasoning her most delicately, carving her up and dishing out hunks of Kim???s thighs, loins, breasts and buttocks to the slavering, drooling goblins???they all remarked on how good she looked on the giant platter, the one custom ordered from Zook???s Fine Housewares.