Fortunate I am, dear readers to be back on American soil now, mayhap bloodied but unbowed, having barely escaped with my life from the wilds of Europe and bonnie Scotland with many a tale to recount, strange and terrible, glorious and awe-inspiring. All the children of my village, and the adults as well, gather around me now wide-eyed in the local pub to hear the tales of my adventures abroad, which grow taller with each telling. They cringe with horror, as indeed I did myself, when they hear me tell of almost being slain by a pack of wild Haggis on the moors of Scotland. How the strange rolling beasties appeared from out of nowhere over the hill and spun towards me, their sharp teeth gnashing, pure hate in their piggy little eyes. I could see that they were out for my life’s blood. I should have known they were about because their stench preceded them, but I thought that was just the little pit I came across earlier with the hand-written sign saying “Highland Outhouse” over it.
The haggis had me cornered against a cliff. They started to close in, three of the brutes, and I thought that this might be it. I thought that the sum of my life had come down to this, being devoured by some over-ripe haggis on a desolate moor. I could see the headlines the next
day, “Another American falls victim to a pack angry haggis.” I was determined not to let that happen, so I fished around in my pack for something, anything, to use. My hand fell upon an object. I pulled it out, and there I saw, glinting in the fading light, a fork. The haggis saw it too apparently and stopped in their tracks, their former confidence now replaced with trepidation.
“I’ll do it!” I shouted, stepping forward a bit with my fork aloft, “I will eat every damn one of you.”
The haggis held their ground as if to say, “You haven’t got the guts, or at least not as much guts as we have stuffed inside us.”
I knew then that I had come this far, and now I had to go all the way. I held my fork aloft like a dagger, and with a guttural shout straight out of Braveheart launched myself at the haggis, my mouth open wide. The haggis must have looked at me, seen in my eyes, and heard by my incoherent shouts that I meant business then; eating haggis business, the dirtiest
kind. Miraculously they fled back over the hills, with me never even getting to stick a fork in. In my wild berserker state, I would have done it too. I would have eaten all that haggis.
Thank single malt Scottish whiskey that sanity returned.
But from then on I never went out on the moors without a Scottish friend of mine named “MacBubba,” whose claim to fame was winning the national haggis eating contest. To add to his intimidation factor, MacBubba sported a tat of an impaled haggis on his arm, and habitually
walked around in a t-shirt saying “Haggis, taste the fear.” And the haggis did, they tasted that fear, because they never bothered me again.
Except in my nightmares.
Those sweat filled dreams when I am back on that desolate moor and can hear the blood chilling howl of the wild haggis closing in. But I am in therapy now, and have made progress. I can even be in the same room with a can of haggis without puking.
Now I just have to work out my post-traumatic stress about blood pudding.
© Louis Baum
Louis Baum lives in rural Florida where I am a freelance writer and editor. His work appears in the premier issue of Buzzy magazine as well as the Indiana Horror Anthology.