(///olive.gross.admit – YouTube Headquarters, San Bruno, USA)
The whole world watched ‘Cooking with Robin’. It was the weekly release from the rising illnesses and disappearances, the withering flowers and the dying animals, the events which billions increasingly had to admit were part of their everyday lives.
Robin had erupted into their lives when they had most needed him, when their other certainties had started to collapse. Daily, people debated the root of their troubles, arguing passionately for their conspiracy theorist of choice. But when Robin’s show came on, their hostilities subsided and the gross nature of the horrors was forgotten. Whatever the time of day or night, billions felt compelled to join his live broadcast.
Robin burst into view on every global screen, impossibly perfect face, lustrous blond hair, green eyes trapping the gaze of billions staring back at him and never letting go.
“Our grand finale, a sweet treat,” he purred, subtly licking his upper lip and starting a gingerbread dough. Billions tore open the ingredients bags whose weekly arrival they never questioned.
“We knead and knead,” he continued. Billions pounded away, never wondering how they understood Robin’s every word, whatever their own tongue might be.
“A savoury twist,” he winked, adding paprika and mandrake. Billions mixed them in.
“And now our creation. A gingerbread soldier.” Billions shaped and decorated their figures, with candied peel epaulettes, golden sultana buttons and dried mango trousers, the face completed with piercing glace cherry eyes and an olive for a nose.
“Finally we bake. And while we bake, we sing.”
Mesmerised, billions read the words on screen and found they somehow knew the tune to ‘Kill, Soldier, Kill’.
“And now they are ready.”
Soldiers leapt out of ovens.
Fresh. Hot. Six feet tall.
Billions lay slaughtered.
Robin nodded triumphantly and headed into his new world. He and his soldiers would enjoy devouring the feast which they had painstakingly prepared.