Going Vegan by James Jenkins

Flash Fiction, James Jenkins

“Stop fucking judging me Jerry!”

“What? I didn’t. I didn’t say anything Alan,” he said, looking up from his half-chewed meal.

“You don’t have to,” said Alan taking another bite from his colossal burger. Meat fluids lined with cheese sweat and hot sauce oozed through his fingers. “Those beady little eyes, I can feel them all over me, judging my food.”

“I’m not Alan, honestly,” he said whilst pushing the reconstructed meat supplement around his plate.

Alan tore off another chunk of the mammoth brioche sandwich. Shreds of pulled pork and bacon tumbled wastefully from Alan’s greasy mouth. If the tasteless food on Jerry’s plate wasn’t enough not to be hungry, then the sight of Alan was. He watched the double patties leak blood red from their core before disappearing into Alan’s grinding teeth.

“How doph youph knoph a veganph a veganph?” Alan spat out through the un-swallowed mound of food in his mouth.

“Because it’s the first thing they tell you. Yes Alan, I know, you say it every time and it’s no funnier the more you say it,” Jerry sighed.

Alan finally swallowed his mouthful adding to an already bloated stomach destined for indigestion and a whole lot worse. “Oh, fuck off Jerry, you cunt.” He eyed Jerry’s plate and smiled. His teeth resembled a drying rack of meat. “What’s the matter Jerry? You’ve barely touched your food.”

Jerry gave in and pushed the oval plate to the side of the sticky pub table and scraped up the used vinegar sachets. “Great vegan options you said.”

“Jerry, you’re always such a prick about these things. I said they had a vegan option and that is great. You’re not the fucking messiah Jerry. Don’t forget you dragged us all to that Vegan only shite for your sister’s birthday.”

“I didn’t. That was Lauren’s choice, not mine.”

“Exactly!” Alan’s mouth jettisoned morsels of unchewed meat towards Jerry – The staff would have their work cut out more than earning the shit hourly pay. “We all made a sacrifice for you! Your sister ain’t no fucking vegan Jerry, I can promise you that,” Alan said grabbing his cock and balls along with the mass of excess fat.

Jerry held his tongue. Alan came from a generation too old to be meaningful but too young to die naturally anytime soon. It was like they’d all waited until their fifties to form an opinion and then boom – they had all the opinions. Youth and change were a constant threat to people like Alan. And Jerry represented both.

“Come on,” Jerry said. “We’ve only got a narrow window to get the job done.”

Alan stuffed the final piece of burger down his gullet and followed it with the last of his pint. Standing from his chair and pushing out that bulging gassy belly, he belched loud enough and long enough to attract the attention of the entire pub. He may as well of unplugged the jukebox and pool table for what it was worth. Jerry rolled his eyes in disgust. They didn’t need the extra attention. Not in their line of work.


“I mean, think about it Jerry. Everyone else is always making sacrifices for you, can’t you just do the same even just once in a while?”

“How so Alan?”

“Well, that meal was a perfect example. And then there’s the fucking shit cheese that your mum forced upon us all last Christmas, and the chocolate, and that abortion you call milk. How the fuck does one begin milking a fucking nut anyway?”

“Just leave it Alan,” Jerry answered bluntly – he’d heard enough.

“All I’m saying Jerry is, we had to eat your crap, isn’t it fair that you should make the compromise sometimes?”

“It’s not the same Alan.”

“The fuck it’s not!”

Jerry channelled pent-up anger through his grip of the steering wheel. The leather circle paid its price in his resolve not to react.

“Seriously though,” said Alan pissed and far from serious, “I don’t get it Jerry. You must miss the taste of meat.”

“Of course, I do,” said Jerry tightening his grip.

“Then why do you do it to yourself?”

“It’s not about me Alan. It’s about the suffering of an innocent animal. Grotesque treatment of living beings, their only purpose to serve our glutton. We don’t need to eat the flesh of other animals to survive. It’s merely a primordial urge that we haven’t learnt to evolve from. That learned pleasure of breaking through flesh with your bare teeth. A salty burst of greasy comfort food, flooded with iron as the blood breaches your pallet.”

Alan despite his current state saw the change in his future brother in-law’s eyes.

“No Alan. You’ve got it wrong, it is me making all of the sacrifices.”

“Eyes on the road!” shouted Alan as the car leaned towards the barrier.

Jerry’s intensity had become a worry for Alan. He hadn’t taken his eyes away from Alan in the last few miles and it was a wonder they hadn’t crashed already. The kid must be on something – Jerry was very tetchy today.

“Sorry Alan,” Jerry said turning his head between the road and his passenger.

“Just get us to the destination in one piece.”


“Good evening gentlemen!” beamed the jaw-dropping hostess. “Welcome to The Opa.” A nine with the heavy makeup, Alan guessed a six without. It would do for him. He’d done worse before now. “Do you have a booking with us?”

“Hi. Yes, we have a table for two under Bo…” Jerry began before Alan pushed him aside.

“Hello my darling,” he purred like a putrid toad. “Excuse my little friend here, he doesn’t know his way around a beautiful woman like I do.” Alan winked and the hostess returned his leering smile with a polite grin. Practised professionalism that was lost on Alan. “We’ll take a table for three if you fancy joining us?”

“Oh you,” she giggled to mask her repulsion.

“Cavendish,” Jerry interrupted. “Our table is booked under Bobby Cavendish.”

Jerry watched the plasticity drop from her face at the mention of his boss’ name.

“Of course, right this way gentlemen.”

The two men followed their host towards a pristine table. Alan salivated over her arse and jabbed Jerry with his elbow.

“For fucks sake Alan,” he muttered. “You’re engaged to my sister. Cut it out.”

“Oh Jerry, Jerry, Jerry. Grow a pair you wet cunt.”

The hostess bowed and flashed her generic smile before leaving the men to seat themselves.

“So, what now?” asked Alan.

“Boss said to wait for the target and then escort them home.” Jerry added speech quotations to the word home.

“How we going to know who they are?”

“Oh, we’ll know Alan. We’ll both know.”


Jerry watched Alan’s hungry eyes leering at any waitress to come within sight of the table. The way he’d purse his lips agreeably when they leaned down to retrieve the neighbouring table’s plates. The constant readjustment to his tight trousers as he swelled with lust.

“Don’t tut at me Jerry,” he said matching Jerry’s stare.

“I didn’t Alan.”

“You don’t fucking have to. I can hear your brain working you condescending prick.”

“Well stop eye-fucking every woman in the bar then.”

“Jerry! I’m doing my job.” Jerry doubted it. “We need to keep an eye out for the target remember?”

“The target isn’t a busty waitress Alan.”

“Well, how would I bloody know? You’ve kept them cards close to your bloody chest ain’t ya?”

“Mr Cavendish wanted it that way Alan. You’re here for the extra muscle.”

“Well, maybe I’m doing a bit of shopping for you Jerry. When was the last time you had a bit of skirt in your life? Or your bed for that matter. Your whole families worried about you Jerry. Not one of them are ya?” Alan held up a limp hand to ram the point home.

“That’s hardly your business Alan,” said Jerry before giving Alan the silent treatment.


Alan made the most of the bill that would be covered on expenses. The waiter could barely keep up with his demand for a constant supply of craft ale.

“Gar-sun! Gar-sun!” he bellowed to the busy member of staff.

“It’s garçon, Alan.”

“What-fucking-ever Jerry! Just get him to bring another. Those craft beers go right through ya. I’m going for a piss.”

Jerry watched his colleague disappear into the restrooms. The timing was perfect. The target had arrived. Jerry ordered the beer and waited for Alan to return.


“Do you need us to call an ambulance sir?” asked the worried hostess who’d been summoned to Jerry and Alan’s table by a worried member of her team.

“No. No, it’s quite alright, really,” said Jerry moving the collection of glasses away from Alan’s unconscious head. “He’s just had a bit too much I think.”

“Are you sure sir? It really would be no problem.”

“No, please don’t trouble yourselves. But if anyone could help me get him to my car then I’d be eternally grateful.”

“Anything for a friend of Mr Cavendish.” She snapped her fingers and two men stepped forward to help Jerry. Between the three of them they wrestled Alan’s bloated frame into the vehicle.


Alan woke up confused and paralysed. He still hadn’t lost the use of his mouth though.

“Jerry! What the fuck am I doing in bed?” he roared through the grogginess.

Jerry sat at a table by the foot of the bed with his back to Alan. He didn’t stir at the mention of his name.

“Jerry! What have you done to me? I can’t fucking move… turn around you cunt!”

Finally, Jerry did turn. And Alan wished he hadn’t, crimson paint spilled down Jerry’s jaws.

“What… what are you eating Jerry?” Alan almost laughed until he remembered his paralysis. “I thought you didn’t eat meat Jerry, you fucking fraud. Look… what’s going on with my body?”

“I poisoned you Alan,” Jerry said with a matter of fact.

“You… fuck!” Alan screamed willing his limbs to react as he sensed the atmosphere.

“Why Jerry? Why? If it’s about that hostess then stop being so fucking soft, you know I’ve only got eyes for your sister. I was just pissing around.”

Jerry’s knife and fork etched a screeching sound against the bone china. He lifted the dripping piece of raw meat up to his mouth and savoured the flavour.

“What are you eating Jerry? You’re a bloody vegan! You can’t eat that!” Alan for the first time noticed the small screen hiding his abdomen. He saw the claret sheets around him though and began to panic.

“Jerry! What the fuck is going on! What have you done to me?”

Jerry slowly finished his mouthful before wiping his bloody chin with a napkin. “Most people prefer steak, but not me Alan. No. I’m much more of a belly man.”

“Jerry! You don’t eat meat, what’s going on? What have you done?”

“I didn’t say I didn’t eat meat Alan, I’m just against the suffering of innocent animals. But when Mr Cavendish ordered the hit on you, I just thought it would be such a shame to let you go to waste.”


Alan forced the muscles in his eyes to their furthest reaches. He willed the hands that were no longer there to move and hyperventilated at the sight of the blood – his blood – so much blood. Jerry raised another chunk of flesh to his mouth.

“Don’t you do it Jerry! Put that fork down. What the fuck have you done to me?!”

Jerry popped the meat on his tongue and chewed. His eyes closed as he savoured the mouthful.

“You know it’s funny really Alan. I’ve never been able to stomach you. Couldn’t understand what my sister saw in you. But it turns out, you really are quite palatable after all.”

James Jenkins is a Suffolk UK based writer of gritty realism and noir. He has work published in Bristol Noir, Punch-Riot Mag, Bullshit Lit, Apocalypse Confidential, ROI Faineant, A Thin Slice of Anxiety and Punk Noir Magazine. One of his short stories appears in Grinning Skull Press Anthology – Deathlehem. His debut novel Parochial Pigs is available on Amazon and published by Alien Buddha Press. The sequel Sun Bleached Scarecrows is due for release by Anxiety Press in early 2023. 
Follow James @ https://twitter.com/JamesCJenkins4