Wine and Spirits

Do you taste the cyanide sweet of amaretto?

Please allow us to insist you sample our most recently acquired delicacy.

It’s a lush young female, full-bodied, aged twenty years. That powerful perfume on the nose is courtesy of her work at a luxury cosmetics department store, from which you’ll also detect aromas of mineral oil, rosewater, and whitened smiles. A lovely scent, isn’t it? Please, have a sip.

Silken on the palate with a rich profile of virginal misery. You notice how it opens with sweet notes of homegrown piousness and clumsily visible desire for affection that’s endearing in its earnestness. Beneath the sincerity is a seductive undertone of lusty cherry, as well as a hint of bitterness reserved for patrons who casually shop with treasuries of diamonds on their throats and designer lovers on their arms. It finishes with the sharpness of horror and disbelief at a great and sudden violence, replete with desperate mourning for a life not yet truly lived.

Ah, you’ve noticed the short metallic bite there. Perhaps you also detect the hint of salt. That would be the blood in which she marinated for several days—her own, for she was shot by a maintenance man who took an interest in her.

Short on the tongue but vigorous while it lasts, wouldn’t you agree?

But we do appreciate that a refined palate like yours might think this blend too conventional. Victims occupy any dilettante’s cabinet, after all.

Allow us to show you a collection we’ve been curating that puts a twist on a classic. Notice that fine color—you can recognize this nectar by its fair hue. It’s quite a delicate vintage. Go ahead and give it a swirl.

This is a female, aged forty-seven years. It comes strutting out of the glass with energetic, indulgent aromas of tear stains, curdled milk, and a specially cultivated bitterness that twists a soul as uniquely as a Bonsai tree.

It opens with a certain flamboyance, does it not? Yes, the finish is “interesting,” as you say. You’re not the first to call it repulsive, as she was a soul more accustomed to making enemies than friends.

The profile is as authoritative as she was with service workers and family members alike. Her impact comes in wave after wave, as she was energetic enough to constantly renew her battles and wear down foes, rendering her a long and bitter finish on the palate. With an impressively dense core, most partakers will find she takes some chewing.

If not sharp enough for you, we have other varieties to suit your fancy:

A female, aged fifty-two years. She let her children climb atop a museum’s priceless sculpture, which they broke when they fell from it. She sued the museum for their injuries.

A male, aged seventy-five years. There was never a regulation put upon him, be it a rule of law or establishment, that he didn’t compare to the plight of the Jewish people in Nazi Germany.

Or perhaps you might be interested in this female, aged thirty-nine years. In her car one fine Saturday evening, she hit and paralyzed a woman who’d yelled at her in the parking lot for using a slur with the cashier. She told authorities it was self-defense as the woman’s shouts made her feel threatened.

But you look skeptical. We understand the victim complex is not to everyone’s taste. It lends itself to a more acquired palate.

Perhaps your preference runs, shall we say, extreme. I’ve just the bottle—I’ve been waiting for the right virtuoso to appreciate its complexity.

Observe: a male, aged forty years. Pay special attention to this color, this structure—yes, it exquisitely resembles blood, thick and viscous and darkly red enough to activate primordial fears of predation. Such was the impression he lent young women, but you will notice a certain glitter that turns this brew to ruby. An acidic charm that transformed the ancient fears he roused into exotic thrills.

Have a sip. Its rich profile is no less seductive. It opens with spiced aromas of luxury cologne and old-world European manner, then savors of earthy eroticism on the front of the palate. But taste how it metamorphoses: elegant to astringent. It screams on the tongue, does it not?

Yet you will notice you’re inclined to take another sip.

This man comprised the gamut from suave to sick as the viral strains in vermin. Never was he singular; simultaneously was he reviled and loved.

Even as the media dissected the details of his sins as thoroughly as he dissected the brains of women—even as they described how these women were still conscious in chemically amplified suffering—he nonetheless elicited sympathy from a globe of onlookers who found him too complex for mortal judgement. Women privately decided that if they met him in a cocktail lounge, they would still go home with him knowing what they knew.

Don’t you relish that velvet? Is it not so plush that the softest parts of yourself become like feathered clouds—even as your mouth fills with the sensation of ash and graveyard dirt? Can you not chew it as the fattiest part of meat?

Forgive me for saying so, but I notice you’re growing bored. You’re correct that any artless soul might torture another. I appreciate your honesty, but don’t mistake me: I’ve not even shown you a portion of our treasury. I believe I have exactly the delicacy to entice your fancy.

A fleshy, unctuous choice with an opulence that lasts and lasts. Male with a healthy bottle maturity of ninety-three years.

A color most rare. Alchemical, you might say. You think now that if you touch the stream of the pour it will transform between your fingers to a fine pearl of gold. Indeed, it tastes as smooth as it looks: a powerful blend that slowly unfurls so the drinker might savor in pleasures of conquest-denied generals, warlords, whole monarchies.

The delicate flavor that has made your eyes glaze is the unique and quaintly human satisfaction of comfortably controlling the world. It is a sensation second only to immortality.

Would you like to know the secret to our perfect brew? It is the fat of lives, my dear friend.

The terroir of our divine ambrosia is an inheritance of gold and fruit and blood aged since the arrival to the so-called new world. The richest crop grows on the richest vine.

The subject of this bottle used a vast intellect and a vaster estate to create an energy resource efficient enough to usher in an age of revolutionary speed across the home, the country, and the globe itself.

Indeed, a most impressive sort of human. Do you taste that earthy undercurrent? The booming industry of impoverished workers mining the natural resources he required grew sick from exposure to raw materials. To receive the care they needed until the end of their lives, they expended vast amounts of the energy that had made them ill to begin with. With large swaths of populations growing sick, the price for the requisite amounts of energy inflated.

Indeed, there is honey beneath that acid. In the meantime, family members went to work mining, for they had a loved one to support, and mining jobs were the only ones available to those not educated enough or influential enough to refine energy or install energy or advertise energy or profit from energy.

Do you taste the cyanide sweet of amaretto? A preferred luxury he commanded by the crate from a distillery in Saronno so that he might have a splash in the coffee of civets he specially imported from Indonesia.

What the two of you have in common, I see, is the finest and cruelest taste. My compliments to you and your selection. We are always honored to receive your patronage.

Please, there is no need to thank me for my help. I live to serve. It is my pleasure to serve. Just as it is your pleasure to consume. So please, take care until next time. I look forward to seeing you then.

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Issue 2.2

In this issue of The Dread Machine, you’ll visit an automated retail hellscape, attend a wild party on Earth’s tempest-ravaged surface, and determine what caused the strange deaths at the AudioSnap building.

See the stars in the prison walls, inherit the sacred responsibility of an irradiated priestess, meet a sinister sommelier, befriend a spider, then attend a macabre art show. Whatever you do, don’t eat the honey, and avoid the child with the robotic toys.
$10.00

Featured in

Issue 2.2

In this issue of The Dread Machine, you’ll visit an automated retail hellscape, attend a wild party on Earth’s tempest-ravaged surface, and determine what caused the strange deaths at the AudioSnap building.

See the stars in the prison walls, inherit the sacred responsibility of an irradiated priestess, meet a sinister sommelier, befriend a spider, then attend a macabre art show. Whatever you do, don’t eat the honey, and avoid the child with the robotic toys.
$10.00

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Wine and Spirits

Do you taste the cyanide sweet of amaretto?

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