Cannibal Island Housing
Everyone who moves to Cannibal Island is given a house.
The houses are okay.
On one hand, the houses all have Thermo-Twin windows, which are very expensive and come with 3 full pages of warranties.
On the other hand, everyone who sleeps in the houses on Cannibal Island has nightmares in which their fingernails fall off and there is a dead ferret under the sofa in the living room that they can’t seem to remember to call animal control about.
But it’s all right, because every Tuesday the cannibals go door to door handing out cake!
Cannibals make very good cake. Surprisingly, (and no one ever believes this at first), the cake is vegan.
The cannibals also have excellent memories because if a non-cannibal expresses that they have a peanut allergy or a penchant for red velvet, the following Tuesday the cannibals make sure to accommodate.
The cannibals teach each new resident of Cannibal Island that cool trick they all first learned from a Buzzfeed video where you cut out the center of the cake, then push the remaining halves of the cake together so the cake does not go stale during the week.
After all, cannibals hate waste and always do their best to be good Earth citizens, forming good communities with housing, weekly cake, and gleaming teeth.
Becoming a Cannibal
Non-cannibals who live on Cannibal Island can sometimes become cannibals.
Many believe the process simple as knocking the postman unconscious, removing his leg with a bone saw, and eating the leg.
But it is not.
First, you must be a resident of Cannibal Island for a minimum of 7 years.
If you are a woman, the cannibals strongly prefer you do not have children before you become a cannibal.
But if you have them after, that’s okay.
Next, you must perform a series of secret tests. Statistically speaking, non-cannibals who are popular within their peer group tend to perform better on these tests than their unpopular counterparts, and white non-cannibals tend to become cannibals at a higher rate than their non-white non-cannibal counterparts. But as the cannibals like to remind anyone who brings this up, correlation is not causation. And they are definitely not racists.
After passing the series of secret tests, the non-cannibals must all, at once, attempt to jump off a small footbridge, even though logistically speaking less than half of them will fit on the bridge, so that thins the herd, too.
And then the cannibals choose from the non-cannibal cannibal wannabes who managed to jump off the bridge.
If anyone asks the cannibals how they choose, if that person is lucky the cannibals are silent. But if that person is unlucky, the cannibal closest to them bites off their smallest finger, spits it at their feet, and walks away.
Margaret Bashaar’s first book of poetry, Stationed Near the Gateway, was released by Sundress Publications in early 2015. She has chapbooks from Grey Book Press, Blood Pudding Press, and Tilt Press, and her poetry has appeared in many literary journals and anthologies, including New South, Caketrain, The Southeast Review, Copper Nickel, and Menacing Hedge, among others. Her most recent chapbook, Some Other Stupid Fruit, was released by Agape Editions earlier this year and is available through THEThe Poetry Blog. She lives in Pittsburgh, PA, where she edits Hyacinth Girl Press and encourages art anarchy.