Franz could not rise from his chair, nor leave the table, for the Face on his stomach would not allow him to leave a feast especially prepared for him.
Every time he would try to stand, the weight of the Face on his mid-section was so great, he would have to sit again or fall forward on the table. The Face would screw up it's eyes and laugh heartily.
“You can not leave the table until you are full,” It told him.
“But I am not hungry,” Franz spoke in weak voice.
“Make yourself eat!” The Face growled.
The Face had always been with Franz. It's horrible scowl on it's large square pink canvas. It spread as far as Franz big round belly was wide, but not as tall as his chest. Even when he was a baby, that old man- face, wrinkled and dimpled forehead, had been born as a birthmark. Or as the wet nurse said a curse. Franz Father turned to the bottle, which caused quite a bit of problems being the village school headmaster. Franz Mother refused to believe the Face ever existed. She pushed for Franz to be treated as normal as everyone else. She never allowed him to acknowledge the problem.
“I never liked your Mother,” The Face said. Mira, his maid entered She put more dishes down containing more vegetables, corn, eggplant, asparagus. The Face made lewd sounds at her. Mira wrinkled her nose at him.
“Shut up about my Mother,” Franz picked at a turkey leg that had been placed on his plate by Mira. She leaned across him, letting her breast brush against him. “My Mother was a saint to put up with things.”
“You are speaking of your Father, aren't you? Not me, of course. Now, your Father, that was a fellow only bums and cheap guys could have respect for.”
“Are you alright, Mr. Franz? Should I gag him?” Mira smiled big, those lovely ruby lips sparkling under the lights. She put a hand upon her dark hair, making sure it was still in the bun she'd fixed. Her green eyes danced back and forth between Franz and the Face.
“No, Mira, thank you. It wouldn't help matters now. He still wouldn't permit me to leave the table.”
“As you wish, sir,” Mira pranced to the door of the kitchen. She stopped, turned to Franz, blew him a kiss.
The Face felt stirrings in Franz nether parts. It laughed. “You know she only likes you for Uncle Havel's money.”
“Leave it!” Screamed Franz. He placed his hands over his head and wished there was something he could do with The Face. Perhaps, it was right. Mira only found Franz attractive because of the vast family fortune Havel made from black market electronics he sold on the streets of Prague in the nineties.
“Eat!” The Face demanded. “I'm starving!”
“God have pity on me! You are always starving! Please let me up...give me back the use of my legs. Just for a few minutes. I wish to go to bed.”
“Eat! Damn you, you're trying to starve me. I know it.”
“All right! I'm feeding you, you demon from hell!” Franz grabbed a bowl with potatoes and sucked them down. He ate like a wild man, just as much turkey fell on the floor and his clothes as it entered his mouth.
Then Franz stopped eating. He heard The Face enjoying the food from Franz plate. The sounds it was making was sickening and annoying. Franz threw his hands over his ears. Still, he could hear The Face gurgling and cooing. Smacking it's lips.
“More!” The Face growled once more. “Feed my face! Or you will never leave your chair!”
Franz could take no more. He had snapped. He laughed uncontrollably, tears welled up in his eyes. Franz had made up his mind.
“Yes,” He said, ringing the bell and Mira swashed in. He motioned for her to bend down. Franz whispered his diabolical plan in her ear. “Let's both never leave the table.”
Mira was horrified.
“What do you mean?” The Face said. “Have you lost your mind. Yes I can tell that by your pernicious laughter. You always want to leave the table.”
Mira left. Ten minutes later she returned with two mirrors. She set one on a smaller end table she'd moved to the right of the table. She placed another mirror on the other side of the first mirror to catch the image from it, pointed the second mirror toward Franz midsection.
She drew a chair next to Franz, pulled him and his chair away from her.
“What madness is this?” The Face said nervously.
“Madness indeed,” Franz retorted with a small giggle.
Mira carried on with her work, an infinite amount of sadness overtaking her emotions. She took from pockets a large spool of thread and a needle. She pushed through the eye of the needle the end of the thread, weeping softly.
Franz looked in one of the mirrors and saw The Face closing it's eyes. “Oh, no, you demon. Don't close your eyes, by all means. You wouldn't want to miss this for the world.”
Mira forced the needle into the left side of Franz lips, pulled the thread through. He winced, blood dribbled down his chin. Mira carried on, with a shaky hand, tears falling from her cheeks, the needle and thread made a long zig- zag across Franz lips.
“Nooo...” The hungry Face cried out, petrified by the terrible mirror images.