STORY NUMBER: 40

PROMPT PROVIDER: @afrohorses

AUTHOR: @jamesk

TITLE: The Other Milk


But where does it come from, that’s what I want to know

It’s milk, where do you think it comes from?

Well, cows, usually, or maybe goats, the alternatives are a bit fucking horrifying to contemplate. But, and I don’t whether you’ve noticed this, there isn’t exactly an over abundance of grass, which cows like to eat.

Yeah, that’s a point, I admit

Besides, what about the other stuff you get from cows, what about cheese, god I miss cheese, or steak, or leather, any of the other stuff. Nothing solid has passed my lips these past 5 years, apart from the occasional extra crusty bogey. I’d do anything for cheese sandwich, or a burger, hell, even some crisps and a cup of tea.

I know, I know, try not to get too worked up about it, someone will notice, and you’ll get in trouble.

Yeah, yeah, but why can’t I ask, why the fuck doesn’t anyone actually know? And oh god, the state of my toilet.

I know, just be thankful that you’re actually getting enough to eat…

Ha, eat!

Yeah, well, at least your partner isn’t lactose intolerant

Argh, yes, I forgot, sorry.

Can’t be helped can it, it’s better than any of the alternatives, anyway.

What other stuff are they adding to it, anyway, is it that soylent shit? That was a sick joke, what kind of bellend names his food replacement gak after that?

Yeah yeah, whatever, it must be minerals and vitamins and stuff, they probably fiddled with the cow, or whatever it is, so it comes out like that. I just wish it didn’t taste so awful, can they not make it in different flavours?

Gah, yeah, beeuurrch! Pardon me. Anyway, I want to find out, one way or another. See you for lunch again tomorrow?

Yeah sure, now try not to get in trouble, it’s not worth it. Anyway, see you tomorrow.

Yes mother

Fuck off, see you tomorrow

Yeah, see ya.

***

You OK?

Yeah, I’m fine, just a little preoccupied

Is this the milk thing again, are you still fucking on about that?

No! Well, yes, kind of, I did some poking around last night, couldn’t find a single useful snippet, not about where it comes from, or why we have to start drinking this shit instead of real proper food, or anything, not even some officially sanctioned bullshit explanation that barely stands up.

Do I need to get my tinfoil deflector hat out, do I need to be on the look out for black helicopters, or vapour trails in the sky? Is it all a secret plot to chemically control and emasculate us poor working stiffs?

Fuck off, if you are just going to take the piss then don’t ask about it.

It is weird though, I suppose most people don’t care enough anymore to ask any questions, this stuff is free, and it hasn’t killed anyone. So who cares anymore, no matter how foul the bathroom smells after.

Yeah yeah, anyway, it’s not that really, some fucker has been prank calling my phone, all the sodding time, it’s pissing me off. If I ever find the fuck…

You’ll what, rant disappointedly at them? Why don’t you just call them back, tell them to fuck off.

That’s the thing, the number changes, and whenever I ring it back, it’s a dead line, nothing at the other end, not even a voicemail box

Bah, well, they’ll get bored, eventually. You don’t think it’s because of your milk digging?

Nah, not even I’m that paranoid.

That shit really doesn’t get any better, does it?

Nope, not noticeably

See you for lunch monday?

Yeah sure, doing anything over the weekend?

Nah, nothing special, see ya

***

Mr Jenkins?

Yes? Who is this, are you the person who’s been ringing my phone all the time?

Yes, Mr Jenkins, that was us

Us?

The Ministry, anyway, we’d like to show you something, it will only take a few hours, and I think you’ll find it enlightening

Do I have any real choice in this? And for fuck sake, could you try an sound any more sinister?

Well, not really. We have a manual & everything, you’d probably find it amusing.

***

Whoa, it’s an actual field, with cows, lots of them, the milk really is from cows then?

Yes, Mr Jenkins, it really is from cows, slightly genetically modified cows, so we don’t have to add so much after, and so they make more milk for any given acre of grass. But yes, they are just cows, lots and lots of cows.

Then why no cheese, no steak, no burgers? They can’t be immortal, they have to die sometime.

No point, here, try this.

A steak?

Yes, I believe you liked your steak well done

What’s the bucket for?

You’ll see

Blaargh! What the fuck, how did you know I’d throw up?

Everyone does, that’s why there’s no point in cheese, or steak, or anything like that. We think it’s a disease, very virulent, no cure, yet. The only thing that we were able to do was develop the milk, before too many people died.

Oh, and why don’t you let everyone know this?

There’s be panic, people always panic, besides, no-one goes hungry anymore, do they?

Oh, and why are you telling me this?

We tell, and show, everyone who actually starts looking into it, why wouldn’t we. We aren’t actually hiding anything, just not volunteering the info up front. You’d be surprised how few people actually care

I wouldn’t

Well, maybe not

***

Did he buy it?

Yeah, of course he did, they all do, in the end.

Did you give him the steak, then?

Yes, I gave him the steak, as expected he chucked it up everywhere.

Yeah, that’s always fun, you seen Wilkins recently, by the way?

He fucked something up, big time, he’s on udder beast wrangling duties now

Poor fuck, those things freak me out

Yeah, same here, anyway, more Pizza?


PROMPT: A future in which nutrient enriched milk is the only source of sustenance. People miss food.