This week’s piece of weird fiction being discussed over at LibraryThing:
Review: “Feeders and Eaters”, Neil Gaiman, 2002.
This is not quite what Darrell Schweitzer would call an old-school-chum story, but it does feature an anonymous man meeting a work acquaintance from years ago. It seems to be implied he may be a celebrity who has fallen on hard times and then made it back but doesn’t want all the details of this incident made public.
The story seems set in some anonymous city in the UK (or, at least, a Commonwealth country given we have a Prince Regent Street) given some of the terms and the importance of passenger trains.
The narrator goes into a dive one night to get some toast and “greasy tea” until the next train comes that night.
He is suddenly accosted by someone he knew ten years ago when they worked together on a construction site, Eddie Barrow.
The years have not been kind to Barrow. Once large and handsome, a ladies’ man, Barrow is now thin and hunched over and has definitely aged. His right arm hangs limply by his side.
He starts to tell the narrator a story – and the narrator doesn’t encourage this thinking it’s going to be another tale of drink or drugs or disease bringing a man low – and that he’s going to be asked for money and he has just enough for a train ticket.Continue reading ““Feeders and Eaters””