Frank was kind enough to supply a photograph of Mannheim Fritzpain. He noted that this isn't in black and white. That was his actual skin color. "Anyways, the Colonel's body was disinterred from its vault a couple days later, and then we just had to sit around waiting for the next thunderstorm. Then Hey Presto, there's the Colonel again." "And how was he? How did he, uh, enjoy the experience?" "Well, he was completely insane unfortunately. I mean even before he died, he was always a little..." Frank held his hand out and twitched it back and forth a little. "But it was definitely worse after. Just screeching and spitting and biting at anything that moved. Doktor Fritzpain had to keep him chained down and feed him Famous Bowls through a funnel." My shoulder flinched, as I instinctively made to slap him again. I caught it in time though, and steadied myself on the table. Frank watched all this impassively. "A couple days later, the current CEO goes down to see this monstrosity." I nodded, beckoning him to continue. "The Colonel," he said before pausing. He swallowed. "The Colonel broke his chains. Killed the CEO and ripped the Doktor to shreds." "Jesus," I shuddered. What a clichÃ©. That's fucking terrible. "What happened next?" "Well," Frank said, his tone suddenly meek. "According to Kentucky law, if you kill an executive of a company in one on one combat, you immediately take on his role and responsibilities." I shook my head in amazement. Those backward hillbillies.
Pictured: The Louisville Chamber of Commerce Frank continued. "So now this abomination of God's Will is in full control of the company! He immediately focuses his attention on Research & Development." "So it was the Colonel who pushed the creation of the Double Down Sandwich?" I asked, trying to pin Frank down. Frank nodded. "He's got chicken madness. No concept of chicken proportions. Everything has to contain more chicken, across the board. Chicken soft drinks. Chicken napkins. Stuff that doesn't even make sense. Chicken athletic apparel. Chicken vowels." Frank's expression changed. He looked scared and bewildered, lost in some terrible memory. I felt sorry for him. He shook his head, clearing his expression and then glanced at his watch. "If you'll come with me, I have something to show you." He gestured to a door. I acquiesced and followed him out of the room. As we walked down the completely unremarkable looking corridors of KFC's corporate headquarters, I found it hard to believe this was the site of blood-steeped rituals of unrelenting darkness. Well. Harder to believe. I asked: "So with his chicken madness, he must eat nothing but chicken then?" "That's what's so crazy! He can't stomach it! He's tried. He's tried a thousand times, but the only thing which slates his hunger now is human flesh." I bit my lip. "And is that a normal Kentucky thing, or is that new?" "No, no. It's new. And it's not cool." I exhaled in relief. "For the first few months he subsisted on the dessicated corpses of Doktor Fritzpain and our former CEO. Then a month ago he killed our Operations Manager when he protested about the new uniforms his people had to wear." "Chicken suits?" I guessed. Frank shook his head. "No. Well, yes. If by chicken suit you mean a jumpsuit with dozens of pieces of chicken taped to it." I shook my head. That wasn't what I meant by chicken suit. We continued walking in silence. I got the impression Frank was leading me towards the research labs. "Frank, I do have one question. Why are you telling me all this?" Frank looked me in the eye without saying anything. He opened a door, indicating for me to enter. It was a lab area. Spotless work benches. Stools. He gestured for me to take a seat. Finally he looked at me, a burning intensity in his eyes. "He's changing the recipes. In some... pretty fundamental ways." "I don't understand." Frank's face fell. He looked utterly defeated. "You will. For now, though, I only ask one thing: Tell my story. Tell the world my story." Hesitation. "OK," I finally said. "If I can get it under a thousand words," I added quietly, trying not to move my lips. He nodded. "Wait here." He walked to the other side of the lab and through a pair of swinging double doors. On the other side I could see what looked like an industrial kitchen. Speakers set into the ceiling began piping in music. The volume increased steadily. I didn't recognize the song. It was some guy rapping, comparing eating fried chicken to having sex. It was pretty awful. I swore I actually heard someone screaming in the backing vocals at one point, but that was probably just my brain expressing its distaste for the music. Eventually the music was shut off. A young woman in an apron came out of the kitchen holding a platter. On it sat a Double Down sandwich. She set it down in front of me and looked at me expectantly. ___ In the end, I found the KFC Double Down sandwich to be crisp, mildly tangy, a little messy and a harbinger of a blood soaked world of unrelenting pain. I give it two stars. ** _____
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