Statement of Mikaele Salesa, regarding an antique meat grinder in his possession during the autumn of 1999.
Mikaele Salesa begins the statement by alluding to a recent purchase The Magnus Institute made from him of a Slaughter artefact. Some event then occurred with the artefact, which the Institute blames him for, but Salesa insists the employees should have known better. The Institute now wants him to provide a statement as a form of recompense, and Salesa agrees as he does appreciate them keeping quiet about the event and would not want to lose them as a customer.
Salesa is a former assistant to Jurgen Leitner, though he left that job long before the destruction of Leitner's library. He initially went into the antiques trade dealing in normal items, but eventually some of Leitner's former clients began approaching him about specifically supernatural objects. Salesa never dealt in books, however, and he learned the hard way that only he should take stock of such merchandise.
During a sea voyage, a sailor Salesa calls Cook was assigned to check on the cargo when he was not cooking meals. Salesa noticed that Cook's inspections were gradually getting longer, and eventually he caught Cook staring at an antique iron meat grinder. At the time, Salesa did not know there was anything unusual about the grinder, and he was not sure he would be able to find a buyer for it, so he offered to sell it to Cook on the spot. Cook agreed eagerly.
Immediately after this, the meals Cook served began including large portions of meat. Cook's behaviour also changed, and his clothes were often marked with small bloodstains. The ship's quartermaster could not say whether Cook was serving more meat than should have been available, but Salesa began to suspect that the meat grinder was having an effect on Cook anyway, and he stopped eating meat at meals.
Salesa also noticed that Cook had begun habitually hiding one of his arms. He snuck into the kitchen when Cook was not around, and found the meat grinder there, cleaned to gleaming. There was also a pot of stock on the stove containing suspicious-looking bones.
Later the same day, Salesa broke into the kitchen to surprise Cook in the act. He found Cook's severed arm on the counter, while Cook himself had inserted the stump into the meat grinder and was grinding away with an ecstatic look on his face. Rather than his flesh emerging from the grinder as mince, he was slowly pulling a new arm out of the grinder's funnel.
Salesa grabbed Cook and demanded an explanation, but Cook attacked him. Salesa killed Cook in self-defence, and the rest of the crew threw the body overboard. Salesa says he eventually sold the meat grinder to a rich Canadian, who disappeared a few years later, but he does not know or care about the details as he had already been paid.
John remarks that he probably should have turned vegetarian by now, after all the meat statements. He would once have been thrilled to find out about the connection between Leitner and Salesa, but now it no longer seems significant. He is unhappy waiting around for The Unknowing, though he has not been threatened since returning from America.
A door appears in the office, and Helen emerges. She wants to talk to John, as becoming Helen has been more difficult than she anticipated. She feels wrong about killing a person, even though it was "nourishing," and since talking to John made the real Helen Richardson feel better, she thought he would want to commiserate about changing into something else. This makes John angry, and he shouts at her to get out of his office.
- Related Entity: The Flesh