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Short stories

 

Butcher’s Metal

Knife, hammer, blades of many sizes I keep them in tip-top condition. Come by my shack of a shop and I shall give you the best meat in the town. Celebrations and death ceremonies alike, the red, dense and flabby flesh I supply is savoured by your kinsmen and strangers. Cash, I get in return to feed my family in turn. Before each kill I make, I feel the surge of blood shoot up from my toe to the brain. It hits me right in the centre and back like it first did when I entered my woman in fit of my orgasm; she screamed or moaned in pain, pleasure whichever. I did not bother to ask whether she screamed or moaned….does it matter? She always nags me with her cawing mouth and all feels the same. That time I wanted her so badly and did not care what she felt. But in my work-shack it is different. I twist or swing my wrists or hands on the neck of the fowl or a beast in front of me, preceded by fear and sadness, but with my might I overcome it. I feel so infested with virility while the thing bleeds to death…. Would you do it once? Yes you!



You won’t be able to, your hands will shake and your legs will shiver as if in cold. Your mind will swing back and forth over- do it! And, no don’t! while concentrating deep in the dumb rascal’s eyes. Even if you blow your swing, the rascal would not die making it a messy job. You have become so soft, yes your flesh is soft like sweet meats working in offices sitting in your nice clean office chair ordering files around drinking tea, stuffing your mouth with meals at regular times, like four times a day? Literate, writing people exercising their fingers in papers and books. Ha! want to be a real man? Just come by and work for a couple of days with me with all the rawness. Buy them, feed them, clean them, cut them, pack them all with swift rigor. Dozing off won’t help here mister. In the end have this traditional unbranded liquor with me as a day’s ending reward and go to your mistress. Your sweat and liquor’s sublimating whiff will drive her mad for you. Try it mister, all your neat habits and town apothecary’s medicines won’t stand a chance against it.



Ha! Then what? Look and feel her parts, bony, fleshy, brown skin. Weigh her parts in your mind and sell them to imaginary customers. Do her like this was meant to be forever. All the walls that your own people set for a gentleman will tumble over. Her pulse rising along with yours, pure life flowing in and out of the two. Then sleep by her side. I can see the sparkling chain on her neck. Adjacent to it as if its own part, a small skinny flutter of skin, her heart beat. I did slay her without sending her soul to the death god or goddess whoever you can imagine. Sometimes, she is the same as the rascal in my shack, like today. An effortless squish of my plam around her fluttering neck will send her to wherever the rascals gone or a blow of my swinging elbows would break her tiny ribs but no, who will wait for me in the evenings? Who will look after my little girl? Let her be, a she crow she is. Yes that’s what she is! And as I said before, crows we need for clearing up the little unnoticed scraps and no other birds, stupid beauty of birds colourful and fancy ones flock around my shack to help me out. Crows make me the lord of death. Let them flock around. Like this crow here, sleeping with me, snoring and cawing her throat out. I after-all am her man. Her hunk who tames her through force or love like I would do one of my rascals! Sleep because tomorrow again I swing and you caw over meat- us or the cash, anything you like.

About the author

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Sithara Kumar

Presently pursuing M.A. English, Department of English and Comparative Literature, Central University of Kerala.

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