Tuesday, 2 August 2011

Here's something I knocked off the other night. Not for the squeamish.

I wrote this short story in the middle of the night when sleep, as always, was nowhere in sight.
  If you don't like rude and crude imagery, which is to say, if you're normal, then this probably isn't the story for you.
  Needless to say I won't be submitting it for publication.
                                                A Couple Of Dogsbody’s
‘Don’t you think we should put it in a bin liner or something? I mean we’ve already got enough, and what with the fridge on the blink it’s going to start smelling in a couple of days.’
 Steam from the freshly gutted body he’d just flung on the table was already making his eyes sting, and was and now seemed to seeping into his stomach.
  ‘Hours I reckon, now the air-con’s packed up as well.’ Kirk smiled, a strange gleam sparkling in his eye. He’d looked better with two eyes. Admittedly the ravaged battlefield that had been his face before the fight with the Doberman pack hadn’t been pretty. But at least he’d had a nose and not that ragged gash constantly oozing pus and blood. Still, beggars couldn’t be choosers. He wasn’t exactly an oil painting himself, what with no ears and all. Not to mention where the eczema had made the skin on his hands go black and scabby.
  ‘So, what’s it going to be, curry or chilli?’
  Bob resisted the urge to sigh. He wished he’d learned to cook. Whether they had Terrier Tikka, Cairn korma, or even Jack Russell ravioli - it was still dog meat. It wasn’t so much that he didn’t like it – but it was just so boring. And even after bowing to pressure, Kirk had taken to doing chilli twice a week; alternating between such culinary exotica such as Toser taco’s, Poodle paella, or even Chilli con Corgi. It was still just dog meat. Even the Doberman Dumplings had been a bit of a let down.
  But now there it lay; the treat of the week. It had taken ages to convince him that the effort would be worth the reward. He could barely wait, and even if it was just going to be curry or chilli, just the difference in texture would be enough.
  ‘So you’re just going to let it hang, until it’s rotten?’
  ‘Why not? You never heard of jugged hare?’
  ‘Well there’s a bit of a difference. Nobody ever complained about hares and pheasants hanging about and stinking up the street. I reckon the neighbours are going to get really shirty about this. I mean, telling them you’re a taxidermist isn’t going to work for ever. Taxidermists are supposed to stuff things, not kill them.'
  ‘Nobody’s going to say anything.’ Kirk dragged the last denim clad leg off the already stained table. ‘Let’s get it downstairs.’
  It only took fifteen minutes. The trail of blood, where they’d dragged it would be a problem to clean up since they’d run out of clean towels, but not much more so than any of the previous occupants of the cellar. It was just that the newest had leaked a bit more seeing as how Kirk had hacked its head off already. And Bob had never guessed how much the street cleaner might weigh. He’d been a big man when alive, dragging himself up and down the street complaining to anyone who might be listening about what a hard life he had and how his poor old heart wasn’t going to take much more of this. Now it wouldn’t have to; the only strain currently being place on that redundant organ was the six inch butcher’s hook pinning it to the wall.
  That had been yesterday.
  "So what’s it to be? Chillied rib or curried kidney?" The note said.
  ‘Give me a break!’
  Bob had been patient. The only reason he’d persisted about the street cleaner was for something new. Labrador and lentils; German shepherd pie; Pekinese picador. He was sick of it. This monotonous diet was going to kill them both.
  ‘Look.’ He raised himself to his full five feet four. It would have been a few inches more just a few weeks ago had not the smell necessitated the removal of his feet.  ‘Either we get some different food around here or I’m going to the law. At least they’ll give me a plate of egg and chips before they throw the key away.’
  Kirk smirked. Or at least he might have. It was difficult to tell without the lower jaw. At first Bob thought he’d just cracked a tooth on a bone of a particularly spicy Chihuahua Chow Mein the other night. Until the small cry, more one of surprise than pain, had made him look up from his own Hamster Cutlet to see the tiny thread of skin which was all that connected the jaw to his face. He’d laughed; a mistake probably, taking everything into consideration.
  So tonight was the night he’d been waiting for. No more dogs, cats, squirrels, hamsters or budgies. Tonight was to be fresh meat night. Street Cleaner a la carte. Another note was thrust into his face. Kirk’s handwriting had always been neat.
Colon soup
Liver Provencale
Sweet breads
Kidney pie

  Bob’s mouth began to water. Kirk’d always had a sense of humour. The thought of it made his knees tremble. Or they would have done if he hadn’t been tied up. Which was the way he’d woken up about an hour ago. He didn’t mind particularly. Kirk usually did it to him when he had a fit in his sleep and tried to bite his own arm off.
  ‘Do you think he’ll taste good?’
  Kirk nodded, his eye alive with delight.
  ‘And are you going to let me go now?’ His head was hurting again, just like it always did after a couple of pints of that stuff Kirk brewed from the leftover blood. And why was he walking towards him sharpening the carving knife with slow deliberate strokes?
  Kirk stopped, fishing a gnarled hand into his pocket, and pulled out another filthy scrap of paper which he carefully straightened before pushing before Bob's face. He could barely read it through the blood and mucus. "I'm going to smoke the cleaner and save him for another day.  An experiment in preservation."
  Bob smiled. It was a relief in a way. He hoped that neither he nor the dead man would be too tough.
 The exquisitely sharp knife slid in effortlessly. Bob barely felt it as Kirk, gently, so as not to spill anything opened his stomach, breathing in the aroma with a toothless, and jawless smile before leaning over for a bowl. And just once more as the darkness came, he heard the sound of his belt being undone. He smiling wistfully.
 Coq au vin had always been his favourite..


  1. My critique group would mob you over this story. For some reason, they hate violence against animals but don't mind acts of violence when perpetrated on a human character. Weird. Right?

  2. There's no accounting for human opinions and emotions. I would never hurt an animal, either. It just seemed amusing in the middle of the night whilst being forced to listen as cats screeched at each other and foxes ransacked every litter bin in the entire street. I would happily have sold my soul for the chance of sleep.

  3. Roger, did you have some Absinthe during the night? Ok. I don't like gore, but I could see your style of humor throughout this piece. You do know your characters.
    Foxes? In the street? Interesting.
    Your writing is flawless.