Damnsle Inthis-Dress

poety, rants, and self-loathing self-acceptance...what could be more fun difficult annoying ridiculous outrageous?

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Location: NW OH

Je pense, donc je doute. Je suis. Je pense.

Monday, August 06, 2007

On the Job

Blood dripped. That was the most annoying thing. The smell was bad but the dripping was worse. He shrugged mentally and continued on with his work.

“You ain’t done yet?” yelled a voice above the shriek of the chain saw.

Henry looked over at the foreman standing in the doorway to the cold room. With 28 years on the job, the foreman was tall and burly with arms the size of tree trunks and a gray mustache dripping with sweat. He stood at least 6’4” and could trim a carcass in under a minute. At least that’s what the foreman said. Henry had never actually seen him work.

“I’ll be done with this one soon and then I have a calf and two more full grown to go. It’ll be fast.” Henry yelled back.

Henry raised his chainsaw, dripping in spite of the cold, in a half salute and got on about business. The foreman stared at him a minute longer and then turned and walked away. Henry gave him the creeps. The foreman looked at the workers in the next room, watching the carcasses slide slow and stately out from Henry’s slaughter room into the waiting knives of the packagers. They took what remained from Henry’s saw and moved them from place to place, getting them ready for the matrons and socialites who wanted neatly wrapped beef for their supper. No one ever wanted to know where it came from; no one wanted to know what Henry did.

Seeing the foreman gone, Henry gripped the chainsaw and felt the catch and bite as the blade sunk into partially frozen flesh and cut it down neatly. Bits of meat and bone fell away gently (or ploppingly) to the floor. Henry told himself that the cattle didn’t feel a thing.

The conveyor belt above him advanced as he worked, slowly moving the carcasses along towards the opening to the next room, a doorway strung with thick flaps of rubber.

The calf was next. He sawed it neatly in two, the hind legs stuck out at right angles to it’s body, hanging from the twin hooks planted on either side of it’s rump. So young and no life left to live. It’s blood pattered maddeningly on the floor.

The next one came along. Henry looked at it, feeling bile rise in his throat. The tattered remains of the carcass’s shirt lay in greasy and beer splattered swags sweeping against the floor. The legs, instead of sticking straight out as the others did, hung down so the toes were about even with the elbows of the body. Henry raised the chainsaw.

“This is what you get” he muttered under his breath, unaware that he had spoken aloud. He almost threw the chainsaw’s blade into the groin of the carcass, slicing the scrotum and penis almost perfectly in half. The carcass’s eye’s opened wide and blood vomited out of the struggling mouth as Henry worked his way deeper into the inner workings of the carcass. The blade of the chainsaw whined it’s way down the body, crying out shrilly when it hit the sternum, struggling to make it’s way though the hard bone. Sweat gleamed like pearls on Henry’s forehead.

”This is what you get.”

The blood was falling faster now. The next carcass on the line opened her eyes. Pain filled and drowsy, she looked at a world upside down and moaned in nauseating tones as her long dark hair lazed against the cement work floor.

“Henry?” She said, her voice full of mucus and drugs. “Henry, what are you doing wrong now?”

“This is what you get!” Henry shrieked, unhearing, as his chainsaw journeyed it’s way through the man. “DON’T TOUCH ME AGAIN!”. The bellow could barely be heard under the whine and thunder of all the slaughterhouse machinery. “YOU. DON’T. GET. TO. TOUCH. ME!” Henry’s muscles bulged under his parka, his teeth grinding down on the flesh of his tongue and the insides of his cheeks. Blood ran in a small rill down his chin.

The saw bit it’s way through the skull with an unexpected speed, and flashed with a grating sound against the cement. Henry lifted the blade and breathed great gasps of frosty air, steam billowing in and out of his nose and mouth.

“You can’t touch me now.”

The words came out soft and almost lovingly calm.

“Henry?” Said the next carcass. The word came out gargled and tense. “Henry? What are you DOING?”

Henry looked at her.

“You knew. You knew and you didn’t protect me.”

The chainsaw bit deep again. Screams issued faintly from the other side of the thick rubber strips as his stepfather moved into the packaging room.

“YOU KNEW, YOU BITCH! HELP ME!”

A howl like death rose from Henry’s throat as his mother’s eyes stared at him in uncomprehending pain and terror mixed with shame and remorse.

“HELP ME NOW!”

The annoying blood dripped down in answer.

And soon he heard sirens winging their way around the slaughterhouse.

4 Comments:

Blogger josh williams said...

Very Flannery O'Connor'esq. I'm a fan. Bravo remind me to stay on your good side.

7/8/07 17:40  
Blogger damnsle said...

Unfortunately, I'm only violent while I'm writing. During actual confrontations I tend to curl up in a corner and whimper a lot. That or I just sputter incoherently trying to think of some cutting remark and end up sulking away while muttering "You're a stupidhead."

7/8/07 22:07  
Blogger damnsle said...

Oh, and by the way, thanks. :-)

7/8/07 22:10  
Blogger josh williams said...

Your welcome, and dont sell yourself short, you could be violent if you really put your head into it, however with your imagination, it may be best if you keep doing what you do best, write...By the way when in a confrotation try using fuckhead instead of stupidhead, try it a few times, it works for me.

7/8/07 23:41  

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