There was nothing peculiar about this farm. The pigs were genetically bred to be hungry - always. Insatiable, ravenous - “as greedy as a pig”. That was the way Leonard bred his pigs and that was the way he liked it. He’d run the farm for 25 years this way and he knew the fatter the pig, the bigger the yield of bacon. It’s how all pig farms are run.
“Whatever happens. Do not let the pigs get hungry.” Leonard had told Raymond on his first day. The words stuck with Raymond and anytime he fed them, he knew this was one of the days’ most important tasks.
Lionel was Raymond’s favourite pig. Lionel was the biggest, eldest and smartest. Whenever Raymond threw down the slop; Lionel was the one forcing his way through to the front of all the other pigs and greedily eat everything.
Quite a character this pig is - Raymond would think.
Raymond’s weakness was whiskey and in the six months working at Leonard’s farm, he wasn’t sober a damn day. Not that he gave a shit, he was there to work the land, have fun and make sure the pigs don’t get hungry.
It wasn’t until Eric came over with some moonshine did things go sour…
Raymond was used to whiskey, Raymond could handle whiskey but moonshine just wasn’t a friend to Raymond.
“Come on. Just one won’t hurt.” Eric said.
Well it wasn’t just one was it. It never is just one…
Hours/days (maybe even a week!) later waking up in a face-full of vomit - Raymond committed the ultimate sin.
He let the pigs get hungry.
Pulling back the barn door - the first thing Raymond could smell was that metallic scent. Blood everywhere. Pig blood. The pigs had turned cannibalistic in their hunger. Huge open, festering wounds littered amongst the dead carcasses. They’d eaten through the skin of their own kind. And there, amongst the rib cages and pork-flesh was half a human hand, that green emerald ring he knew so well. It was Leonard’s hand - the flesh eaten to the core of the bone.
Do not let the pigs get hungry. The words rang true.
“Eric you son-of-a-bitch!!” Raymond screamed.
But Eric was gone. You see, Eric owned the neighbouring pig-farm. Eric knew what happened when the pigs went hungry. Eric hid behind a facade of being drinking-buddies but Eric never touched a drop. Raymond cursed himself for being so fucking weak.
And as he trawled through the wreckage of dead pig after dead pig, climbing over the odd piece of skin probably belonging to Leonard - he saw the slop bucket - dry as a bone.
Behind him he heard a harsh breath of air - snorting!
And there he was - the alpha pig - KINGLionel in all his glory, looming large. There was a greedy rocket in Lionel’s eyes. A longing. A hunger. A ravenous, uncontrollable appetite.
And Raymond was next… This was how the pigs were bred.
One of the best meats to cook is a Tomahawk steak. Still on the bone. The bone serving as a handle for the meat and then you can just scrape the meat off. This was what Jean was cooking in lieu of company arriving. She purchased the slab frozen initially. It was like 3kg stiff, hard and heavy. She had to defrost it for about six hours and then place it on the grill. Let the juices cook and keep turning it so the meat could get tender. Delicious. There was a knock at the door. It was Detective Reardon. He had his plain clothes on. He stood smoking a cigarette at her front door. Awful manners . "Mrs. Parker?" Detective Reardon said. "Please, please come in." Jean said. Mr Reardon was ushered to the dining table. A glass of water already prepared along with the cutlery laid out. "I can't stay long." Reardon said. "Oh nonsense." Jean said. She put a plate down in front of him. Reardon was surprised. He never usually ate at these kinds o
Author's note: This is the opening chapter of a longer piece which I have published here as a standalone short-story. Lucy had one of those kaleidoscopic viewfinders that put the world in a mass of cubic and triangular shaped colours spiralling atop one another. She stood at the foot of the lake looking out upon the deep blue of Berners Hall Lake and I’d imagined she was seeing it turn into purple and amber and green and whatever other colours splashed out into her eye line. I felt a stab of envy at that time because she could see the world in colours beyond the drab sepia with which I’d always been cursed to see the world. I envied Lucy for having the Kaleidoscope because, especially at the torment of that time and age, I would have loved to have coloured the world. But I envied the Kaleidoscope more than I envied Lucy. What I wouldn’t have given to have had Lucy looking deep into me the way she looked into that Kaleidoscope. She’d smudged her eyeliner against the viewer
A Welcome Guest My early childhood was spent on my father’s farm in the middle of nowhere. Literally, in the middle of nowhere. We had no hospitals or police stations near us, everything we ate, we made from scratch. It was like being Amish or something. The farm was called Beacon Farm and to even get to the store was a long old drive in my father’s four-by-four. We had a plethora of animals. We had goats, sheep, cows and pigs. My father managed the slaughterhouse. My mother spent her time making butter, baking bread and preparing dinner for me and my father. And I often walked the grounds. All-day long I wandered the grounds. It was a fantastic time. My childhood was defined by Beacon Farm, that was until, one day… Kenneth arrived. The stability of the farm and my childhood would be defined by the guests that came upon Beacon Farm to take what they felt they were owed. Kenneth stood in the doorway. He was drenched from the rain. He wore a flat cap and he had a big bushy coat o