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.
MOTHER OF THE YEAR When Rachel Gregory was born, her mother felt herself drowning in hatred towards the baby. The father had just done a runner, upped and left like the coward Iris Gregory knew him to be. Iris would look at Rachel and see the dad, then the hatred would fill her up like a newly pulled pint and she’d suffocate right up to her throat. The dad was Brian. She didn’t know where he went or why he went. Well, the why was obvious. Iris called herself headstrong (what she meant was high-strung). Iris was bitter. Iris felt anger towards everything and everyone. And Brian couldn’t hack it anymore. Iris went around to Brian’s mum the week he left, held the baby in her arms, and looked her ex-mother-in-law straight in the face: ‘Look what your waster son has left me with,’ Iris said with spit coming out her lips. He joined the French Foreign Legion. Apparently. That’s what she told people anyway. She didn’t know what that meant when Brian’s mother said it, but it sounded be
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