Lamb ~ Shaun Garrod I used to live in a village called Long Marston. It was a small place; one little post office, one local pub. That sort of thing. When I was 15 I got chatting to a regularly drunk farmer called Michael in the pub, which like most rural pubs in England at the time seemed to actively encourage underage drinking, and he explained that he had to go about 9-ish because of his sheep. It was lambing season and the pregnant sheep out in the field had to be brought into the barn to stop any foxes snatching any newly-born lambs. I started enquiring about this and actually found it quite interesting, so much so in fact that Michael offered me some work that night: "You can come along if you want? I can't pay you any cash but I'll pay you in scotch. One scotch per lamb!" I realised that if I had cash it would only go on booze anyway so it sounded like a workable deal to my teenaged mind. Off we walked to the nearby farm. It was weird, the whole lambing process. I won't bore you with the details but all the disgusting aspects that I would've normally shunned just disappeared once Michael showed me the ropes. It truly was a
remarkable and beautiful thing to be involved with so I had no trouble getting my hands stuck in, so to speak. Each lamb that was delivered, whether by Michael or myself, meant going to the washroom, washing our hands with washing powder ("I lost the soap," Michael explained) and water then downing a couple of fingers of scotch. This was the life. By sunrise my job was done and I was a master of delivering lambs. Twins? No problem. Breach birth? Piece of cake. Lamb not breathing? Clean its nose with straw and blow up its nose. "Up for it tomorrow evening? Same deal?" Michael cheerily enquired once weâ€™d finished. "Sure!" I said. Working AND getting pissed at the same time seemed a fairly blissful state to me at that time. I met Michael the next day in the Mason's Arms, had a quick pint of Heineken, then off to the farm. It all carried on just as in the previous night. Lamb...scotch. Lamb...scotch. Lamb...scotch. Then it happened. "Fucking hell! Mich...Michael! Look at this!" I said with real fear, pointing at the lamb I'd just help deliver - what I had just seen was like something out of an horror film.
It was a cyclops lamb. Not just a deformed lamb with one eye on the side of its head but an eye dead in the centre of its forehead. It emitted a pathetic bleat. "Blaaarh," it said. "Just kill it" said Michael, without even bothering to look at it again. Obviously his fifty-plus years in the farming game had made him bear witness to similar horrors along the way. "How?" I said like a coward, feeling that perhaps a bleat from me would've been more appropriate. "With this", he said, handing me a shovel. Now, not wanting to look soft or an idiot or what have you, especially not in front of Michael, and especially not now that I was a real farmer, I held the shovel aloft in both hands with the handle almost draping down my back as I steadied myself ready to deliver the fatal blow. "No! Not like that!" said Michael as he snatched the shovel from me, placed the blade over the poor wretch's neck and stamped on the blade, decapitating Cyclops Lamb and ending its short and sorry life. I looked on in horror at the lifeless head for what seemed like an eternity. I didn't like this job anymore and told Michael so.
"Fair enough, it's not for everyone," he said somewhat understandingly. I walked off for my scotch and for my last hand wash. Just before I left I looked back briefly at the lamb; its mother was still trying to clean it. _________
Breaking News From A Man's Mind ~ Brad Evans i wanted to tell her that her fly was undone, but i didn't it didn't seem appropriate for some reason she looked a little stressed out keeping an eye on her kids handing me items to scan while looking back at her kids making sure they
weren't getting up to any mischief and so i didn't tell her that her fly was undone. not telling her for some reason made the situation an odd one, it almost felt kinky, as if she'd just been playing with herself, & then forgot to zip up but i knew that was impossible for her as busy as she was. each time i scanned an item i looked at her to see if she was looking at me, and if she was looking somewhere else I'd stare at her crotch
imagining what lay beyond because i couldn't see anything at all. all i could see really was just folds of denim, just endless folds of denim.
ROT ~ Alan Kelly Myra lifted each fold of fat carefully, each fold of daddy’s fat. Lifted and held up with her tiny hand, the tiny hand which scavenged for Half-eaten burgers to feed him earlier, used her dead sisters shiny pink Toothbrush to work at the gunky sweat beneath the folds, she thought three times today that dead sister would be disappointed that she’d used her shiny pink toothbrush, which sat on the cistern before her dead sister became dead and her daddy stayed In the armchair after they left her in the ground. Her tiny hand cleaned beneath the fat until the fat became clean. Myra leaves the telly on for Daddy to watch Bergerac. A repeat, he does enjoy those repeats, thinks Myra . She eats the last of her dead sister’s spaghetti hoops, her eyes are stuck on the ripped packet of the shiny pink toothbrush on the carpet where she
left it to scrub Daddy’s fat. Daddy has a mouth open too much today. Myra ’s little hand, with two fingers under the chin, pushes it shut. Myra has a nasty feeling in her stomach, the cuts Daddy made on her knees smile pleasantly and Myra’s sorrow comes up from her stomach, bits of dead sister all over the smiles. Daddy has a sort of church. There are other members, in countries abroad. Myra is at the sink. She can’t get the stains of the bits of her dead sister off her blouse. She feels dizzy watching the chewed pieces of dead sister go down the plughole with a twist. Myra has the wet blouse gripped with her hand which is stained by pieces of dead sister. She has it gripped by her hand and lashes Daddy ONCE TWICE THREE complete times. The door out the front is making noise. Daddy doesn’t have the remote, where is the remote panics Myra . THE DOOR KEEPS MAKING noise. Myra ’s foot steps into a sticky puddle at Daddy’s shoes. Myra sees bright light carved like a door and looks to Daddy for an explanation…But Myra just sees ROT.
Spaghetti for Dinner ~ Aleathia Drehmer “Ahhhhhhhhhhhhh!!!” “God damn it Bean, what the fucking problem?” Jed yelled as Bean lunged of her clenched fists raised in his in rich earth with bundles of thyme her hands. The smell of it made him despite the savage look in her eyes asked her if she were going to make tonight, but thought better of it.
hell is your at him, both face, covered gripped in hungry and he almost tomato sauce
“I am going to kill you Jed. Gut you like a god damned pig on the altar. Do you hear me? Do you have that registered in your thick good for nothing skull?” Jed backed up from He had no idea why and waving Italian could tell she was had a ripe old bee
Bean as she advanced on him. she was frothing at the mouth herbs in his face, but he adamant about something. She in her bonnet.
Bean moved closer and closer and she could feel her own heart beating out of her chest in rage. That flea bag dog of his had dug up her herb garden again and shit all over her sage. She had had enough of it. She had warned him time and again and she couldn’t take no more. Bean could feel her hair plastered to her forehead, could feel the flush in her cheeks like hot slaps to the face. She hurled the thyme at him from across the room. “Your bastard dog has done it again Jed. Where is he? I am going to skin him alive and leave his still shaking carcass on the seat of your precious pick-up!!”
Jed, not knowing what else he could do but get out of dodge, ran up the stairs and hid in one of the bedrooms. This was a cowardly thing to do, he thought to himself, but when Bean got this mad there was nothing else you could do but disappear and hope she settled back into sanity. But this time, his cowardice enraged her even more. He could hear her heavy footfalls on the stairs coming after him. Bean started opening doors in the upstairs looking for the lame husband she continued to carry around her neck like a millstone. The first room was empty and dark, and she listened for the sound of his breathing in the absence of light. When she was satisfied Jed wasnâ€™t in there, she closed the door with a loud bang to let him know she was coming for him. She opened the second door and her three children screamed in unison as the light from the opening spanned across their huddled shapes in the corner. Bean noticed how small and curled they were and for a moment her heart softened at their tiny limbs, at their flexibility, at their golden hair hanging gingerly over their eyes, and how they clutched each other in fear. She would not stay in this moment long, because each of them had his nose and the sight of it reminded her of her hunt. She had a fox to find. Jed could hear Bean outside the door, listened as her muddy hands slipped on the glass doorknob, and knew he was in for it. Bean relished the click and release of the doorâ€™s mechanism and swung the door open slowly. It hit the bedroom wall with a dull thud. Backlit in the center of the room stood Jed. His chest was heaving and she could see the tremor of his fingers as he held them out in front of him as a barrier to her wrath. She advanced towards him and all Jed could concentrate on was the fact that her breasts
quaked like omelets too hastily turned and how it would be nice if she wore a bra once in awhile, and how nice it might be between them if she cared about herself a little more. He was so lost in this thought about her drooping tits that he didn’t see her raise the shovel until it was too late. The steel spade echoed in his head before he lost consciousness. “Get up motherfucker and take it like a man.” Bean yelled, but Jed didn’t move. She got down close to his face to feel his breath on her ear, but did not bask his hot, sick wind. His eyes were stuck open with horror and shock. Bean stood up and the shovel fell from her fingers with a clanging. “God damn dog,” she muttered.
* Word virus ~ sEaN mCgAhEy >The doctor prescribes you an anti-idiosyncrasy pill which will leave your face with a nonsensical looking grin. >The second stage of the pugnacious word virus numbs your lips and narrows your eyes. >Thethirdstageofthepugnacious wordviruswillleaveyoublabbering wordsofdenialanduninhibited soundsoffrenziedbollocks The militant microorganism Minimizing your mind to The size of a pea!
You’ll mimic society You’ll fit right in Middling new life style Passable new friends With mercenary plans Of stealing your melancholy Ideas of happiness
Dining Out ~ Luca Penne Meatballs flippant as marshmallows. Spaghetti crawling about like nematodes. He doesn’t like his food to generate similes. He wants it to stand still. Across the table that same old hirsute girlfriend prods her food with her fork and determines that this pasta came from a pasta tree that hadn’t sufficiently matured. Harvesting pasta too early encourages matter that can never die, even when boiled al dente. She reminds him that in that movie about the sinking ship and the smirking iceberg Leonardo what’s his name and his creepy lover hold hands all the way down the gullet of the cold Atlantic. Wouldn’t you like to hold hands? He looks at his apelike paw and decides it’s too ugly to eat with, so he lowers his chin to his plate and snorts a length of spaghetti that’s actually the yarn of his sweater. As he unravels himself he laughs a laugh so rueful he seems to be self-digesting, while her meatballs, he observes, are holding hands. ~2009~
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