The Butcher

Posted on Posted in Shortstories

A SenhorDaSilva.com original, ©2017

 

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In a small town, not far from Birmingham, was once a butcher. A well-known and highly dedicated man. Dedicated to his profession. His passion. His life. The life of a butcher. 

A man who knew the preparation of meat better than any other living species on earth. Just like an artist unfolds his soul on paper, he unfolds his soul on flesh. 

The sweet and still sad sound of Chopin’s Nocturne NO. 20 in c-sharp minor sounded through the kitchen, while he cut a big piece of meat into thin slices. A knife so sharp that even the sight of it feels deadly. One could taste the blood on it just by hearing its sound, while cutting through the bundles of nerves and muscle fibers. The butcher was a very quietly man. He never talked too much. Just an eye blink of him, was enough to keep one shut. Even when he smiled, it felt like a goodbye kiss from death personally. Not that the butcher looked ugly. He was an extremely handsome man. Very loved by the women in town, but also feared. He was like a toxic fruit. So sweet and tasty, that you want to bite into every part of it, but at the same time so frightened and toxic that even a lick cost one’s life.

The butcher always lived alone by himself. The people from town can’t even remember where he’s from or since when he does live in the town. It was like he had been always there in his little Italian meat shop. From one day on the other, it just where there. A lot of rumours were running through town. Some are talking about a man, who came from Sicilia to America to start things over since life went bad back there. Some others are speaking about a man who is using the shop as a money laundry for the mafia and avoiding contact to any potential witness on purpose. But still others. Still, others are talking about a young kid, that lost his whole family in a citizen war in the middle of Rumania. A kid so filled with hate that he had made a pact with evil forces. So old and so evil, that no books on earth documented their existence. But all of those stories were just rumours … right?

It was on this special day, the day that no one in Shirley will ever forget, when a beautiful blonde woman in a white dress enters the little shop. Her eyes yellow like honey, her lips red and tasty like a delicious apple and her skin pale like the bones that lay beneath it. A wide and sweet grin lighted up on her face by the sight of all the wonderful products the butcher has to offer. And although the shop was full with six other customers, she felt alone. Alone with valuable and delicious pieces of perfection. Every single one of them cut by the hands of a true artist. Someone, who connected with sources of creativity outside this world. 

Lou Killahem, an old and lovely woman, got a white, beautiful paper bag from an attractive man, behind the counter. The smell of the spare ribs filled the air and found their way to the nose of the beautiful stranger in the white dress. She closed her eyes and smelled the beautiful taste of the meat. And again - the sweet grin. The woman opened her eyes again and led their glance directly to the butcher. What a man. His reticence, had something extremely desirable. Something, that touched her in a deep and unexplainable way. Carefully and slowly she moved through the little shop without taking an eye from him. And even without noticing a look from his side, she knew that he felt her presence. He must felt that her visit was led be a higher purpose. Call it destiny if you want to. 

Finally, all customers left the little shop with their paper bags of joy and perfection. All, except of the beautiful stranger in the white dress.

The butcher turned his back to her to hang up a big piece of meat.

“How can I help you?,” he asked without turning.

She moved closer without saying something. A light tense of fear was lying on her face, like she’s asking herself if she was ready for this desirable moment.

“I’m looking for something?,” she said, almost whispering, while moving closer to the counter.

”Yes,” he calmly replied.

”I look for something special. Something with a taste that answered the most sophisticated question of questions.”

The butcher carefully assorted the piece of meat before he slowly asked: “Which is?”

She stops right in front of the counter. She slightly protruded her tongue, like she tried to find the answer on her lips.

“What is the meaning of life,” she quietly said, like she’s trying to make herself believe in the logic behind the question.

The butcher stopped his work for a while.

Still, not turning back, he moved to a small table to his right. Bloody steaks were lying on it. Carefully he grabbed some of them and cut the pieces of fat from it.

“What a complex question for such a simple man like me,” he calmly responded and turned to her.

His blue eyes found their way to hers and for a brief moment it seems like the world lost every kind of sense for time or any other physical restriction.

“I’ve heard you are the best,” she carefully explained, trying to find the answer on that in his face expression.

“Is it so?,” he asked and moved slowly to the counter. “People tell a lot, when they're missing the creativity to occupy themselves.”

“But I’ve heard that it is true,” she quietly responded more to herself than to him.

“Trueness is a broken mirror. All pieces show their own reflection of the reality. All true, but in a blurred and through and through bizarre way.”

The butcher leaned closer forward to her, while holding one arm hidden behind his back.

“The only true cognition in life is that the only thing you can be sure about it, is what covers the unexplainable thing called soul,” he explained with a seductive, but in the same time, deadly smile.

“What is?,” she asked frightened by his powerful presence.

“Flesh,” he said and slammed a bloody slice of the steak on the counter desk.

She winced and swallowed nervously.

The eyes of the butcher calmly examined her face. For a brief moment he seemed to be scared by something he might have found in it.

“Special?,” he asked by looking at her very impressed, but also suspicious.

“Special,” she replied with a small grin.

The butcher looked at her silently for a while before he moved away from the counter and stopped in front of a door to an extra room.

“Meet me tomorrow at 12 p.m. here again and you will get, what you are striving for,” he explained without turning back.

The beautiful stranger decides to accept the invitation by remaining in silence. A sign that the butcher accepted. So he nodded and disappeared in the second room.

A tense of fear showed up on her face, while looking through the shop. A beautiful silver plate on the shelf caught her attention for a brief moment. The beautiful shine of it calmed her somehow down, so that she left the little shop with a curious and delighted little smile.

The night came and the Butcher was still in the extra room. The light was dim, so that one couldn’t see anything of the surrounding environment. Only this wooden table and the butcher himself were visible. He put a silver big and very heavy box on the table. Carefully he put on some white cloves and opened the box. A disgusting smell filled the air and the butcher looked for a brief moment very intense into the silver trunk. His face, unreadable as a blank paper. He grabbed into the box and put out his sharpest knife. A nightmare of a knife with his saw-likely blade. Sharp and very fine prongs. He breathed deeply again, grabbed some matches and lighted up a candle. Slowly he moved through the darkness of the room. In front of an old wooden door he stopped. Shadows of the glowing fire encased his face and made his expression unreadable. Another brief breath of air and he pulled out a small key. Carefully he inserted the key into the lock and opened the heavy door under a loud sound.

He breathed again and disappeared into the room. With him the candle and the knife.

The morning arose and the time went on till to the point the clock struck twelve. The door opened and the beautiful stranger came in. This time, wearing a black dress. She looked even more beautiful than at the last day.

The butcher was already awaiting her. Patiently he stood next to the door to the extra room and silently indicated her with his left arm to move in.

Slowly, she applied to his request and accompanied him into the strange room. It was a big cold room with a lot of meat hanging on sharp hooks from the ceiling. Fascinated by all of those things she didn’t realize that the butcher disappeared for some seconds. He came back with the silver box, which he put on a table not far from her.

“Please,” he kindly asked in the expectation of seeing her next to him. An expectation, that she fulfilled perfectly. So it happened that both found themselves standing in front of the silver box. She curiously looked at it.

“Is this what my heart is seeking for?,” she asked nervously.

“It is,” the butcher calmly responded.

“And how is it?,” she asked even more nervous.

“Beyond all expectations, ma’am," the butcher replied with an inviting smile.

She copied his smile and decelerated her breath.

The butcher grabbed into his white apron and pulled out a fork. On the top of it was a little piece of meat. He held the fork right in front her mouth.

“Please,” he kindly asked.

Suspiciously, she examined the piece of meat and his face.

“Please,” he repeated and she ate it from his fork.

An explosion of perfection ran through her mouth. This meat was by far divine.

Her face told him, that she wanted more.

“More,” he lovely asked.

She nodded quickly and he smiled.

“Ready?,” the butcher curiously asked.

Carefully, she nodded and he opened the box slowly. With a small nod he indicated her to take a look inside. Gently, she leaned forward and led her glance to the sight of two pictures, lying in the box.

“What is …?,” she started to asked, but stopped by the sight of his winsome smile.

Carefully she picked the pictures and turned their front to her. Suddenly, her whole body started to shiver like hitting by electricity. The butcher slowly moved around the table and took position right behind her. Softly, he relaxed his chin on her left shoulder, looking at the pictures with her.

On the left one was a young boy with black hair together with a man, a woman and two other children. All smiling and all siting around a table full with plates of fresh food. On the other picture was a little blond girl and a bald-headed man shown. The pictures let the beautiful woman sob. Not out of love, more out of fear.

“He was a boy, when three men came in and ripped everything in pieces what he had ever loved,” the butcher explained with a cold voice.

The beautiful and frightened stranger let the pictures drop. She shivered like crazy, while tears ran down her cheek.

“Please,” the butcher said and indicated to the old wooden door at the end of the room.

She remained in silence like knowing, that she’s not going to like her journey.

“Please,” the butcher asked once again and this time he softly pressed the knife in her back.

Driven by the pain she moved forward into the direction of the door, which was ajar.

“Please,” the butcher asked, indicating with a nod that she has to open it.

Carefully she applied and opened the door, revealing the view at a bloody massacre. Body parts, blood and flesh all over the tiny room. Lying on a table and in a metal box. She tried to scream, but the fear was too intense. Slowly, she turned at him.

“Please! I don’t have anything to do with what he did there in. …,” she started to explain, while the butcher moved his finger into the direction of the ceiling. A blood drop fell on her cheek. Slowly, she touched the drop and gazes at her bloody finger. Carefully, she moved her look to the ceiling and fell into panic. The cut heads of three bald-headed men looked down at her. All hanging on iron hooks. She quickly spotted the head of her father on the right side.

Frightened, she touched her mouth and started to sob even louder.

“His taste is truly remarkable, wouldn’t you confirm this?,” the butcher calmly asked.

Understanding what she had eaten, the beautiful woman started to puke. Something that delighted the butcher.

“Please. Let me go!,” she begged on her knees, crying, sobbing and shivering.

The butcher kneeled down to her and touched her cheek softly.

“Only what covers the unexplainable thing called soul is out of true nature,” the butcher calmly explained and set his first chop, cutting her face into pieces.

The door closed silently and the bloody preparation took its beginning.

The entry door opened and Mrs. Killahem entered the little shop.

“Hello, Bernardo,” she happily said, searching with her eyes for the butcher.

The door to the cold room opened and the butcher, also known as Bernardo, entered the room. Delighted by her sight, he smiled.

“Ah, there he is.”

“How can I help you today, Mrs. Killahem?,” Bernardo asked, while moving to the counter, where Mrs. Killahem was already waiting.

“My daughter from Poland came back today and I need something special, son,” she explained in excitement.

“Special?,” Bernardo asked calmly.

“Yes!”

A small grin appeared on his face and his eyes lighted up in excitement. Carefully he put out the silver plate. On the plate thin slices of pink flesh.

“I think I have exactly what you are looking for.”

 THE END

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