Flash fiction from Black Tarn Publishing

God's Own Butcher

We’re in the back room, seedy and low lit, Ducasse sittin by the table and me leanin against the wall by the door. No one’s talkin. We’re watchin Hugo at work, Hugo the meatmeister, arms like marine rope, like you see holdin ferries to their moorings, that’s his arms. The cleaver rises — the knots of his arms tense — and drops with a sick thud, the limbs of the carcass on the table cleaved clean from the torso. One stroke, that’s all he needs, maybe two on the thighs, and the sweat is now gatherin at his neck, a dark trail now formin on the back of his shirt from his hairline all the way down the middle of his back. This is the third carcass he’s gone to work on, there’s no stopping the man. Ducasse gets up and steps over to the back wall, where there’s some kinda sexual torture device, all pulleys and leather, and Ducasse starts pullin at things tryin to suss it out, cunt even tries to strap his own leg into it. But I’m just watchin Hugo, the rise and fall of the cleaver like the run of time, the movement of his arm godlike and diabolical, God’s butcher he is, no man like him for choppin and cuttin. Hugo takes off the two arms and two legs, lays the cleaver by the head and turns to me.

Help me here, will ya? he says.

So I get up and we lift the two ends of the torso, me at the head — like, ever tried to lift a body with no arms? Fuck sake. We drop it on the back table.

Know what? Hugo says. I don’t like eatin Asian.

Don’t blame ya, Hugo, I say.

Too much salt in the diet. Fucks with the meat. There’s seasoning, and there’s over-seasoning. Enough with the fucken soy sauce, he says.

Well, you’d know, I say. I’ve never eaten one.

Stick to European, he says.  

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