The Unique Butchers: Short Story

I couldn’t help but notice each morning certain details that remained the same. The leaves on the trees would be swaying from side to side as the branch shook in the wind, the occasional one falling out of season. The pigeons would wake around 6:30am with the usual sounds to bless the day and to wake those who did not want waking. A cup of tea was always the first priority.

Living in a small village was one way that ensured the changes were never soon to be kept. Everyone liked it how it was. One shop, good enough for most. Along with a small park and for all the other joys, a town was five minutes down the road. Farms were most peoples career paths, always had been. Until one of the neighbours packed up and a new couple moved in. It was a strange change to endure.

Everything seemed to be changing, the new neighbours had brought a chain to business into the area, affecting the one shop policy we had known for years. The leaves began falling out of season and the pigeons stopped calling at 6:30am; something wasn’t right.

One day, I tried to go talk to them but they would never be in or they would be at work. The work went on in an outhouse at the bottom of their garden. Often we would see an influx of cars arrive and never return. Or if we did, the cars had been damaged but the people inside would drive off as though nothing had happened. I needed to take a look. All i could see towards the garden was a large ‘no entry’ sign, it was just a hypothetical sign probably, like the ‘beware of the dogs’. Nothing to worry about.

The sun had gone beyond the eyes behind a heavy load of cloud, the rain began  to fall. Birds cried as the leaves no longer covered their nest. Beneath me the ground was muddy and began to squelch with each step. “Hi, can I help you?” He was there standing in front of me for the first time, just an ordinary man. “Just wondering what was going on with all the traffic in the village all of a sudden.” I was startled and could not believe the smile on the fellows grin- seemed a nice chap. “Why don’t you come have a look, just an ordinary butchers, decent farm land out here you know.”

Beyond the front yard there was an outhouse with what looked like pork and beef hanging from the ceiling, he was right. He was a butcher. “Whats with all the cars?” An aray of cars were lined up across the back garden. Atleast a dozen. “B&B, might fine house we have inside you know.”   “Oh. What’s your name by the way?” I was confused at what I was seeing, he was a businessman, very good one. “We’re the Thorns, Pete and June Thorn. Won’t you stay for a tea?” One tea wouldn’t do any harm.

The inside was nice, old fashioned to say the least but had a contemporary feel. Two women were facing towards the TV but I could only see the back of them. No conversation, just sat there. Probably part of the B&B package. In the dining room, a man was facing down in the back room, looked tired. Just kind of hanging there, almost lifeless. I sat down for a tea.

“June will sought your tea, is there anything you want to get off your chest while you’re waiting?” Mr Thorn asked. Almost  in an overly friendly way. “I have to admit, I was slightly worried when I came up here. Thought you had some weird business going on. “Oh no, we’re just an average B&B owners with a unique butchers.” I didn’t put two and two together. “Hi, I’m June. I’ll be serving you today.” I turned my head to see a middle aged woman but before I could get my words out, I was stuck, i tried to pull my arm away from the chair to shake her hand but in doing so pulled part of my skin off.

June picked up the skin and put it in the fridge. “Save that for later.” The Thorns laughed but before I could cry for help of any kind, Pete Thorn came over and poured boiling tea down my throat which was rather ironic considering I wanted one quite badly. A taste of unusual substance hit me. Frothing at the mouth occurred. I was choking. Pete put my head in a head restraint and they both walked out the room. Alone at my last breath.

Later that day, his wife went to see what was going on, she hadn’t heard anything from her husband. The local police accompanied her. All the cars were gone, just a few deck-chairs in which the Thorns were seated at with a hot cup of tea. 

“Police, we’ve had some complaints of a missing person round here? Mr Wheeler, this womans husband”

“Oh. Yes,.he came over yesterday. You see, we run a B&B, insisted he would try it out. If you all want a cup of tea, then we will go check on him.” Mrs Wheeler and the Police accompanied Mrs Thorn into the living room where the TV was on but no-one around. “I’ll get the tea.” She returned a couple minutes later. They all had a couple sips before Mr Thorn entered the room with Mr Wheeler. Mr Wheeler was lying on a table wheeled in with a carving knife and an apple in his mouth. Surrounded by bread and plates with pieces cut out. “Anyone want some unique sandwiches. To die for.” Mr Thorn said before the Police and Mrs Wheeler began to froth at the mouth.

The village was peaceful again. The neighbours were all in the B&B, sat watching TV. No conversation flowing. Occasionally one would move only for June Thorn to stick them back in place. The leaves still fell out of season and the pigeons no longer came at any time to wake anyone for tea. All that was last was the Thorns who had killed every last one of them only to create a living doll for their B&B. Every now and then they would put one in the outhouse to dry the blood out before carving. The only shop now was a butchers that people travelled far and wide to try.

a unique piece of meat indeed.

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