Farm to Table


I’ve been selling ground meat and sausage made from the people I’ve killed to the hipster restaurants in the city. You know the type: ones with terms like “LOCALLY SOURCED INGREDIENTS” emblazoned on every surface like it somehow makes their food taste good. Not that what I’m selling them tastes bad, mind you. They love it. Everyone does. They think they’re getting some of that heritage-breed pork from those wooly Mangalitsa pigs I’ve got in the yard. Well, they’re not. Those little guys aren’t for sale. The restaurants are buying and serving human remains.

Let me guess: I’m a monster. Oooooooo. Another madman killing innocent people, right? Another psychopath? Well, no. Maybe. Probably not. Here’s the thing – it’s not that I don’t like people. I know everyone has hopes and dreams and blah blah blah.

I had hopes and dreams too. I had a butcher shop and loyal customers for 40 years. Then all the kids started moving in. White kids just out of college. Kids with jobs in technology or some other abstract shit that pays an ungodly amount of money; five times what everyone else in our neighborhoods were making. Kids without a care in the world for the generations of culture they were trampling on.

Rents went up. Fast. Our neighborhoods changed. Fast. Family businesses that’d been operating for years couldn’t afford to stay there anymore and were forced to shut down. After just ten years, the city was nothing like it had been. “Gentrification” was the word that kept getting thrown around. People talked about it like it was a good thing.

I was lucky. I had a nest-egg saved up and didn’t even try to keep paying the rent as it skyrocketed. I saw where it was all going. I closed the shutters on my shop, bought some land upstate, had the foresight to acquire some Mangalitsas before they became popular and expensive, and started my little company. Once a month, I’d drive my van around the old neighborhoods on late Friday and Saturday nights. I’d invite the stumbling, drunken kids to get in for a ride, hit them over the head, and head on back to the farm. Easy peasy Mangalitsy.

Anyway, the great thing about these hipster joints is the owners will cut whatever corners they can if it means they can get an edge on a new or hot product. What does that mean for me? Well, they drive up early Monday morning, buy the meat from me without any USDA stamp, and head on back to the city with a week’s worth of meat. That leaves me with cash in hand and great dirt on the restaurant owners if they ever learn my little secret.

According to one of my buyers – a guy whose claim to fame was when he “Beat Bobby Flay” on TV – the next big thing will be meat from suckling pigs; baby piglets who’ve only consumed milk from their mothers. I glanced at his wife, who he’d brought to show her a “real farm” and “to see how the other half lives.” She nodded absently while cradling a tiny newborn to her chest. Her own little suckling animal.

The guy went on and on about the quality of unweaned, milk-fed product. He went through the recipes he’d planned out. They sounded pretty great, to be honest. Lots of fresh fennel. I love fennel.

I pictured the people bound and gagged in their pens in my basement. Three men and nine women. Basic arithmetic and logistics made me close my eyes for a moment as I thought about how I’d fill the order. The guy talked as I worked out the numbers.

“I’ll be happy to pay you in advance for not only the product, but for exclusivity,” he told me. We strolled around the pigpens as his wife worried aloud about whether the baby could get sick from the smell.

“11 months,” I announced. The guy smiled. Apparently he’d expected a year or more. I shook his weak, uncalloused hand, nodded at his politely-smiling wife, and patted the infant on its little, pink head. They drove off in their Volvo, leaving me with a bag of cash.

Once they were long gone, I headed down to the basement. I thought about the orders I had to fill over the next few months, then slit the throats of the two smaller men and hung them up to drain. I shifted the rest of them around in their pens until I had the grouping I wanted.

As I was heading back upstairs, I turned around and called out to the remaining man, who was sitting in the corner of the pen housing him and his four companions.

“Better start fucking, buddy! Your children are my future!”

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