This week’s prompt is here, and what follows is my grim little submission entitled “Abattoir:”
It was dark in there, as always. My portable oxygen was full and my mask was fully functional: when I opened the door I automatically started breathing through my mouth, despite the mask; some habits are hard to break, especially for those of us who had this detail before all this fancy equipment. My historical (hysterical?) memory helped me taste the smell in this shit hole anyway. As my eyes adjusted, I remembered just how much of a bitch it was to be on clean-up detail. I mean, no part of the job was cake but coming in here after the deeds were done was still, in my opinion, so much worse than starting the thing. Clean-up detail requires that we swab the floors and walls, get the spare parts in the incinerator, and make the place tidy so the next batch won’t know where they are when they get put in here. I tap the light on my helmet twice to get it to go panoramic; I need to see wall to wall because I pride myself on not tripping on spare parts or slipping in spilled blood when I clean. I want to make sure everything is good because I am training a new recruit.
I see him coming: new recruits are easy to spot because they are always jumpy. I try not to remember their names since most don’t last long. I still get a kick out of how green they go when they first step in the room and I always make sure they start on parts. If you can hold your vomit while picking spare parts, you’ll make it in this business. This one’s already gagging and he hasn’t touched anything. I turn him toward the floor incinerator and hand him the rake; must have been a small batch this morning because there are only a couple of fingers, a short length of intestine, and blood. It might be an easy shift after all.