Trifecta Week 61: Abattoir

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.

(32) Comments

  1. I like the detail of the gagging. I’m reminded of a scene where medical students are all knocked out by their professor’s antics with a cadaver.

    1. Thank you! Yeah, it was gross. Writing is an art, and art takes so many different forms; if you take a peak at my Līgo post, I touched on travel and longing…it is a strange place inside my head most days 🙂

    1. Amen! I too would not want to live in such a world; interestingly, I once went for a job interview, only to discover once I arrived, that the company offered cryogenics services. Eww. Needless to say, I and my cheap suit made it back to my car in as much of a hurry as I could.

  2. Wow. This does so much in so many directions…My mind went to the concentration camps…Is the narrator indifferent because he doesn’t care? Or because he is immune? Or is it something else completely (I saw your comment about Descent 2)?! Definitely worth some contemplation…

  3. What a gruesome discovery for the new recruit-poor chap!I don’t envy his job or his “seasoned” Boss;-)Loved this grossly fascinating piece ,Neal,with bits of dark humour thrown in for good measure-“Some habits are hard to break”,”I tap the light on my helmet twice to get it to go panoramic”,”must have been a small batch this morning” & the last line made me smile-must be my macabre sense of humour;-)

  4. I love the word abbatoir – always have – though not what happens there. I visited one once when I was a kid. My father thought it would be educational. He was that type of guy. All I remember is the door that slammed behind the poor beasts. Nothing was going on when I was there, but that door. I’ve blocked the rest out. For awhile I was a vegetarian. I’m ready to do it again and stick with it. That’s what your piece conjured up for me. Really well done! And then you get to the fingers…and the mind reels!

  5. A worthy winner.
    Great, chilling description delivered in an almost matter of fact way.
    Had me feeling sorry for the new recruits.

  6. That sounds dreadful. Like some futuristic version of the things that happened in Nazi concentration camps. Well written, though – you did a great job of making my skin crawl.

  7. Beautifully horrid. Or, horridly beautiful! Take your pick – it was awesome in its horror. Worthy of Alien or some other dark sci-fi thriller 😀 Congrats!

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