Saturday, July 5, 2014

Death And The Butcher

In a city lived a butcher and his wife. One day, as he was walking from the smoke house to the store front, he glimpsed his wife and a frequent customer sharing a kiss while they thought no one was around. The butcher was mad with jealousy. He vowed in the shadow of the doorway to take revenge on her for her infidelity.


That night, after they had closed for the day and were straightening up, the butcher took his sharpest knife and hid behind the door of the storage room. He moaned like he was in pain and cried for help. The unsuspecting wife rushed to her husband's aid. By the time she had crossed the threshold and saw what lay in store for her, she only had time left to scream.


The butcher first stabbed her in the stomach. The pain took her breath away, cutting short her cries. As she fell he stabbed her again behind her shoulder, and when she looked up to meet his eyes one last time, his knife found it's final place in her heart.


By the first stab of the knife Death awoke.


By the second It was ready.


And by the third, It appeared.


In an effort to get rid of the body, the butcher set about preparing his wife like he did the animal carcasses. Out of the corner of his eye he saw a movement by the door, just outside his line of sight. Unable to throw it out of his mind as a trick of light, he turned, brandishing his knife and stepping closer.


"Come out, intruder. Are you another of my wife's lovers?"


He jumped out of the room ready to attack whoever was outside, but when he saw what was standing there he drew back in surprise, almost dropping his knife. What looked to be a woman dressed in all black stood there with a stern face and wide black eyes.


"You can see me?", Death whispered. Tips of pointed teeth revealed themselves to the butcher through barely moving lips. "Then cast your mortal eyes to the dirt and look not upon me. This will be your only warning."


The butcher's mind was too consumed with fear and the remnants of jealousy and rage, and therefore he did not heed Death's warning.


"You are no lover, I'm not even sure you are human, but now that you know what has happened I can't let you go."


Death gnashed it's pointed teeth in anger for a moment then began to laugh a booming laugh, loud as thunder. The butcher dropped his knife and slowly started to back into the storage room, keeping his eyes on Death. He slammed the door and went to lock it but Death flung it open, throwing him to the ground. It quickly stepped inside and closed the distance between the two of them.


"Foolish man! If you want to go up against one such as I, then see how you fare."


Death spread Its arms wide and Its large, tawny wings enveloped the cowering butcher and his dead wife still laying on the ground. The butcher wept in the face of Death's retribution, pleading for mercy, but it was too late.


That night Death came for one, but claimed two.


***


It is so dumb to threaten dangerous, supernatural creatures.


This is the second one I came up with. It's supposed to take place in the 1930's. I can only assume that butcher shops in that time frame had some sort of storage room. In an article I read of an interview with a butcher's children who were alive around that time, they said their father had a smokehouse connected to his shop, so at least that part was accurate. Apparently my Google-fu is lacking because I can't really find any good information on storing techniques for that time frame. Neither can I find the lingo because I don't know if they would have called it a meat locker, or have some sort of freezer. I tried to keep the terms light and vague, but definitely not modern.


At first I was going to give Death black wings, but that's really cliché. I also really like the idea of Death having wings like a hawk, or some other sort of predator bird.