Fiction

The Day of the Butcher

By The Lighthouse Keeper

It was September 15th when I decided that one less voice was all that the world needed. One less voice among the cacophony of chaotic screaming and the ranting of old men would do the world a favor as opposed to a meek whisper that no one would hear anyway.

September 15th.

The Day of the Butcher.

It was on that morning that I stared listlessly at the straight razor that rested on the edge of my sink. For a split second I almost decided that a vertical gash along the length of my left forearm would suit me nicely. But reconsidered. I didn't want death. Not at that point. No, I only wanted silence.

It was with the precision of a barber that I sliced my own tongue from my mouth in a single, labored swath on the morning of September 15th. As I swallowed the warm blood that pulsed from the stump in my mouth, I smiled.

Silence.

No one would ever again be able to blame me for misinformation. No one would ever again be able to accuse me of being a liar. I would never again have to profess my undying love and adoration to a potential bedfellow and there would be no pillow talk afterwards for I had become one of the silent. I imagined that there were legions of us. Thousands. People just like me who, rather than endure the judgments of our fellows due to the utterances which seeped from our mouths like swamp gas, had silenced themselves forever. In doing so, we had all reclaimed some sort of lost innocence through sacrifice.

We were the Silent Legion.

We were the Butchers.

I opened my eyes which had filled with tears of joy at my release from my voice and looking out of the small window in the bathroom I saw a large, black pitbull chasing a small child through a yard. The child screamed hysterically as the dog snarled and foamed and snapped. The louder the child screamed, the more agitated the dog became and the more vicious his lunges at the child. The sheer smell of the child's fear wafted in through my bathroom window like a hot breeze and sent a shiver through my body. The child sounded as if it were being devoured alive. As if the dog were rending every tiny muscle from her tiny little body.

The screaming echoed off the tiles of my shower, which were still a light shade of pink from the flow of blood which had cascaded across them only a few minutes before. I regarded the razor which sat on the lid the toilet shrouded in a thick, residual sheen of my blood like an ex-lover after a bad break and decided, as I listened to the child outside scream and cry under the assault of the ravenous dog, that it was not nearly enough to be silent…

…I must be deaf as well.

I closed the window of the bathroom, blocking the cries of the child as I headed to the kitchen in search of an implement appropriate for a Butcher who was not content to be only mute.

It took me three minutes to decide on a meat thermometer.

1997
The Lighthouse Keeper
goblinking1@juno.com