Bob stares at you for a few minutes as if to gather his thoughts while reading yours. The directness of his stare does not bother you so much as you find it reassuring. It does, however, make your need to find out more about The Butcher intensify. Just when you think he will never start his tale, he begins.
The Butcher started out life just like every other man born on this earth. He had simple, unassuming parents who led simple, unassuming lives. He was not an overly handsome young man nor was he ugly. To see his face, one had to look directly for it before it blended into the background. This ambiguity served him well. Becoming just another face in a sea of faces made his work easier.
The Butcher had a flair for two things, fine cooking and care-taking of children. Small children flocked to him gleefully. His smile greeted their parents with warmth and safety. The parents instantly trusted him with their little ones without a second thought even when he was a virtual stranger to them. After seeing how easily he could gain access to their homes, he decided to pursue a career as a nanny.
Men are not usually accepted by society for this role, but he soon excelled. At first, he would only be with a family temporarily. Summer vacations were his busy season since children were out of school and in their parents’ hair. Two or three months later, he was a part of the family. Word spread of his incredible talents and serious work ethic.
It was only a matter of time before a well-to-do family heard of him. Mr. and Mrs. Brushire were highly skeptical of his abilities. A man could never rear children as adequately as a woman in their opinion. The Butcher came so highly recommended from one of their friends who had hired him for a summer that they finally decided to give him a chance.
The Butcher, introduced himself simply as Frank the first day he met the Brushires. They found this odd but quickly dismissed it. Their children, Susan and James, were nine and eleven respectively. From the moment the pair laid their eyes on Frank, they fell instantly in love with him. He was their most cherished friend and beloved guardian.
Both children were behind in their studies at the start of the summer and were undersized for their age due to extensive illness the previous months. By the end of the summer, Susan was one grade level ahead and James was one and a half. Each child had gained a healthy amount of weight and had even grew an inch or two taller. The Brushires were sold. Frank was here to stay.
Frank celebrated his new permanent job by serving an elegant dinner that night. The children were already huge fans of his culinary delights. They begged to help him prepare the meal to surprise their parents. With a gentle smile he agreed. This night he wanted to serve a rump roast. He explained to each the importance of slow cooking the meat after it is perfectly seasoned. Seasoning, he said is only used to enhance the meat, never to give it flavor.
The rump roast, he said, had been marinating all night in his special sauces. Not any cut of meat would do either. He was extremely selective and only took the most tender pieces that he cultivated himself. Susan and James never knew where Frank bought his treats. He would show up on special occasions with bundles wrapped in white butcher’s paper tied neatly with twine. Their hearts would skip a beat each time they spied the package in his arms knowing they were in for a treasure of a meal that evening.
Carefully adjusting the temperature on the outdoor smoke house that he had built himself, Frank showed James how to load the wood and start the fire pit within. Susan watched carefully as Frank taught her how to hang the meat so that it could heat evenly. Every few hours, the trio would either add wood to the fire or prepare other dishes according to Frank’s strict instructions.
Before and after every chore, a thorough cleaning had to be conducted first. Frank did not tolerate filth in any form. Fingernails had to be scrubbed until no grime was present. Knuckles had to be washed until the creases were fresh. Counter tops gleamed. Knives sparkled. Cutting boards never showed goop in the scratches. Every item had a place and returned to it after it was returned to its original sparkling condition. Soap scum was never allowed on any of the glasses. If they did not glisten in the light, it was unacceptable.
Frank never raised his voice with the children but as he gave these instructions in the beginning, something in their secret hearts knew that to disobey him would be dire for them. They did not discuss this amongst themselves. It just was. They did not fear him but they did have a strange respect for him. His voice had a soothing quality with an edge of danger when he spoke of serious matters. The tempo of his speech commanded nothing less than utmost attention. As if speaking to their very souls, he gave his orders. There was never a question in their minds that what he said was the way of things. Obedience was granted immediately and they yearned for more orders to please him.
That night, Susan and James helped Frank serve their parents a feast for the ages. Accompanying the roast were dishes of roasted potatoes and carrots, sweet garden peas and tangy pearl onions, fluffy yeast rolls with melted butter and wild rice. For dessert, a simple apple pie topped with a scoop of creamy vanilla ice cream was planned. The meal did not, however, get that far much to Frank’s displeasure.
Mr. Brushire sat down and ate without speaking a word. His table manners were deplorable, especially for one of his stature. He gobbled down heaps of meat and rolls. The vegetables that the children had meticulously prepared by themselves were completely ignored. Their father belched repeatedly and smeared his fingers onto the table cloth.
Mrs. Brushire poised herself as the lady of the house. She only nibbled at her food. At one point she wrinkled her nose up in slight disgust while eating the peas. The rolls she did not bother trying. Her wine glass was her main substance this night as she nearly finished an entire bottle by herself.
James and Susan ate quietly. To them, this was the best meal they had ever eaten. When asking for a second helping of any dish, their manners were immaculate. They only spoke to each other or to Frank. They used the words “please” and “thank you”, remembering every lecture Frank had given them on proper etiquette. The right utensils were used with the right food. Napkins were folded neatly in their laps. Elbows were kept off of the tables.
Once finished eating, Susan and James waited patiently for their desserts. They knew that it would not be served until their parents were done. Time seemed to draw out. As much as the pair wanted to fidget in their chairs, they dared not to do so. Frank would not approve. His approval meant too much to them. Still they waited. An hour had passed in this manner, then it happened.
Mr. Brushire pushed his plate away from him, knocking one of the serving bowls over in the process, spilling peas all over the table’s surface. James watched in horrible fascination as one rolled up to the edge of his plate in slow motion. Susan’s eyes grew wide and the color drained out of her face. She tried to gulp down a knot in her throat but it had closed to a pin hole. Mr. Brushire turned to Frank daring him to say a word before sucking a piece of meat that was caught in his tooth. That was enough for Frank.
Frank’s face remained placid as he drove a butter knife into Mr. Brushire’s eye, plucking it out. It plopped into Mrs. Brushire’s wine glass as she went to take a sip. She was so drunk at this point that she simply removed the eye ball, casually throwing it over her shoulder, before she drained the glass. As her husband was screaming in agony, she served herself another glass and continued to pick at her food on her plate.
Frank was not done with Mr. Brushire. Calmly, he went into the kitchen and retrieved the butcher knife from the block. Grabbing the wailing man by the throat by one hand, he slammed him down onto the dining room table. With quick, practiced strokes, Frank separated the patriarch of the family into manageable pieces. Just as one would slaughter a common hog or heifer, Frank sliced and diced the still screaming man into chunks of meat exactly like you would find at a butcher’s shop. As he did so, he spoke in the same commanding, yet gentle voice that he reserved for serious instruction with the children. They watched dutifully, noting each time the blade made contact. Halfway through, even Mrs. Brushire had stopped to watch with great interest.
Once Frank was done, he asked Susan to retrieve the white paper and twine from the kitchen cupboard. She did so like a good student, pleased to be picked for this important task. Frank smiled sweetly at her upon her return. Susan’s face beamed with pride. James felt left out but admirably tried to hide it. Frank noticed anyway. He called James to his side and taught the boy how to properly wrap each cut of meat. The pleasure that James felt was palatable.
Mrs. Brushire looked saddened to not be included in the festivities. When James had finished wrapping his packages, Frank asked him and Susan to load them in the tubs he had in the cabinets under the built in chopping block. When they were out of the room, Frank turned to the miserable woman. She disgusted him but he thought he had one use for her. Her eyes trailed down his body to the noticeable bulge in his pants. A smile caressed her face. Frank just shook his head in negation. That was not for the likes of her. He gave himself a quick, hard tug and tucked himself up so that the little ones would not see. Their eyes were much too young for sights such as this.
Radiating pride, James and Susan returned with their tasks completed. Frank instructed Mrs. Brushire to lie upon the table. She did so with a growing warmth burning in her loins. To have her children watch her debauchery made her mad with desire. Frank’s disgust grew watching her squirm in her late husband’s blood like a harlot. He looked at the children for a long time, ignoring the bitch in heat on the table. With a simple nod, he handed the butcher’s knife to James. James nodded back and began to butcher his mother. When his arms grew tired, he handed the knife to Susan who was able to finish the job.
The trio quietly wrapped their new cuts of meat as before and stored them in Frank’s tub which were overflowing at this point. Silently and methodically, they cleaned their work area as they were taught. Hours flowed by. The children were beyond weary but kept at it until everything was in its place and clean as the day it came out of its packaging.
Neither felt like showering but knew to shuck this duty would displease Frank. Each completed the chore without much enthusiasm but did not miss any steps. Frank tucked them into their respective beds and spoke to each of his pride in them for putting in a solid day of hard work even when they did not feel as if they could go on. James and Susan slept well that night.
This was the last anyone saw of the children. No one knows what happened to them after that faithful night. Frank was never questioned about their disappearance either. It seemed like the entire family just vanished into the night, leaving everything and everyone behind.
Frank still takes care of children but not on a permanent basis anymore. He only stays for two to three months, instilling his lessons before moving on to the next family. Many of the young men you see here are from these families. Some graduate to guards. Others vanish in the night. These are the ones that fail Frank. No one knows where they go or what work he has them do as punishment for their failure. The man you saw today that let his partner chop off his leg will be one of the ones that will never return here. You see, he failed today.
Accidents do happen. Frank understands this. He does not tolerate carelessness though. That man has whatever punishment The Butcher dishes out. He failed him. You understand what I am saying?
You sit in quiet contemplation for a moment. Yes, that man did fail. There was no other explanation. How do you get your leg cut off while chopping wood? It did not make any sense other than he had been dangerously careless. He forgot his job. He neglected his duty. Yes, he deserved to be punished.
“I see you understand. I like you friend. You are not like the other drones around here. You have character and a sense of duty. That is a fine quality in a man. I have to ask you one question before we return to our cages for the night.”
You look at Bob in quiet fascination letting him see a hint of your willingness to answer with only your eyes.
Smiling, he asks, “Do you love children?”
You nod your head in affirmation.
“Good. That’s really good. Now, let me ask you another. Would you do anything to protect the special ones? The ones that were meant for greater than the plight life has given them? In other words, would you help them grow? Teach them our ways? Teach them to thrive? Be a guardian of children?”
The seriousness of these questions weighs heavily on you. You feel that these are the most important questions anyone has ever asked you. The answer you give must be the correct one. If it is not, then you fail. This leads to another thought. If you fail to answer correctly, were you then failing The Butcher? The answer to that one was a resounding yes. You look back to Bob whose face is expressionless. Taking a deep breath to clear your thoughts you finally answer, “Special children need guidance. Without it, they become the lost and useless. Our ways are the only real path. If I found a child that needed my protection, one that had the potential to shine and thrive, then absolutely yes. I would be that child’s guardian and mentor. That child would reach the greatness that was stole from them. I would give it back.”
Bob is quiet after you finish speaking. His face is like a stone wall. His eyes remained fixed on you. The urge to fidget becomes overwhelming under his gaze. You feel as if you are being weighed and judged. Somehow, this gives you pleasure, intense pleasure. The longer he stares at you, the more your nerve endings prickle and fire. Your skin is flushed with waves of need. This is not a sexual need but a spiritual one. Each breath you take is sweet and deep. You savor the aroma letting it tantalize your lungs. Your eyes dilate despite the bright light of the common room.
With a curt nod, Bob gets up. You follow him to the cage room where the others are already fast asleep. A guard quietly closes you both in for the night. As you drift off, all you can think about is that you did it. You pleased the Butcher. You don’t know how you were able to do so or how he found out about your hard work today. Right before the darkness takes you, you smile. Of course he knew about you. You were one of the special ones, after all.
How will this one end? Find out in…..The Butcher: Identity Found