Side Airbag #44
I'm Gonna Eat Your Magic Number
by Hertzan Chimera and Mike Korn
It was a love story she had always dreamed
of, you know. The butcher lover who was yet to rock her world; the father surrogate of
hand-turned drills and bone saws. She decided one Thursday morning, curled up in a cold
ball in the damp corner of the playground, to tell someone about it - you may have thought
her choice of the spittle-dribbling old pensioner who dragged her fetid old carcass into
the deserted schoolyard on swollen and blistered slippered feet looking for her
belly-dragging pet Dachshund a random choice, but nothing in Jessica Robert's solemn life
was an accident. She had plans for gawds sake, you know. She was going places too and no
one would forget her contribution to the Big Picture as her mate Billy used to call it
before he was laid to rest. Billy had a coughed in handkerchief he often let her see for
jolly. She would get a red tingle in her cheeks if the shiny phlegm was fresh on the
cloth, all green and globular.
"My daddy's the butcher!" she interrupted the old woman as she recollared her
wheezing Dachshund; its' belly was actually on the floor, caked in dried mud, "He's
bloody! Chief carver at the Boucherie des Etres Humains."
"Oh, now little one, that's enough."
In her head, the little girl recalled her dad elbow deep in human entrails, she said to
the old lady, "Christ died for you...!" she turned her head to one side
The old withered lady smiled and said, "He sure did! Oh, aren't you the cutest
thing!" and pinched the little girl on the sweetest little plump cheek, which left a
bloody smudge on the innocent's face. Later in life, Jessica Roberts, now a wife and
mother of female twins, remembered that sickly meeting in the school yard of her domestic
horror childhood. She remembered the blood leaking out of the pores of the floral
wallpaper. She remembered the hour-long screaming from mummy's room . The crack of mummy's
skull against wall. The sawing sounds. The sight of her panting father striding to the
bathroom along the landing to wash up. She once hid her head under a pillow she had first
wetted in the freezing cold bathwater left in the tub all crud lined and grey like living
She spent her life looking for that butcher lover and finally found him. The name of her
husband was Salem Merchant, he came from the north side of the Stricken Territories, as
that part of Canada was known. You couldn't look him in the eye for too long before
developing a stinging migraine. But how he loved their children, the twins they had
fathered. He would take them on trips to the local abattoirs and fish wholesalers when
they were old enough where still living animals were jugular sliced and drained before
being gutted and bathing in the still hot entrails. You could wrap them round your body,
sorta coil them up like man meat, you know the way you can paint a pretty picture with a
sausage and a couple Brussels sprouts over Sunday lunch? They cool only when you do. Say
if you take them outside or if you wear them on a public bus driving north into the
mountains of the Stricken Territories.
But Salem treated all women like pieces of meat. Like meat on the hoof. Like sexual
objects. He began to have a strange fetish that she didn't necessarily approve of. She
caught him in bed with a big sweet ham, where an aperture had been carved thusly for
intercourse. When caught in the act, he told her that the ham didn't mean anything to him,
it was just his mistress. But then the calves liver in Jessica's secret silken
frilly panties, and then the pork roast in a bustier, a whole side of beef in a camisole
and tap pants. She didn't know what to think. The ultimate misogynist, a guy who treated
women like meat so much that he dated raw meat. Nothing parboiled mind you, just the raw
flesh of the devil.
Jessica had a plan - she always had a plan. She went to Mardi Gras on a wet Wednesday
night and had some fun, picked up some out-of-towners and had a real good time of gay
abandon. Then she did it, she wrote the note and put it on his favourite guitar case in
his study. She knew that if she moved the guitar case from on top of the wardrobe to
behind the washing basket, he would surely get the note in time. When Salem got the note,
he feared the worst, feared he had waited too long before going into his study before
picking up the girls from school . He knew how nutzo Jessica was given half an idea. When
he read, I do this for the kids. Love Jessica. XXXXX.
The five kisses he knew was a Magic Number they shared. Five sweet kisses tasting of cold
tenderloin. Five creamy kisses smelling of steak tartar. Five fresh kisses like bruised
pork falling off the bone. Five cheery kisses like cold savaloys rolling in gut sauce.
Five soft kisses like the yellow pulp from a lamb's eyeball.
He raced to the Abattoir on Cogent Street. A spot he always treated the kids to on Sundays
in the rain. Right next to the fish wholesalers, silent this time in the sultry afternoon.
A haunting silence punctuated by his rapid gasps. On the mutilation slab was a nineteenth
century Jack The Ripper of Whitechapel rendition of the female form, all her internal bits
hung out of her gaping, torn, ripped open body cavities like her belly had gone BANG
during a bad bout of gastric wind. As the face was nothing more than sliced charcuterie,
he couldn't easily identify the for or against his wife. There was fresh blood everywhere.
Tears rose in Salem's bulging eyes, the sun cut through a window just then, illuminating
the altar of abominations; a cavalcade of Brownian motes glowing in the shocking shaft.
The Butcher had his elbows deep into the entrails. Jessica's husband licked his chops and
prayed. Please let me buy that fine slab of meat. Ribs and all.
"Jessica." his upper lip trembled, as he surveyed what he believed to be his
wife's body, her entrée offering to him, the master of white meat, the only thing she was
sure finally would gain his amorous advance, her unkempt leftovers. He touched the
chilling treacly blood with his fingertips and brought them to his mouth. He smeared the
blood all down his chin and started to howl like a wolf, a soft low solemn howl.
There was a sharp noise of a shoe heal behind him, it was Jessica. She came at him with
butcher's tongs she had hidden in her purse. Here you go butcher, my husband will make
fine fillets. The butcher smiled as Jessica's husband was forced onto the abbatoire.
"Save the bits and pieces for me, kind sir." She turned to her husband as the
knife dug into his stomach pretty as you please. "Christ died for you."
His face was a rictus of absolute pain. Jessica took the ragbones home for the pet dog.
She put his head on the television next to his semen-filled ham mistress. They made a nice
couple. The smell would go away soon. The kids watched cartoons while daddy's face leered
at them, severed.
"Hee hee..." they laughed.
Tired, Jessica sat down and ate some short ribs that had been cooking in the oven so long
the meat was falling off the bone. "Time to eat, kids!"
"Not daddy again tonight!, huh mama?"
"Afraid so dear. A working mother can't afford to waste those leftovers."