Hello, my Freaky Darlings!
It’s Friday. So here’s a short story for you. I hope you enjoy it.
Getting Rid of Charlie
Charlie’s golf club fell to the floor with a metallic clang. His corpse lay in the bathtub. Blood and bits of brain seeped down the drain. Getting him into the tub, once the sleeping pills had knocked him out, had taken considerable effort and a lot longer than Heather had expected. Charlie’s head stuck out of the tub just enough for her to go to town on it. Every time the club connected with his arrogant face she remembered every time his fist had struck her. She only stopped once her arms were too tired, and the golf club was bent and buckled. His face was no longer recognisable as being that of the man she’d promised to love.
As she stripped off her blood splattered clothes, she caught a glimpse of her own battered and bruised face. She knew that eventually, it would have been her body in the bath. She could have divorced him, but Charlie had promised she would never be free of him. He would find her no matter where she went. He’d claimed that he loved her too much to let get her go. Her father had offered to do exactly what she’d just done. It wouldn’t have been the first time he’d come to her rescue, but she felt she had to take care of it herself this time. It had to be her hand that put an end to Charlie’s abuse. She had to prove that she wasn’t the victim, that she was strong enough to look after herself.
The hot shower washed away the remains of his blood, but with the water came the tears. Heather wasn’t sure if she cried out of relief or grief. There had been a time when she’d loved Charlie. There’d been a time when they’d been happy. She’d stupidly believed she’d finally found the right man who she could spend the rest of her life with, that she’d found the man who would love her as much as she loved him. It hadn’t been the first time a man had so bitterly disappointed her. She just hoped it would be the last time.
The abuse had started just after their wedding. She hadn’t even noticed it at first. It had been subtle, insidious. He’d first undermined her confidence with insults, comments about her appearance or about her performance in the bedroom. Then he’d played little tricks on her, tried to convince her she was insane. It had been weird how things would go missing, and he’d claim she’d done it herself or blamed it on ghosts. It was her stubborn refusal to believe that she was the crazy one that had finally driven him to hit her. He’d told her that it was her fault that he had to slap her around. She made him do it. Well, he’d made her kill him, so she guessed they were even.
After she dried her hair, she stared at her phone. She had a choice to make. She could call the police. She could claim self-defence or temporary insanity, but considering everything she’d done in the past, one missing boyfriend or husband was one thing, but two of them would not be easy to explain. She didn’t want to go to prison. She didn’t think that spending at least fifteen years in jail was a fair punishment for ridding the world of another abusive monster.
Instead, Heather called the only man she knew she could trust.
“Daddy,” she cried over the phone once he answered. “I need your help again.”
“I’ll be right over,” he said. He didn’t ask any questions about what she’d done or make any comments about how late it was. He’d probably been expecting that particular phone call for some time.
“Took you long enough,” her father said looking down at her dead husband. “I would have happily taken care of it again. You know that, right?”
“I know, Daddy,” she said as she wrapped her arms around his stomach and allowed herself to snuggle into his protective embrace. “But I had to do this one myself.”
“Okay honey,” he said as he placed a fatherly kiss on the top of her head. “It’s been a long time since we did this together, do you have all the cleaning products to clean the bath and drains properly?”
“Okay, but I brought some of my own just in case,” he said as he patted her on the back and disengaged from their hug. “We better get to it. We’ve got a long night ahead of us.”
Her father left her alone with Charlie and came back a few minutes later with a rolled-up tarp, plastic wrap, and a bottle of industrial bleach.
“I’ll load him up while you clean, okay?” her father said as he unrolled the tarp on the bathroom floor and began wrapping Charlie’s corpse in the plastic. He started with Charlie’s caved-in head and worked his way down. Once the body was completely encased in plastic, her father lifted the body out of the bath and rolled it up in the tarp like a sausage. He hoisted the corpse onto his shoulder and carried it out to his van in the garage, next to Charlie’s car. She marvelled at her father’s strength. Even at his age, he was still the strongest man she knew.
Heather scrubbed the bath, shower, and floor. She made sure that the drains were clear of any blood and hair. When she was done, there was no trace of Charlie anywhere in the bathroom. She then packed a suitcase full of his clothes and toiletries. She would tell the few friends he had that he’d left her. She’d already laid the groundwork for that tear-filled story. They would buy it hook, line, and sinker. Charlie had a history of being unfaithful and hadn’t bothered to hide his affairs from anyone including her. He didn’t have a family or anyone in his life who would go looking for him.
Heather dumped the suitcase in the back of Charlie’s car and drove her dead husband’s vehicle while her father drove behind her. She parked Charlie’s sedan in a high crime area with the keys still in the ignition.
“You sure can pick ‘em,” her father said once she was sitting in the passenger seat of his van. It was the only thing he said during the drive to his butchery.
The sign above the entrance to her father’s butchery lit up the parking area in front of the tiny group of shops. The laundry next door to his shop had a sign painted on the windows listing their services, no lights shone from within. The baker on the other side of her father’s butchery would arrive to start baking just before dawn. They would have to work hard and fast to get everything done before then. There was no one around to see them carry the rolled up tarp inside the shop. Her father didn’t switch on the main lights but guided her towards the back in the dark where all the meat was carved and packaged for sale. Only once they dumped Charlie’s corpse on the carving table did he switch on any lights.
Once her eyes adjusted to the bright light, she watched her father layout the familiar tools of his trade. He put an apron on and handed her one as well. It had been about three years since she’d helped him to skin and carve up a carcass to sell to his clients. It had been the length of time since her last relationship had come to an abrupt end. She’d met Charlie a few months later.
As Heather stared down at the body on the slab, she realised she’d stopped thinking of Charlie as a human being, as a man she’d once loved. She’d reduced him to nothing more than a piece of meat. The realisation made her pause for a second, but only for a second. She knew what she had to do.
“Do you want to do it or should I?” her father asked holding up a bone saw.
She silently took it from him.
“It get’s easier, Sweetheart,” her father said with a sympathetic smile. “Do you remember what a mess you were with the other one?”
“And now look at you,” her father said with pride in his voice. “You’re turning into a complete pro. I couldn’t be prouder of you.”
With a smile on his lips, her father unwrapped the meat. Once all the plastic had been removed, Heather sawed through Charlie’s neck, decapitating him. His head fell into the bucket her father placed under the table. The blood that hadn’t found it’s way down her bath’s drain now splashed into the bucket, and dripped on his head. She then cupped his balls in her hand one final time before she made the cruellest cut of all. The part of his anatomy that he’d been so proud of joined his head in the bucket.
The easy part was done, now the bloody, tedious, and painstaking part of skinning Charlie began. Her father started by making a Y incision on his chest, much the same way a coroner would do for an autopsy, pried open his chest cavity and removed his organs. They too landed in the bucket. Heather let her father skin the carcass. He had the expertise and the finesse that came from years of practice. He would be able to remove all the necessary layers of flesh leaving just enough fat on his meat for the choicest cuts. His clients would be happy.
“Honey,” Heather’s father, said while he carefully separated the skin from meat, slicing through tendons and nerves. “This is going to take me a while, so why don’t you start removing his teeth and finish what you started with his head?”
“Is the acid we used last time still in the same place?” She asked.
Her father nodded and continued his precision slicing. Heather found the bottle of acid hidden in the back of the storeroom. Once she’d removed the head from the bucket, she pried open his mouth with a clamp and made sure the mouth would stay open while she plucked his teeth out by the root. She then dropped each of the teeth in a small bowl of acid. It would take a while for them to dissolve, but eventually, there would be nothing left of them, just as there would be nothing left of Charlie once the sun came up.
Picking up a mallet, she finished smashing Charlie’s face to a bloody pulp. It and everything in the bucket was put into the meat grinder and turned into pet mince. His client’s pets were in for a special treat.
“I’ve finished with the skin. You can mince it as well,” the butcher said as he handed Heather another bucket filled with thin slices of flesh. The bucket’s handle was slick with blood, and she almost dropped it. Heather slowly fed Charlie’s bits of skin into the grinder. It was somewhat therapeutic destroying every inch of the man who had tried to break her.
By the time she’d finished turning his skin into more pet mince, her father had already started dismembering Charlie’s body for a variety of different cuts of meat.
“Would you be a dear, and prepare these for the smoker?” her father asked handing her a steel dish containing Charlie’s ribs.
Once she’d trimmed the ribs, Heather rubbed them with her father’s favourite mix of brown sugar, paprika, black pepper, coarse salt, garlic powder, onion powder, celery seeds, and cayenne pepper. While the dry rub soaked into the ribs, she switched on the smoker. It would take about six hours for them to be ready. They would be served as tasters for any of his clients who came into the shop during the day.
The rest of the corpse was turned into steaks or sausages. Some of the sausages would also be fried up and fed to any clients who came in. The rest would be stocked on the freezer shelves with all the other pork for hungry patrons to purchase.
By the time to sun came up and the shop was ready to open not a single part of Charlie was left. Not even his bones.
“Good morning,” Heather heard her father say to his first client of the morning, while she finished preparing the ribs. “I’ve got something extra special for you this morning. It’s from a new supplier, and I’m trying to decide if I should purchase more meat from them.”
Heather couldn’t help the smile that crept across her lips as she watched the old woman nibble on Charlie’s ribs and lick her lips and fingertips when she was done.
“You haven’t served anything that delicious in some time,” the old lady said. “You should most definitely keep using this supplier. Have you got any more?”
“I will certainly consider getting in more of this type of pig,” her father replied with a smile. “The supplier and I will have to work on procuring more in the future.” He winked at Heather who grinned back at her father while the old lady devoured another of Charlie’s ribs.
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