horror, thriller

Karmic Hell – flash fiction-horror

What if I told you I know what hell is. What if I told you I was in hell right now.  Would you even listen? Probably not. You don’t even notice me sitting here, chained here, watching you.   The others? They’re watching you too. Now, I don’t know if they know what I know. I don’t even know if they think. Had you asked me twenty years ago, I would have said hell no, they don’t think. They’re too stupid. Ask me now though.

I don’t know how long I have been chained in this so-called house. More like a box…more like a dog house. Half my body in, half my body out. But I do know how long you plan to keep me here. Four months. If I’m lucky, you’ll be impatient like the last person and let me out after three. I could only be so lucky.

Yes, sir! I will bow my head, and step back as you fill my food. I know. I know. One wrong move and you’ll slam my head with that metal bucket you hold. And that blow to my skull will be painful. I’ve felt it before.   So many times before. Even when I was sure to not move, to not even breathe when that bucket was near me, it would still come down and hit me with a loud crack, followed by the soundwaves of that metal traveling through my skull just because the holder was having a bad day. Because it was too hot out that day. Or because the smell of our shit and piss was extra strong on that day. I don’t know if today is one of those days, I don’t smell our excrement anymore. So I will sit here, quiet, while you pour that slop in front of my vulnerable, tender face. And I will pray to the God that has turned his back on me to please take pity on my soul. For I am truly sorry for all I have done in the past. Please God, forgive me.

I know you. I was you. I was powerful once too. Shit, to hold the power of who lives and who dies in your own two hands? That’s some amazing feeling right there. I know, you pretend like it’s just a job. You do it for the money, right? It has nothing to do with the feeling you get when you raise that bucket above our heads and watch with laughter in your eyes as we cower to you, anticipating the pain to come. Sometimes you pull back though.   You spare us the pain, but only the pain. You don’t spare our dignity that you took in that moment. Always making sure we know who is boss.   Always making sure we know we are less than. Because that makes you more than. I know. I was you.

I want to die. And I want to stay dead. I did die. I had a heart attack at fifty-five. Twenty years ago. They said my arteries were clogged. I had a wonderful life, so I thought. My husband and I owned the largest dairy farm our side of the state. Business was good. We had the best machinery money could buy to milk those ladies. We also had the best insemination practices…they took almost every time. That meant extra money from the veal industry. Life was good. Money was good.

Apparently I overlooked number six in the Ten Commandments though: Thou shalt not kill. I’m sure it didn’t help any that we also slaughtered those babies and their expired moms on the Sabbath day as well. I should have known better.

The last thing I remember from that life was hearing my daughter crying for me to hang on. Then it went black. I felt nothing for a minute. Then I saw a light. It was beautiful and I wanted nothing more than to go to it. As I entered into it, I felt myself dangle down, cold and wet. I tried to see, but everything was a blur. Then my body hit something hard. I felt a gentle touch. It was the most welcoming feeling in the world. I wondered if it was an angle. It gently caressed my body everywhere. And once it stroked my face, I could smell the earth. It smelled dirty and green and wonderful. And then I could see clearly. The blur was removed as something rough and wet dragged across my eyes. I could see sky. Beautiful blue sky with the occasional white puff strategically placed. I struggled to stand, and as I did so, I turned my head to see who this beautiful angel was. To my disbelief it was a cow. Surprisingly I wasn’t disturbed, or disgusted. I loved her. It was an automatic love. And instantly I regretted the enslavement that I did for years with animals like this beautiful cow who stood before me, continuing to brush me with her tongue. I think she loved me too.

I heard footsteps pushing through the grass. And before I could turn to see who was coming, my body was lifted and flung into a rusted wheel barrow as though I was nothing more than a heavy bag of manure. My thin, soft bones felt as though they were hit with baseball bats. I could see the anguish in the cow’s eyes as she began to yell for me and follow this man as he threw me into a truck. I yelled, I cried. But I knew no one would listen. Sadly, I was familiar with what was happening and I knew what would come next.   I knew because I was that farmer once. And as terrified as I was for myself, I felt so much worse for the cow, my new mother. Her heart would break and she would literally call for me for days. Maybe even weeks. And no one would listen.

I was tied to a chain and left in a tiny dog-style house for four long months. Veal is tender because when it’s alive, it’s not permitted to move…ever. That’s trick of the trade number one. I was fed a meal that was deficient in many nutrients. I would also be plagued with extreme stomach upset and diarrhea every day because of that diet. But because of that diet, I would taste better. That’s trick of the trade number two. I would occasionally be beat for no reason. Thankfully I would only have to endure this cruelty for four months. Final trick of the trade: kill them young, while the meat is still as tender as butter.

I could not wait for that reincarnated life to be over.

But after four months, after I was pushed into a truck with ten other four-month old calves and driven to the slaughter house. After we all stood in line watching the one in front of us get their throat slit. After receiving a blunt hit to my own head. After having my own throat slit and then my skin pulled and sliced from me before I bled out…before I was even dead. After all that, I traveled to another light. I thought, Thank you God, as I traveled to a new light. That light was beautiful and I felt peace. Finally, I felt peace. It was finally over. Then I felt cold and wet before hitting the ground. I felt a loving caress and found myself in love with another beautiful cow only to endure the whole four month hellish process again. Hell-ish. There is no “ish” about this. It took me five reincarnations into this same situation before I realized this was hell. This is hell. For twenty years I have endured the life of a baby calve, held against my will and slaughtered over and over and over again.

So you, with that bucket in your hand and power raging from your eyes, you will soon be here too. Hell is real and it is more karmic than you could ever imagine.
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Written by Sheryl Marasi
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thriller

For You – flash fiction-horror

She was pleasantly surprised by the savory aroma that seeped from the oven. I hope he likes it, she thought to herself, but not too much. She continued to hum while she dressed the table in her country style home as romantically as possible. Candles can romanticize any room, she smiled.

She made her way to the door, swinging like a pendulum between her crutches, and opened it to see a bouquet of flowers. Her heart pushed a smile onto her face. “Thank you, Ricky!” She gave him a hug and a kiss on his cheek.

“Dinner smells amazing, Amy,” he said as he sat at the table gazing over all the dishes she had placed out: mashed potatoes, corn, peas, breaded okra, green beans, and bread rolls. “What’s the main course?”

Her heart sank a little. This was her third try at dating since she chose a vegan lifestyle five years ago. They always asked for a main course; they asked for meat. This time will be different. It has to be.

“It will be done in a moment,” she said as she poured wine in his glass.

“How’s your leg doing? It’s been, what, a week since they removed it?”
She smiled, “Yes, it’s doing okay.”

***

She watched, and was pleased as he filled his plate with all the sides, but then she saddened as he reached for the meat. She knew he would, that is why she made it after all…for him. All the others left when she wouldn’t cook meat. Desperate today, she provided it. She looked down at her own plate. The sides were her main course. She didn’t need meat, why did he?

“Are you okay?” he asked.

She forced a smile. “Oh, yeah, sorry. I just drifted for a minute.” She held her smile as she watched him put the meat into his mouth. Rubbing her knee-nub, she asked “So, have you thought about going vegan?”
“Amy, you’re so sweet. But, I just can’t give up meat. It’s too good. And THIS…” he took a large bite of meat and continued to speak with a full mouth, “…is amazing! What is it?”

She ignored the question. “I understand it tastes good, but you realize, we don’t need animal flesh to survive.”

“Flesh,” he said in disbelief. “You call it…flesh.”

“That is what it is, isn’t it?”

He laughed, “You are crazy, you know that?” He made his way to Amy and gave her a passionate kiss. It was, in fact, their first passionate kiss. “Look, Babe, I like you…a lot. But I’m not going to go vegan. Can you just be okay with that?”
With her heart beating and her mind on his lips that felt so good on hers, she responded with “Yes.”

***

Months had passed. She tried to persuade him with education on climate change, world hunger, health, and the torture that the animals endure before and during slaughter, but nothing worked. What did work was the meal that she made him the night of their first kiss. It worked in the opposite direction. Rick asked often if she would make him another meal like that, but she refused to cook him meat again. Until the night he told her he wanted to marry her, but could not because he could only imagine his life with a wife who served what he liked for dinner. And so, she gave in.

***

Hunger encouraged Rick to jog from his car to Amy’s door. He saw a sticky note on the door that read:

Ricky, I had to step out for a little bit. Please come in and help yourself.   Save the note on the table for last 😉

She is amazing, he thought as he made his way to the table that was set up just like the first meal she served him. The wine was already poured. There was another sticky note on the table directing him to grab the roast from the oven. It was probably too hard for her to carry it to the table with one leg.

An envelope marked “read after you’ve eaten” sat off to his right. Normally, he would be intrigued enough to read it early, but today he was famished and had waited much too long for her delicious cooking.

With the last bite of his meal traveling down to his stomach, he stretched back in his chair before reaching for the letter. He wondered what sweet words Amy would have for him.

Dearest Ricky,

I hope tonight’s dinner was as good as the last. I put all I had into making it…just for you.
Sorry I wasn’t there to enjoy it with you, but I did have something I felt was more important: A way to show you why I am vegan and therefore, why I cannot marry you.
Please, hear me out.
I am vegan because I feel there is no difference between animals and humans. To me, the life of an animal is just as important as the life of a human…actually more important, as they are innocent life forms, and we are not. I know you don’t understand it; you think there is a clear difference between humans and animals. But, for one moment realize that flesh is flesh. One animal is covered in fur, one is not. But underneath…they are like us; we are like them. I know…you still think we are different; humans are superior. This is where I am going to help you.
I left my body on my bed for you. I am quite sure that by now I have bled out and am no longer alive. This is because both nights that I fed you, I refused to take the life of a sweet, innocent animal. Instead, both meals that you found delicious were made of flesh…my calves to be exact. And you, Ricky, Never. Noticed. The. Difference.
A life must be given each time you eat meat. Tonight you took mine.
PS: I froze my thighs for you for later 😉 ENJOY!

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Written by Sheryl Marasi (pen name)

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AUDIO VERSION…

AUDIO VERSION