The Children's Menu

If there's a hell it's got to be better than where I'm at, and if there's a heaven it's too far for me to reach any time soon. The television's eerie glow lights up my father's face as he stares blankly at it. It's as if it emanates some sort of frequency that makes your mind go blank, and allows you to be susceptible to whatever propaganda it wants to brainwash you with.

"Dad I'm going out for a bit."

"Alright…be safe…don't do drugs."

"I will," I said to him sarcastically.

As I walked out the door I looked upon this forsaken shit-hole we called home. It looked as if someone plopped suburbia in front of a giant rusty doomsday like machine, which they kind of did. As I sparked up a cigarette I reminisced a little on how I was forced here.

After my parents were divorced I decided to live with my dad full time, my mom was an insufferable slut, so there was really no contest there. We lived in the sprawling metropolis that is New York for a few years after they split up, but my dad was let go from his accounting position after he started to stick his nose where it didn't belong. He happened upon some numbers that didn't quite add up and from what he later found out they weren't supposed to. So after months and months of job searching, he ended up finding an accounting position at this big meat plant in "bumfuck Idaho" as he called it. But really it was a small town on the coast of Maine; it was cold, dead and boring. A far cry from the busy and lively streets of New York, but what was I to do? I'm a seventeen year old girl who apparently can't take care of her own damn self. I love my dad to death but if I had the choice I'd be as far away from this place as possible. The people are too chipper and upbeat for my taste, and there doesn't seem to be anyone around that's my age at all. All the kids around here are too young, too fat, and too dumb for me to want to be around. The majority of the people around here work at the meat plant which basically is the whole reason there's even a town out here. The plant hangs over the town like a hulking monster ready to swallow it whole, every morning you can smell the pungent stench of dead animal flesh emanating from that place. My dad says I should get a job there but I think I'd rather put a bullet in my head. The plant is famous for its specialty meats, people from all over the world order meat from there. I personally refuse to eat it, I can only imagine the types of things they do with the meat in that place, as horrid as it looks.

My thoughts where suddenly interrupted by the loud sobbing of my neighbors wife through the open window on the side of her house. I flicked my cigarette into the snow and quietly snuck towards the window.

"Why does it have to be this way?" She said choking back her tears.

Her husband walked in front of the window and knelt down next to her.

"It's not that big a deal sweetheart, we've got too many of them anyway."

As soon as those words left his mouth she began to cry hysterically, it sounded like a dying giraffe, or at least what I figure a dying giraffe would sound like. I think I've had enough of this winey bullshit for now. I began to walk off towards the gas station down the road, hoping to score a few beers before they closed. All I have to do is slip Ishmael a few extra bucks and he lets me buy whatever I want. Getting drunk by myself in the cold sure beats sitting around in the house doing nothing with my dad that's for damn sure. As I got closer to the gas station I noticed Mrs. Walker and her husband stumbling into the station from their truck, she looked as if she was about to collapse not only from the baby weight, but also from the amount of alcohol it looked like they had both just consumed. It seemed like everyone around here was pregnant, none of these dumb bitches need any more kids, every family around here seems to have at least five fat little sausage creatures running around. As I walked into the store and saw Mrs. Walker grabbing a case of beer it took everything I had not to compliment her on how good of a mother she must be. They both stared at me as I walked toward the beer cooler as if I was a piece of meat or something.

"You need to get some meat on those bones skinny girl, you look like you could jump rope through a fruit loop," Mrs. Walker remarked stumbling over her words.

"Wow that's probably the most original thing I've ever heard, did you just come up with that off the top of your head? That's amazing!"

She just smiled and continued staring as her husband pulled her out the door. I walked up to the counter with a four pack of Guinness, slid Ishmael eight-fifty plus a few extra bucks for himself, and walked out the door. I made it out just in time to see Mr. and Mrs. Redneck getting into their truck.

"It's about time to send Billy to boarding school don't you think?" Mrs. Walker said to her husband.

"Yeah I believe it is."

They both began to chuckle in a manner you'd see in crappy movie when two people have some sort of hidden intension. It was a little strange, but I can't really say that I care too much; I'm much more interested in the beer in my hands. As I started my walk down Montgomery Street towards the factory, sipping on my first beer, I began to wonder why it seemed that all the family's around here sent their kids off to boarding school. Why didn't they just build another school here, it's not like the town doesn't have the money with the success of the meat plant. All these fat little kids around here seem to disappear around age fifteen, as if it was some sort of town law that they had to go off at that age. I'm the only one in the whole damn town that's between the ages of fifteen and thirty; it's pretty weird and also very depressing. No one to hang out with, no one to talk to, but at least I have my dad and my beer. The kids around here would probably be boring and unintelligent anyway, so fuck it.

The silence on the snow covered streets was almost deafening, my face felt like it was going to freeze off, but the alcohol started to warm me up a bit more as I chugged down the rest of my first can. Before I could crack open the second can, I heard a faint noise coming from the factory. It sounded like a scream, but I couldn't really tell because it was too far away. Plus every sound seems to be muffled by the silence of winter. Out of curiosity I began to walk a bit faster towards the factory, I heard the sound again over the crunching of snow under my feet. That was definitely a scream, there's nothing else that it could be. I don't usually give two shits about anyone around here, but I can't just ignore it while there isn't anyone else out here to do anything about it. I began to run towards the factory, cracking open another beer to drink on the way so that I might have the courage to face whatever peril the screaming person was in.

As I got up to the fence around the factory I saw my neighbors and their chubby little daughter Abbey standing outside the loading dock doors. A tall man in rubber overalls stood in front of them. He turned and opened the doors to let them in, and as soon as they walked through Mrs. Walker and her husband stumbled out. They both looked at the man in the overalls and shook his hand, he handed them an envelope, and they stumbled over to their truck. Well that seems a little bit strange; I wonder what the hell they're doing. As soon as the man in the overalls walked back inside I grabbed the top of the fence and pulled myself up over it.

I ran up to the door and opened it as quietly as I could; I stuck my head through the crack and looked around for any sign of employees. As soon as I could see the hallway was empty I walked in and quietly worked my way down the hall to the double doors at the end. I peeked through to look for signs of people, but the room was empty. As I walked in I could see rows of chairs as if it were some sort of waiting room. There was another set of double doors in front of me; above the doors a sign read Simon's Meats Children's Boarding School. So I guess the boarding school is some sort of training school for the kids of the town to work at the meat plant? That seems a little bit weird to me, but then again all the dumbass people around here do end up working for this place, but where did that screaming come from earlier I wonder.

As I walked up to the next set of double doors in front of me the rich smell of blood and fresh meat crept up my nose. Then suddenly I heard the scream again, only this time it was much louder and coming from the room beyond the doors. With my alcohol fueled courage I burst through the doors to try and help the person in trouble.

As I set my eyes on the horrors in front of me, I dropped to my knees, paralyzed in fear. My brain felt as if it would split in two from the sheer insanity that my eyes where witnessing. I watched in horror as little screaming Abbey was fed into a giant meat grinder. Her high pitched screams weren't enough to cover up the sound of her little bones breaking as she was pulled further in. Blood and flesh splattered down onto my face, but I was too frozen to do anything about it. The grinder spit out perfect little hamburger shaped Abbey patties down onto the conveyer belt below.

"Who the fuck are you?" The man in the rubber overalls yelled.

In my paralyzed state I didn't even notice him walking up on me. He grabbed my hair and pulled me backwards. I screamed in agony as he picked me up and held my face next to his.

"You're mine now little missy" He said smiling.

He shoved a rag to my face and the room went black. I awoke in a stupor some time later tied naked to a metal table. I saw the man in the overalls standing over a counter next to me looking through what seemed to be metal surgical tools. He taped my mouth shut so I couldn't speak.

"I've been waiting for you for a while, we don't need people like you around here, unfortunately though you're too skinny for our product."

My god, this is insane, how could anyone do this to their own children. What kind of sick depraved people do I live with, I knew they were a little off, but I never would have thought they could be this fucked up. What's he going to do with me? I don't want to be eaten, I'm not ready to die yet, I'm supposed to die when I'm twenty-five in a street racing accident. Sweat poured from my face, my heart felt like it would jump out of my chest, the fear was so overwhelming I felt I would pass out. The man walked closer to me with a knife in his hand.

"I've decided to make an acceptation for myself, I think you look quite delicious, I'd like to try a piece of you." The man said while sliding a surgical knife across my forehead.

He moved down towards my legs and looked down at them, licking his lips like a carnivorous lion. He jabbed the knife into my leg and began cutting. The pain was so intense I could feel it throughout my entire body; I let out a muffled scream through the tape over my mouth as he cut through my flesh. I watched as my blood gushed out onto the floor. I started to feel extreme nausea and dizziness as I heard the tendons snapping as he pulled the meat off of my bone. The pain was worse than anything I could have ever imagined.

"This will make a nice dinner for me and my wife later, thank you"

I could see him smiling at me as I began to drift in and out of consciousness; the darkness began to set in. I knew this was the end for me, I can't believe I didn't even get to drink at a bar before I died. Why couldn't I die from something cool like an airplane crash, or a drug overdose? Nope, had to be eaten by redneck douche-bags. Well, on the bright side at least hell is most likely warmer than this place.