The woman of the butcher shop



This much is true. I killed my husband. I almost sliced his skull into halves, I believe, I am not sure. The brain matters all splashed out and I could not tell which was which. A brilliant cleaver I was using, it was for the chicken. Stainless, sharp, one slit and blood pours out of the throat, a fine tool my husband bought for the store. I was about to slit the animal’s throat when I heard the noise. There he was again, his right hand under the school uniform of our daughter. I said nothing, went back to the kitchen and dried my hands with a towel. I figured if my hands were wet, the kick-back from the reactionary force of the skull may require me a second, or even a third blow. If the first blow was not deep enough to paralyse him, he might even be able to fight back. A boning knife therefore was not an option. My husband, he was a big man. His fat might have prevented a stab from damaging the organs. The cleaver it was. The chicken was quacking while I picked out the knife. It almost sounded happy its life was extended for an extra minute.

I slowly walked towards him. He was panting from the pleasure of touching his own daughter. The pleasure burnt the excessive, filthy fat off his body as he sweated through his summer shirt. I threw my arms in the air and aimed a blow at the centre of his head. It was riveting, to feel from the handle of the cleaver how a human skull was structured. When the steel made contact with the bone, it made the crispy sound of a watermelon being smashed onto the wall. I would have imagined him moan, perhaps beg for mercy, but his pile of fat just collapsed to the ground, his eyes filled with disbelief but his brain not able to send a word to his lips. If I had known earlier that it was a joy to watch, I would not have waited till then. But one thing really bothered me, the blood. I would have done it in the bathtub had I known there would be so much blood flowing out of one’s body. But then, of course, a vessel the size of his body would have been able to store more liquid. It was just that, I was a first-timer, so everything seemed new. I always keep my house clean and tidy. I could have moved my husband elsewhere if he was about half he weighed. I could only leave him to bleed himself flat and, perhaps dry up a bit as the summer heat absorbed water out of his body.

And then the festival was coming, and people were flocking to the store for our fresh meat. After all, who would not love a juicy, perfectly-flavoured dish on their dinner table on a happy day like that? Days before the festival people queued up outside the store, you should have seen it. These people were coming after the famous marinated beef, our proud specialty. I should have hired a helping hand, especially when I was the only one tending the store this year, without even my daughter to help with the chores. But because of that I was kept busy and could not be bothered by the death of my husband, and that was good. Fortunately the customers were more than satisfied with our meat products this year. One said to me how our meat was the best ever, so tender it did not even taste like beef. And our veal, it was heaven, I am not bluffing. It was so popular the late-comers could not get any. Coming to think of it, I could have posted a sign that says “while stock lasts” outside the store, just to avoid disappointment. Customers are always first, you know the saying.

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