She loved him with all her heart.
She ran to the fence line and didn’t know what to do. Should she go? Should she turn around? Should she try to talk to her family about this?
The little pig bounced around in her teddy bear back pack, nose and front feet peeking only to tumble back down with every other step. She was only four, but she had the heart and wisdom of a noble warrior. The family was given the pig for Christmas. This was the Serbian orthodoxy, and that was the tradition. Being a little child of only four, Anica only knew one thing: her heart did not want this living creature to be slaughtered for some dinner. What made things worse, the family even named him. How could they name him and plan to eat him. Were the adults all insane? What was wrong with her parents? How could she be related to such murderous and callous people such as this?
She could not understand. She only knew she needed to escape.
The farm property sprawled for acres. The grasses were long near the fence-line. She waded through it to the rickety wood border that some how kept the cows in.
She turned to look back at them. She thought it was good that her evil parents needed to keep them alive for the milk and cheese.
She blew a kiss to them and said a silent prayer in her head for God to watch over them, then turned and ducked between the weatherbeaten rails.
Down the gravel path she walked. When she was a few farm yards away she began talking to the pig. Eventually, to ward off boredom, she began singing little french children’s songs she learned in her music class.
“Don’t worry, Dragi. We will get you safe. I will sing to you to keep your mind off the trouble… Sur le pont d’Avignon… l’on y danse, l’on y danse… Sur le pont d’Avignon.. l’on y danse tout le rond…”
This filled her heart up with a little more happiness and she almost wanted to skip if she thought the little fellow wouldn’t bounce entirely out of her back pack.
She had gotten far enough away by the time the sun began to go down so the adults would not be able to see her and she would not be able to hear them. She decided to sit under a tree for a bit. She knew the town was close now. She pulled a wrapped peanut butter and jam sandwich from her dress pocket and decided she needed to solidify her plan except that she had no plan.
The street light was ensconced by a shape coming her way. By the glow, she thought it might be a holy person or an angel of some sort, but she was still a little afraid. She drew her forearm up to block the glare. Chewing still, sandwich in hand, she called out, “Who’s there?”
The jogger with a curious dog came over and knelt down next to her revealing herself from the shadows.
“Whatcha got here, little one? Are you okay? You lost? You look pretty okay judging by the sandwich,” she said and she smiled.
“Do you eat pigs?” Anica asked.
“Haha. No.. I don’t actually. That’s a strange thing to ask,” said the jogger.
“Well, my family wants to eat little Dragi here and I have to save him,” Anica replied.
“Hmmm… that IS a dilemma,” said the jogger. “I can help. I’m not in the habit of this, but my farm is right there. I’ll give you a lift home and if you like, Dragi can stay with me and you can visit any time you like.”
Author's note: Many of these stories are inspired by real people. Some of them are fiction stories based off of an encounter with a stranger or co worker and I'd often tell them when the story was published. In this case, she had actually come from a Eastern European family and when this happened, well, partially happened, she had indeed heard the word Draga often which was an endearing nickname for darling or sweetie which was what she nicknamed the pig.
He plucked his casual fuzzy fall and winter gloves from the cubby in the closet where they kept all their hats and scarves and things for chilly weather.
One foot in front of the other, toes first rolling past the arches and finally to the heel, he placed his bare feet one by one onto the black and white checkered vinyl kitchen floor.
He was naked and beautiful and walking with a mischievous purpose and a straight back. Almost gliding. Perfectly nude, except for the fuzzy gloves.
He proceeded to the refrigerator. It was a model from the 1950’s. A single solid door that read “frigidaire” about a foot above and to the right of the silver plated handle in lettering that was spaced just so.
He opened it and the cool breeze and light whispered around his skin in the dark of the room. His right gloved hand held open the door while his left rose to meet the freezer compartment.
Ice cream was what his heart desired. Heart. Why does that word bother me so?
Just to the left is the drawer. In the drawer are knives. Butcher knives. Bread knives. Pairing knives. Butter knives. Chopping knives. Large knives. Small knives. He fumbled around in there with his gloved hand leaving a bit of lint and fuzz on everything and causing a bit of a rumbling. And then he found it.
With a satisfied feeling, he allowed his left gloved hand and the notorious ice cream scooper emerge from the drawer without removing his gaze from the frozen glory that sat on the counter next to the frigidaire. He pulled it from the drawer and slid the drawer closed seductively with his palm facing up and thumb and three fingers closed as if telling it to take the tip and mind it’s business like a good bell boy.
He looked at the ice cream box and popped the top off the lid and all he could see was her clavicle.
Then he looked again. He saw her rib cage below bare breasts right under her clavicle and this is where she hid her heart.
He looked upward now blinking. It was the nape of her neck where he remembered seeing a pulsating of her skin there once. Her neck led to her jaw and earlobe, but if you follow her jawline the other way you can see her supple chin which is just below her lips.
He plunged the scoop into the ice cream and he saw the rib cage that hid her heart.
Again and again he plunged the ice cream scoop in. Faster and faster into the oozing mess trying to slop it into the bowl on the counter next to the ice cream box. Blood was everywhere. Her chest was barren. Her bones were exposed as he’d force his hand past her sternum until finally he just dropped the scoop and parted her rib cage with both hands, gloves still on.
At the sight of her pounding heart, he leaned back a bit propping her body up with his hips, he removed his gloves one by one with a bit of a smirk and a glimmer in his blue green eyes as they steadily gazed at their prey.
The blood poured out. The limp, pale, powdery face was offset by the fire engine red of her lipstick and blue black depth of her hair. Shoulders, head and hands splayed backward and out as he feasted in her chest cavity with the still velvety smooth viscosity dripping off his elbows.
He looked at his hands and closed his eyes for a moment. What had he done? He placed the entirety of the large slick soiled metacarpi over his face and slid them down over his neck and to his chest whereupon his eyes opened like flood lights turning on in the middle of the night. He was filled and overflowing with power and pleasure.
Suddenly, the brown and brass hanging light in the center of the darkness in the kitchen illuminated the room.
There she was. She just stood there. His eyes opened wide. The ice cream was all over the counter and the floor and dripping off the refrigerator and it looked like he went swimming in it or something. They both looked at the floor for a moment and there were the fuzzy gloves laying there helplessly, one slightly turned inside out.
She turned off the light. No glass of water was worth losing a life for after all by a crazy man swimming in ice cream. With a whirl of her nightgown, she hiked back up the stairs back to bed.
And there he stood alone in the dark by the cool light of the frigidaire.