He Unlimbers The Hammer

Posted on December 11, 2004 by Jenna

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“Chir,” chirs a cherry-filled pastry, cutely.


“Got cherry on my foot,” says the slaughterman.

A bell rings. It’s time for a break. So the slaughterman hangs his hammer on the wall. He walks to his locker. He opens it up. He takes out a bag. Martha packed it for him. It’s his lunch. He opens the bag. He takes out a bottle and a sandwich.

The slaughterman drinks deep from the bottle. It’s full of destiny. It’s a little bit sweet. It’s a little bit oaty. It’s what gives human lives their meaning. He eats the sandwich. It’s got a little peanut butter and a little banana. It doesn’t mean much in particular. Then he gets up. He rings the bell. He unlimbers his hammer from the wall.

The fruit-filled pastries walk, one by one, into the popslaughterhouse.

“Mii?” asks a lemon tart. It brushes against the slaughterman’s leg.

WHAM. Down comes the hammer to knock it dead.

“Shuu,” whispers a raspberry tart. It has icing! Its multicolored tongue lolls out.

WHAM. Its tongue becomes sprinkles.
WHAM. Its icing cracks.
WHAM. Down comes the hammer, to knock it dead.

“Please,” says the enlightenment tart. “Please. I do not belong here. I want to herd sheep. Like in that movie.”

The slaughterman likes that movie too. But he has a job to do, and everything’s got its price.

“I will pay you,” says the enlightenment tart.

WHAM. Down comes the hammer, to knock it dead.

The slaughtermen grow cold to it there. They grow cold and numb. They know that fruit-filled pastries have their own destinies and wills. But the hammer crushes them. It makes the pastries flat and toastable. It ends the durance of their lives.

The pastries move on to be hung and dried. Their destinies drain down into the floor like blood.

There is sugar below, and oats, that the destiny machines add to them.

“Bii,” says a strawberry globe. It is already cracked and leaking.

WHAM. Down comes the hammer, to knock it dead.

“Hello, love,” says Martha.

“… Martha,” says the slaughterman.

“I’m sorry,” she says.

“I didn’t know you were a fruit-filled pastry.”

“It’s my mysterious ways,” she says. “I’m shaped like a woman. But I’m only blueberry inside.”

“Oh,” he says.

She brushes his hand with her pastry fingers. “Everything has a price,” she says.

WHAM. Down comes the hammer, to knock her dead.

Some people say that pastries just show up in the grocery store, wrapped in foil or freezer boxes. That they were made that way. Those people are wrong.