Thursday, February 15, 2007

The Butcher's Daughters

Sure, its nice being twice a big as everyone else in the village, with arms as thick as a matron mother's thighs, can't even remember the last time I was worried about anything.

And there's advantages to being totally desensitized to violence, I mean, when some poor fool gets mashed under a wagon wheel and needs a limb amputated, there's only one door they come knocking on, right?

And I've got more coin than I have any use for, thanks mostly to the business of keeping the king's larder stocked with smokehouse sausages and jerkies, but I ain't got anywhere to spend it, even if I had the time fer polite society, 'cause I'm a pariah, the champion of the gods of Graceless Necessities, Lord of the Undesireables, make way, everyone, here comes the Village Butcher, his apron smothered in blood and entrails.

But at least dogs love me.

Practically run an orphanage here, too, with all the apprentices I got, but not a one of them has any family or prospects, and I dunno what is gonna happen when I die, 'cause they ain't got a lick of sense between 'em, either, they ain't really interested in learning the fine arts of butchery and anatomy, operating the smokehouse and salting and spicing meats, all they wanna do is keep their bellies full and their arms strong while they wait to run off and seek a life of adventure as soon as an opportunity presents itself.

Still, when some poor half-starved fatherless kid with a sick mother comes into town, trying to sell a cow that's too damn old to use fer meat, I ain't got the heart to turn 'em away and let him be robbed by the frickin' Magic Bean Merchants.

You'd think the gods would've had their fill of this Divine Comedy and give me a son, but all I keep having are daughters.

Yep, nothing in this world quite like a Butcher's Daughters, I don't understand a damn thing about women, and they frickin' hate me, every one of 'em is a bright and shining fountain of hate, all I ever hear about is how vulgar and repulsive I am, and how I've cursed their souls into living out their lives as social outcasts, no matter how many pretty things I buy 'em whenever they ask, they're never gonna be happy, 'cause they're always gonna be Butcher's Daughters.

I'm telling ya, at this point, I'd be happy if they ran off with some fool highwayman, but the highwaymen are too cowardly and terrified of me to be any use in that department.

At this rate, all I have to look forward to is having all my nerve endings slowly worn down to a nub by all their complaining as they get old and turn into harpies and nighthags, but at least I won't feel anything when they finally finish me off.

I'm telling ya, Red, we should just leave this god-accursed civilization to rot and run off with the King's Crusade against that Egyptian Sorcerer or whatever is in fashion nowadays, while there's still some strength left in our limbs, and that's not just the Monk's Brandy talking.

Well it can't be any worse than this.

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