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25th April
posted by amber

A Plague of Cows

A guy’s gotta eat meat. I keep telling my wife this, and she says, ‘Well, duh, what’s that on your plate then?’

Meat, I tell her, is red, bloody, dripping, wild, not chicken, all white and oozing water, tasteless, tame, over-processed. Meat. Em ee ee tee. Meat.

‘So go out and hunt,’ she tells me, ‘and don’t expect me to visit you in prison.’

It’s not fair. Before all the cows died, hunting was legal. And nothing has changed – there’s still all the logging and oil patch crap taking steady bites out of the areas where deer and elk can live, places where the hunting was good. You could hunt then, or if you weren’t lucky enough to shoot something, you could go down to the Safeway and buy yourself a big bleeding steak.

Now they say the wild game’s endangered and anyhow it’s contaminated with mercury and stuff, so we’re not allowed to hunt. And we sure as shooting can’t buy steak or ribs or even ground at the Safeway. The tofu department is bigger than the meat department.

Pork comes in just once a week, and you’d have to sell your first-born to be able to afford bacon.

I know what’s really going on. I’ve seen it with my own eyes, out in the woods. I’m not the only one hunting, I’m just the only good hunter. I’m real stealthy. So I see the other hunters and they don’t see me. The manager of our town’s UniBank was out there, along with the general director of the pulp mill. They had a local fellow with them who used to be a hunting guide when it was legal. He says he retired, but no one’s noticed him taking on a new profession, yet he still has plenty of cash.

I see other obvious bigwigs, not local so I can’t put a name to them, usually accompanied by a woodsy guy, like a guide. So I figured it out.

There’s no cows anymore, but just like me, these guys gotta have meat. And it doesn’t matter if they’re the ones who brought on the cow plague with all that fooling around with cow genes, it doesn’t matter if they’re responsible for the shortage of deer and moose and all because they poisoned the environment, they’re gonna get their red meat and the hell with the rest of us.

The Story 365 project is a year-long marathon of short story writing, with a new story for every day of the year and posted on this website from May 1, 2011 – April 30, 2012. Stories must be a minimum of 200 words. Please help me by adding first line or topic suggestions in the Comment section of any story.

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