The class shuffled in. Despite the lack of years, the third period children were lumpy, bloated, and stuffed into ill-fitting clothes. They were a dim bunch. They had little interest in learning, with even less aptitude. He had made multiple requests not to teach this particular class, but to no avail.
Since his biology lessons were beyond their grasp, he gave in and allowed them to talk during class. Most days, he passed the time until fourth period listening. Unfortunately, they hardly said anything interesting, mostly inane banter about the funny man they passed on the way to school.
The children didn’t know his name or where he lived. But they probably didn’t care; they were only interested in him because he made them laugh.
Yes, he made them laugh. Sometimes he would talk to them, telling jokes. While the children never repeated the jokes, he made them laugh. Sometimes, on what they called sausage days, the man cried. This too made the near-useless children laugh.
Maybe there was no man. Third period were an unreliable bunch, their stories rehashed rubbish of rainbows, black rivers, and glass abattoirs.
The mention of the last was disturbing. The dullards were far too dim for such a word.
One spring day, the third period class didn’t show.
Not a one.
Feigning an ulcer flare-up, he excused himself for the rest of the day.
Unfortunately, it was raining. A downpour seemed to follow him home. Through the laboring of his windshield wipers, he came upon a funny-looking man wearing a rainbow patterned butcher’s apron. The odd man stood knee-deep in muddy water, the downpour’s runoff filling the roadside ditch where he stood. Reflecting the dark clouds above, the rushing water appeared black.
The man was crying, the kind of disconsolate sobs reserved for the loss of a loved one. Bloated and lumpy sausages slipped from his arms. There were too many for him to handle. The sickly grey casings stuffed with ends, gristle, and otherwise useless trimmings escaped downstream.
The wipers slashed across the windshield. The rain was coming down especially hard. It beaded up on the glass too fast, briefly obscuring everything from view. But with each pass of the wipers, the world was made new again. However, it was all different, everything a replacement—a near perfect reproduction of what had been just before.
It was all a trick, a ruse, a flipbook illusion. The fleeing sausages were the only real things in this absurd contrivance.
Sausage days—those bloated and lumpy gross foodstuffs. But behind the safety of the windshield glass, he couldn’t help it…
S.E. Casey grew up near a lighthouse. He always dreamed of smashing the lighthouse and building something grotesque with the rubble. This is the writing method for his broken down and rebuilt stories published in many horror magazines and anthologies that can be found on his website. You can also follow him on Twitter.
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