By: Jennifer B
The sausage ambled down the path toward the rising smoke from the small wood shack. Hidden amongst the trees, in perhaps the shadiest and coolest place, just slightly away from the water was a ramshackle abode. In its heyday the shack must have been a quaint place to stay and visit; not too hot in the summer and spring time, and not too cold in the autumn and winter. The shacks walls were covered with moss. If the truth be told the moss and the mud in which the roots grew, were the only things keeping the house, if it could be called such, from crumbling to bits of dust and moldy wood on the ground below.
The sausage crept closer to the shack, taking longer than most. Most sane people never would have taken one look at the house and shied away, but the sausage, having independence for the first time, pressed onward. She (he? .. it?) kept ducking behind thick trees, and over grown branches just in case any more people lurked in the shadows the forest, waiting perhaps to kill her. Fear, something previously unknown to the sausage, had begun to take seed deep inside her heart.
There it was again, the lingering question that grew stronger with each passing hour: Was the sausages essence female, or perhaps more male? The sausage still did not have a clear thought of is gender, and perhaps with ingesting the villagers, it began to take on more essences, and personalities. However, she (he?) was cognizant of the fact that she (he?) was beginning to form her own opinions and ideas, and the irony was not lost on the sausage. The sausages life came from the original three, and she grew with each villager she had consumed. Melding all those differing emotions, thoughts and ideas would be a challenge.
As the sausage walked along the dirt path littered with jagged rocks, candles flared to light, dimly illuminating the way to the dilapidated building. Even though the sausage had not had a long life, some experiences had taken hold in her limited memory. Flames licking at her casing, or was it really skin, causing her life blood of grease to bubble and boil her from the inside out, was not a feeling that she ever wished to repeat. Though she enjoyed the sensation of warmth because of the memories of the three pigs and all the villagers, she cared not to be burned alive. Because of this, the sausage took care to stay away from the burning flames of the candles.
“Get out of here,” whispered the remains of one of the pigs inside the sausages head. It may have been the youngest pig judging by the whining in the voice.
“This isn’t the place for you,” shouted one of the ingested (yet not digested) villagers.
However, the sausage had enough sentience to make a conscious decision, one of the first decisions she had ever made for herself. The sausage elected to ignore the warning voices, as well as ignore the bubbling of grease inside her casing, walking to the entrance of the shack. Placing a hand on the half rotted tree serving as a wall, she felt a tearing of her casing and felt warm grease drip down her hand and down her side.
Unlit candles flamed to light with the touch of the lubricating oil from the sausage. “How odd, I’ve never seen that happen before,” thought the sausage.
At the sight of the dozen or so flames sparking around the sausages feet, the sausage jumped backward, landing on the rocky dirt floor with a soft thud. When her right foot touched the ground, a rock pinched into the protective casing at the bottom, and the sausage jerked her leg back in surprise as grease splattered across the floor. Out of the shadows, from the side of the shack closest to the forest, came a dozen or so cockroaches scampering across the floor. As the cockroaches attempted to climb the height of the sausage, she realized there was no place to go other than into the sharp bark of the trees that acted as a wall. Tree bark pierced her casing in multiple places holding her captive. The sausage struggled, the bark digging deeper into her, causing more grease to splatter on the ground lighting more candles. With each splatter and illumination, more cockroaches emerged from the din.
“Who goes there?” shouted a raspy voice.
Only the popping of the grease from the sausage answered.
“I said, who goes there? This is my home, and whoever you are, you are trespassing. I take intruders seriously. You will be dealt with immediately.” The disembodied voice continued to shout and hurl expletives at the sausage.
So much grease had fallen, the tiny room was completely lit by candles. A tiny man, no larger than the size of a child, stood staring at the sausage.
“What are you? You’re nothing like I’ve ever seen before, and I’ve seen a lot in my time,” said the man.
“Well then, let me show you how I deal with intruders.” A cruel smile crossed the lips of the man revealing jagged yellowed teeth. The man approached the sausage with a large butcher knife.
All the sausage saw was a glint of light. A whoosh broke the silence, with the sausage flinching and pork splashed to the ground in chunks. Instantly the wounds cauterized and the casing was intact. Candles that had burned out reignited. The older mans eyes glinted in the candlelight.
“Curious. I have never seen anything such as this. Very curious.” The little man bent to the ground. Lanky fingers dipped into the spilled lifeblood of the sausage. With a flick to clean off his bony fingers, more candles began burning again.
He sliced again deliberately, this time holding a pan underneath the cut to collect the drippings. “Perfect.” The man wrapped a large chain around the sausage’s body, yanking her free from impalement by tree. He wrapped the chain two more times around the sausage. Deliberately they both stepped outside to where a chicken wire fence was partially overgrown with ivy and weeds. Once he was certain the sausage was immobile against the fence, he wrapped ropes around each limb. From the rope dangled a bucket. “You are my unusual surprise. What a gift,” the man grinned, but it seemed more like a grimace.
“This is precious. I shall be rich thanks to you. By the time I am finished with you, you will wish that you would die.” Hours passed. The sun seemed to move slowly in the sky. Never before had the sausage wished for a day to pass, preferring to enjoy every minute of its existence.
Eventually, the little man began to yawn. The sausage supposed that even sadists tire of torturing their victims and needed to rest.
When the little man retired to his little shack, the sausage rested against the fence. Legs trembling the sausage thought about the events that had transpired during the day. After some time resting and regaining strength, she began to formulate an escape plan. The sausage fought against the rusty chain and ropes that bound the body, but not the spirit, to the fence which pulled at the casing on its skin. The pigs struggled to come to the surface. Drawing from the porcine strength hidden within, the sausage’s casing began to crackle and weep fetid liquid. After what seemed like an eternity, three of the bonds began to weaken.
Animals from around the forest crept slowly up to the chained sausage, curious to see what would happen. A tiny raccoon, barely more than a hand length, was the only creature brave enough to approach the trapped sausage. The sausage struggled against the chains, feeling the fight or flight response so deeply ingrained in all living creatures. She knew she was in no condition to match the raccoon’s strength and cunning.
Suddenly, the small raccoon tilted its head toward the sausage, raised one paw and held one claw up to the weakened chain. The sausage trembled, grease seeping from every pore in her casing. With a slash of its wrist, the raccoon sliced through the weakened chains that held the sausage captive.
The night is always the darkest before the dawn, or at least that was what the villagers said. At the darkest hour, when everything had seemed the bleakest for the sausage, the tiny animals of the forest had come bringing aid. Struggling to stand, the sausage fought for all she was worth. Slowly, with the mice and other night animals helping to rub out the marks left behind in the sausages casing, the sausage stood on shaky legs. Beads of grease, bubbled from the inside of the sausage, began weaving their way through the filling and out through the casing, almost like sweat. The sausage realized that she was becoming more sentient than ever before. The voices of the ingested villagers had started to become more muffled, leaving the pigs as the only other residents in the sausages mind. Taking some time to stretch and allow feeling to return, and looser movement into her extremities that were tied down for so long to the fence, the sausage thought.
After a few minutes, the sausage had enough strength, possibly due to sheer will to survive or perhaps fear, and stood. The moon was half hidden behind the sausages massive body. In the darkness a wolf howled somewhere from deep in the forest. The sausage shuddered. “Never again.” The fleeting thought that someone, somewhere, could control it, was enough to spur the sausage into action.
Raising to the tallest possible height, and slowly stretching both arms and legs, the sausage stared at the full moon in the sky, gliding back toward the horizon beckoning the early morning sun.