A short story about cottages.

Chapter One - A fine day.

I am forced out of my blissful state of deep, dreamless sleep by a raucous screeching voice nearby. I sit up with my eyes still closed and gradually dress myself. After sliding on my boots I get up and force myself to regain my senses. The voice was Mother demanding something as usual. She has been up for an hour or more and my breakfast is sitting on the table in the one tiny room of this decrepit house. I wolf it down and warm myself in front of the fire then venture outside to observe the day and complete the chores prescribed to me by my often bossy witch of a mother.

I carry some livestock feed out with me and approach the livestock pen. The sun has risen but the day is still pleasantly cool as I come close to the pigs to let them eat out of one of my hands. The oldest pig, Gregory grunts with delight as he munches on the contents of my hands. From him and the sow Wilhelmina we have just had a litter of four piglets who are feeding on their mother's milk in the cool muddy corner. With my other hand I make a fist and decide to punch Gregory in the side. He falls over shocked, and is too confused to fight back. I hit him again and he lets out a squeal of pain. Several more punches and he is whimpering in the corner with his entrails exposed and tears in his eyes. I decide to kick him in the head one more time, and I burst his jugular causing blood to spurt in the air and into the mud. This is his coup de grace and finally his whimpering terminates and his eyes close.

Wilhelmina and the piglets are trying to escape best they can. They bolt as fast as they can through the fence but I manage to grab the last piglet and with both hands snap his back and rip him in two causing blood to pour over my clothes. I drop both halves to the ground and almost feel sorry for the little girl who was going to buy him as a pet and call him "Puddles". I sit back and admire my handiwork for a second before a local homeless boy, Milson, about the same age as me approaches. He mocks me for being a livestock farmer and seems oblivious to the fact that the pig pen is devoid of life and full of blood as he asks me "You like being a pig farmer?" then chuckles to himself as he strides off somewhere.

I decide to return to my Godforsaken shoebox house but on the way notice a local girl, short, blonde, and cute-looking wandering aimlessly whilst singing to herself. I approach her and for a while we discuss the riveting facets of her life such as her sister, and what Milson is planning for his future. Dismayed by this banality I ask her if she would like a quick fuck behind a nearby pile of barrels. She laughs at me with contempt. With my already bloodied fist. still wet from the pigs, I sock her square in the face. She emits a shrill scream and tries to clamber away best she can, but my well-aimed hit has broken her eye socket and her vision is already becoming red and cloudy. As she stumbles, she tries to get up but I punch her in the back propelling her forward. Still blinded and screaming, the girl gets up and tries running in the other direction but of course I stand in her path and force my knee firmly into her forehead causing her to fall to the ground. I laugh as I kneel over her and with both hands punch her in the face. By the end she's crying quietly to herself in a pool of her own blood which is staining her long hair. I walk away and laugh out loud to myself feeling a sense of accomplishment for my action. She won't be bothering anyone else anymore.

I tell Mother about the recent escapades outside which she nonchalantly dismisses to be works of an over-active imagination and tells me to visit some of the other people in this awful village. I step back outside and realise what a pleasant day it has become. Birds are singing, and the sun is now warm on my face. I visit the local Jewish farmer Goldstein who keeps a farm a few furlongs west of the village. He only grows vegetables but somehow has amassed great wealth over his lifetime. His attractive daughter is upstairs, but as I approach the stairway he waves his scythe in a threatening manner. I am not going to attack him and instead I politely offer to clear his farm of pests. He describes the  pests as "gigantic bugs which talk and make sounds like birds." It sounds absurd but I agree to check it out anyway in the near future.

Outside again, I traipse casually to the shack of the oldest woman in town. I don't know how old, but rumours say at least 36. Her assortment of alcohol lines the wall. It would almost be worth killing her if I could somehow inherit it all. I ask about her life and she tells a sob story about her pet duck "Quacky" going missing. I pledge my full support towards finding her pet and immediately set off in search of him. After traversing a short distance outside I find him. He seems to be capable of understanding my speech, but doesn't immediately return to his home. I yell at him and he waddles off to the old woman. Once back home, Ethelridge is delighted to hear the loving quacks of her only companion once again. I admire him and stroke the soft feathers of his back. I then receive a nasty peck and almost as a reflex I punch the little shit as hard as I can. This hit is so strong it decapitates poor Quacky and sends him running round the room spouting blood from his now gaping neck-hole. I run from the cottage all the way back home.

At home, yet another task is bestowed upon me: fruit picking! It is already quite late in the afternoon and I am tired. Nevertheless I explore the local area until I find the damned tree containing the nuts that I am supposed to retrieve. The tree is rather high and I don't want to climb it so I decide to punch it to try and shake fruit from it. After a few tries it works and I collect the fruits of my labour and return home. In the distance I notice an unusual amount of smoke bellowing from the chimney. I sprint towards home, and my worst fears are confirmed. The house is burning down and Mother is inside still. I bolt into the house, but the smoke is too thick and I cannot find her without risking damage to my  lungs. Outside I stand crying as a few neighbours try and console me. Ethelridge makes a snide remark and her face cracks into a smile. They do not bother to help save my house, instead they simply walk away leaving me to cry myself to sleep on the grass patch and question the consequences of my actions.