Tuesday, 4 September 2018

Butcher



The butcher stood, bent over his table, hard at work. His hand flicked sharply and deftly as he controlled his sickle-shaped knife along the turns of the slab of meat he was cutting, expertly carving meat from bone with each movement. He paused now and again to prod at the meat, as though checking for firmness and consistency, and nodding in satisfaction each time. It was the best he had gotten yet; quite firm, which meant it would not spoil fast. It also had an attractive deep pink colour and very little fat.

The slab of meat looked better than one would expect cow’s meat, sheep’s meat or even goat’s meat to look. And that was because it was none of those kinds of meat. It was human meat.

Alani was not your usual butcher. His trade was not only in cow’s meat like his peers, but also in human meat.

On a typical day, his sales table, in one of the popular Lagos meat markets, contained stacks of beef, liver and shaki, then in addition, one would find a small stack of brightly-coloured meat he simply referred to as ‘special’ to his customers. None of them ever suspected that this ‘special’ was actually meat from the bodies of humans like themselves.

Due to its attractive colour, everyone that approached his table picked up ‘special’ first, but some got dissuaded by the price. Alani had begun to price it ten times as much as ‘regular’ meat, ever since he saw the heavy demand for it. Anyone who bought it once always came looking for it again and again. He knew it must be because it tasted just as great as it looked, but he had never tried tasting it himself. Not when he knew exactly what it was.

Alani’s trade in human meat started by accident. His life as a normal butcher, trying to eke out a decent living via meat selling took a macabre turn to what he had become today, in just one night. The first human life to fall by his hands, the first human body to end up as meat on his table, had been purely as a result of self-defense.

It was one of those nights he closed late. He had been about to leave his stall at 9.30pm, having managed to finally sell off all his stock, his pocket laden with all the money he had made that day, when he was attacked.

The meat market was secured at night by a vigilante group, but they usually commenced work in full force from 10pm and a few thieves, knowing this habit, took the opportunity to strike on the unsuspecting butchers, disguised as customers.

A scuffle ensued when Alani refused to give up his money, even in the face of the machete the robber wielded.

During the scuffle, Alani had managed to grab one of his knives at a corner of his table and drove it straight into the robber’s chest. A few more jabs, and his assailant was dead, his blood splashing everywhere and mixing with that of all the cow’s meat that had been hacked up in that very stall earlier in the day.

When he realized the man was dead, that he had killed him, Alani was filled with panic. He thought of calling the vigilante and telling them what had happened, but was also worried they would not believe him. What if they decided to involve the police? To avoid any complications in his life, he decided to just dispose the body and keep quiet about the incident.

To dispose it, he had hacked up the body there on the floor of his stall, disposed of the bones amidst the pile of cow and sheep bones in the abattoir’s dumpsite, packed the meat (it had turned out not to be that much, didn’t even get to half of a bagco sack) and hauled it off to the cold-room for storage.
It as he was chopping that he realized human meat was not too different from that of a cow, just a brighter colour and softer texture. And it was then that the idea had occurred to him to sell it disguised as cow’s meat.

He did so the next day, making a tidy 120k extra cash. The cool, easy money and the fact that those who bought it kept coming back to ask for more of ‘that fresh type of meat’, made him want to do it again.

Alani was a very ambitious man. He had left his native town in Oyo for Lagos over a year before with a strong determination to make it big in this land of milk and honey. But doing so had proven very difficult with the minimal profit he was able to eke out daily.

The thought of being able to regularly make extra 120k profit, or even more, in one day was just too tempting. And the more he flipped the idea over in his mind, the more convinced he became that he could keep pulling it off.

That was how he became a butcher of men.

At least three times every week, he would kill a man (or woman), chop the body into bits; strip the meat off the bones, and sell off to his unsuspecting customers the next day as ‘special’.

After that first accidental killing, the next set of butchery were extremely well premeditated and executed. The meat market became his main hunting ground and his home and neighborhood the supplementary. Within 3 months, his victims were so many even he lost count. They included lone late-night customers he baited to his second store at a secluded part of the market under the pretense of showing them fresh meat stored in his freezer, alabarus he tricked to help him drop stuff in his stall when no one was watching, prostitutes he picked up on the streets, homeless or mentally deranged people that strayed into the market… the list was endless.


The Story Continues>>>Click Here for the concluding part


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