Story-A-Day May #9: When Pigs Fly, Pork Prices Rise

Today’s storyaday.org prompt is the classic challenge of writing a six-word story.

However, since my goal is to write a complete 1k word story each day this month, I decided to use my six-word story as the title for a full-length flash.

***

When Pigs Fly, Pork Prices Rise

On that fateful day, Farmer Brooks rose as usual with the crowing of the rooster. He’d feast on pork tonight; it was time to slaughter the latest batch of pigs for market. ‘Course he always kept one or two for roasting over the fire with an apple in its mouth. Though he wasn’t quite sure why he did that whole business with the apple, or where he’d got the idea from. He just liked the look of it.

In his rubber boots and straw hat, he ventured out into the muck. The pigs in the sty were happily wallowing after last night’s rain, with no idea what was in store for them. He snorted. Dumb animals.

He grabbed his captive bolt pistol and pitchfork from the shed, which was usually all it took to prod them around where he wanted. Some hippie dippie sorts advocated gentler handling, but he had no patience for that. What difference did it make, when the pigs all shared the same fate?

Returning to the sty, he reached out for the gate, when a voice cried out, “Halt, evildoer!”

The farmer blinked up at the early morning sky, though he couldn’t reckon how someone would be calling from up there.

It began as a tiny pink dot against the clear blue sky. But it rapidly grew larger, until a rotund missile swooped down and hovered in the air before him. The flying pig — though his brain hadn’t fully accepted that’s what it was — struck a pose with hooves on hips, wearing spandex stretched to the limit over its belly. A red cape fluttered in the breeze.

“You shall not harm another pig, so long as I draw breath,” it said in a hoity-toity kinda way.

The farmer didn’t care for anyone, man or pig, who put on airs and talked down to him. He’d dropped his bolt pistol in all the excitement, and clutched his pitchfork in quivering hands. “Git outta my way. No one tells me what’s what on my farm!”

“Your farm it may be,” said the flying pig. “But these pigs belong to no man. They were born free, and so they shall live.”

The farmer had heard quite enough fancy talk. “Looks like I’ll have me a double dose of bacon, ‘fore the day is done!”

He stabbed the pitchfork at the pig’s chest. The clang of metal resounded through the air, and the uncontrolled shaking of his arms caused his teeth to chatter. He gawked in disbelief at his pitchfork’s bent steel tines.

The pig hovered proudly in his unbroken pose.

A mockingbird perched on the fence warbled out a triumphant tune. It was a very near rendition of John Williams’ Superman fanfare, with just enough notes changed to avoid copyright infringement. Evidently, even supernaturally strong barnyard animals had a healthy fear of predatory lawsuits.

Farmer Brooks took off his hat to swat at the mockingbird, but it flew circles around him and its song only grew in volume.

“Ha HA!” The pig laughed like some old-timey, swashbuckling movie hero. “Prepared to surrender, evildoer?”

“I’ve not yet begun to fight, pig!”

He swung the pitchfork like a baseball bat, and it burst into splinters as it struck the pig’s pink head. Then he dove into the dirt to retrieve his bolt pistol, all while the superpig watched, its snout twitching in smug amusement.

“That’s it,” the farmer said slyly. “Nothing to fear. You just hold still…” He placed the bolt pistol squarely against the flying pig’s forehead.

When he pulled the trigger, the pistol rebounded and its handle struck him hard between the eyes. His vision went double. The sight of two arrogant pigs didn’t improve his disposition.

“I’ll… I’ll be back,” he said, staggering off toward the barn in a zig-zagging course. There, beneath a heavy tarp, lay his pride and joy: a custom-modified, antique grain thresher with no less than two hundred horsepower — painted with big purple flames. That thing could chew up a man, or even a superpig, in half a second flat. And spit him out the other side.

As he switched it on and revved the engine, the massive machine rumbled beneath him. It burst from the barn in a cloud of black diesel smoke. Farmer Brooks swung the big steering left and right, trying to chase down the pig who suddenly wouldn’t stay still. Several fences were demolished in the bargain.

Zipping all around, the agile pig taunted him. “You’ll never catch me, you ridiculous man!”

“Maybe not,” he admitted. “But I’ll have my pound of pork, one way or another.” He turned sharply and the thresher rumbled straight for the pig sty. And all the innocent, less-than-super pigs.

“You fiend!” oinked the pig.

His thresher closed in on the herd of frightened pigs, any second now…

The caped pig dove in front of the fiercely spinning thresher. A grinding noise came from below, and the farmer pumped his fist. “Now I’ve got you!”

But the machine began to slow. He stomped the pedal to the floor and shifted gears. Huge tires spun in the mud. This couldn’t be happening. Not to his precious baby.

As the engine groaned and began smoking, that damn mockingbird returned, practically screaming fanfare in his ear as he tried to swat it away.

All at once, the thresher ground to a halt. Then tore itself apart in spectacular fashion, bits of metal flying everywhere, nicking the farmer’s cheek. He was thrown from his seat and landed up to his neck in the mud.

Scraped and smudged, but otherwise none the worse for wear, the cape pig flew above him once more. “Are you quite finished?”

Sucking wind, covered in filth, Farmer Brooks waved the white flag.  “…Reckon I’ll become a vegetarian. I hear it’s better for the environment, anyway.”

“And your health,” the pig admonished.

That evening, nursing his injuries — pride most of all — and grumbling to himself at the dinner table, Father Brooks ate his potatoes and carrots without incident. However, when he tried to stab his asparagus, his fork was deflected. He did a double-take upon seeing its tines bent askew.

A stalk of asparagus rose from his plate, a cape of green flapping behind it. The broccoli began to hum triumphantly.

“Oh, for pete’s sake.”

***

Thanks for reading!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s