Two Birds by John Patrick Robbins

Blue Collar Noir, John Patrick Robbins, Punk Noir Magazine, Short Stories

Mitch hated the memories of the slaughter house, it was the job he knew would haunt him until his dying day .

The dried blood in the air , death was an all too familiar smell that lingered and was enough to make you sick .

It was weird but made easy with modern technology.


None of which was at Ives slaughterhouse it was old school all the way.

Mitch was strong and after years spent at this job he became even more so.

He worked the kill room.


It was him and a sledge hammer that he became extremely useful with.

Most animals gave up knowing death was upon them .

Some fought, all would lose .


Mitch never forgot the first time .

He puked afterwards , eventually you just learned not to care .

The key was hitting hard and fast on that frontal lobe once you heard that crack the skull made you were fine.


There was no such thing as painless a death , people told themselves that lie to sleep better at night .

Mitch spent years doing the work nobody else had the balls to .

It translated well when he became an enforcer .


People seldom went without a fight and sometimes the ignorance of not understanding what was coming , was bliss .


Animals were lucky in that regard .

Mitch lit a cigarette and waited , the wind was freezing standing in that field .

The sedan carrying Philip made its way down the dirt road .

The farm was a total front it mainly served as a dumping ground .


“Fuck its freezing out here “!


Marty said as he hopped out of the passengers seat and quickly pulled a hooded Philip from the vehicle.





Bruce as usual was silent he left the engine running and the lights on , he had done this almost as many times as Mitch .

The only difference between the two was for Mitch, this was a job and nothing more .

For Bruce it was enjoyment although largely silent he enjoyed death and was a mad dog that Mitch knew eventually he would have to put down .


Marty kicked Phil in the back of the knee he dropped like a sack of potatoes at the feet of

Mitch .


The boys pulled him to his knees removing the hood .


“Philip sorry to have dragged you out of bed bud but we need to talk “.


“Mitch I’m sorry please whatever you think I’ve done “.


Mitch just held his finger up and like some trained animal Phil went silent .


“You know something Phil , one thing I hate is a liar , because you see even little lies always lead to bigger ones . The fact you even tried to have the balls to steal from the hand that feeds is disgusting to me”.


Tears began to flow like a river down Phil’s face and Mitch couldn’t blame the man for crying.


He knew the man was scum but he was still someone’s father and husband.

But he was also a thief , an addict and worst of all a rat .


He knew he couldn’t trust the slimy little bastard but in this line of work its wasnt like you could put an add in the paper for help.


So you dealt with snakes , men with no honor who were as expendable as the cattle Mitch once so easily slaughtered so long ago.


Mitch went and grabbed the sledge hammer from the back of his truck .


The sight of it sent Phil into a panic .


“Please for God sake don’t do this I can make things right just let me go Goddammit “!




Bruce laughed and it was now Marty who remained silent .


Mitch didn’t hesitate he just brought the sledge hammer down with and ungodly force .

That sickening thud made little sound and a mile from any real highway nobody would know about this incident besides the three men witnessing it .



Phil was gone and no sooner had the sledgehammer cracked his skull had Bruce and Marty grabbed his convulsing body and began dragging it to the whole dug that would forever be Phil’s unknown grave.


Bruce as usual began going through his pockets removing Ritchies wallet a true scavenger that he was .


“Fuck this dudes floppping around like a danm fish“.


Bruce said in a twisted glee .


After Bruce made sure to pick the bones clean so to speak the boys pitched Ritchie into the damn near frozen earth .


“Fuck it’s freezing out here course least it aint as bad as things are for that winy bitch Phil huh man“?


Bruce asked looking to Marty who had the weirdest look in his eyes .


The first blow knocked Bruce into the grave , blood flowed from the wound but the mountain of a man struggled and began to get up .


The second put him down for good , well at least good enough .

Marty had not missed a beat and like clock work already had the tractor running and was pushing the earth down into the grave .


Bruce’s eyes met Mitch’s he had seen that look in many men and animals alike .

Death was always the same he never kid himself about that .


Mitch never hesitated but he never enjoyed his job either.

His truth was as cold as the earth he buried people semi alive in .

The worst monster that walks this earth can easily be viewed from the mirror.


John Patrick Robbins
Is the editor in chief of the Rye Whiskey Review , Under The Bleachers and Drinkers Only .
He has been published here at Punk Noir Magazine , The San Pedro River Review , Ariel Chart , Oddball Magazine , Piker Press , Blognostics , As It Ought To Be Magazine , Red Fez , The San Antonio Review,
He is also the author of Sex Drugs & Poetry from Whiskey City Press and Once Upon A Nervous Breakdown from Soma Publishing.
His work is always unfiltered.