“You bedduh close that damn door on them little coons I collected for tonight’s dinner, you shoulda chopped them up a few hours ago.” Big Jake nearly wrenched the back door off its hinges.
Essie jumped a clear inch off of the grimy floor and her skinny body shook as the ex-con thundered into the kitchen.
Everything made Essie jump lately. The white supremacists got tired of the Liberals running the United States and decided to overthrow Minnesota to start their own nation. It took a lot of organization, but they pulled it off. The Liberal government took away all the guns and the Armed Forces. That made it easier to carve the Aryan States of America out of prison knives. Big Jake came along, sweeping Essie out of Macon, Georgia to be his girl. He said he was the king of Grateford Prison’s cell block. She fell for the line that he’d make her his queen in this new country. After a few months, she realized her Juvie Hall resident’s life looked better than being an Aryan Nation queen.
“C’mon,girl!” Big Jake shouted. “I want you t’ serve me!”
The two small African-American children stared at the 16-year-old runaway from Macon. Essie couldn’t stand those two sets of eyes pleading for her to let them go; they sat side by side in the industrial meat cooler. Despite the duct tape across their mouths, those gazes begged for her to save them. She had to think fast.
Big Jake’s bald head glowed under the flickering kitchen light; spotlighting the swastika tattoo onto his forehead. He swore his allegiance to Graterford Prison’s Aryan Brotherhood, and in this new country, the Aryan Nation, he was king.
Deep within her frail form, Essie hated Big Jake. He used the body parts of the people he killed to feed himself and his fellow White Heritage Warriors. They needed all that dark meat to fight the liberals in the U.S.
Big Jake towered over her and scowled. “You make dinner, girl.”
She never spoke because she feared what he’d do to her if she disobeyed. She had to take her chances when he wasn’t looking. Judging from his size, she prayed that it would be easy.
“You want thems that’s in the cooler?” she asked in her tiny voice after taking a deep swallow of her pride. Ever since she ran out of Juvie in Macon a few months back, Big Jake hit her much too much and kept her as he kept the others.
“At least I taught you to learn how to cook a decent meal. Especially those darkies I hacked up in the back yard. Around here, they’re meat since God didn’t make them human, you know.”
Essie nodded until her greasy blonde pig tails bounced on her scalp. Big Jake always wanted her to be grateful he saved her from those juvie hall people. Just before those Aryans took over Minnesota a month back, he made her his girl. How could she give him babies for the New Aryan States of America when she threw up after eating dark meat? She’d rather starve than eat another human.
“Who’re you havin’ over fer dinner?” Essie asked, swallowing as not to show her sass she built up inside of herself.
“Jimmy John Johanessen and A.J. Whyte,” Big Jake glared at her.
Essie stared down at her open toed sandals. The ecru canvas shoes came from one of his many victims. “Them’s the leaders of Aryan Nation,” she said.
“Are you stupid?” Lunging forward, Big Jake grabbed at her shirt, twisting it tight around her neck. “Jimmy John and A.J. want that dark meat! Make it fast!”
“How’d you want it?” Sudden fear made Essie’s heart beat faster and her mouth went dry; she felt like crying but that would only make him thrill at that. She shuddered at the thought of the screams those two little kids would make when Jake worked on them; quickly, her mind crocheted a plan to free them.
“I showed you!” he growled, tossing her to the kitchen floor with a thud. He lurched into the dining room. “Damn,” he sighed. “Killing people sure is tiring.” His massive body lurched its way towards the living room. Essie picked herself off of the floor and opened the cooler. She grimaced as she pushed her arm past the two young children’s heads and stared at the ice pick, then smiled.
She plucked the pick off of a piece of cork nailed to the cooler door. Big Jake always used it to jab in the back of their necks. It made them die faster. All you had to do is jam its steel spike between the skull and the spine.
Essie crept into the living room, ice pick in hand.
“They told me at that church they took over that if Jesus Christ was coming again, we had to clear all the lesser forms of American life who ain’t pure white European like we are,” Big Jake droned, his bloated body overflowing on the lounger he stole from a St. Paul’s furniture store.
Stepping carefully to avoid the squeaking floorboards, she crept up behind him. Precious Good Spirits, she thought to the guardian spirits who protected her. Please, let me do this right.
“You know, Essie,” Big Jake sighed, rolling over onto his stomach, “I’m not in the mood for love.” Essie plunged the ice pick directly into the base of his bald, fat skull. Jake reared his head with a gasp, stiffened his body, and then went limp.
Pulling the ice pick out of his wound, she sighed, “Guess the good spirits helped me out after all!”
If nothing, Jake was a good teacher. She learned fast on how to prepare human being for a week’s worth of meals. His notebook showed the whole the step by step operation.
Like following a recipe, she thought.
Essie drained out all of his blood down the basement sink and used the autopsy textbook to remove his organs. The basement had so many stains that no one could ever know who died down here. She opened all the windows to let all the foul stench out. Even in Juvie Hall, she learned how to erase evidence.
When she sawed him into the appropriate pieces for a nice roast, Essie went upstairs and opened the cooler door. The two children emitted high-pitched shrieks behind their duct tape gags. Essie peeled off the tape from the little girl’s mouth, making sure she didn’t tear the child’s skin.
“Lissen, girl,” she whispered. “You take your lil’ brother by the hand an’ run as fast as you can to the barbed wire fence. Run through some fields and through the forest. Not too far after that, you find the stream. Cross that an’ you’re back in the States. Don’t say nothing’! Jest shake yer head so you understand. Understand?”
The little girl nodded her head.
“Now,” Essie leaned closer. “You jest get some water. I’ll fix y’all somepin for the long, long trip ahead back to th’ U.S.A..” Turning, she untied the ropes that bound the little boy; he wailed as feeling soon returned to his tortured limbs. Essie held him close, slowly peeling away the duct tape from his mouth.
“I’ll get you un’s some bread an’ water bottles,” she said, handing them the plastic bag of white bread and two jugs of water. “Now git,” she said, hurrying them to the back door. They scampered out of the house.
Essie was mopping up what remained of Jake’s blood when the doorbell rang “The Horst Welchel March”. Running up the stairs, she tossed her bloody clothes into the washing machine. Big Jake’s clothes dissolved into the living room fireplace.
Shoving open the front door, two men barged inside as Essie came face to face with her guests – Jimmy John Johanessen loomed over her; his silver hair shone and his blue eyes pierced her own gaze with the same intensity he gave slaughtering Minnesota residents for this new white supremacist “nation”.
A.J. Whyte only came up to Johanessen’s neck. The rangy murderer terrified her with that scar which caused the right side of his face to droop; while his heavy-lidded blue eyes studied her as if she’d be his next victim. Essie trembled within her white and yellow tight-waisted dress so hard that even her dangling pearl earrings and pigtails quivered.
“Where’s the man of the house?” Jimmy rumbled. “He’s not home. He’s out.” Essie glanced towards the kitchen, “Come on in.”
A.J. swaggered into the living room. His nostrils expanded as he took in the permeating odor of roast meat emanating from the kitchen.
“Smells good,” he intoned.
“Yes sir,” Essie forced a smile.
Inside the kitchen A.J. stood over the stove, pot lid in hand, sniffing its contents.
“Stewed kidneys and liver, huh?”
Essie stood by the table, gripping her small hands in front of her. “I plan to make a pie like Jake told me.”
Johanessen lowered his huge frame into the chair at the end of the table. “Forget Jake,” he growled, reaching for the linen napkin.
A.J. he jerked his head towards the window. “That big bastard is coming home any time now! Can’t you wait?”
Johanessen’s face darkened. “Whyte — who cares where he waddled off to, I’m damned starving from rounding up all them coons and beaners today. Sit down and let the little bitch serve us.”
Essie stared at the refrigerator.
“You could make a pie and have some left over to grease a pan with that fat pig’s body fat!” A.J. laughed, sliding into his chair.
The oven rang and Essie’ jumped into action and scurried into the kitchen; she opened the oven door and lifted out the bubbling roast. A black swastika tattoo glared up at her. Essie swallowed hard and used the fork to turn it over. and then covered it over with the browned soft potatoes and carrots.
“Where is that big piece of shit?” Johanssen swigged down the last of his beer. “It’s not like him to be this late!”
“He’s probably humping a German shepherd!” A.J. laughed, buttering a slice of white bread with some lard. He gestured with his butter knife at Essie.
“This is great lard! Nice and salty! Jake really taught you how to process darkie body fat for spread, huh?”
Essie held back her grunt, lifting the broiling pan onto the counter.
“Did’ja ever hear those faggots scream when they’re killed?” Johanessen snickered.
Essie lowered the knife into the steaming rump roast.
A.J. laughed as Essie handed him a plate with sliced meat and vegetables.
“Yeah,” he sawed through the meat with his fork and knife. “It’s music to my ears.”
Essie came behind Johanessen and handed him his plate. He sat back and spread his napkin onto his lap. “Not bad for a juvenile hall refugee from Macon, Georgia!” he grinned at her. “Kid, you’re a pretty good cook! That fat shit taught you well how to prepare dark meat!”
Essie nodded,“Yes, sir. He did.”
Johanessen laughed, gesturing with his fork and knife. “Ain’t you gonna have some?”
Essie shook her head. “Not until y’all finished.”
Johanessen swatted a hand at her. She blinked her eyes, awaiting to receive his slap across her face. “Skinny lil’ thing like you sure shouldn’t be that thin around Jake! How’re you gonna have kids for our new country?”
A.J. turned his wrist to study his new watch. “Where’s that big fucker at?”
“Does anyone else want seconds?” Essie asked.
A.J. held out his plate. “Sure thing.”
Johanssen carved into his slice. Blood and body fat oozed onto his plate. “Nice and fat dark meat!” he said, smacking his lips.
“What the hell happened to Jake?” A.J. looked at his watch. “I ripped this one off of some coon, it says 7:35 and I’ve already burned 100 calories. Where the hell is he?”
Essie trotted into the kitchen. Opening the refrigerator, she stared into Big Jake’s clouded eyes in the center of his huge, severed head. Smiling, she shut the door and made her way to the bathroom. Stepping out of her dress, she put them in a plastic bag along with a loaf of bread and a water bottle. She came out in her jeans and yellow shirt.
“Do you want dessert?” she asked.
Grease and blood rolled down Johanessen and Whyte’s chins. Whyte emitted a low, deep belch. “Whattya got?” Johanessen roared.
“I made shortbread cookies from coon fat. All sprinkled with powdered sugar an’ tastin’ of vanilla!” she smiled as she poured steaming coffee in two white mugs.
“They’re mugs made out of two of Jake’s victims!” Whyte laughed. “Ain’t he the clever one?”
Essie placed the cookies onto the table.
“I’ll let y’all eat ‘em,” she said, retreating back into the kitchen. “I’m fixin’ to go someplace.”
“Where to?” Johanessen asked through a full mouth.
She picked up her supply bag at the back door.
“I’m goin’ on a very long trip. I don’t know when I’ll be comin’ back with the war wagin’ outside,” she said.
“Will you meet up with Jake?” Whyte rose halfway from the table.
“Oh,” Essie laughed, pushing open the door, “He’ll be chilling out for a while. Just make yourselves at home until he gets back. Southern hospitality, you know.”
Johanessen and Whyte laughed, shaking their heads as Essie stepped outside to freedom. “That kid! It’s not like him to miss a meal!” Johanessen murmured.
“Who cares?” Whyte chuckled. “He sure knows how to put out a spread!” His butter knife flashed as he dug it into the lard in the fancy dish.
Ever since she was young, Linda Barrett always strove to be a writer. She lives in a suburb of Philadelphia. Her work has been featured in: New Directions — The Compass, Night To Dawn, BellaOnLine Literary Magazine. Her poems are published locally, and she’s also won several prizes in local writing contests.