Tag Archive: andreacchi

There were six of them in all, that much I remember distinctly. I put something into their juice, a powerful poison, and six of them died, a few were only very ill. Children between the ages of perhaps three and five, a nursery class for which I had some sort of responsibility, I don’t remember exactly what, nor why I did this thing. And having done it, was found perhaps not guilty on grounds of diminished responsibility (but I was responsible for several very young children…) and therefore allowed to go free, some arrangement must have been agreed upon, or else I would not have found myself on the train travelling at a very high speed through the flat countryside north of Paris. The land and the sky a grey blur as the rain came down, silver streaks across the broad panes of rapidly moving glass. A woman began to shriek, a cry of agony, ‘Oh no, oh God no…’, Rachel crying for her children. I covered my ears but still I heard her. I went into the toilet cubicle and locked the door, crouched down on the damp blue floor put my hands over my ears shut my eyes still I could hear her terrible shriek ‘Oh no God no…’ For the thing I had done. I don’t even know why I did it. I don’t remember. Six children. My husband came in – but I thought I had locked the door? He took me by the shoulders. Get up, he said. The woman, I said. No, no, it’s nothing to do with you, he said. Nothing you’ve done.

The butcher boy has small, delicate hands, they wield a cleaver with wonderful speed and dexterity. Just watch him get to work. First he strips me naked, then gently lowers me onto the cold slab of white marble. I lie down without a murmur, I lie down like a lamb, strictly for the purposes of demonstration, you understand. With a few easy strokes he separates the upper and lower limbs from the body, stacks them neatly to one side. With an elegant chop he cleaves the head from the neck, takes it up gently and places it upright at the head of the counter. From this vantage point I now have a much better view of the action. I see he has laid aside the cleaver and now has a knife in his hand. It darts in and out, in and out of the soft red and white body. Neat incisions expose the brightly gleaming purple organs yellow sheen of fat a bone or two. The butcher boy reaches into the open chest cavity and removes the heart, which, curiously, continues to beat. (Please remember this is only a demonstration.) He removes the lungs and liver. Now he flips me over and with two masterstrokes lightly separates the crumpled wings from the back. The wings are black in colour and very soft to the touch, he holds them for a moment, stroking them between thumb and forefinger. The butcher boy has enormous sad eyes but I can’t tell you what he is thinking. No animals were hurt.