The Butcher’s Son
His fingers ache from the work, but it is done.
He watches the gathering after the wake, the ones he hates so much sit side by side, consoling one another after the loss of their son.
They didn’t cry like this when Daniel died. They didn’t cry when they caused his death. His little brother has been in the ground three weeks, their son only hours.
He sees the waiter bring the hors d’oeuvres and tenses. The silver plate with the chopped meat on fancy little crackers. They pause and speak to another couple, nodding with the condolences. She takes two of the crackers from the tray, hands one to her husband. They both pop the snacks into their lying mouths.
He stands from his seat in the corner of the room. No one has noticed him there, the unwillingly adopted child. His knees are dirty from his work, his hands clean but smelling of formaldehyde. He walks across the room toward them, remembering the way the meat cut away from the bones.
And he smiles before he tells them what they’re really eating.