Annika works in a meat packaging factory- 691 words, for Screams!
| There’s no such thing as a “haunted house". There’s no scientific proof. Why should I believe a place is haunted just because someone says so? When everyone told me the factory building was haunted, I didn’t believe them. Why would I? That's why I accepted the factory job. On the first day, when they toured me around, the place looked fine- although there were some parts of the factory in which I automatically knew I’d prefer to not work there. Most other parts were fine. It was bright and sunny- the sun streamed through the windows and lit up the place well. Like a normal factory.
“Annika!” the boss comes in, calling my name, and jolting me back to the present. I’m here, and I have to work the meat packing machines. "Stop daydreaming!"
“Madison!” he barks. “Tie your hair up! You know that’s protocol.”
The other girl quickly obeys orders.
A sudden bang makes everyone- including the boss- jump. The meat pulverizing machine suddenly comes to life and starts pounding at nothing, like its life depends on it. “Odd. Very odd.” The boss murmurs. He goes into the electric room to see what’s happening, and machines start randomly moving and stopping as he tries to figure out which switch controls which machine. After about five minutes, it all goes dark and black. Only the window shows any light, but it’s been a cloudy day and it's almost evening now, so there isn’t much light. Somewhere, faintly, the sound of knives scraping against something hard can be heard. “Can you hear that?” Madison whispers. A girl to her right nods. Someone dismisses it. “It’s probably just someone from the whole meat section- slicing away at the frozen meat.” She reasons. It sounds reasonable, and a slow murmur of assent rolls over the group.
The boss comes back in. “Please stay in your positions, girls.” He orders. “The lights will come back on very soon and you will be able to commence your jobs again.” He turns and enters the electric room again, and some girls lean on the meat pulverizing machinery, waiting for their jobs to start up again. The knife sound stops.
“I wouldn’t do that if I were you!” I call.
“Eh. It’s not like it’ll suddenly come back to life.” Says Madison. She joins in, hopping up onto the conveyor belt to make a point. More girls follow suit and soon most of them are sitting up on the belt, directly under or next to the sharp teeth that grinds the meat into shreds.
The machines start up with a sudden jolt, and a steady hum. The girls don’t even have time shriek as the teeth come gnashing down on them, it’s too sudden. The wise ones who stayed away off the machines watch as our coworkers are turned into ground meat and seasoned with who knows what. Blood sprays everywhere, and their hair alternatively gets caught in the teeth or mixed in with their flesh. Bones crack, skulls split. Bone, hair and meat alike are mixed into a red mince, seasoned with preservatives, then stamped out onto trays for minced pork and shrink-wrapped.
Our boss comes back in. “Where are the rest of the workers? I told you you’re not going home yet.”
Some trembling fingers point at the machines.
“Well. We most definitely can’t have the public knowing about this, now, can we?” He presses a button on a remote- all the windows are suddenly covered- and you suddenly can’t even see your hand in front of your face. I hear muffled screams, and as I’m trying to figure out what’s happening, a hand covers my mouth and yanks me backwards. My hair is chopped off, and as I fight to stay conscious I realize they’re giving my head a close shave. “Shame that we had to end like this, Annika.” A male voice whispers. Whomever it is takes off my clothes, and as I try to struggle, someone grabs my legs and my attackers swing me onto the conveyor belt. “Pork mince it is!” they cackle, as the teeth come down and seal my doom.