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by Fangus
Rated: 13+ · Short Story · Contest Entry · #2198955
Two older fellers conversing on a park bench, but one is more clueless than he knows...


“Excuse me, is this seat taken?”

“Nope. I’m just sittin’ here feelin’ sorry for myself.”

“What happened?”

“Oh, my wife and I had a big argument a couple of weeks ago and she left me. At least I think she left me. I came home from work the next day and she was gone. Didn’t leave a note, didn’t take any of her clothes or anything. I called the cops and they said they’d look for her, but so far they’re as clueless as I am.”

“I’m sorry to hear that.”

“No, I’m sure you probably have problems of your own without having to hear about mine. So, you from around here?” 

“Sort of. I got a farm and a few acres out in the country. I just come into town once in awhile to get things...we can’t get out there.”

“Must be nice not havin’ to deal with the hustle and bustle of city life.”

“Yeah, it’s a lot more peaceful.”

“Farming’s hard work. You do that your whole life?”

“It’s in my blood. The farm’s been in my family for five generations.”

“Damn. What’ve you got out there, if you don’t mind me askin’. Cattle? Sheep? Or are ya growin’ some crops?”

“Mostly cattle until about ten years ago.”

“What happened ten years ago?”

“I found a way to make more money off the land. And a lot easier, too.”

“So, you went from cattle to...”

“You really want to know?”

“Only if you want to tell me.”

“OK. Bodies.”

“Excuse me?”

“Bodies. I have a body farm.”

“Uh huh. Sooo...you’re growing bodies?”

“Nah. Course not. We just got some bodies layin’ around out in the fields decomposing.”

“You can’t be serious.”

“As a heart attack. You ever watch any of them crime shows? Like Forensic Files?”

“Yeah, sometimes.”

“Well, you know when the cops find a body and they need to know how long it’s been dead? Well, that’s forensics. It’s like the cadavers the Med schools use when somebody donates their body to science. ‘Cept these aren’t kept at the school. They need somewhere to put ‘em outside so they can watch ‘em decompose.”

“Damn. And you’re makin’ money off this?”

“They ain’t using my land for free. It’s actually funded by some government department.”

“Doesn’t that...stink?”

“Oh hell, I’m sure they do, but the bodies are nowheres near the house. Anyway, the college students come out every week or so and check on ‘em to see how bad they’re deteriorating. They take notes on the bugs that are eatin’ ‘em, take pictures, measurements, all that neat stuff.”

“I know it’s for science, but it still sounds kinda morbid, having a bunch of dead bodies on your property.”

“Somebody’s gotta do it, and if it’s helpin’ to put the bad guys away, all the better.”


“Oh, hell. Look at the time. I should probably be headin’ home. Good talkin’ to you, and I hope you find Susan.”

“Thanks. Nice talkin’ to you too.”

500 Words

Here's a link to Body Farms, but be forewarned: it contains some extremely graphic images.


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