Weird Pig was watching two men load their dump truck with farm garbage.
Most of the farm garbage was feces, all of it dumped into bags, the bags dutifully tied and left where the men from the truck could easily reach them. It was basic sanitation policy, that the trash had to be prepared that way.
Some of the bags had vomit in them. Most of the vomit came from animals.
As Weird Pig watched the men he said, Fuck.
Oh fuck, he said, under his breath.
That’s right, he said. Oh god. Yes. Oh fuck.
What’s going on with you? asked the mule, who had been standing beside Weird Pig the whole time. They’d been talking about sunshine, when Weird Pig’s attention had drifted off. Then the cursing had begun.
Seriously, said the mule. What’s up?
It’s nothing, said Weird Pig. I’m just practicing getting turned on.
Practicing for what?
You mean for who.
It’s whom, corrected the mule. Not who.
Who is? said Weird Pig. I mean, whom is?
Will you give me some space, please? said Weird Pig. I am working hard and I am getting hard.
You’ve never worked a day in your life, said the mule.
Oh my goodness, said Weird Pig. Oh Jesus.
What is it now? asked the mule
One of the bags just spilled, said Weird Pig.
The mule looked. Weird Pig was right.
Farmer Dan, said the mule, should tie those bags more carefully.
He really should, said a chicken, who joined the two other animals. I’m surprised the sanitation company hasn’t complained. It’s a violation of garbage policy.
This is basic sanitation, added the chicken.
Another bag ripped open, down the middle. It was full of bricks.
The chicken shook his head.
Who fills a garbage bag with bricks? asked a mouse as he approached. He had just learned from another mouse how to ask rhetorical questions.
The animals watched the men load garbage for what felt to the men like a very long time.
A robin swooped down and landed on the mule’s back. She looked around. Did I hear right? she said. Is Weird Pig getting aroused?
No, said the mule. He’s just practicing.
Well, said a squirrel, who had also heard the news, what’s gotten him so excited?
I think it’s the garbage men, said a ferret. I just got here, though.
That’s exactly what it is, said the chicken. But they’re called sanitation workers. And they are not willing participants in this.
That is true, said one of the men. He and his colleague were only six feet away. They could hear everything the animals said.
They were working fast. They wanted to get all the bags of shit and puke and bricks into the truck as fast as possible. They wanted to get out of there. They didn’t want to wait around and see what would happen when Weird Pig climaxed.
How close is he? asked Brenda Sheep, who came trotting up, out of breath.
From the way he’s breathing, said the mule, I’d say he’s at 82%.
No, said Weird Pig, shaking his head, sweating and breathing heavily. 92. Maybe 94.
It’ll be any second, said the mouse.
She pressed Record on her video camera.
The men were working faster than ever, now, tossing bags from one to the other, stuffing every bag into the back of their overloaded truck. They didn’t realize their haste would only accelerate Weird Pig’s progress toward orgasm.
One of the men stole a glance at the gathered animals.
Weird Pig was surrounded by the other creatures, now. He sat leaning back against a horse, his head lolling. The mule held one of his forehoofs. Brenda Sheep held the other.
Weird Pig kept shuddering, bobbing his whole body forward.
Neither of the men could believe what was happening. They were only there to collect the trash.
How was Weird Pig approaching orgasm? one of them wondered. He wasn’t even touching himself.
And how could one farm produce so much trash in one week?
Why, wondered both of them, didn’t Farmer Dan use all that animal waste as fertilizer? This was a farm, wasn’t it? Did Farmer Dan even know what fertilizer was? How long had he been a farmer, anyway?
Why was it that, as soon as one of the men flipped the switch that activated the compactor in back of the truck, the pig who was the focus of all that animal attention began screaming, as if he were in pain, and continued screaming as he — presumably — ejaculated? Why did the mule throw onto the pig what appeared to be a carpet?
Was it even a carpet? If not, what was it?
It wasn’t a blanket.
Why did the mule shovel dirt on top of the carpet-covered pig? Where did the shovel come from?
How long had the mule known about shovels? Where had he learned to use one?
Was this something they could report to the union leadership? Would they tell their wives about it?
The men thought, independent of one another, how doubtful it was the two of them would speak of it again, even amongst themselves, for the shame they felt at having been a part of the scene they had been unwillingly drawn into.
They didn’t know where the shame had come from. They didn’t try to learn.
Instead, they did all he could to bury the shame in the depths of their broken hearts, to crush it down, the way the compactor on the back of the truck crushed all the farm trash it was their weekly duty to collect and dispose of.
The men drove away in their big truck, to the next farm on their route. They refused to look in their mirrors, as they departed, for fear of what they might see there on the farm with the excitable pig who receded into the distance they could not place between themselves and him fast enough.
Robert Long Foreman’s first book, Among Other Things, was published in 2017 by Pleiades Press. His fiction has appeared recently in Agni, Kenyon Review Online, and Crazyhorse. More Weird Pig stories can be found via www.robertlongforeman.com. He lives in Kansas City.
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