Some Weird Sin

By Cameragrrrl

Disclaimer and some such:
I do not have the rights to use any characters 
officially associated with The X-Files/ Lone Gunmen 
television series. I am using these characters without the 
permission of FOX, 1013 Productions, Chris Carter, or 
any other copyright owners. Of course, this is intended for 
[non-profit] entertainment only, and no 
infringement on copyrights or trademarks 
was intended by the author.

Any similarities to people, places, and other works of
fanfiction are purely coincidental.

All other characters not officially associated with 
The X-Files/ Lone Gunmen (including, but not limited to, 
Smithee and Ellroy) are property of the author 
and should not be recycled into another story without

No animals were harmed during the making of this fanfic, 
except for two mosquitoes and one waterbug.

Cost of coffee drunk while writing this: $15.82
Cost of paper used to print out draft copies: $2.38
Cost of Anne Hawley's beta-reading skills: PRICELESS

The 'present' of this story takes place a few years 
before The Lone Gunmen series timeline.

* * *

I never wanted to be a farmer, mostly because I knew 
pretty early on that I'd never be happy living on a farm. 

I had this specific epiphany when I was six 
years old. Right around Halloween. I remember 
it was Halloween, because I was so excited about 
my Lambchop costume that I wore it everywhere around 
the house. My father's response to this was a 
droning complaint that the costume was expensive and it 
would be my own damn fault if I ruined it.

What did I care? I was six. I just wanted to be Lambchop. 

So, the night before Halloween, in my costume, 
buzzing around my mother's feet. I was practicing the 
Trick-or-Treat routine, probably for the thousandth time.
We didn't do the door-to-door thing - houses in Saltville 
were miles too far apart - but the local middle school 
and high school hosted parties. And they were always 
well-appointed with adults, who were always well-appointed
with bags of delicious candy. 

"What happens after I say trick or treat?"

"They'll give you a piece of candy, and you thank 
them." she said flatly. For the thousandth time. 
"You know this already, Richie."

My father walked into the kitchen, covered in dirt. 
He was always covered in dirt. He grabbed a beer 
from the fridge and gave me a hard stare. "I told you to 
take that damn costume off."

I hung closer to my mother, whined, "But what if 
they don't give me any candy? What do I do?" 

My father sighed loudly. "This is what you're 
teaching him? How to beg for candy?" 

"It's Halloween," my mother countered. She 
should've kept quiet. 

My father glared at her, lips thin, until she lowered 
her head and looked at the table. The he grabbed me 
by the wrist and growled, "Come here. It's high time I 
taught you something."

He dragged me outside, behind the main house. 
We stopped in front of the chicken coop. I was crying. 
I thought I was being punished, but didn't know what for.

"Pick one," he said. 

I sniffled, and said nothing. My teeth were chattering 
too hard to speak, anyway. It was chilly - not 
white-knuckled, freeze-your-ass-off cold the way 
Nebraska could get in the winter - but it was dark out 
and I was only wearing a thin, cheap cotton 
Lampchop costume. No jacket. Not even shoes - except 
whatever attached booties came with the costume. 

"Pick one," he repeated, shoving me closer to the 
wire fence. 

I really didn't know what to do, so I went stiff. 
It was animal reflex: Stay perfectly still, and don't
make a sound, and the predator will lose interest. 

Unfortunately, he didn't lose interest. He grabbed 
the nearest chicken by the neck, and stretched it 
across a rotting tree stump. "If you're old enough to be 
begging other people for food, you're old enough to 
kill your own." 

If I'd been older/stronger/smarter/braver, I would 
have righteously argued that I wasn't begging; 
I was trick-or-treating, like every other kid in the world. 
And I certainly wasn't asking other people for chicken; 
I was hoping for candy. 

But I wasn't, and I couldn't, so I didn't. 
Story of my life. 

My father absently rubbed the edge of a small ax 
with his thumb, checking the blade. "This's how life 
works, Richard. You kill what you eat. This's how the 
animals stay alive." When he deemed the ax usable, 
he pointed to a spot just below the beak. "Here. 
Hit it here."

I took the ax with my thumb and forefinger, like 
a dirty sock. It was heavier than it looked, 
rooting me to the ground. I couldn't move. I just 
stared at the chicken, futiley struggling in my 
father's grip. Finally he just shouted, "Now!"

Again, reflex: I squeezed my eyes shut, raised the ax, 
and brought it down with a wet thump. The sound of the 
other chickens was deafening. I kept my eyes
closed so tight I saw stars, until I heard my father 
mutter, "Good one, Richie," and walk back to the house.

The first thing I saw when I opened my 
eyes was my beautiful Halloween costume - 
completely ruined, clotted with dirt and feathers 
and chicken blood and bits of hay. 
Mud seeped right through to my bare skin. 

The second thing I saw was a disembodied chicken 
head, still lazily dripping a pool of blood on the tree 
stump. I gagged and threw up, totally sealing the fate 
of my Lambchop suit. 

I didn't go trick-or-treating that year. 

I call this memory: Why I Hated Growing Up on Farm, Volume

* * *