Some Weird Sin
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
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
* * *