The ground was sodden with a mixture of water, blood, manure and moss. Robert felt it all between his toes as he stumbled through the field. He’d be on his way to the bathroom if it wasn’t for his dad Charlie yelling at him to hold up.
“Hang on mate” … Charlie was struggling to catch up to Robert, as the young calf was more difficult than he first thought, and it didn’t seem very keen to die.
“I have to have a wee,” said Robert with a sense of bladder urgency that can override all other feelings. “Come on dad, hurry up”
“Ok, off you go, tell Sally to come and see me” … Charlie smiled as he continued to drag, coerce, all the while pleading with the calf to follow him up the hill.
The house sat on top of the small hill and proudly offered its 360-degree view of the valley that was Mupps Farm in northern NSW. The smallholding yard was next to the “meat hut”, which housed two walk-in cool rooms and ten very large chest freezers. The “meat hut” was just a nickname, as it was actually an approved slaughter, meat processing structure licensed by NSW Food Authority and the local Council. The air conditioning and refrigeration units could have cooled the entire community in Mullimboy. The power for this scar upon the Earth was provided by a bank of solar panels with a backup battery system, cutting edge environmentally friendly technology. As much as it could be while it slaughtered animals. That was another thing that seemed incredibly out of place in Mullimboy.
Charlie, the proud son of a sixties hippy took over the family farm when his parents died. The farm was originally a serene place, respecting the Earth and striving to live and leave a minimal footprint philosophy. This had changed with Charlie’s arrival and it became a cover for other activities. The farm had a few operations and young Robert was learning each one as he grew.
Sally was Robert’s mother in her role only and she ran a very tight, well fed, organically charged household that basically propped up the facade of the area’s required footprint and image. The image was necessary to hide the more fruitful activities. Roberts real mother Anne was in prison but that revelation was kept from the local community. Drug use, growing and dealing weed were all part of the community’s organic pedigree but even they would be horrified at the reason for Anne’s incarceration.
Anne had murdered a family of 4 in 2014. Many would say that the family deserved such an end, but the butchery involved shocked the seasoned Police and forensic officers working the case. The stated defence suggested that Anne was a victim of child abuse by the parents within this family and that the two adult children had conspired to hide the evidence and discredit Anne. This wasn’t quite right, all in the family were responsible for unthinkable things against scores of children. Anne wasn’t one of them.
Anne had been in business with her husband Charlie for some 15 years, they killed people. They were very good at their job and blended into the society which remained completely oblivious to the calm almost hippy-like” young couple in their midst. The fact that Anne was caught was very unfortunate and a sheer stroke of blind bad luck. The Police officer who’d witnessed Anne’s actions was simply looking t have a serious kiss and a rambunctious cuddle with his girlfriend when they drove into the laneway behind the row of old million dollar terraces in Paddington. It was 03.30 on a Monday morning, so the chances of anyone seeing a young lady handle a few soggy plastic bags into the back of a van was pretty low. The semi-upright constable and his near-naked girlfriend swung round into the lane and their lights caught Anne’s face, the arm that fell out of the van and the number plate of the van. The suddenly deflated officer smacked the car into reverse and while tearing out to block the lane called 000 and sought back up.
Needless to say, they arrived very fast and Anne was arrested the following day. She was found in a cheap motel near Sydney’s Central railway station. The media bombardment about the slaughter in Paddington and the woman seen handling a bag of bodies provided her Motel mates with enough energy and inducement to dob her in. They would also be queuing to receive whatever incentives the Police offered such individuals, hookers, meth addicts, homeless mentally ill folks all living the high life in town. Anne was simply trying to hide.
Just before he got to the house Robert yelled to his father … “When are you doing the calf?”
“In about an hour, I’ll grab you so you can help if you like.” … Charlie yelled back.
“Yeah thanks, Dad”
“Another skill set Robert was learning to master” … thought Charlie – “only 5 but he’s learning fast.”