‘Subject 23′
by Dave Migman

Subject 23/acd0 escaped from the Genome factory on the twelfth of December. He (for it was a male) found its way into the busy shopping precinct of Buchanan Street. There terrified shoppers screamed in holy terror at what confronted them.

23 was a fully grown British Landrace. A hog. However, having resided in the Genome factory for five years, 23 was no ordinary pig. Attached to 23 were the various human organs: a heart, a lung and several ears. They were embedded in his skin. 23 looked like a butcher shop window display.

As 23 trotted down the street old women stared and crossed themselves, children screamed and sought refuge in their mother’s skirts. The evangelical priest Hammond Richter grabbed a mineral water from a passer by and performed a blessing rite, then jogged after the animal, sprinkling water into the ears.

The pig, enraged by the sudden shower of cold water took a sharp right… into the main road and was there flattened by the number 23 to Govan (a coincidence not unnoticed by several members of discreet occult groups operating throughout the city. Who, prompted by the numerical significance, held meetings to discuss the significance of the incident – Unbeknownst to each group – seven of them – held their gatherings at the same time, an event that did not go unnoticed by Chisholm Dervish, AKA The Owl, whose charts and mathematical occultist geometries coated the walls of his West End town house like a web).

Hammond, aghast at the sight fell to his knees and began to fervently pray for the poor beast’s wretched soul, before remembering animals didn’t possess any. However, the ears were remarkably human looking, as were the heart and lungs. As the police heaved the bizarre carcass into their van, Hammond fell to praying again.

The police took the pig to Marty’s, a reputable East end butcher, and for sixty pounds had the beast turned into several kilos of fresh sausage, chops, black pudding and ribs. They let Marty keep the extras, the majority of which he minced and put into his Lorne sausage mix and which, every customer agreed, were extremely tasty, if not, more ‘pig’ like than usual. We are not known as long pigs for nothing.

The coincidence does not stop here. The very same Chisholm Dervish (having subsequently mapped the geometrical quandaries surrounding the 23 event) decided to head west and gather some authentic Glaswegian culinary treats. He stopped in at Marty’s where he procured several Lorne sausages, containing exactly the following proportions: 28% oatmeal, 30% human ear, 20% human lung and the remainder human heart. For days afterwards the taste and the memory of that particular sausage haunted Dervish. He had the strangest dreams. He would feverishly write each morning (affording the later police investigation with detailed accounts of his obsession) that taste… more pig than pig… that could only be… accounts later leaked to the Daily Mail, who published his diaries in full, revealed how Dervish believed a bizarre character actually stepped through the veil of dreams and entered his reality. The skinless pig lord would tower above Chisholm, a creature half pig, half man, body oozing blood, entrails dangling from its chest.

Neighbours disappeared, pans sizzled, souls were belched into eternity from behind a lacy napkin and burgeoning gut. If it hadn’t been for the urban foxes ripping open his garbage and leaving half chewed long pig femurs in the street Dervish might have eaten the whole tenement.

Around the same time, Hammond Richter broke into the very same Genome research centre that nestled in the countryside. He succeeded in freeing a whole herd of mutated pigs. There were forty of them, happy to be freed they sped from the hills, external organs flapping and flopping around them. Drawn by the sights, the smells but blissfully unaware of any numerical, occult significances they trotted toward the city…

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Filed in Stories on April 1, 2012