[This story is close to what my fiction writing was like in the early 1990s surreal, gritty, and not well thought out. I tried to revise it a bit, but the style seems hopeless. I hope my writing has improved since then. This story in particular is based on a vivid dream some might call it a nighmare I had. Freudians, Jungians, and others can battle over interpreting it. I wouldn't mind hearing what anyone thinks of it. I forget where it was originally published, though as I dig through my files, I'll find out and put the information here.]
The building stood plainly, a tattered box made of metal and plastic surrounded by others much the same. The road that went around back to its rear entrance once smooth and black is now bumpy and brown, full of potholes and flattened garbage. The wood out back was full of cardboard boxes and spent beer cans. A huge wall surrounded the building. It's so high, I could only see over it when I was on the roof. In the summer, a riot of green hides this mess.
It was summer, the heat almost unbearable, the air full, and the wind nonexistent. I stood at the edge of the lot looking up at the hazy sky. My long blond hair was pushed back. I wore shorts I found in a scrap pile and sneakers I had for as long as I can remember. The heat was almost too much, but to someone as young as me it was merely a backdrop. As usual I was exploring. No matter how many times I had seen the factory and its grounds it always seemed to contain new wonders.
My friends the Gang, three boys and a girl liked to go exploring with me. Sometimes we would spy on the people working in the factory, watching them cut up bodies and grind them into meat or hold meetings on the second floor. They didn't seem to mind. In fact, they were nice to us, allowing us to roam freely except we weren't allowed off the grounds.
One night, we stayed up late and watched them bring in a funny looking truck. I'd never seen anything like it before. It was white with red and yellow markings. It had flashing lights on top that kept rotating. In its front seat sat a big fat man with dark curly hair and eyes that keep shifting back and forth. He was strapped in and bleeding. The windshield of the truck was smashed in. The workers cut his straps and pulled out his bloody body. They dragged him to one of the cutting tables and began sectioning him up. In a few minutes, his body was sliced, ground and bagged.
They pulled two more people from the truck. One was a woman. She was strapped into a bed with wheels on it. The other was a tall, skinny man who seemed to be struggling. They dragged him to one of the tables first and started to cut. He screamed but soon he was out of breath. The workers finished their task and wash off the cutting tables.
It was always fun to see what people looked like inside. There was always plenty of fresh blood, the white and brown of muscle and sometimes bones. One time my friends and I took a leg. We snuck it up to our room and played with it, trying to make it walk and stand. A few days later it started to smell, so we threw it out a window. The dogs that guarded the factory fought over it, until one of the workers came and took it away.
A few days later, we were spying on a meeting. This one was on the third floor. We'd never been up that high before. They four men in suits and a beautiful woman were talking about us. They mentioned how we were getting bigger and soon would start asking questions. They decided to cut us up. At first, we laughed, thinking how funny our insides would look. I thought eventually everyone wound up as meat. Where else would food come from?
But Jake, the oldest one of us, as far as we knew because he was the tallest, said he didn't want to be cut up. We tried to talk him out of it, but he convinced us instead. We would stick together. He told us we could hide. The factory was big. They couldn't find us if we hid and stashed enough food.
That night I heard a strange noise outside. The dogs were barking away as some light raced through the sky. My eyes tried to follow but it was too fast. There was another loud noise, like something fell on the ground, then the building shook. One of the nearby buildings caught fire and the wall around ours broke open. A huge gap had formed in its plain painted metal. The dogs jumped through it and into the darkness beyond.
The rest of the Gang saw this too. We ran down the stairs and through the factory. The workers were busy outside trying to put out another fire that had started in the woods. We ran to the wall and into the opening. The outside world was black. The forbidding shapes of other buildings and trees crowded the night. To our rear, someone yelled for us to come back. I ran as fast as I could.
We ran through the night, afraid that if we were caught we'd be ground into meat. By dawn, we were tired. We rested in a wood next to a hill. The day was hazy and hot. We heard dogs in the background. I tried to sleep, but Jake didn't want any of us to sleep until we were sure they couldn't find us. I was hungry too.
The day wore on and the shadows of the trees began to shorten. We started moving again. We heard strange noises in the sky. I looked up and saw a green pod making a thumping noise. It flew over us then turned around and came back again. We ran into another clump of trees.
The thing touched the ground behind us. It was some kind of truck with sticks on top but no tires. Some men jumped out of it. They wore green clothes and carried some kind of long tools. They came running for us. I broke off and ran again. The others stood there fascinated by the flying truck. The men got them, but I got away.
I ran deeper and deeper into the woods. My head was pounding and my stomach hurt. Eventually, I fell asleep. I dreamed of the flying truck coming after me. I dreamed of being ground up and eaten. I woke and it was dark. Something was licking my face. I felt it. It was a dog.
Next thing I knew, there were workers from the factory all around me. They grabbed me, beat me, and tied me up. I struggled but it was no use. They took me in a small truck back to the factory.
Inside, they asked me again and again where the others were. I told them a flying truck got them. "We'll never get them back now!" One of the workers yelled. They let me rest in the old room the Gang shared. I tried not to sleep, afraid of what would happen, but eventually I nodded off.
When I woke up it was light and I was strapped to a table. One of the workers started and circular saw and began to cut my knee. I screamed the loudest scream I'd ever heard, then I could scream no more.