For many struggling writers, it’s always heartbreaking to see the newest piece of literature sweeping the globe, snowballing attention and constantly pointing in your face about how all this money isn’t actually coming to you. However, by taking notice – and therefore, advantage – of the trends of the time, any writer can produce they’re own bit of spin-off literature in the vain hope that they’ll get recognised too. The following lot of words depicts what would’ve happened if the plot of a currently popular book had taken place in a caricatured version of a barn in rural America. It was also written from the point of view of a bitter British guy on a bored and lazy afternoon.
She had just finished filling the pigs’ trough when Farmer Billy-Bob entered the barn. He stood sturdy and straight with his three-pronged pitchfork across his shoulders, resting behind his neck and he watched silently as Elsie-May dumped the entrails of the latest of the diseased sheep to have fallen. The snorting and gobbling noises of the swine drowned out his heavy breathing. It wasn’t until she turned to flick back a lock of her dirty, straw-coloured hair that she noticed the light from the doorway was blocked by the bulking figure of the landowner.
’You’re doin’ a good job Elsie-May,’ Farmer Billy-Bob cocked his head up as he spoke through the strand of wheat clenched in his teeth.
’I'm-a sorry about all the sheep a-dyin’,’ she responded in her mousey tones.
Farmer Billy-Bob began to stride forwards into the barn, all the while keeping an expression of pride and awe fixed on his face; his eyes never left the sight of the young stable-girl.
’It sure is a powerful shame that whatever’s ailin’ ‘em can spread amongst ‘em so quickly.’
’ ‘T ain’t nothin’ to worry your perdy li’l self about, young’un,’ he stopped before her and began to swivel his body in place, making sure not to go so far as to accidentally touch the girl with his pitchfork, ‘besides, as long as the horses are okay. They be my pride and joy. Anyways, ‘t ain’t down to you what infected the herd anyway so you’ve nothin’ to be apologisin’ for.’
She looked down toward the pigs, trying to cover her flushing face by her veil of hair. Farmer Billy-Bob raised an eyebrow and brought his face around to get a closer look at Elsie-May’s.
’You didn’t have nothin’ to do with the sheep a-dyin’, did ye?’
Elsie-May peered at him once again through a thin glaze of watery eyes, ‘oh, Farmer Billy-Bob, I sure hope not. But I been workin’ a-with all the critters on the land every day for the last two weeks and I was just last night made aware of my own condition.’
’What condition be that, Elsie?’
’Why don’t ye take a closer look at me?’ she replied and she stood defiantly face to face with Farmer Billy-Bob as if telling him to inspect her appearance.
Billy-Bob had always cared a great deal for his fresh-faced stable-girl. Often he didn’t allow himself to look her directly in the eye for fears he’d lose himself in them; after all, she was such a sweet young lady and he didn’t want to be the one to spoil that about her. He’d even considered letting her go once or twice before now but he didn’t feel it was right to put a girl out of a job just because he couldn’t control himself around her. There was no way out of it right now though; Elsie-May was pretty much forcing him to regard her looks. All he could do was oblige.
Her long, golden hair was stained with occasional flecks of horse manure. It cascaded over her shoulders like loose bundles of straw scattered across the floor of this very barn. Her eyes glowed a deep, marine blue, reminding him of how the lake across the field once looked when he first bought the land. She actually looked a bit like Joy off My Name Is Earlexcept with a smile made of uneven, slightly yellowing teeth hidden behind lips ridden with specks. Upon closer inspection, those specks around her mouth were not just specks.
’You see it now, right?’ she said when she saw the farmer’s eyes widen, ‘I got the sores around my mouth. First I thought nothin’ of it, but then I went to take a lookie on that there internet highway down the ol’ library…’
’Ol’ library?’ Farmer Billy-Bob interrupted, ‘What be that?’
’Well really it’s the new library what used to be the ol’ children’s playhouse, then before that the ol’ whore house, then before that the ol’ ol’ children’s playhouse, then before that the den’ist.’
’O’ course,’ Farmer Billy-Bob nodded, ’since when did folks need a library anyways? I thought the whore house was a big hit with the local folk.’
Realising a tangental narrative was forming and not wanting to stray too far from what he’d originally intended, the narrator decided to stop Billy-Bob’s dialogue right there and got him to say something else to bring things back to the story he first had in mind.
’So what business had ye in the book house, Elsie? Why d’ye wanna go ruinin’ yourself readin’ books for anyways?’
’Well, I only had a gander at this one book while I was in there. I couldn’t make half a sense of it anyways, Farmer Billy-Bob. It was mostly full o’ fancy rich-people words that no real body can’t half understand. But it were on the first shelf as I went in and it just sounded like a colouring chart anyways so I figured it’d be easy to look at. But it ended up being a story of high fancy business-types doing things with neck ties and I got lost, so I figured I’d just look up what was wrong with my mouth sores instead.’
The farmer didn’t care for a word Elsie-May had just said; he was too busy swimming in her eyes and he knew he wouldn’t be able to stand much longer. He turned around and paced the barn, all the while silently chewing the wheat stalk in his mouth.
’Anyways, the professors in the internet highway told me that the spots on my mouth were cold sores and that they’re a form of…’ Elsie-May broke off. Farmer Billy-Bob stopped pacing and looked up at her with a concerned expression on his face.
’It’s okay Elsie, ye call tell me anything.’
Elsie-May sniffed, blinked large tears out of her eyes and continued; ‘They’re a form of herpes.’
Farmer Billy-Bob blinked.
’Yep,’ Elsie-May continued to sob.
’But,’ Farmer Billy-Bob began, confused, ‘ain’t Herpes the name o’ one of the dames down the ol’ whore house? I remember hearing tales of folks complaining whenever they got her down there.’
’No. It’s fancy doctor-speak for one of them contageous sex diseases.’
Farmer Billy-Bob slowly approached Elsie-May with conflicting feelings brewing inside of him.
Meanwhile, the narrator suddenly realised this whole thing was getting a bit dialogue-heavy and decided to wrap things up ASAP.
’Elsie,’ the farmer began, ‘are you not as pure as the day born?’
Silence, but for the snorting of the pigs, filled the barn. It took the young stable girl a while to reply. Once she did, it was apparent she needed the time to collect herself and the words she wanted to say.
’Farmer Billy-Bob, I have a confession.’
The farmer drew ever closer. If Elsie-May wasn’t unspoiled as he first thought she was, he’d feel no regret in ploughing her the way she’d ploughed his land many times before now.
’It was earlier last month when I was in the stables with the horses. Young Clip-Clop was givin’ me the fancy eye as I groomed him and when I stroked his underneath belly, I noticed his underparts were growing tenser.’
Farmer Billy-Bob looked on as Elsie-May told him about taking advantage of his horses, how they must’ve given her her mouth herpes and how she must’ve spread her sex disease from the horses to the rest of his livestock.
’Why, I had no idea you were that into the other critters around these parts, Elsie,’ he said when she was finished.
’Well, in all fainess, Farmer Billy-Bob, they were the literally ones that were into me.’
’Oh please, Elsie, call me Billy.’
She nodded to oblige and she knew that from this moment their relationship had changed forever. Despite being a randy stable-girl, she still hesistated from moving. Farmer Billy-Bob broke the mutual silence between them and asked her something she had longer to hear since he hired her to work on her farm.
’So, is it just the critters you want into you or do you happen to enjoy the company of landowners too?’
Elsie-May responded with a small smile and, as she took a few steps backwards towards the haystacks, began to unbutton her plaid blouse. As Farmer Billy-Bob followed her with his toothless grin, Elsie-May fell and landed on her back in the middle of some forty or fifty bales of hay arranged in a form similar to a child’s fort. She let out a giggle as Farmer Billy-Bob advanced on her, kicking over a haystack so that it landed trapping one of her arms. He lifted the pitchfork from his shoulders and plunged it into the ground where her other arm lay, trapping her wrist in one of the gaps between the prongs, pinning it to the ground.
Farmer Billy-Bob, proceeded to unbutton the straps of his dungarees and let them drop the floor before her. As he lowered his face to hers, Elsie-May felt his bushy beard tickling her face, reminding her of the last night she spent licking certain parts of the sheep before they perished.
A lot of giggling and groaning competed with the squealing and snorting of the pigs across the barn. Farmer Billy-Bob didn’t seem to care that he too would end up with Elsie-May sex diseases, he was just glad to be rolling around in straw, unable to identify her hair from the mess of the floor around them.
Then it got really grotesque and graphic and, out of a sense of morality and basic decency, the narrator decided not to write any more physical description of the events that transpired in the barn. But it just so happened that he was able to write a piece of spin-off fiction based on an already bafflingly popular piece of literature. Very soon he can expect critical acclaim and a whole hoard of massive cheques to come through his door any day now.
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