Spooky tales, horror stories and accounts of ghostly manifestations are all grist to my mill. The mill in question grinds them to a pulp of words which I reorganise into something that interests me. The spine chiller genre does nothing for me save chill my spine. If something in my life is to be chilled, let it be a Martini and not my spine. I cannot remember wanting to be frightened or ever believing that the frisson of fear was anything but fucking horrid.
Butcher’s shops fit very well into nightmare scenarios and, although I have eaten plenty of meat during my life, I have never felt at ease surrounded by chunks of wet, bleeding flesh. This would not be a problem in this Boucherie. We have lived here for the last 13 years, and during that time I have never known this shop to be open. The interior has the appearance of a butcher’s shop at the end of a working day. Every surface is freshly cleaned, glass and metal twinkle and the order that is evident suggests that tomorrow will be just another bloody offal day. In order for this state of affairs to have continued over such a time span the intervention of a human agency cannot be discounted, but it has never revealed itself to me. I have never seen anyone in or around the shop on any occasion. My only reason for mentioning this shop to you is the appearance of evidence that confirms a presence within. A hand written note, in red, has been attached to the glass window of the meat display counter, confirming that there will be no opening,…. ever. Fermé définitivement. You can’t be clearer than that.
In my current dietary convictions, this is a shining example of a perfect butcher’s shop. Is that a hand bag hanging over the bacon slicer?