Trivial Lives

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Other  |  House: Booksie Classic
This is the story about a cow.
A cow with no name, but a number.
Enjoy :)

Submitted: May 07, 2016

A A A | A A A

Submitted: May 07, 2016



Trivial Lives

Whiteness. I blinked, not completely sure where I was. My eyes, as well as my body, seemed to be covered in a strange membrane. I tried to move my legs, but only my feet budged, due to some binding on me. Suddenly, my bindings disappeared. I fell, but only for a split second, and I hit something hard. My legs felt weak; I stretched my neck, and my eyes -for the first time- opened. I looked around, seeing blades of green across a coarse brown. I tried getting up from my legs, only to collapse back onto the ground. I tried again, and managed to get on my feet, albeit weakly. I felt something wet with a rug-like texture wipe off the gooey substance, and I accepted the cleaning with no resistance. Soon my vision began to improve. I looked up to see what entity was cleaning me. My eyes met those of a towering figure. She gave me a half-hearted smile. I bleated back happily at her.

Months later, I look back upon the grassy fields I used to frolick in, the sun shining upon me. I remember my mother allowed me to drink her milk, and I would play fight with other young ‘uns. And now those times are all gone. I remember that fateful day as clear as..well, day. It was dawn, the sun a beautiful orange (and no, not actually something one would eat), and I was eating a simple breakfast of greens. I was called over by one of the farmers. I thought to myself, maybe one of the men had some corn, and wanted to share the delicacy with me. When I came over, they led me out of the gate, and shoved me into a strange cage, filled with many others my age. It smelled of gasoline and smoke, with dirt, waste, and dry straw all over the cage’s bars, if not on its floor. I was confused. I was afraid. All of a sudden, we felt a rumbling. An earthquake? The group soon lurched towards the back end of the cage, only to regain its balance a few seconds after. The outside of the cage started to change, from a slow moving background to a blur.

We remained in that cage for what felt like ages. To pass the time, I attempted to draw on the cage’s wooden bars, only to be rewarded with a irritating splinter. I sat down, feeling a bit melancholy, the same feeling one would get when one was outside in the rain with no shelter or shade, cold and alone. Though I wasn’t alone, I sure did feel like it. We were all alone, lost in our worlds of being back home with the grassy fields, the carefree joviality, our mothers. Dark thoughts then filled our heads, until we suddenly lurched forwards and back again. The dark thoughts and nostalgia dissipated in a near instant. Soon after, the cage was open. We all jumped out, happy to be free from its cramped spacing. But this freedom, as well as our happiness, was short lived. We then were told to march our way to our new “home.” We were led into a shabby barn with say a dozen pens, floors covered in straw, smelling of rotted wood. They put us into individual pens, and left us there. Once again, we were caged against our will. This time, we were truly alone.

I was suddenly awakened from my nap by screaming. Screams of someone going through unbearable agony and distress. The same screams of one going through labor. Except we were males, so that couldn’t be the case. And thus, despite the bleak environment I was in, I began to laugh, for I imagined images of male cows going through labor. Until they came for me. They pinned me down with rope so I couldn’t resist, and put a glowing, hot branding rod on my body. It was one of the most painful experiences I have ever had. The only experience that could’ve compared to it was that other time back at home. They restrained me to some strange device, my mom in the distance watching with approval. I had no clue what was going on, until I started feeling something around my lower area. Good God, what were they doing to my- AGH! All of a sudden, I felt a terrible stinging pain on that area. I yelled, I squirmed, I screamed in pure agony. That moment was possibly the only one that I could’ve compared it to, in terms of pain and aftereffects, both procedures leaving me lying on the ground moaning in pain.

My life at that barn was generally dull and depressing. I remember the first time they gave us food, if one could even call it food. It had a brown, oatmeal look, and smelled of blood. Not the most appetizing thing on the menu. I would rather eat thistles and nettles than this. Unfortunately, eating it wasn’t a choice. At first the men tried putting food bags on my head, but I found ways to take them off. After a few days, the men came over with a tube, and stuffed it down my throat, forcing the food into me. To prevent me from thrashing around, they held me down by the legs. I felt like I couldn’t breathe, like I was drowning in the disgusting solution. I felt sick to my stomach after that encounter. They continued to do this every day, until I finally gave up and decided to just eat it on my own. They turned me into a robot, an eating machine. And that’s what they wanted.

I thought about this hierarchy. About how these humans decide what happens to our lives. Our lives are defined by our branded numbers. We are simply part of a cruel system. We are raised, only to be slaughtered after leaving our mother’s wombs. What justifies this? The humans? Why do the humans judge if it only benefits themselves? Shouldn’t we be the judges, instead? Yet we had no power, and we were raised to be like robots. We were born to have a single purpose in this world. To get fattened up, so we can fatten up others. This is the unfortunate dilemma that many like me face. And there’s nothing we can do to stop it.

Darkness. I shuddered, aware that my time had come. I was squished inside a truck with many others like me. For days without food or water we stood. It stank of urine, waste, and the deceased. Eventually, they let us out. This time, we didn’t jump out eagerly, for many of us were either too sick or exhausted to move. They ended up dragging most of the “downers” to our final destination. Some tried to resist, and were rewarded with beatings and electric prodding. We were then put through this strange, ominous tunnel. One by one, we were sent inside. After about a dozen went in, it was my turn. I sat down, and tried to remain calm. I contemplated the days back home with my mother. I saw the sunrise from the day I left. It was perhaps the most beautiful thing I ever saw. All of sudden, it turned blood red, and I felt a strange pang on my forehead. I looked up, and found a shining, gray rod engraved into my skull. Black red liquid dripped from it. The binds from the day I was born returned.

I thought to myself, “This is it, this is how I’m going to die.” I eyed the men holding long, sharp, gleaming crescent moons ahead of me. The lights flickered like fireflies. It suddenly turned into night. I began to feel drowsy, my vision became a vignette. My vision went dark before I saw the men finish the job.

And so, our protagonist’s life ended there. Though he survived through much abuse and horrors, his life wasn’t that special. His life was merely the same as those around him. He didn’t go out with a bang. We never even got his name. He was just another number in the system, just a mindless drone doing what the men wanted him to do. He fulfilled his purpose in life, and that’s all that mattered. Like our protagonist, are we just robots in this system, working endlessly to fulfill what society tells us to do? Our parents make us study because they know what’s best for us. When we get a job, we mindlessly work day after day, to achieve what? Money, power, fame? Are those really worth it, just because society says so? Why should society judge for us, why should it decide what we need to do to live happily? Why should people decide what our purposes are life? Shouldn’t we be the judges, instead?



Short Author's Note to the Reader:

This story can be interpreted in many different ways by the reader. Whether it be a reference to the Holocaust, to supporting PETA, to even philosophical ideas about judgement and life, or just a plain short story, it's up to you, reader (Mind my grammar). But one thing's for sure, I hope you got something out of this, hopefully positive :)





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