The Human Body Farm – Diana Radovan [Fiction]

The Human Body Farm

The children are terribly excited about the school trip to the human body farm.
The teachers constantly remind them not to use the term “corpses,” but rather, “dead
human bodies.”

Here, there was a fire. A man stood on the stage one night and sang: “Tonight
is the night that we all die.” A spark from the fireworks landed on a plastic chair.
They all tried to reach the exit, but they were too many and had not enough time.
They ran out, skin and flesh coming off their bones.
Their burnt flesh got caught in the fire brigade’s clothes, in the ER nurses’
clothes, in their hands, in their hair. The ER man resuscitated body after body, many
without faces, struggling to find a nose to give oxygen to, until blood started spurting
out of his own nose.
They left the burnt dead bodies inside and focused on the burnt live bodies
from this point onwards. In the hospital, some of the nurses were too busy playing
cards and ignored the smell of impending death, and some of the families couldn’t
afford to slide enough money into the pockets of the dominating male doctors. There
weren’t enough hospital beds and blood supplies, so some of the live human bodies
became dead human bodies in no time. Each day, they counted the dead. Some of the
burnt dead bodies were never identified. Some came from smaller humans – children,
if you wish.
The city mayor tore down the walls of the club, and quit his job the next day.
They turned the club and its surrounding area into a farm. They evacuated the city and
started studying death here. They gave up investing in schools, hospitals, medical
research, and churches. They gave up on living and said that in the end we all die.
They carefully placed cages over some of the dead human bodies, but not over
all. Those that were uncovered were left to the discretion of the vultures. Those that
were covered became the favorites of the maggots. The ravens were sometimes
quicker than the vultures.
They recreated various natural environments and brought along some live dogs
and cats. The cats purred while the dogs wept and they all ended up with rabies.
Candles surrounded the imaginary farmhouse walls. The dead human bodies
emitted a lot of sulfur and nitrogen and killed off the unaccustomed plants before they
could become fertile. Kindergarten and primary-school children from all over the
country would come here with their teachers for summer camp, summer being the
time when the smell of death was the most intense, and the degradation of the corpses
the most intoxicating, and the fastest.

The farm has a special area for school trips recreational activities. Here, one of
the biggest attractions for the children today is playing football with the skulls.

— What do you want to be when you grow up, little Johnny? asks the teacher.
— I want to be dead, says little Johnny, while placing a dead human skull on
his face to make his dream come true.

And you, how about you?


By Diana Radovan

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