Dandelion Crowns and Paper Butterflies

Chop A Chicken's Head Off

"Winston, I want to become a Slicer."

Winston spins around as he hears Flore's voice behind him.

His eyebrows shoot up.

"Well, good morning, too," he replies drily. "Are you sure about that? I don't think it's a job that fits you."

"What do you mean?" the redheaded girl asks, nearly sounding insulted.

Winston shrugs. "I just don't think that you're someone who could chop a chicken's head off or something."

That isn't the truth. He doesn't want her to be a Slicer because it is quite a dangerous job – the thin, white scars on his lower arms are the prove of that. He doesn't want her to get hurt.

Flore frowns at him, looking offended and something else... desperate? Even scared maybe? Why?

The thought gets cut off when Flore says: "Well, at least give me a chance to prove that I can be a Slicer. I don't think that you know how good I am with a knife."

Winston nearly laughs at that – he doesn't believe that the small, weak-looking girl can use a knife – but he holds back.

"All right, then," he says after a moment of silence. "I'll give you a knife and then you can show what you can do with it."

Quietly chuckling, he walks towards the farm.

This is gonna be fun.

"All right. Show me what you've got."

Winston is standing in the corner of the poultry house, his hands in his pockets. Flore is standing in the middle of the small shed, a short knife in her right hand.

The chickens seem to be completely cool with the fact that there's an armed girl in their shed, and they calmly go on eating their food.

Winston watches Flore as she turns the blade between her fingers. He silently prays that it won't cut her.

"Come on," he says, gesturing at the winged animals. "Go ahead. We don't have all day."

He doesn't know where his impatient behaviour comes from. Maybe it's because he wants to see what she is going to do, because a small part of him secretly believes in her.

Flore glances at him, shifts her feet and draws the weapon back. Before Winston even realizes what is happening, the knife flies through the air and pins a chicken against the wall.

The metal is sticking right in the small bird's neck; the animal is dead.

Winston whistles, secretly a little impressed.

Flore puts her arms in her sides.

"Who said that I couldn't chop a chicken's head off?" she asks him, a proud grin playing on her lips.

Winston grins back.

"Well, I take that back," he says. "Congratulations, Flore. You're a Slicer."

Flore happily dances in place at that last sentence.

"Yay!" she loudly exclaims.

Then, suddenly, she wraps her arms around Winston's neck.

Too startled to do anything, the Slicer just stands there, even stiller than a statue, until she pulls back. She is blushing, and her head is as red as her hair.

It is silent for a moment as they look at each other, before Winston finds his voice again.

"Eh..." He clears his throat. "You'd better get dressed. The work starts in a couple of minutes. The Slicers' clothes are in the back of the farm." He points at the wooden back door. "I'll go feed Bark and then I'll lead you around."

Flore nods, already walking towards the farm.

"Okay. See you soon," she says before turning around.

Shaking his head, Winston watches her walk away, too fascinated by the way her hair bounces with every step to move.

She's a weird girl, he thinks as she walks into the farm.

He pulls the knife out of the wall, making the dead chicken fall on the ground. Grinning, the Slicer throws the blood-covered blade up and catches it again.

But I like her.

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