KYSO Flash
Knock-Your-Socks-Off Art and Literature
Issue 10: Fall 2018
Flash Fiction: 960 words

Bacon’s Revenge

by Sheree Shatsky

I fell in with the hogs the afternoon my mother decided to take a drive up the mountain. “The mountain,” she said, “is where men live with their second wives in fancy houses while their first families live in squalor down in the valley.”

My mother found herself turned-around lost before gaining any sort of altitude and stopped to ask directions at a small farm she remembered a friend from high school once lived. “Truth be known, she’s probably still living here, poor thing, had a face as pitted as a waffle iron back in our school days.”

Sure enough, her friend stood alongside the house, trimming back the hydrangeas while her husband mowed down the dandelions. As both women got to talking, I grew tired of looking for waffle pocks (not a mark pitted this woman’s face as far as I could see) so I left the two jabbering and wandered around back toward the hog pen.

“Hogs are good for one thing,” my mother always said. “Bacon. And they know it.” She had what she referenced as an “incident” as a child and from what I could gather, she had wandered in on a butchering and had never gotten over it. She blamed hogs ever since for everything wrong in the world. “That’s why, if you get too close, they’ll feed on you like corn on the cob.”

A big sloppy sow took residence in a nice-size pen, snorting about and wallowing in the mud, taking her beauty bath. I liked pigs. “Hogs!” my mother’s voice said inside my head. “The use of ‘pigs’ far lessens hogs as the true monsters they are!” I especially liked the babies. I had sneaked a hold once at a county fair and never forgot how much the piglet reminded me of a human baby, well, all but the face and tail.

I stepped up on the lower slat running the fence and looked about for any sign of piglets, spotting two huddling together away from their momma. A kindred spirit for these babies bubbled up from within my heart and I put myself in their wee little place, thinking perhaps their poppa had run up the mountain with a cute sow with uppity ways and a fresh manicure.

I stepped up onto the top rail and balanced myself, walking along heel-toe to get a closer look. The sow paid me no never mind as I hunkered down on top of the corner post to better see those sweet piglet faces. The momma pig was awfully calm about my visit and didn’t seem to mind in the least. Maybe she enjoyed me keeping her company or maybe, she was waiting for a chance to eat me up.

“Good Lord, Eully, get down, get down!” My mother screeched biblical, loud enough to part the sea of slop by sending the sow and piglets running. Startled, I fell off the post to face an oft described death. A massive hog rose snorting from the bile of a water hole and set his eyes on me. “Now, hogs are as fast as gators,” my father once told me. “If you find yourself in a confrontation, run zig zag, it’s the best shot you’ve got to get out alive. Hogs are nasty business, it’s the single solitary issue I find common ground with your momma.” He had winked and smiled. “Bacon’s revenge, I like to call it.”

I shot left of the monster, then right, then left again, sprinting to the fence and grabbing the massive hands of waffle lady’s husband. He lifted me up and over as easy as you please and my mother, well, I’d like to say she was thankful, but she was too busy pulling a switch off a bush and heading straight at me. I ran left, then right, then left again, zigzagging all the way to the car and past, out to the street where I knew she wouldn’t be caught dead switching her own daughter in public. I thought twice and kept running, down the street and around the corner to Tom’s Freeze, Best Ice Cream in Town, a tasty excuse for locals to sit around and gossip. There sat my father, his long legs looped over the concrete bench, sharing a vanilla cone dipped in chocolate with Norma, wife number two or Mrs. Too Good For Us, as my mother referenced her.

“I suwannee, Eully, what did you do, fall in a hog pen?” Norma ran to grab napkins or anything handy to clean the hog off me or more likely, to get away from me—who could blame her, my sneakers stunk to high heaven.

“I did fall, I did fall in the pig, I mean, hog pen, Daddy. Lucky for me, feet first, ’cause I did what you told me. I zigged and zagged and got out alive.”

“Slow down, girl. Here.” He gave me his dripping cone and dabbed my muddy legs with the hot towel Norma had managed to sweet talk out of the counter boy. “Finish this up and tell me the whole story from start to finish.”

A car door slammed out in the parking lot and, noting the pinched look on Norma’s face, I knew my mother had snorted out my scent like the poppa hog. She screamed like I can only imagine those slaughtered hogs she’d come across might’ve sounded, “I do not want you sitting with that trash! Eulalie Mae! You get over here, right now, this very instant!”

“Bacon’s revenge,” my father said and on his wink, we got up and ran to nowhere in particular, zigzagging left, then right, then left again, leaving the two women to melt like ice cream in the hot summer sun.



Little White Pigs and Mother: painting by Horatio Walker

Little White Pigs and Mother (1911)
Oil on canvas by Horatio Walker

Publisher’s Note: Walker’s original painting resides at the National Gallery of Canada. The reproduction above appears here as an illustration (i.e., “Bacon’s Revenge” is not an ekphrastic story), and was downloaded from Wikimedia Commons under United States public-domain license (PD-1923).


Sheree Shatsky
Issue 10, Fall 2018

writes short fiction, believing much can be conveyed with a few simple words. She was selected by the AWP Writer to Writer Mentorship Program as a Spring 2018 mentee for flash fiction. Her most recent work has appeared in the biannual issue of The Shallows/Cold Creek Review with work forthcoming in Rind Literary Magazine. Read more of Ms. Shatsky’s work, along with her adventures with Wild Words, at


Horatio Walker
Issue 10, Fall 2018

was born in Ontario in 1858 and died in Quebec in 1938. He was among Canada’s top painters, commercially successful and respected for his idealized pastoral scenes in oils and watercolors that portrayed life in the Quebec countryside. His early art training included a three-year apprenticeship, beginning when he was fifteen, at the Toronto photography firm of Notman and Fraser under artists John A. Fraser and Robert Ford Gagen. Later, Walker traveled in Europe where he was strongly influenced by the French Barbizon School of painting. In 1882, he moved to the United States, first to Rochester and then to New York City, where his paintings were widely exhibited. By 1907, he had become the most famous Canadian-born painter of his time. He won four gold medals at major exhibitions, including the World’s Columbian Exposition in Chicago. His landscapes continue to rank among the best-known Canadian paintings.

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