Black Mountain Hog Farm
Ice and I were debating on where to vacation, we didn’t have much to spend and weren’t able to venture far from home. We lived in picturesque North Carolina, both of us working traditional jobs during the day and working on our dreams at night. I, Daisy, dreamed about being a soap artisan full time while Ice wanted to be a recognized author. We were both a far cry from our dreams, yet we pursued them. It was autumn and the air felt crisp, the leaves were changing from green to yellows and golds. God it was beautiful. We weren’t in the stage of ugly brown leaves filling up people’s yards yet. This was both of our favorite time of year, October and all the glory it brought with it. No sweltering heat, rather hoodies and hot beverages. The smell in the air was that of slightly damp earth and trees, it is like they let out a sigh of relief from the melting hot days we had here in Charlotte. So, I liked to think we were breathing in the breath of the trees.
We decided to visit a town that wasn’t a tourist trap, but was so beautiful, Black Mountain. True to its name it was nestled in the mountains. Being surrounded by nature was exactly what Ice and I wanted. We deserved this break from the hustle and bustle of busy Charlotte. Our studio apartment would be fine without us for a few days while we hunkered down in cabin, one that was in the mountain and not sitting on a campground. I was so excited! We arrived around noon the next day, ready to get our relaxation on. We talked while sitting on the sofa in the cabin and had some hot chocolate, pretty sure we would break out some liquor later, it was still too early for us to drink. We talked about everything we dreamed of and how to get there. We honestly wore this topic out, even at home. I told Ice that maybe we could try discussing something out of the box for us. He agreed, earlier that day we had been in a local café and we had overheard some of the old timers talking about a Mr. Hensley. Apparently, Mr. Hensley was a hog farmer in the area.
The conversation was slightly hushed but what we could hear sounded intriguing. As much as I tried to get Ice to let it go he was certain this would make good story material. The man was old, and the last of his kin was dead. He had outlived his wife and children, I thought it was sad, but Ice was letting his imagination run on overdrive. “Daisy, what if he killed them?” I wasn’t so sure, of course, I wasn’t the imaginative writer either, always looking for a story. “Look, I seriously doubt it, that stuff only happens in horror films. He is an old man who is on this mountain all alone with his hogs, of all things.” Ice could not be deterred, he decided we should find the farm and see if what the people in the diner had said was true. The folks said that a Ms. Benson had seen Mr. Hensley roaming his property at night wearing a hog mask and roaming around the pin on all fours.
“Daisy, you heard what they said!” I listened to Ice’s argument. “Look, you heard what the locals were saying. His eldest daughter and her children left town and he claimed they were dead.” “Claimed, that is not a certainty, they had no funeral here for them or nothing!” Ice had a point, it was shady, I just didn’t feel comfortable taking our relaxing vacation and making it into a Scooby Doo episode. He kept looking at me with puppy eyes until I relented. “Fine, but I swear if we get shot I am gonna shoot you again, just for good measure!” Ice was over the moon. We decided to hold off on getting drunk and go look for the Hensley Hog Farm.
It was getting cold and October nights were always chilly. I was not excited about this goose chase. It made Ice happy though, and he would do it for me. We went back to the diner under the guise of looking for Mr. Hensley and wanting to buy a hog for our own non – existent hog farm. The waitress, Deb, was more than happy to point us in the right direction. Ice and I loaded up into the warm SUV and took off in the twilight to find the farm. It was deep in the mountain, and no one in their right mind would want to be on this trek in the fading daylight. When we finally reached the sign pointing the way, it was dark out now. We drove down the old dirt road, surrounded by trees and kept a keen eye out for the farm. Finally, at the end of the drive there was a clearing. We hadn’t had to make any turns to reach the farm, that was good, at least it was a straight shot.
Ice parked our vehicle a long distance from the actual house, we figured the hogs were probably out back. “Come one” he said. “What?” I asked in hushed whisper, as if the old man could hear me from here. “Daisy, get out, let’s go. We need to look around.” I was ready to come unglued on him, dogs, shotguns and every other country thing that could cause me harm ran through my head. Ice had already exited the vehicle and was coming around to my side. I let him take my hand and lead me out into the chilly night air. The smell was not that of leaves and tree breath but that of hog crap and well, hog crap. I was not happy. We started walking up the drive sticking close to the tree line, I tried not to gag from the smell of the dirty animals. Ice looked like a kid in a candy store.
We finally were just a few yards from the house, the curtains were open, and lights were on. We walked very quietly to one of the open windows on the side of the house. It was a living room window where we could see the man. Yes, he was old, but, he was large. Probably 6’2 and 260 pounds. He was not flabby; the man was still muscular at his age. He wore the cliché overalls and had a headful of salt and pepper hair. Lines creased his aging face and something about his demeanor was off. I looked at his face, it was cold. His eyes were dark, and he looked like he had never smiled a day in his life. Of course, being the sole survivor of your family could make you look that way I figured. So far this was as fun as watching paint dry, he didn’t notice us, and he did nothing entertaining or creepy. I asked Ice if we could just go already? Ice asked if we could just stay a little longer, fine, whatever.
Finally, after what felt like hours Mr. Hensley stirred, he stood up and we both ducked. Ice dared to peek in the window. “He’s gone, come on Daisy.” He took my hand and led me around back, there were the hogs. Several yards from the house but so many damn hogs. The smell was worse than ever! Mr. Hensley exited out the back door, we both put our backs against the house so hard we were almost melded with it. We both held our breath, Mr. Hensley walked toward the hogs, he leaned on the fence with one foot propped on the bottom rail and elbows on the top rail. He just stared at the huge animals. They were well fed, that was certain. I yanked at Ice’s jacket and he shrugged me off. I knew this was not gonna end friendly. He was gonna get an earful when we got back to the car.
Mr. Hensley looked up at the moonlight, and back down at the cloven -footed pigs that weighed as much as my SUV and I could have sworn I saw a smile cross his lips. It was probably a trick of the light. My heart raced I was not feeling like a simple trespasser anymore, I felt like something bad was gonna happen, something evil. The smile I saw was not normal. Trick of the light or not I was scared to death. Ice just kept watching the man with blazing interest. Then Ice grabbed my hand again and pulled me back toward the front of the house, finally, I thought. We are leaving! I was wrong, Ice jumped up on the porch and before I could protest we were standing in the living room. Ice let go of me and started opening doors frantically. I heard him let out a gasp, I walked to where he was and looked in the room. “Dear GOD, we have to leave, we have to leave!!!” Ice grabbed my hand and we made a mad dash for the front door. We didn’t stop until we were jumping in the SUV and without turning on the headlights, we crept down the road. Finally, at a safe distance Ice flipped on the lights. We neither one spoke on the way back to our cabin. Shock I suppose, shock can do all kinds of weird things.
We sat on the sofa in our Cabin and both had a stiff crown and coke. Ice spoke first, “I am sorry Daisy, I am sorry you seen that.” My hands were shaking so bad, bits of my drink were sloshing out. “Ice, you couldn’t have known. You saw it too, what do we do? Go to the authorities?” Ice sat there in a trance, not answering. I knew he was seeing that room over and over because so was I. It was a trophy room, a game room. Only it was human heads mounted to the walls, not game. There was an older lady, two younger men, a woman, and 2 kids.” His family. Who could have known that Mr. Hensley was a pure psychopath?
We sat there a bit longer in silence, both of us trying to decide what move to make next. We had been trespassing, so we didn’t know if what we discovered would be admissible in court. We were young and dumb. Sitting there in deep thought there was a loud BANG, BANG on our door! We scrambled to our feet looking at each other. Dear lord, did he know, did he find us? Ice walked to the door slowly trying to be silent. He looked through the peep hole, nothing there. He backed up a few feet and the BANG happened again. He stood frozen. We ran to the only other room in the cabin and locked the door. We stood staring at the door, waiting for some intruder to smash thru the living room. I felt the hairs on the back of my neck stand on end, I felt someone watching me. I looked to my left, we had left the curtain open and, in the window, stood a hog faced man. It wasn’t a mask, it was a hog head, blood was dried to the man’s shoulders from where the hogs neck had been severed, the eyes moved from where the man had plucked out the hog’s eyes.
It was a race to the window, I had to lock it and close the curtains! It was Mr. Hensley. We heard the banging on the front door within moments, then we heard squealing. It was unnatural coming from human vocal chords, he was squealing so loud. He knew we couldn’t be heard way up here. Finally we heard a loud thud, he had taken the door off the hinges! And was coming fast. We tried to barricade the door, but it was no use, he let himself into that room also after a few moments. We had nowhere to hide or run. Ice grabbed the fire poker and tried to attack Hensley with it. He just got it taken away and smacked across the head leaving him bloody and unconscious. The hog looked at me and tilted his head ever so slightly to the right. He made a grunting noise and got on all fours. He came over to me and sniffed my legs still grunting and oinking. I stood paralyzed by fear, he fell silent for a few moments and then let out this guttural, squeal, a noise that a man shouldn’t be able to produce. He violently bit me, taking a chunk of my calf muscle off. I fell over onto the floor and watched him chew my muscle with delight. I was about to lose all sanity when I saw Ice walk up behind him with the same fire poker. He drove it through the center of Mr. Hensley, the hog man.
After a long investigation and a stint in the hospital things had begun to come to light regarding Mr. Hensley. Apparently, he was always an ‘odd duck’ he had been arrested his fair share for beating on his wife. He was known to talk to himself and spend far too much time with the hogs. After further digging it was found that he had been a resident in an asylum for mentally ill children when he was a boy for continually killing the family pets. The parents thought that he had grown out of it and was better, in all reality he had grown into it and had gotten better.
Submitted October 11, 2018 at 07:24PM by Paris_Michaels