They were here.

I didn’t want them there. Hell, I wanted them as far away from my property as they could go, but insisting on their departure would have definitely ruined the game. I had to take my chances and let them through, hoping they thought the cold sweat prickling my skin was only due to the hard labour I did to keep my business afloat. Boy, did I work hard.

I’d never had an inspection before, but the farm was clear and the cows were well fed and looked after. I showed them around the fields, making some crap up about the quality of grass and feed that they lapped up like pigs eating slop. I took them through to the barn and pointed out the various machines I used to milk the cows, answering question after question about standards and regulations until my head damn near spun.

For a minute I looked over at the axe hanging on the wall and considered shutting their damn mouths before I got a headache but there would be far too much blood and as enjoyable as a good slaughter was, they were part of some kind of committee which meant there would be police all over me like flies on a corpse before I could even count to three. I didn’t want them to loiter in the milk barn for too long.

My eyes kept glancing over at it without me realising and my hands were getting all clammy again. I made some remark about the fine weather we were having and they all agreed. Sweat was dampening their slick suits; the ladies’ tights sticking together as they walked. I tried to usher them out to show them something else but the bastards stayed put making lists and notes and God knows what else. I kept my back to it, leaning against one of the stalls and drumming my fingers on the wood while they took down the numbers on the milk machines and muttered amongst themselves.

“You produce such fine quality milk yet your farm is no different to any others we visited. We have to ask – what is your secret?” One of the ladies was smiling at me. I eyed her up, but it was a moot cause. There was no way I could isolate her from her official friends – besides, she was too scrawny. She wouldn’t last long. I just grinned at her.

“Ma’am, if I told you, every damn farm would be selling milk like mine and that’d be just no fun. Besides, what’s a good trade without a few secrets?”

“Understandable. Are you planning on buying more cows? Your milk is in very high demand, after all.” I pushed my hands into my pockets and thought on it a little while. The amount of milkers I had was just enough to handle – I was already taking a risk by having the number I had. The more I had, the harder they were to keep my eye on. Imagine a milker running right on down the country lane, hollering and mooing for all she was worth while I ran after her with a shotgun. I shook my head.

“Naw, miss. I’ll keep my business small. Gets to be too much work for just one man, otherwise."

"You could always hire farmhands?”

I smiled a little. “I keep my secrets close to my chest, ma’am. I don’t trust nobody.”

She just nodded… and then she looked behind me. She was hankering for trouble, alright. “What’s over there?”

“Hm?” I glanced over my shoulder and looked for a moment, heart pounding so hard I thought it was going to burst out of my chest. “Oh. Just storage. Bags of feed and such. Also got some branding irons up there, but I doubt you’d want to get close to them.” I grinned again.

They all laughed. I laughed too, loud enough to drown out the sound of whimpering. Damn milkers. They’d be the end of me.“Is that all you have to see in here?” I pressed.

“It appears so. We just need to talk numbers and we’ll be out of your hair.”

“Aw, naw. You ain’t bothering me. It’s nice to have the company.” All the while, I led them outside and over to my abode, where I poured them a few glasses of lemonade and carried on parroting out everything they wanted to hear. They seemed keen to stay, but I was keener for them to leave.

Throughout the two hours they spent patrolling my farm my heart never stopped trying to beat out of my chest. It was only when they finally climbed into their big old car and jetted off I could finally relax. I mopped the sweat from my brow as the dust cloud disappeared into the distance, then spun on my heels and headed straight for the barn again. One of the cows ambled on over to me as I passed its pen; I gave it a little pat on the nose.

Gentle creatures, cows. I didn’t much care for them at first but they do grow on you if you spend enough time around them. I guess the same can be said for milkers – I gotta little attachment to some of the older ones, but not too much. You can’t get too attached to farm animals like that. Makes it all the harder when the time comes to butcher them.

I headed into the barn, slinging the doors shut behind me and locking them firmly. I flicked the lights off and picked up the old oil lamp that my daddy had used back in the day. It had plenty of oil in it; I lit a match from the sleeve in my pocket and set it alight before heading on over to the corner and moving some of the bags of feed out the way. Try as I could, I didn’t manage to get the same colour wood for the new trapdoor as the rest of the barn. It was a shiny teak colour that was hard to hide but worth it. Ain’t no milkers getting through that. I set the lamp down as I unlocked the trapdoor, that familiar feeling of excitement and anticipation churning up in my stomach. Fuck, I missed this.

I lifted it open, picked up my lamp and headed on down those old steps. I’d done some repairs over the years but they were still pretty damn precarious. I pulled the door down over me as I went down with a huge clatter – I swore, and almost instantly the whimpering started.

“Goddamnit, shut up!” I yelled. I navigated my way down the stairs and the narrow corridor to the other door; I hung my lamp up on the wonky nail and fiddled with my keys until I found the right one. I didn’t trust the milkers for a damn second. Best to keep them under lock and key at all times.

Slotting the key into the handle, I twisted it this way and that until it clicked open. I grinned a little – just a little. Hey, a man can take pleasure in his work, right? I pushed it open with my knuckles. The whimpering got louder. “I told you fuckers to shut up!” I snarled. Damn. You don’t feel like a man until you taste power like I had. I kicked the door closed behind me, shoving my keys back into my pocket, and felt for the light switch.

It was pitch black in here without the lamp, but once I found the switch the lights flickered a few times and the room was lit up right prettily. The milkers all tried to squirm away, but I got them chains pretty tight. A few stopped their complaining as soon as they saw me but a few carried on whimpering behind their gags. I took a minute to stroll up to them, give them a mighty belt across the face and tell them to shut their filthy mouths.

Damn milkers made me sick. Why couldn’t they all be like number one? Number one had been here the longest. She was the best of all the milkers. In a way, I almost liked her. Almost. She was always real quiet and never disobedient like the other sluts in here. I guess I had what you called a soft spot for her – I gave her extra ketamine so she didn’t feel most of what was going on. The others had to face it.

Tough shit. Number one was also my best producer in terms of milk – maybe it was cause she’d been doing this the longest, or maybe it was because she’s right curvy like her mother. Shit. Her mother. That bitch don’t bear thinking about. I got rid of her after she had number one. Slit her throat and bled her out from a meat hook like the fat pig she was.

I had twenty milkers in total. I took each one real slow, so the locals didn’t get suspicious. Most of them are lost travelers who rambled onto my property looking for shelter and a spare tire. It’s all too easy nowadays. The only problem is when they have attachments themselves – boyfriends and the like. I can’t even tell you how many times I’ve butchered up another man’s corpse, but believe me when I say pigs will eat anything.

I grew my collection over seven years; I’d be getting along just fine with the milkers I had and then another one would show up just begging to be used. Country girls are the best – any of them damn scrawny city girls that wheel in I just send back on their way. You need good wide hips and a fine set of udders to be a milker.

I spent a lot of time down here, just admiring my work. I reckon I’d done a good job. All the milkers are slung up on the wall, standing on metal grates with their feet locked into place. Their hands are chained above their head and ain’t none of them got a stitch of clothes on. Milkers don’t need clothes. They don’t even need names. They tried to tell me about their lives outside of milking and in the end I just gag them with bits of cloth. Most of them know better now to not start spouting on when I take the gag off to feed them, but some of them still beg and cry and get even uglier. A good hiding usually shuts their mouths, though. I mean, it’s not like they can run, is it?

I fashioned a machine for each of them; two pumps that connect onto a pipe. It runs all the way to the corner of the room where I keep a huge container for storing. They don’t know they’re milkers until they wake up. It’s real easy to slip something into their drinks. Then it’s just a matter of stripping them, chaining them up and connecting their udders up to my machine. They wake up. They usually scream for a little while, but I give them an injection of ketamine and they quiet right down.

There’s something satisfying about seeing a drugged up milker – knowing you’re in complete power over them and that they ain’t going nowhere. I keep them drugged and then I fuck them. You gotta keep them pregnant – they don’t produce no milk otherwise. I gotta rotate so there’s always a batch of milkers producing when the others ain’t. I don’t much like touching them, so sometimes I get some close friends to come in and seed up my milkers. Or sometimes I just use a turkey baster and do it that way. Hell, the only one I go near nowadays is number one. Maybe there’s something about your own kin that makes you soft towards them, but she’s the only one I fuck.

Of course there are the days I come in here and find that one of them has pushed out a little bastard. At first, I didn’t know what to do with them. I mostly just bundled them into a sack and drowned them, but my tastes developed and soon I was disposing of the milker-spawn in different ways. They’re good practice for butchery, and the various parts make good compost.

The bones keep the dogs occupied. But I get other ideas, too – bunging them in the furnace when they’re still squirming, holding them underwater until they turn blue and pulling them back out again until I got bored. One time I was in a mighty foul mood and finding one of my milkers had produced an unwanted runt had pushed me over the edge. I picked it up by the feet and smashed its head against the wall, over and over again until it stopped screaming. If you look real close you can still see the dent its skull made in the brickwork. Kid had a head of steel. It took a good few whacks until its brain spilled.

Milkers produce about 25 to 32 ounces of milk a day. Mix that in with the milk I get from my cows and you got a good few gallons daily. There’s something about the milk these sluts produce that whips the customers into a frenzy. ‘It tastes so sweet’, they tell me. ‘It tastes like it comes from home’. ‘It reminds me of my mother’ is a personal favourite of mine. Of course the milk is laced with ketamine, so maybe that might have an effect on how people like it, but a handsome sum means it don’t get tested before it goes out onto market. I don’t know the science of it all, mind you. I just know my milkers put good money in my pocket, and it’s always fun to keep a few pets.

I collected up the container, switching it for another, and dragged it out into the corridor. I looked in at my business and smiled, before flicking the lights off and plunging the bitches back into the darkness. It was best to keep them in pitch black. Makes them less communicative when they’re constantly scared like that.

After locking up the door and slinging the container up onto my hip, I grabbed my lamp and headed back upstairs. I closed over the trapdoor, covering it over with the bags of feed until you wouldn’t even guess there was something down there. I dumped the milk into one of the bigger urns where I kept the spare cow milk before it's took off for pasteurising and stashed the container away before opening up the barn doors once more. The cows trotted on over again, looking at me with their big old eyes like they knew something was up. I just smiled at them all. Funny little creatures.

It was only then I noticed her. She was trundling on down the dirt road, clutching her jacket over her frame as she approached. She lit up with a big grin when she saw me and quickened her pace, waving frantically in my direction. I waved back. She looked damn near ready to collapse when she reached me.

“Pardon me, but my car broke down a few miles away,” she gasped. I looked her up and down. Good and curvy, but I already had enough milkers.

“That’s a right shame.”

“Could you possibly help me, sir? If I could use your phone for a moment I’ll be right on my way.” She straightened up, and I noticed her belly straining against her shirt. I’ll be damned. A ready-made milker. I let my eyes flicker over her worried face. Her udders seemed damn near to bursting – and I did have extra space in the barn… I grinned at her.

“Sure, ma’am. Right this way.”

She burst into a hearty little laugh as I led her over to my house. I helped her up the steps, keeping an eye on how she was breathing dryly.

“Now, where’s that phone? I don’t want to hang around and be a burden.”

“Not a chance, miss.” I tilted my head to one side and smiled at her. “How about I fix you a drink?