The Swine Typewriter – A Short Story

In the darkest part of the Raj, a little-known tactic to pacify rabble-rousers was called the Swine Typewriter.

The subject is tied to a post in the town square. Before him and hung by both forelegs would be a grinning, slaughtered hog that dangled only a few inches above the ground.

A street tattoo artist would then be commissed to mark fist-sized typewriter keys that wrapped all the way around the corpse’s torso. This process could take days, and the pig would start to rot.

Upon completion of the keyboard, a technician would insert paired iron plates with extending probes into different layers of skin below each letter to act as switches when struck together. These probes where then wired into a telegraph translator, which would actuate the lever when sending a telegram to the Admiralty.

(During these events, Admirals would often hover about the ticker tape room in excitement, and swirl their cognacs and chortle to themselves about how well things were in hand as it was read off to them by a cowering translator.)

The unwilling pugilist scribe was then untied and ordered to beat a message out on the pig, letter by letter, and was whipped for every error or unwillingness to type.

Each letter punch would emit a spark, and eventually the overpowering smell of cooked bacon would cause the audience to swoon. More devilishly taunting, the cooked grease that would eventually pool below the body would make the flagstones slippery and conductive, and the poor fellow would arc with each lightning bolt sent to London, while simultaneously infusing a base note of rare long pig into the air.

The few surviving tapes are illustrative of the times. After an exhaustive linguistic analysis, the average one read, “WE ARE DRUNK HOW ABOUT YOU IT IS BLOODY HOT HERE WHAT WHAT FUCK YOU WISH YOU WERE HERE SELL THE POUND STOP”

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