How do you describe flesh-tearing?
"I reel the fishing pole back and hear [word] as a dead squirrel comes back on the end of the line."
English Language & Usage Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for linguists, etymologists, and serious English language enthusiasts. It only takes a minute to sign up.Sign up to join this community
Sometimes the literal expression has more impact.
In Cordwainer Smith’s Scanners Live in Vain, he describes the sensations of Martell, a man whose senses have been deadened so that he can serve as an astronaut. The story is set in the not-so-distant future, where space away from low orbit is called the Up-And-Out, filled with a malevolent force that drives men insane.
The only people who can live in space are prisoners whose physical senses have been permanently severed, and scanners, volunteers who have been surgically altered, but can temporarily recover their senses while on leave. Passengers on spacecraft must be drugged into an unconscious state where they cannot supervise machines or operate their controls.
Early in the story, Martell is at home, and his wife is cooking him lamb chops, a rare treat in this largely meatless future. As the smell penetrates his awareness, he is drawn into a memory of a disaster in space, where the scanners were forced to drive the prisoner-astronauts directly into the flames, since there was no other way to protect the passengers and cargo.
Smith describes this simply as “the smell of meat burned by fire”. The impact comes from describing men’s bodies as simply meat, of no more significance than a lamb chop.
The sound of flesh tearing can perhaps be conveyed the same way.