After crying for hours, the baby has made her way into the kitchen with ease, and that is where she has remained for seven months, licking food off the decrepit Mexican tiles where the loyal bulldog spills it: cereal, crackers, chips and salsa mostly, and some water from the toilet; the dog dips her bowl into the porcelain: flushing toilet with her paw, balancing liquid with the stoic skill of a headwaiter delivering soup, slowly retracing her steps.
In the entryway the nanny lies in a pool of coagulated blood, bleached blonde, bleeding strawberry from Guyana, face-down the baby knows not what to make of this mess, unaware of her parents naked in the bedroom; though the animal can smell their decaying bodies, reflections in the windows and the air getting warmer.
Sure there have been knocks on the door, curious noses smudging themselves against the pane, yet nobody has a spare key, no view into the kitchen; neither business associates nor friends are missing the young misanthropic couple who moved into this house years ago; when her face showed no signs of creases between cobalt eyes and his long baboonish arms closed the curtains to shield the soft skin of his bride; before the butcher crept through the window amid the thunder of an early morning tweak, opened their throats to the glory of a methamphetamine maelstrom.
The baby is filthy but the animal has shed her clothes, does her best to keep the body clean, away from the soiled kitchen and the small insects borne into the home. Food is becoming sparse, termites have become brazen, but the bulldog drags the baby around the house with her ankle in her mouth; hugs her at night to keep the poor doll comfortable until the tangerine dawn, when she scurries into the pantry to raid the rations, saved for the Apocalypse or the rapture; both came sooner than the preacher predicted.
The papers all said it was an accident turned deranged in the heat of the moment: the baby’s grandfather needed some money but probably became psychotic when he saw the shadows dancing and his daughter rising out of the ether. They had no chance to defend themselves, the nanny seized a carving knife from the kitchen but it wasn´t enough for a bloody machete wielded by a monster on a three-week meth binge.
Nobody knows what happened to baby and pet. The house has been razed; decades have passed without a word about the incident. Come to think of it, I think we turned out alright in the end: polishing bowling trophies with spit, Grandma and Grandpa resting naked in desecrated taxidermy basement where the sacred bulldog watches over us, waiting for the rapture.
published 13 July 2011