|Jan/Feb 2020 Fiction|
When you look closely, this is what you see: The daddy, sprawled on the lawn, his limbs contorted at odd angles. His hand, immobile, arching in the direction of the house. In the house, the bone china is scattered on the floor with the forks and the knives and the spoons. The china cabinet, toppled. A whole glazed turkey is overturned, skin side first, on the oriental rug. The mommy is in the foyer, face down on the carpet. Her single arm outstretched as if she had been reaching for something just moments before. Tables and chairs—now splinters. Bits of shrapnel are stuck in her hair. The bannister leading up to the bedrooms appears as if it's been yanked away. Part of it now rests discarded atop the mommy. Up the stairs in the bathroom, the shower curtain has been torn from its metal rings. The mirror is shattered. The baby is in the toilet. In the bedroom is the girl. Her head is on the pillow, but the rest of her body is not. Her hair softly frames her face. Her expression is oddly serene. Bits of roof tile are scattered around her bed. Her vacant eyes are looking out of the gaping hole in the ceiling. The boy is nowhere to be found.
When you step back, this is what you see. A bone china plate the size of an Advil, a glazed turkey the size of a gumball, a toilet the size of a lighter, a pillow the size of a matchbox. A dollhouse the size of a dollhouse. A boy slinking quietly from the room with an object the size of a hammer in his hand. A baby the size of a baby sleeping soundly, swaddled in a bassinet. It coos in the dark of a bedroom the size of a bedroom. Downstairs in the kitchen, a mommy wearing an apron is glazing a ham the size of a baby. Outside on the lawn, a daddy is mowing the grass as his stomach grumbles with hunger. A girl, her head firmly attached, is jumping off a swing and running to the front porch. When she opens the door, she gasps at what she finds inside.