Friday, July 28, 2017



A homeless guy panhandling downstairs had told me this was where the old lady lived. The one eating all the livestock. The one who might be my missing grandmother. If this was her, and I thought it was, she needed help. I knocked again. Sometimes old people took a long time to get to the door. I was just finally turning away when the cover slid away from the peephole.

Yeah?!” A voice roughened by hard use.

I had not decided what to say. "Um." My mind was empty.

Three seconds.”

Ms. Johnson,” I said desperately, “I think I'm your grandson.”

Silence. Then the door swung open. There she stood, Granny from the Beverly Hillbillies. Instead of a corn cob pipe she had a can of Bud.

No,” she said and moved to slam the door.

I'm pretty sure. My mother was...”

I believe you; don't want to talk.” She bounced the door off the hand I put out to stop it.

And I heard about the cow. I'm curious. How...”

She rolled her eyes and took a swig, stepping aside to give me room. As soon as I was in she slammed the door hard enough to shake dust off the knickknacks on the shelves, if there had been any. There weren't. A battered wooden table with a couple of chairs was all the furniture in the front room. The only thing on the table was a 4-inch ceramic horse, which was, frankly, hideous. She set the beer can down beside it.

I cleared my throat.

I don't know how to say this, Grandma. I hear you've been eating animals. Raw, whole, live. Is this true?”

For a moment she just stared. My eyes flicked to the doorway as I measured my chances of escape. Then she laughed, a true belly laugh, improbably loud coming from her. It went on and on. Gradually she subsided. She wiped her eyes.

Raw, sure. Whole? No. Live? No. I did eat a dead fly. The spider might have been in a coma. The rest of them were ceramic, and good riddance to the lot. The cat was pink, nuff said. The dog had Heartfelt-Moments eyes. The cow was an abomination. People make the most disgusting crap imaginable. I dispose of it.” She pointed at the center of the table.

And tomorrow? Tomorrow I'm going to take care of that obnoxious horse. You watch me.”

Publ. Daily Cabal

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