I awoke this morning huddled into my covers, thinking about where to bury her body. This grew into dread as I became more alert. I knew it must be done, else it would draw flies and get gooey and stink the whole house up. I should get up and make some coffee. I’d think more clearly.
I lay abed another hour, picturing different internment spots around the property. About fifty minutes into the study, it had struck me that any burial not covered with a heavy stone would get dug up. The images flashed through my brain of body parts gnawed and dragged up onto the porch; parts I’d have to pick up. Durned dogs.
I have a sluice at the side of the yard for rainwater coming off the ridge behind me that leads to a deep ditch. For appearance sake, there is a smattering of creek rocks all the way down. One each side, however, are large creek stones arranged in long rows to keep erosion at bay. Once I’d pictured how I’d move the rock, decided which spade I’d use and concluded that I would not wrap the body, I got up with a leaden heart.
Weekends, I usually dress exceedingly casual and wear house shoes all day. Today I put on old stuff I wouldn’t mind getting messed up along with a pair of shoes with thick soles…for digging with the spade. I found a wad of packing paper to use to move the body as needed. Not the best plan, granted. She would have hidden in the basement.
I called for her a last, forlorn time and listened carefully to no response at all. Just like yesterday. Get it over with. I looked behind the washer/dryer, under the beer storage and raised the sprawling tarps I’d draped over the kiln that I have yet to assemble. How small a space could she have squeezed into? Not under the stairway. Not behind the 4X8 plywood that leaned against the wall.
As I walked back upstairs I felt renewed dread, now of needing to search behind every stash of boxes, every pile of clothes and all the canvas pallets and plywood I had everywhere. I reached the top of the stairs with the resolve to get a flashlight to see under the beds better. I imagined her meeting me there, at the top of the stairs. I could almost see her.
I did see her! I scooped her up and cradled her in my arms. “You aren’t ready to be buried yet are you, little kitty? I remembered cupping the ticky, wormy, shut-eyed pixy in one hand as she cried piteously on the gravel road where she’d been dumped some eighteen years ago. I let go of the phantom shovel handle I’d felt in my grip all morning as happiness fizzed in my heart like a shaken Coke. I warmed her up a tad of milk.