Throughout the house, nothing was stirring, not even a mouse, except I had begun to construct elaborate traps, like the ones that the Cajuns had built in my favorite movie, starring Keith Carradine and Powers Booth, about a National Reserve unit training in the Bayou.
I loved that movie so much that I watched it every day. Even at work, I would sneak a peak on my phone for a few minutes. Soldiers slogging through the swamp, haunted by the drone of cicadas. The slaughter of the pig at the Cajun feast. I would ease out of bed in the middle of the night and watch the movie in all its giant flat screen glory, glowing effervescently like the fog hanging over the dense Bayou.
One day, my son stepped into one of the traps. It was a fair representation of the one that killed Pvt Cribbs, portrayed by TK Carter. I had welded giant spikes to a bed frame, so that it looked like some sort of medieval torture device. It sprung out of a trap door that I had built and slammed into him. His body just hung on the spikes, just like that Pvt Cribbs, gagging on his own blood.
My son looked at me as best as he could with wide, gradually dying eyes that rolled in my general direction but couldn't quite get a fix on me. His mouth hung open; blood bubbled out and over his chin.
It was tearing me up to see him like that, and know that I had caused this horrible event. I swore to myself that I would not watch that movie again and took a step toward him, to offer comfort in his final moments.
But out of the corner of my eye on our wall mounted TV. I could see my favorite scene, the one where the Cajuns blast the crap out of this fat guy--I don't even know how he was in the National Guard in that kind of shape.
When the scene was over and I returned my attention to my son, he was dead. His glassy eyes pointed to the ceiling. I noticed that some of the plaster was peeling.
Needless to say this strained the relationship with the rest of my family. It had ramifications in the bedroom with my spouse, who withheld sex from me and threatened to leave me, so I had to chain her to the fireplace.
And my daughter could not be coaxed out of the main HVAC duct where she had begun to hide. I tried blasting her out with dynamite, but she just scurried deeper into the maze of vents. One of the blasts occurred a bit too close to the fireplace, which made me a single man.
My daughter is still scurrying around in those ducts, but I expect I’ll find her, eventually.