Estimated reading time — 3 minutes
A man and woman walked out of the bank, hand in hand. This might be a normal thing for anyone, maybe even you. But not for her.
The man made a typical, throwaway remark about their lunch plans. Under usual circumstances, this would just be interpreted as a feeble attempt to incite lightheartedness into the conversation. But not for her.
With a quick, agile movement, the woman, his wife, picked up a slab of concrete by the sidewalk and, with great aim, hit two doves perched on a low-hanging branch. They fell, like two pathetic white balloons. As soon as they hit the ground, his wife beat them to a pulp-she could see that they were still breathing. And her husband knew that he fucked up again.
Some passerby began to stare openly at the horrible sight of two bashed birds.
“Linda!” Her husband yelled. “Stop it!”
“I thought we were going to kill two birds with one stone?” She replied, in a voice of unnatural calm. Her face gazed up at him from the ground, stoic and rigid, like some dread mask.
She had a certain….well, mental illness is a bit of a euphemism. Let’s just say she had a disability. A serious and rare one. Linda could not understand the difference between jokes and imperatives. She took every figure of speech she heard seriously, and was often compelled to make whatever it was into an actuality. Her husband recalled, one point, when she nearly pushed him out the window, when, in light of the recent resignation of his business partner, he remarked that he was in fact flying solo. Linda wasn’t always dangerous, though. Sometimes, he’d go home only to find her giggling like a little girl at the sight of milk on the floor. Or maybe even staring out windows during rainy evenings to see whether any cats and/or dogs were to be found falling from the sky. But then came the times when she would get harmful. Only last month, the pediatrician living in the apartment next to theirs got pelted with apples and other fruits. Poor woman nearly tripped down the stairs. This other time, an event which still scared him up to now, she shoved in his hands a bit of her bloody scalp, saying it was a piece of her mind. She had to wear a bonnet whenever she had to get out of the house after that. In spite of all this strange and violent behavior, he still loved his wife very much and could not bear to send her away to a mental hospital.
He became very careful around what she would see or hear coming from anybody since the episode with the birds. Much to his joy, a year and a half passed without much incident, and their firstborn child was soon to come. It was good, since the coming of a baby took their minds off whatever financial problems they had.
He was away when it happened. After he heard that child was born, he rushed back home.
As soon as he stepped through that door, he knew something was wrong. His wife was calling him from the kitchen. In her arms was the son he could never know.
In the light of their kitchen, lain on the table, were the remains of the baby, their baby. Its mouth was stretched open to such a degree that it split open, the underside of its jaws seen. It reminded him of a tear in cloth, the seams not made of fabric but of flesh. What little blood the baby had to spare was everywhere. In response to his child’s grotesquely expanded mouth, his father’s jaw fell open in surprise and terror and disgust, threatening to do the same. A scream tried to come out, but it did not.
Forcibly thrust into the gaping hole that was a baby’s mouth, was his wife’s forearm. She seemed to be trying to claw something out of the-
As soon as his wife spotted him, she turned in his direction, bloody baby still stuck on her arm.
“You have to help me! The doctor said he was born with a silver spoon in his mouth!”
Credited to Truncheon