The Chain of Eating

 

When the girls got home there was a dead cat on their doorstep…


{Because cats are not dogs it is funny if someone leaves one in a bag on your porch until it bloats and
tempts flies. But the girls didn’t have any friends. They only really understood that cats were not
dogs and for this reason their mother did not like cats.}


…The three of them lived in a patch of condos built on their great grandmother’s farmland two
generations after the land had sold at auction…


{They had no idea what their father’s life had been like, so it was hard to know if it was different for
him now, back in Illinois. Weekdays, they rode the bus with the girl whose family now owned the
land where thirty condos, one gas station, and the grade school stood. She had prescription lenses
that magnified her eyes so no one would sit with her on the bus. They were new but they
understood this much.}


…The dead cat in its bag seemed like a different thing indoors. Their mother let them know this as
she made an early dinner of simple things that the girls liked to eat, as if they could be kept small in
spite of things. Take that outside, she said, spooning boiled corn…


{Out back was a wet gully. From its edge the youngest remembered the day when everyone on the
bus sang The Moon Cheese Song from music class except the girl who, if her family all died, would
own everything at school. The cat’s eyes were wide—the kind that see behind themselves like a deer
pulling its head up at a smell.}


…The moon is a stone, the oldest reminded the animal. She pushed the cat and its wrapper into
the pond…

Sarah MinorMarch - April  2016 Issue