I looked at this small girl with her vacant face, her eyes passionate
about something entirely not me. I wanted to kill her. I wanted her to
let me into her home so that I could do so without the neighbors
Once again, I tried, “I am an old lady, dear
child. Can you not see that I am shaking, even now as I speak I cannot
stop my teeth from banging violently together?” I extended my
hand towards her.
I reached and I reached, and I was certain that
eventually, either my limbs would extend no further or I would be able
to touch her, but my hand kept moving forward and we never did
intersect. Nor did she move. It was the strangest thing, how this child
avoided my touch, a touch that we both knew would be lethal.
And my arm, by this point of acknowledgement, must
have been nearly four feet long. It was a piece of salt-water taffy,
only not so sweet or edible.
Finally, when my arm had reached its limit, the girl
looked to me and said, “Old lady, you may enter my home, but only
if you take out all of your teeth and both of your eyes. Then, you must
peel away the nails from your fingers. When all of this is done, knock
once again on my door, and I will come outside and strip you of your
impure rags and bring you into a warm stew of bath, and there, I will
clean you my own small hands. After you are clean, I will set you by
the warmest fire, and there, we will feast.”
I looked at this girl. There was nothing left in her
eyes, but she did not avoid my gaze. So I began, one tooth at a time.