One Winter Day
by Gloria Webber
I recall the day everything changed. It was winter, the happiest time of year for children who lived on houses that floated about a lake. We spent our days outside with finally some room to play.
That morning the women had been in a hurry. They were possessed by something and began slaughtering many of the animals and smoking their livers. Their fur and feathers covered the slaughter-house floor and blood scented the air.
It awoke something in the men as well, and they set off to the woods with the dogs at the earliest rays of dawn on that dreary, snowless day. The bloodlust in the adult's eyes was one of fear that I now understand and live with everyday.
I could barely make out the sun's setting form as I turned circles upon the ice. My cousin who was supposed to be watching me flirted with the blacksmith's son underneath the bridge, leaving me to my own devices. I was the first to see them, the men returning over the ridge. Their heads hung low, ignoring the crows that soared overhead.
There was no need to call out to my cousin. I was just heading home. I slid like the crows flew and made it back before my father did. I stood on the top step waving, but he never looked up.
Even as he drew closer to the stairs he didn't even look up at the bouncing form that was me. I grew anxious and blurted out, "Welcome home!"
I now understood why the adults had fear in their eyes. For it wasn't my father's voice or mouth that had uttered the words. It had been the dog.
That was the day our world changed.
Gloria Weber lives in Ohio with her husband and two children. She is a fledgling writer who has appeared in GrendelSong and AlienSkin.
Pieces Inspired by this Image
'A date for dinner'