(This is the seventh chapter of this short story. Follow the links below to read the previous chapters)
http://wp.me/p5AbPX-Pw chapter 6
(photo credit: pinterest.com)
The half bath
Being the parents definitely had its perks. For example, they had their very own bathroom complete with their very own incomplete shower. I have no idea why they never had it finished. Heck, with daddy and Mr. Dunston’s brick fence building skills, one would think it would have been an easy task for them, but I guess not. There was a large gaping hole that exposed all the plumbing on one side and a plywood trap door on the other. I would imagine the idea of losing that hook inside the wall was enough to prevent mama and daddy from asking for any assistance from him.
I often wondered if anyone else realized the trap door led to the hole and vice versa. I have so many memories of that room, like the time mama made me crawl through the trap door to look for critters after she heard something running in the wall. The idea was for me to go in, catch, skin, cook and serve it for dinner. Mama promised I could have the leg and thigh portions if it was a nutria. What she didn’t know was that every time she and daddy and the boys left me home alone, I would crawl into that hole and hang out. The critters within were friends. There were the conjoined nutrias, the nervous 3-legged possum, the owl with the glass eye and the pair of bald headed bald eagles. They made me feel loved and needed… go figure… One evening at mama’s insistence, I crawled through the trap door in search of a nutria big enough to be dinner for 4, no not 5, I was the middle child and I always ate alone. I knew Asa and Asa were big enough to feed the entire family, but I knew I could never harm a hair on their stuck together backs, especially the way Asa looked at me and the way Asa looked back at me. That was the night I had to improvise, so I crawled in, bent over and took a chunk out of my right ankle. It was the one with the fungus on it so I had to work twice as hard to chew through all that thick hard skin. To be sure it would be enough to feed the whole family, I reached around and bit a plug of fat off my back and that was actually quite simple. (For more than a year Chuckie and Lil Renny enjoyed playing tug of war. I was the rope… one held my feet and the other one held my head. I think my neck stretched more than a foot before the judge caught wind and banned them from their favorite game.) I took my meat to the kitchen and tossed all of it into a pot of hot water with some fresh dug potatoes and carrots. When it finished cooking I sat back and watched my family have a fleshy foot fungus and back fat food fiesta, and I didn’t even mind the fact that Princess wouldn’t share her bone with me as I watched. Thinking back and looking forward, I suspect that explains my chronic back issues and maybe even my recurring foot fungus.