EXCERPT FROM WRAPPED IN SMALL FLESH AND BONE, from the short
stories collection, THIS WAY DARKNESS by Latashia Figueroa
Linda pretended not to notice these things. But the day I found my wife hiding
from Jenny under the kitchen sink, shaking uncontrollably, I knew she could pretend no
They had been playing hide-and-seek. When Linda hid in a closet, she heard
Jenny call her as she searched the house but her voice was not her own. Linda described
the voice as something not human. She spent the rest of the day hiding from our child
until I came home.
We sent Jenny to a doctor, a specialist. His findings: there was absolutely nothing
wrong with our child. She was extremely intelligent and that was the probable cause for
her acting out. In short, with all his degrees and years of study, the only diagnosis the
doctor could come up with was “She’s bored.”
I would not allow Linda to be alone with Jenny again. I worked from home.
Linda was a nervous wreck and the child knew we feared her.
We began to lock our bedroom door. Linda held me so tight I thought my ribs
would crack. She jumped at every little sound and, to be fair, so did I.
We could hear Jenny’s bedroom door open; the pitter patter of her tiny feet
running across the hardwood floor. We could hear her breathing heavy, right outside
our door. The doorknob would often turn. And then we could hear her run away, her
bedroom door closing gently.
It was all too much for my Linda. She cried herself to sleep nearly every night.
“This is my fault, Robert. I’m sorry, I’m so sorry.”
I tried soothing her. I stroked Linda’s hair the way she liked until I could feel her
body finally relax in my arms.
“She’s going to kill us,” Linda said before she drifted into sleep.