A breathless heat covered the land, painfully creaking rooftops like the cracking of brittle bones. The harsh atmosphere had relentlessly attacked the town for three days, with no indication of moving on to pillage another unfortunate part of the world. It hurt being outside, but there were never a shortage of misguided souls who felt compelled to hit the streets for no reason. The inability to remain content inside one’s home was always a harbinger of evil.
The thick, dusty haze was hypnotic as fire. It made normally pleasant smelling people stink like pigs after a vigorous mud bath. This summer had been brutal on life, punishing it at regular intervals. Nature hid from its power; no signs of life were visible except for scant, bored stiff large bodies deciding there wasn’t enough beer or milk or soda inside their claustrophobic home. So they escaped their fidgety mental madness and moved their large bodies, no matter what the consequences.
Despite this rather overblown description of the bleak landscape, a serene presence existed within the humid, hostile air. You could touch it if you slowed long enough to take a look. But no one ever did.
Inside one home 14 month-old Erin awoke from a pleasant sleep that had succumbed to a deep heat to her bones. She’d been dreaming she was in a big forest, wandering peacefully in the midst of tall green trees and thick soft grass littered with lilac and lavender. She could hear music in the distance, and though unable to recognize what she heard, it melted beautifully with her travels. But the heat had fried her peace. Two beautiful blue eyes popped open and and one ugly scream ensued. Erin’s brief experience on earth learning how to negotiate with large people told her that if it were continuous she’d soon be out of her crib in the arms of a comforting large body.
Cameron, three months from his first birthday, usually slept like a rock. Significant fluctuations of temperature had zero effect during his rejuvenation time. His particular nemesis disrupting slumber was one of his greatest pleasures- food. His cries upon awakening were for immediate nourishment, to energize his internal engine. His nimble little body had already developed the understanding that he needed an over-abundant amount of fuel to play with his older brother and father as long and as fiercely as they wanted. But he usually ate too much, turning his digestive system into a ticking time-bomb. Soon after most feedings this bomb exploded, chunks of liquid shrapnel flying in all directions with no concern for anyone or anything in its path.
Erin was placed on the sofa, still incoherent and groggy from her nap. The dream was long forgotten. She sat, seemingly undecided what to do or how to act. Isolation suited her for now. She could see the large bodies moving about, smiling at her, beckoning her to do or say something. As long as they kept their distance, their revolving nature throughout the house wasn’t detrimental to the serenity she now coveted.
A large body got the idea to place Cameron right next to Erin and record the event with a camera. Cameron had just finished lunch, and his inevitable eruption. Several bodies once again got hit with liquid shrapnel, not really understanding what it all meant. On the television the local news had just interrupted regularly scheduled programming to inform everyone something terrible had happened in Hiroshima. Considering the few available details many people were in terrible shape. The large bodies shrugged, not really understanding what it all meant.
The new toaster catapulted bread into the open. The new coffee maker finished dripping coffee. A Slinky descended the stairway on its own volition. A large body removed an aerosol can from a cabinet underneath the sink with a smile and sprayed the kitchen with a scent of a cinnamon to rid the odor of burnt toast. A piece of Silly Putty on the coffee table showed an image of a Tupperware ad taken from Life magazine.
Erin couldn’t tolerate Cameron’s presence for long. This small body next to her was far too close, extinguishing her freedom of movement since she had no idea how to escape from the couch. She was trapped; the ensuing cry was heard loud and clear. This wretched noise bothered Cameron, so he cried. Large bodies laughed and took pictures. Cameron and Erin coughed and cried and glanced at each other in disbelief; why would someone be so foolish as to forcibly put their bodies so close together? This was twice as hilarious to the large bodies than Erin simply crying alone. Now all of the large bodies took pictures. Soon everyone stopped laughing. Erin and Cameron were finally removed from the couch, free to orbit freely around other bodies, as was their nature. A large body turned off the television.