I tried my best not to drag the trash bag over anything that could rupture it, making the delicate contents coming pouring out. Turning the corner to the garage door was a hassle, carefully pushing the bag down the two steps onto the concrete ground. The bag shifted when it hit the ground, tilting over; an arm fell out, still warm and covered in gashes and cuts. There was a small, red trickle coming out of a small hole, pooling around the bag and my feet.
There was no way I could continue on like this. The trail would have been obvious, leading from the house and up to the trash containers on the lawn. I had to rush back into the house to grab another bag from the kitchen. Cutlery and dishes were thrown all over the kitchen, shards of decorated china and ceramics littered all over the floor. The sink was outlined with red prints, the smell of iron going down the drain. Underneath, the cabinet doors were wide open, a collection of cleaning products waiting to be used, mostly sometime tonight. In front was the trash bags.
I unrolled it and grabbed a couple bags, “I should double bag it. Probably add one more when I get outside to the bins.” Bags in hand, I turned around and proceeded to head back to the garage. The hallway lights were turned off, but I was able to see something bright hiding at the end of the dark. As I focused on it, it ducked back behind the wall it was peering around from.
Was that Marilyn hiding back there? Please, God, don’t let it be.
I left the trash bags by the door to the garage and slowly crept down the hallway, softly calling out to Marilyn, “Honey, you still awake?”
A bright clump of blonde hair came out from behind the wall again, this time her face visible enough for me to see the terror in her eyes. “Mommy…”
I tried my best to wipe my hands clean on my jeans, red streaks all over them. When I got to the end of the hallway, I crouched down to get eye-level with Marilyn. “What’s wrong, Lin? I thought you were asleep?”
“I was, but then I heard something loud coming from downstairs. I ran to your room, but you and Daddy weren’t there, and I… I…”
Marilyn was struggling to hold back tears; it broke my heart whenever I saw her crying. I reached out and brought her close, giving her a small kiss on her forehead and wiped away the few tears that came out. She looked at me, sniffling and wiping her face with her sleeve after I was done.
“I’m sorry we weren’t upstairs, Lin,” I said, keeping my voice motherly. “Daddy and I were doing something in the kitchen.”
“Is that why you were dragging that trash bag to the garage?”