“See look honey, aren’t these a nice pairs of scissors?” I said, sitting down at the low plastic table. Sally was pouting again because it was time for a break from the TV.
“Hmmmmph.” Sally crossed her arms and stuck out her lip. “What’s so good about a silly pair of scissors?”
“Everything!” I said with enthusiasm. I picked a piece of purple construction paper off the table and began to cut into it. “See honey, with a little imagination you can make anything you want. You can create whole worlds with just these scissors and a little glue.”
I finished cutting out the shape, a duck, and then pasted it to a sheet of green as a backdrop.
“See, you can make whatever you’d like! Won’t that be fun?” I smiled and held the scissors out to her.
Her pout began to dissipate and she reluctantly accepted them. She smiled at my creation.
“Yeah!” she said, smiling fully now, her little cheeks like those of a cherub. “I’m going to make something too!”
“That’s great honey, what are you going to make?”
“A silly face!” Sally exclaimed.
“Yay! That sounds like fun. You be careful with the scissors and I’ll come back in a bit to see the silly face you make, okay?”
I left the playroom and went out to the back porch through the house. Daryl had taken Sally’s spot in front of the television and was watching football. He looked up at me as I passed, remote in hand.
“I’m tired,” I said. “I’m going to go for a walk on the trail a bit I think. Watch Sally would you?”
“Sure honey,” he said. “I’ll keep an eye on her. Enjoy your walk.”
The crunch of the fall leaves and the cold October air was refreshing and lifted the heaviness from my chest. Soon the sun began to set and so I headed back, invigorated.
I slid open the glass door of the porch and entered the kitchen. I screamed. Daryl lay dead on the tile of the floor, a pool of blood surrounding him, blood that had flowed from the deep puncture wound in his neck. His face was unrecognizable, all blood and exposed muscle – his skin had been flayed from his face in large haphazard slices.
“SALLY!” I screamed. “OH MY GOD, SALLY! SALLY!”
Sally ran into the kitchen, bloody scissors in one hand, a piece of construction paper in the other. She held the piece of paper up for me to see.
“Look Mommy!” she said proudly. “Look at the silly face I made!”