She lugs a heavy, dripping garbage bag down the hall, trying not to let it touch her. She pretends not to notice the trail of crimson drips that it leaves behind on the linoleum floors. She figures it serves them right, anyway, for making her take the bag out. It was starting to smell awful.
I creep through the tent entrance and toward the squirrel while my little sister holds our aunt and uncle’s dog outside. I poke it with the stick, but it doesn’t flinch. It also doesn’t breathe. I shed my sweatshirt for a barrier and pick up the dead squirrel. As I turn to carry it out and bury it, it twitches almost imperceptibly, then chomps down on my finger. I drop it, cursing, and it scampers out past my sister. I look down at the puncture, then sigh.
My fist smashes through the board and right into his nose. He drops the pieces to carefully inspect his nose. Although it cracked quietly on impact, it isn’t bleeding… yet.
He twisted the camera to take a vertical shot of the lake, then lowered his camera slowly in shock. A moose was approaching the lake. As quietly as he could, he raised the camera and turned, but the moose heard him. He sat as still as he could, holding his breath, until the moose snorted at him and trotted back into the woods. He let his breath out on a sigh.
The kitten rubbed against her leg, so she sat with it. She lifted her arms to the height of the kitten’s back, and it rubbed down one arm and up the other. She scratched as it went, and it quickly began purring. When she lowered her arms again, it was because the kitten had settled in her lap.