When my adopted children arrived I was so happy.
I put them in the attic and they seemed to like it,
except for the mothballs. Then, later, I made sure
they each had a bed. Larry wasn't sleepy at night,
in fact he was quite hyper, so I chopped up his bed
into little pieces with my axe, while his little sister
Sharon cried and upset the rest of the
children. I shoved a sock in Sharon's mouth. Arthur
refused to eat breakfast the following morning. He
poured his oatmeal and milk on the floor with
reckless abandon, so I filled a bucket with hot
sewage and dumped it over his head. Tina really
found that funny. I liked Tina, but her sense of humor
was beginning to disturb me, so I isolated her from
the rest of the group. I locked her in the shed, where
I've hung bird claws and heads of garlic from
the ceiling. That freaked her out, but a little
dose of reality builds character. "Where's Tina?" Jed
asked me. "She's in the shed," I said. "And you'd be
well advised to not step foot in there. It's a horrible
sight, she won't stop radioing Jupiter from a potato.
Your sister's lost her mind. A very bad sight, let me
tell you." I couldn't stand Jed's curiosity, I feared the
devil had taken hold, so I called on my respected priest
Father Dinwiddie, who made an emergency house call
that night. He passed through my halls with grace,
took hold of my boy's skull with one hand and slapped
him in the face with a bunch of withered palms in the
other. He removed an ancient ophthalmoscope and
looked inside Jed's eyes. After humming with
displeasure, Father Dinwiddie attached an extra lens
to the device. He looked deep into Jed's cold-blooded
eyes until he saw all that he needed. We spoke privately
in the bathroom. "The child's mind is fraught with evil
spirits. I've seen them, and they will only get worse,"
he said, standing in the bathtub. An exorcism was
required at once. "Where do you get off making these
off-the-wall diagnoses?" I asked him. "Do you realize
what this is going to do to my family? Don't you have
any sense of home?" I took a bite from my bar of soap.
Little Cooper opened the door without knocking. Before
I could even punish him he flushed himself down the
toilet, gone for good. Cooper always got under my skin
so I wasn't too upset, but his gesture was, if nothing else,
a full tilt reminder that my children were getting out of
hand. "Do what you must," I told Father Dinwiddie. "I
only ask that my other children bear witness. I have
been teaching them many spells, but, alas, I'm just
one man."