art by M.S. Corley
All Kinds to Make a World
by Georgina Bruce
***Editor's Note: Adult Language***
It's not like we didn't try. A little tentatively at first, a little too gently, I'll admit. We'd never done it before. We hadn't even seen one, only heard them scratching around in the bushes at night. But we understood what we had to do--it's our duty as citizens and all that. And after a while, we really got into it. I had the big stone mallet from the shed, Bridget had the kitchen knife, and we got into a rhythm. Smack, stab, smack, stab. And Bridge went a bit crazy, going stabstabstabstabstab, and then I took over with the mallet, gave it a good going over. It was brutal, honestly. So it should have died right there and then.
But--and this is what I'm trying to explain--it didn't. Wouldn't. It lay there for a bit, twitching the one spiny leg, rippling its wings in a feeble kind of way. It sucked in a tiny, pathetic breath, and we thought it was definitely about to expire. But when it breathed out, it opened its eyes. Looked right at us.