It was a warm Sunday afternoon, and my wife had just tied me to a tree and began rubbing the soles of my feet with salt. The plan was to let our goat lick the salty off and cause me to laugh uncontrollably, while my wife stood by and hit me lightly with a fireweed. Now, I know what you are thinking: Why a fireweed of all things? To be honest, I don’t know. We never really talked about her ideas. She got into the mood from time to time, and I always did what she asked me to do. I did not particularly enjoy it, but you know how it is; a lasting relationship demands compromise.
Anyways, shortly before we could begin our little game, we were interrupted by an all too familiar wailing noise.
“Oh no!” my wife frowned “She could at least take her afternoon nap without getting hysterical.”
“Mhmm, maybe we ought to go to a therapist with her. I think she is still afraid of the monster under the bed. That is not normal for a three-year old anymore, is it?”
My wife shrugged. “We’ll talk about it later. I get her to sleep again, and then we continue…don’t run away, darling.” I smirked at her joke and watched her walk over to the house. Then I closed my eyes and enjoyed the feeling of sun on my chest…and before I knew it, I was fast asleep.
I awoke with itching soles and cramped muscles. Judging by the shadow of the tree, I had slept for quite some time. My daughter was standing in front of me, a look of sincere look of concern on her face.
“Oh, ah…Hi, Darling.” I said a little embarrassed. “Where is Mommy?”
“I am sorry Daddy. I would have come earlier, but I had to wash my feet. You always say: No dirt in the living room, remember?”
“Sure, sure. But where is your mother? Has the monster under the bed got her?”
She looked at me as if I was a rather slow child.
“Daddy, there is no monster under the bed. I said that, so that Mommy would look under the bed. You see: when she looked under the bed, I hit her with my hammer, and then again and again…and then I had to wait till she was really dead, but by then there was lots of blood and icky stuff on the floor, so…”
“Wait, wait, wait…you hit Mommy…you hit her..?” Something in my brain shut down and I was unable to continue the sentence.
“With the big hammer from your toolbox. I had it with me in bed, you see.”
She stepped forwards and hugged me. “Its OK, Daddy. She can’t hurt you anymore. I saved you.”
For a moment we stood there in silence. A butterfly fluttered over the grass, and in the twigs above us a robin began to sing.