Her face was covered in scabs. They were as bright and permanent as her skin-tight clothes.
“The doors are wet. They’ve just been refinished. Be careful as you’re walking around. That’s why it smells in here. You might get high.”
I was already tipsy from my skin soaking in absinth since morning.
I sat my bags down.
“An additional benefit.”
The husband perked up, showing a coffee and nicotine stained grin through a thick, brown beard.
“’An additional benefit.’ Yeah, yeah – AN ADDITIONAL BENEFIT! That’s funny.”
Husband shuffled the perimeter of the glass house, layered in earthy plaids, ikats, and dots. The patterns seemed to multiple with each step.
On the other side of the northern glass wall was their BB gun aiming, camouflaged son. His eyes were fixed on a target out of my sight. His stance was near perfect: feet about 18 inches apart, legs straight but relaxed, shoulders in line with the unknown. He was focused, ignoring the incessant barking from the brindle family mutt, ignoring his parents calling him an Oakland redneck.
For a moment I imagined him with a bow and arrow – seemed more fitting for a boy still young enough to have flushed cheeks and a pear shaped body.
The cat came back, crying, looking for the laser. Minutes earlier he was running after me, room by room, darting towards the red dot as it traced the perimeter of each window.
“Maaarw. Maaaaaarw.” She sniffed the baseboards and cracks in the wood floor, looking for the flittering light.
She scratched me earlier, when I aimed the laser too close to my bare foot. It broke skin, bled, and will scab.
Her face was covered in scabs. I should have listened.