Weird sound inside the kitchen, she points – it’s under the sink. Bizarre screeching, and I think at first that it’s a leaky tap or something. You know, sometimes you turn them on you hear a voice from your past or a hint of what a ghost might be wanting to do. Or some shit. So I edge on over, it’s dark and I’m a bit worried but I have to appear tougher. I notice no noise from the actual sink. It’s under. And I think it can only be something in or near the rubbish bin. But it’s starting to sound excruciating, a tired, wrung-out, stretched-thin scratch of a screech. And so I actually reach for the door-handle with my feet glued in place, like I maybe can’t quite make it.
And then I get the door open. Just. And the screech is more a cry. But it’s louder. And then I flick at the door to open it slightly wider and then this puce, hairless thing leaps from the bin in a bungled first-flight attempt. I fall to the floor in panic as this mouse-sized elephant-in-flight stumble-falls past my ear. It’s a dinosaur-looking bird. Embryonic. Like duckling afterbirth that walked away. (And is now trying to fly).
She starts screaming at me to kill it. “Kill it!” And the high-pitched screeching of the bird-insect-dinosaur-thing continues. And it’s fluttering now in its bumblebee way. And I swing at it a few times. Hopelessly.
Finally I wind a teatowel up and flick at it – like we used to flick at each other’s legs in the changing sheds after school swimming. I have one towel as a weapon now, one in the other hand like a miniature drop-sheet. Waiting. A few wild swings and flicks. And useless! And then – BAM! I get it. Stunned, it falls to the floor and yarls. It wails. Its mouth wide open, crooked beak-thing all bent, broken, and awful. And it’s horror-show stuff. And I’m dreaming obviously. But I’m not. Sweating bullets instead. And I flick the other teatowel down over its makeshift body. And I sorta scrunch it all up and put my foot high in the air.
“Kill it! Fucking kill it”, she’s screaming from behind me. And my foot’s up near my armpit almost and then as it heads down to destroy this thing the teatowel shifts, the screeching – and the screaming – is gone. It’s only an instant. But there’s silence. And in place of this mangled-bird’s nearly-formed head is the cutest puppy-dog face, and some woolly little paws. And my foot can’t be stopped. And as it hurtles down the puppy-dog mouth opens, and says, in this faux-Japanese accent, “I CAN HAZ DEATH?!” And I crush its skull right as the rising inflection finishes. Right as everything finishes.