The Crayon Box
You’re five and innocent, or at least your missing front tooth and the three freckles across your button nose gives that impression. Nevertheless, under your tuft of blond hair lives a cesspool of disturbing thoughts.
You giggle while using a purple crayon to draw a picture of the bicycle spoke you tied the kitten to before racing up and down the street. Dumping the contents of your crayon box, you find a bright red and use it to show the kitten’s blood trail on the asphalt.
Grandma sees your drawing and scolds about golden rules. She punishes you by making you sit in the small chair in the corner or the room. As you sit in the corner, the cesspool bubbles. The baritone voice that only you can hear gives you an idea. Laughing wildly, your chair falls over.
“Jimmy, pick that chair up and face the corner. Just wait until your mother sees the drawings I’ve found.” Grandma waves your notebook in the air. “She’ll have you committed. Why, that kitten was your birthday present, and your sister’s puppy, who would’ve thought…” She rambles on as she waddles out of the room.
The middle finger on your right hand rises and secretly gestures to Grandma. You know it means a bad word, but she deserves it.
Suppertime. Grandma allows you to get up from your corner and wash your hand before dinner. In the bathroom, you find it–that stuff she uses when the water stays in the bathtub too long. It’ll probably take a lot to kill a person as big as Grandma, so you tuck the whole bottle down your pants.
While Grandma busies herself mashing potatoes, you sneak over and pour the tub stuff in the iced tea she drinks to swallow her pills. Crossing your fingers you hope it works before Mommy gets home from work.
Joining your sister at the supper table, you giggle and snicker under your breath as Grandma pops two pills in her mouth and chases them with the tea.
Your notebook sits on the coffee table, waiting for you.
Your little hearts pounds while awaiting the excitement of the police and ambulance when Grandma croaks.
Grandma’s face contorts as she gags. Her eyes bulge. She turns pale.
Laughing, you watch her clutch her throat, gag, moan and fall to the floor.
You wait a little while before scooting the chair over to the phone on the kitchen wall and climbing up and dial 911. “Something’s happened to my Nana, she fell and she won’t wake up.”
Everyone thinks Grandma has had a heart attack.
After Grandma’s funeral, you scurry to your room and pull the notebook from under your mattress. You dump your crayon box and sift through the colors until you find just the right shade of green to show what color Grandma’s face turned after drinking her tea.