Hyena Ha Ha
The hyenas approached the chicken coop in the dark of the night and picked the lock and feasted on the chickens. After the slaughter they headed back into the wood, a trail of bloody hyena paw prints telling the way.
Teresa and I came the next morning and saw the blood soaked cages, the blood soaked hay. The air was feather strung. The words Ha Ha Ha Ha were painted on the inner walls of the coop, the ceiling even. Teresa fetched her rags and a bucket of soapy water and put on her mask and got down on her knees and began scrubbing. Blood you can clean, my wife said, but the smell of death, it stays. It enjoys to linger.
A whole week passed without eggs. Then something happened. What I declared as a miracle. What Teresa called a curious event. A calf was born in the same empty coop where the chickens had lived and died. Instant, and out of nothing. Like God had said, Let there be cow, and there was a cow. Chewing something not quite grass. It did not take the hyenas long to realize. They came back in the shadows of the moon and tossed a brick through the window and devoured the calf, leaving behind tattered patches of cowhide and a written note of laughter nailed to the door. The smell of death was sweeter this time, with a scent of apple, hints of honey.
An entire summer passed without milk and the hyenas grew restless. They drove a U-Haul into our home and quickly consumed my wife and then circled round and swallowed me in chunks. An angel told me that the hyenas chuckled as they licked the sides of their mouths. That the death smell in the house was minimal. Tomorrow, the angel said, where your bodies fell, two bear cubs will be born.
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