“We got a report today that another animal was killed and eaten around here.”
As soon as Alex heard that phrase, his heart rate rose sharply and his nerves went numb for a second. “Hold on. That wasn’t me.”
“Then where did all that blood in the grass come from?”
“Shit.” Alex tried not to act worried as he replied. How could he have overlooked that? “That was me.” His father gave him a look demanding he say more. “Some raccoon that was wandering around outside.”
“So, you killed a raccoon?”
“Why exactly?” Alex’s first imagined response was a ‘no reason’ one. But then, he’d had a reason…The seconds of his stalling began to add up faster than he was noticing, prompting his father to talk again. “Son, why would you do something like that?”
Alex felt worse than trapped at that point. Lie, and his folks would think he was being sadistic. Tell the truth, and who knew what would happen then. Fighting his constricting throat, he spoke. “Dad, I don’t want to talk about this.”
“If you had a reason, then tell us.”
Alex didn’t speak. He tried to think of another explanation. Something to get him out of this talk.
“I’d like to know why also.” His mother said.
What began as a reply in Alex’s head slipped out and became sound. “No, you don’t.”
“And why’s that?” his father asked.
Alex exhaled noticeably. His mind was drawing a blank, and he was shutting off his own means of stopping this chat every time he spoke. And now his folks had some hint that he had killed for a reason.
Feeling Bailey nudge his leg, Alex looked over to him. He sat like he was waiting for some scraps. Reaching over to him, he rubbed him between the ears. “Just give me a minute.”