by Joshua Vigil
The insulators had us trapped.
They’d backed a truck up the driveway; tubes snaked and whirred from its gaping maw. Pink fluffs filled the walls of the clapboard through large holes they’d spent the morning drilling. Mari and I had fixed ourselves in the living room. We made eye contact: they sniggered: the cat yowled: they clicked their teeth. When they reached up, they flashed their bellies for all to see. Tufts of perfect hair sliding over glass.
I don’t know what it was that drove them to lock us up inside—perhaps this had always been the plan.
It was now afternoon. They settled large sheets of pine over the windows, and away they hammered. They drove nails into the door’s fat lip. Mari laughed something nervous and shrill. It’s a joke, she said. They’re so funny!
The cat whined. I rattled the knob. Nothing. The sun vanished when the final piece of pine was pounded in place. I screamed. Mari told me to stop. I told her we’re trapped.
It’s all part of the process, she said, scratching at her face til blood bloomed.
The cat ran from one end of the house to the other. The men laughed: the truck roared alive, and then they were gone. The cat returned with a small mouse. She peeled it like a banana.
Can you tell the cat now is not the time for theatrics? I said.
I understand now, Mari said. We’re going to die.
Joshua Vigil lives in the Pioneer Valley. His work has appeared in Hobart, HAD, Maudlin House, and elsewhere.