Four bodies. Four bodies was a pretty good starting line. Grandad could name every British and American politician under the sun, he could even dabble in the French government from time to time, but disappointingly he wasn’t smart enough to notice his peppermint tea tasted just a little bit like poison. Mother could cook a delicious feast for the entire village in a single afternoon, three courses and all, yet confusingly didn’t spot that one of her expensive Japanese knives had gone missing, not until it turned up in her carotid artery at least, spewing blood all over her newly polished floors - a shame, truly. Father could recite every verse from the Bible by heart and would willingly do so every chance he got; over dinner, on a hike, once even in the shower. It’s fitting, really, that he died by the crucifix just like his saviour, even if it wasn’t quite by way of the same method. I’m sure Jesus would understand that a brass effigy of his crucifixion driven straight through the eye and into the brain was the best a boy could do, given the resources. Older brothers are trickier, sly, they always seem to see things coming. Incredibly annoying, except, of course, when said brother ever so clumsily takes the wrong medication. He never even noticed when the small, round, white pills our parents don’t know he takes every night turned into little yellowish capsules. Poor thing was too busy stuffing them down his throat and waiting for the brain-altering clarity of his school mate’s Ritalin to seep in so he could perform at his best. I did him a favour, honestly, he’s lucky to have me.
So you see, Arlo, my family's carelessness with their lives was never my fault. Their need to force me into a cage and morph my brain and body into something unrecognisably horrific made them ugly and hostile. They saw who I was, they got their jaws around me and they bit. They ate away at me until there was nothing left. And what do you do with old dogs who bite?
You put them down.