→ Write about someone killing something by accident.
I am still half asleep, heading to the kitchen to re-heat the cup of tea my boyfriend has left on my bedside table when he left for work. There, between the sofa and the breakfast bar, lying face down on his stomach, is Klaus. I am lucky not to step on him. I stare at him for a long time, willing him to move, but he just lies there. His eyes are covered in a milky film, his arms outstretched like Jesus on the cross.
I consider taking his photo, the only picture I’ll have of him, but decide against it. The idea seems too macabre. There are some images you’re better off forgetting.
I don’t know what to do with his body. I don’t want to touch it, so I leave him there and go outside to drink my tea in the morning sun. Somehow I forget about Klaus until I walk back inside and then the shock of his death hits me all over again.
At first, Klaus only appeared when I was alone. He seemed to know when my boyfriend was working away and would wait until late at night to come into the lounge room. At the beginning, I thought I’d imagined him until one night he appeared right in front of me, between the coffee table and the TV.
‘Klaus is dead,’ I say to my boyfriend on the phone.
‘Oh God,’ he says, ‘I think I killed him. Last night he ran past me in the kitchen and I kicked him by accident. I didn’t mean to — he frightened me.’
‘I’m sure it wasn’t your fault,’ I say. ‘He doesn’t seem to have any injuries. Perhaps he just died of natural causes. Don’t worry, I’ll sort it out.’
I wrap the small grey body in a tissue, making sure his tail doesn’t slip out and put him inside a plastic bag to contain the smell of decomposition. I place him gently on top of the garbage bags and pizza boxes in the wheelie bin.
‘I’m sorry Klaus,’ I say, as I close the bin lid. ‘Rest in peace little mouse.’