February 17, 2016

“Sister, brother, and I were no help to mother. When the blankets were removed from father, we could not touch him. Just as every other dead body we encountered in the house made us nervous, father was no exception. His skin was too pale. The flesh around his eyes with a cold blue. He smelled like sickness. Sickness smelled of mustard and steamed greens and bananas. The smell caused our stomachs to heave. Sister left the room every few minutes to vomit. When she vomited, the sound was of pouring water. Brother rubbed his face repeatedly, although mother told him to keep his hands off his cheeks. Mother gave me a sponge to wipe father’s face with but when my fingers grazed his clammy skin, I dropped the sponge onto the table and stepped away. Father’s skin was too cold and wet. Father felt like sweating wax. Sister vomited again.”

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