The Dead Thing

They had failed to realize it was dead. In fact, it seemed as if they didn't notice it all, large, rotting, and foul smelling as it was.

It was between them now. It's monstrous bulk lying between them, though they were in each others arms. It's matted brown hair up against her face, it's festering flesh right under his nose.

They didn't know when it had died. Neither of them seemed to care. They pretended as if it were still alive, trying to feed it every once in a while. But the truth was they had neglected it for so long that it had just passed away.

Later, it was with them at the dinner table. The kids knew it was dead and did their best to help their parents deal with it, but they didn't understand why it was still here or how to get rid of it. It was lying right in the middle of the table, stretched from Mom at one end to Dad at the other. Neither of them looking at it or at each other. As they passed around the meatloaf and potatoes, the kids did their best not to talk about it, but it was RIGHT THERE! How could their parents ignore it? It stunk.

They continued to act as if it were alive. That night it went with them to the movies. They tried to get it to move or react in some way, but it just sat there between them, separating them. It's grotesque appearance and odor was too much for some movie goers and they walked out. Others just tried to ignore it, thinking it was someone else's problem. But no one could ignore it.

When it was alive, it was around them, embracing them always, bringing them together in a way that was both magical and mysterious. It carried them when they needed to deal with problems, it shielded them when others tried to attack. Most of all, it drove them, gave their life meaning and purpose.

And now, here it was. Bloated, rotting, stinking...