Accidents and Artifacts

I plucked the two brown paper bags from the box in which Chris had placed them. I carried them to the table. They each sported two stickers, one printed, one handwritten. Each bore a description. The handwritten one said, “Chain of custody” at the top. One bag still sported tape across the top that said, “EVIDENCE” in bright blue letters.

The first bag contained Marshmallow and Cowie, two of the stuffed animals Lucy slept with every night. Underneath them was the pink crib sheet.

“Ah, yes, the Pepto-Bismol pink one,” I thought.

The next bag contained the beautiful blanket my mother-in-law crocheted for Lucy. She matched it exactly to the colors of her bedroom.

I held each item to my face. I sniffed them. They smelled a bit stale. Chris told me the police said they had been sealed since they took them from the house. I nuzzled and kissed Marshmallow a bit. That one is so soft. She was definitely one of Lucy’s favorites.

I gathered the items up in my arms and headed for the stairs. I intended to put the stuffed animals in Lucy’s room and the sheet and blanket in the hamper.

Max was hanging out on the landing. He had been hanging out there for awhile. He wasn’t feeling well today and was just lounging around. I think he wanted to go to bed, but didn’t want to admit it.

I had checked on him several times to make sure he hadn’t pooped his pants. I started to ask him again, but he rocked back on his heels with a solemn look and I saw the wet spot on the carpet.

An exasperated sigh mingled with a slight laugh escaped my lips. “Hon, he peed all over the landing.” (I don’t know why I exaggerated like that.) “Oh, Lordy,” I added to myself.

“Oh, Lordy,” repeated Max with a big grin on his face.

Sounds of aggravation and frustration emanated from the kitchen. My husband appeared. He was both exasperated and relieved that it was actually just a smallish wet spot. He took over cleaning the spot while I took Max by one hand and towed him upstairs, still clutching Lucy’s possessions in the other arm.

I left Max in the bathroom briefly while I placed the items where they belonged. I said “Welcome Home” to Marshmallow and Cowie. Then, I returned to the bathroom to help my son clean up.

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