She smells bad because she is dead. Her eyes are still and open. My friend says I can see her soul when I look at her eyes. I look at her eyes. Her soul is empty and doesn’t have anything at all. Maybe her soul is not there anymore.

Maybe my friend is wrong. A man in a white jump suit and an oxygen mask brushes past me and kneels. He looks like he is from space. He talks to another man on the radio. He wears plastic gloves and his breathing is heavy. He looks like a space man. He walks funny.

We stare at the man in the white jump suit with the triangles on his back. The spaceman looks at the dead woman. ‘Is she dead?’ I ask him. He shifts and looks up, but he does not say anything to us. He continues to put tiny drops of water into little containers. We know the water is sewage. We are standing in the sewage. ‘Is she dead?’ I ask again.

The man nods, this time, quickly. Spacemen are weird, I think. Maybe he is a spaceman. ‘Why does he want to collect the water?’ My brother asks me. My brother is twelve. He is short. He does not understand the spacemen. ‘So they can figure out how to breathe here,’ I tell him. ‘Like us?’ He asks.

Of course, like us. We do not wear suits or masks or gloves and this is our home. We walk barefoot through the fourteen inch water and sit on our old couches and play I spy. But we have to be quiet because my mother cries in the morning and I have not seen my little sister in a week. I look at the woman on the floor. She has been there a couple weeks. Her eyes look like they never did have a soul. She was probably ugly when she was alive, I think.

I don’t like ugly people. This place is ugly to the spacemen. They will not come into our homes without their suits. We must be ugly people. My mother coughs. She is upstairs. I think she is sick. My twelve year old brother holds my hand and says, “Can we play I spy?”


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