The toddler is two years old and he has a water pistol in his hand and his nose is bleeding. Don’t let him touch the men in the backyard, Stacey says. Stacey walks into the kitchen and drinks water. The men in the backyard have bodies that are not put together and some of the men are missing arms and some of the men are missing legs.
That man has no head, Jack says. Jack is nine and the school principle drives him to school every morning in a blue suburban. Sometimes Jack and the principle stop by the ice-cream store and eat ice cream. The principle asks Jack questions like: how is your mother and why didn’t you wear shorts on such a hot day. Jack likes ice cream.
It isn’t possible for a man to not have a head, Larry says. Larry points to the corner of the garden where the blue fence peeks out from the green ivy. See, Larry says, the man's head is over there. When Larry was six he buried a sack of coins in the backyard, next to the fence. Maybe I should dig them out, Larry thinks. Larry stoops and picks up a man's arm. The man has only four fingers. The arm is heavy.
Stacey comes to the backyard. She wears her apron. Her apron is blue and yellow. Stacey dries her hands with a rag from the kitchen drawer. Drop that man’s arm, Stacey says to Larry. Jack has dirt in his eye and he starts to cry. Is it time to eat, Larry asks. Where is the toddler, Stacey asks. The toddler is in the swimming pool.
The plastic flamingo has legs that run in circles. The plastic flamingo is red.
On Friday, it is Jack’s birthday and the workers from the store with the black writing still haven’t come to pick up the men in the backyard. The children from Jack’s school wear overalls and play in the sandbox and eat cake. The children from Jack’s school get cake on their face and roll in the dirt.
I think there are at least fifteen men in the backyard, Stacey says. Stacey is drinking coffee in her kitchen with Sally and Sue. Stacey isn’t sure how many men are in her backyard. The bodies are piled up against one another and some of the bodies are missing parts. Where did the children eat their cake, Sally asks. In the garden, Stacey says. It is silly to think that dead men would suddenly wake up and attack the children, Sue says. The three women laugh and hug and Sally smells like she was just making sex with the neighbor and Sue smells like she has not washed recently.