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The Pig

 

My brother Nick was studying to be a doctor. In the later years of high school, he would bring home extra credit. I'm not exactly sure how this came about but one time during Christmas vacation he brought home a pig to dissect from Biology Class. This was essentially for him to study but I don't think any of his teachers intended the lessons to get so creative. However one day while we were both off from school, Nick and I were downstairs playing video games.

My brother and I liked different types of video games. He preferred the sports games and would proceed to whallop the tar out of me in these games. A good part of the problem is my inability to compete in sports in particular, but in video games this shouldn't matter. Since your scoring against the other team depended on the plays that you knew, I was not very good at this game. I only remembered one play, which was the Joystick in the lower right corner or four o'clock. This caused one of the blocky players to run in the only direction I had memorized so that I could pass the ball at him. I only tried other plays randomly and in those, I wasn't sure how the players ended up. My brother would always intercept and he would get his turn. It was all over but the crying, folks.

So after my brother had beat me in the third consecutive game, I took a bathroom break. Now I have to say again that the bathroom in a house of four kids and two parents is the only privacy that a middle child is really going to have. Even if you have your own room, the bathroom is where you go to have a little time with only yourself. I also enjoy reading in the bathroom. When I read anywhere, I can get Lost In A Book, but in the bathroom, forget it. So I had spent a lot of time in there by the time my brother started yelling for me.

He first started saying that he wanted me to come out to play a video game. This in itself, is amazing, because usually he didn't volunteer to play. Beating the tar out of your brother on a poorly rendered football game only has so much lasting appeal. Besides, I would play for rounds more of the arcade games so it balanced out. So he started to call me out of the bathroom.

First I gave him the "I'll be right out!" that really doesn't mean anything to a long-time sitter. This is only the first warning that will essentially be ignored. You won't actually do anything except to sound as if you are really leaving, rustling papers, flipping the toilet paper, anything except actually getting up. Actual effort starts much later, after the second call has been made.

I can only imagine what he had been thinking out there. How long can you possibly take in there? Doesn't it hurt to sit down there for that long? [You know actually you don't feel it. After a while it starts to be pleasantly numb and you almost leave your body, at least the part that is sitting.]

"Hey are you coming out or not"!? There it is, with the second call, the clock is now ticking! I have to get moving now or as my sibling, he may open the door and start to taunt me, seeing as how we are the same sex and this is fair to do and that I am partially nude and vulnerable (especially if there is work to do). So I get moving for real this time, attending to duty down below and rushing out of there. I open the door.

The first thing I notice is that the basement is completely dark. This is odd because we leave every light in the house on all the time. "This house is lit up like a Christmas Tree!" he would announce when he got home most nights and proceed to turn things off constantly, lights, TVs, toys. It was as if he became an executioner for anything that needed power but he could also give life to them at any time. So we left lights on everywhere, left appliances on, doors open.

So it was dark out there. "Nick"? I heard nothing except a rustling sound and then a high, squealing noise. "Eeeeeeeew! Eeeeeeeeew!" like a badly done pig imitation.
We come back to the pig. It is a fetal pig, one that has died before birth. We had to dissect one in class and I was always very disturbed at how human they had looked (which is really the point if you want to learn about the body). To top it off, this is a gruesome sight as it is wrapped in a clear plastic bag filled with formaldehyde. It looks hideous, like a dead pig wrapped in a plastic bag is what it looks like! It's just awful.

As bad as this is, it gets worse. Out of the darkness, I see a shape coming towards me. It is flying out of the dark and is coming upwards. As it reaches the level of my eyes, it seems to hover there. I can see the squished up face looking up at me and I scream (like a girl, yes) and run back into the bathroom, slamming the door.

Nick had taken a heavy twine or fishline and tied one end to the bag. The other he had tied to a hook that was connected to the ceiling in our basement. At the first squeal, he had let go and sent this sailing towards me, knowing that it wasn't close enough to hit me, he was at least that kind. I had seen the pig and it wasn't pretty.

The night thereafter was filled with laughter and song as my brother laughed at what he had accomplished and I complained about how gross he was. I imagine that it was a high point for my parents who must have been enormously proud of us and how we had matured over the years. But they have no one to blame except themselves because they taught us the power of a good joke and how only years of therapy can erase its legacy.

 

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