Shane Jones

Remy The Dog-Child

Remy the dog-child is full-up on crystal and every time she barks she coughs up white crystal fungus in the sharp shape of pine trees. She runs through the diamond mines barking and sending the shapes into the sky. Remy the dog-child runs.

When she gets to the bottom of the diamond mine she sees three caves. Cave one reads: House. Cave two reads: Window. Cave three reads: Cabinet. Remy the dog-child takes ten blue crystals from the pockets of her neon green shorts. She throws them into the sky as an offering. Three crystals fall back down and land a few feet away in a print of sand. The choice has been made, and Remy the dog-child sprints into cave three, an arc of black diamond mine dust formed behind her.

Inside cave three is a room. Inside the room is a floating cabinet with four drawers.

“Pick only one,” says a voice.

Remy the dog-child sits back on the tail of her spine.

“But how do I know which one?”

“Throw the crystals against the wall, see what sticks,” says the voice.

“Are you Mom?”

“I’m Dad,” says the voice.

Remy the dog-child takes the remaining seven blue crystals from her pocket. She eats one and watches the floating cabinet tremble with haze. Colored bars of red, blue, pink, prison her vision for ten seconds then dissipate. She takes the seven blue crystals and throws them against the wall and four stick.

“Does that mean drawer four?”

“It does,” says the voice. “What else could it possibly mean?”

Remy the dog-child rumble-walks and barks her way to the cabinet. Tiny numbered carvings 1-2-3-4 label each drawer. Four is the bottom drawer. Remy the dog-child wants a mother, not a father. Inside the drawer is this: Remy the child. Remy the dog-child pulls Remy the child out of the cabinet and unfolds the girl and holds her like a child. Remy the dog-child stands and becomes a second Remy the child and now they both stand facing each other and calling each other Sister.

“Very good,” says the voice.

Shane Jones new novel, Daniel Fights a Hurricane, is forthcoming from Penguin Books.

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