August 25, 1883
I have the smell of blood and slaughter so thickly steeped in my lungs that I feel myself a beast. And when I close my eyes, my mind is reeling, dancing in blood.
The summer air hung thick and still over the golden hills when I awoke this morning. I stepped outside the back door and uncovered the tin washbasin. The sun even at 7 a.m. was braising, and the air was quivering. Despite the heat, I found the morning something a blessing, and began humming a bit of the alegria I had been trying to teach Theresa, before she took ill.
I abandoned the tin basin and made my way to the chicken house at the slowest pace two feet might go. I had never held a pair of rubbery chicken legs in my hand, but somehow I knew the feeling now, I knew exactly how tough and wiry the fowl’s limbs would be. I stood at the picket fence, staring at the pointed yellow beaks and the wild black eyes of the birds as they took their jolted steps around the yard. A chill shuddered me.