i'm lying on my back, listening to the theme park babble of orphaned organ chords, kids' screams and family muzak. the grass is cool against my bare back, the sky deepening its blues above me. i could almost sleep here. my lower body swaddled in the folds and fur of my costume.
but that's not a good idea right now.
so i sit up. look down the length of my arm till it terminates in a bloody fist. and in the fist, a bloody hammer. those aren't swear words. they're adjectives. i'm trying to be descriptive. anyway, i'm completely incapable of lying.
half a foot from the hammer's snout, nosing the lawn, a police dog is sprawled like an oversize cuddly toy. but all its cuddles are gone. its skull's caved in one side and you can see the stuffing glistening just above its ear, you can see the -
"well, that was completely unnecessary," says jubilee, fast food skirt riding up thighs, single eyebrow arched halfway to her regulation donut-stand cap.
"it was a police dog," i say, pointedly. pointing at it for emphasis, "it was chasing you with - " and my forearm is icky with gore, " - intent to kill."
jubilee is examining her own crotch, which is really nothing new.
"it's a dumb animal," she sighs. "it was an unwilling accomplice."
i've learnt not to argue with her when she's like this, knowing full well she gets big kicks from the whole devil's advocate thing. 'specially at inappropriate times. i've often thought it must be some kind of defence mechanism. i'm dragging the corpse into a flower arrangement, leaving beads of goo on blades of shiny grass. and, to be honest, i'm feeling a little queasy.
"you should definitely wash your arm," she says, without looking up.
"it'll be hidden inside the costume."
and with that, i suddenly desperately need a cigarette. glower at the fireworks above the park, heralding the beginning of the 6-10 shift i don't want to be doing.
"mummy," she says, in her best five-year old squeak, "why does sherlock the dog smell of dog blood?"
i look at the fireworks and i fantasize about lungfuls of smoke.
"edible panties get really sticky," she says, picking at the red plasticky knickers she's wearing, teasing the fabric out of shape.
"i don't think they're for everyday use."
- the 131st time i have said this.
"sometimes i get peckish."
and i've scored a pout. but i'm not listening anyway. i'm up on two feet, furry legs solid, muscles rested, wrestling into the costume's split torso. burying bloodstained arms in paws, struggling with zip.
the hammer on the floor, blunted by the matter clogging on its surface, sitting right next to sherlock's idiot head, deerstalker, tongue-lolling, trademark lobotomy grin.
jubilee works in the fast food section, but i never accept freebies from her - knowing from bitter experience she's a sexual deviant and can't be trusted with matters of hygeine.
sometimes, when she wants to torture me, usually in public - she asks questions about my taste in music, tv - knowing full well i can't lie. at such times i would gladly hammer her.
i reach for it now, but she's there first.
"i'll dispose of this."
she straightens her skirt, brushing grass from her knees.
"i have to pass the enchanted spring on the way back. i'll toss it in there."
"they'll find it."
"not up by the sylvan glade. all the condoms and tampons and bottles and shit."
"right," i say. "thanks."
"put your head on."
and when i do, she stands on tiptoe, places the tiniest touch of a kiss on my cartoon canine nose.