Anthropophagi

an•thro•poph•a•gi — Pronunciation: (an”thru-pof’u-jī”, -gī”).

***

She has beautiful blue eyes, a slender woman with long blonde hair who looks like at one time she was very pretty, but she has been sleeping on a mattress in a house that smells like urine. She says she has back pain and has been hurting too much to leave the house. She has two dogs there and the cop asks her who is going to feed the dogs while she is away.

“No one,” she says. “I’m here alone.”

“What about the guy who lives with you?”

“I got rid off him,” she says.

On the way to the hospital, she admits she’s on methadone, but has lapsed from her drug program, and has done heroin in the last few days.

***

A week later.

We get called to an address and told to wait for the cops. There is a dead body in the house and there are dogs. The cops ask us for masks. Evidently there is a stink.

We only have three masks. I let the two officers and my partner have them. I have learned over the years how to breathe so the smell doesn’t get to me.

The officer opens the door. A little white dog meets us. I notice a red stain on his cheek.

We start to walk through the house. I see a bigger larger dog dart quickly across my line of vision(almost like a wolf in the movies), then dissappear. There are piles of excrement scattered about the carpet. I’m guessing the dogs have been alone for several days at least.

The officer checks each room as we go. I am starting to recognize the house. “I’ve been here before,” I say now. “There is a woman who lives here. Her bedroom is down this way.”

Stepping over the feces, I lead the officer to the back bedroom where we find her laying semi- naked across the mattress. Her hair has been ripped out, her face eaten off. You basically see a skeleton head sticking out of a dead but still meated torso. She looks like an extra from Raiders of the Lost Arc. I am both drawn and repulsed by the sight. I remember how pretty her eyes were.

I notate the time, then leave the room.

Later an officer holds a pole with a loop on the end, which he is hoping to put over the neck of the bigger dog who growls at him. They appear to be at a standoff. The officer is not the regular dog officer. He looks very nervous. Another officer tries to tempt the dog with a biscuit.

The dog isn’t interested in the biscuit.

***

an•thro•poph•a•gi Pronunciation: (an”thru-pof’u-jī”, -gī”), eaters of human flesh.

Random House Unabridged Dictionary, Copyright © 1997, by Random House

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