26. While her sister’s in the hospital, Amy is in charge of the dog.

Read in Spanish or Swedish

  Tulsa, 1989

 

Tulsa, 1989

While her sister’s in the hospital, Amy is in charge of the dog. She tries to teach it different tricks like fetch to surprise Zoe when she gets out, but the dog won’t learn.

After a few days, Amy is allowed to visit. She is so scared her sister might have changed personality from the surgery that her hands won’t stop shaking on the way. When she walks into the room she sees an alien lying in a little bed with all kinds of different tubes and wires coming out of its body. It takes her a second to understand what is happening. Her sister’s long streaked hair is all gone, and all across her bare little skull is a jagged dark red wound. Without wanting to Amy bursts into tears. Her hands fly to her face to cover it up, but it is too late because their mother is already angry. Before she is dragged back out of the room she gets a look at her sister’s eyes. They are dull, and hollow.

Amy lies on her grandparents’ couch all day with her face in the cushion, curled up like a seashell.