The Neandertal was there when I arrived late in the day. He looked pleased to see me climbing up the cliff wall toward the cavern. His shadow swallowed me.
I put my hands on my big belly. I asked him if he knew it was his. He nodded, and started picking his teeth. I asked him how he knew.You and your husband have been together for a long time, he signed.
I made a gesture concerning my husband’s little dick. He laughed. I asked him why he and his wife had no kids.
He signed: There were two; they died.
We sat quietly for a long time in the mist smoking and drinking, half inside, half outisde. His wife was asleep inside. I could smell her. I asked the Neandertal which things were hers. I told him not to give her the Ottoman with the dogtooth fringe. I had noticed it when I was there before.
When she came into the front room I told her she had to leave. She glared. “Man-eater!” she spat. I asked her how she dare speak my language. I asked who taught her. My lover made the motion of “Before” with his hands. She must have learnt before they met. His hands hit his dick as he signed. He tried to cover it up by crossing his legs. I laughed.
I told her I was here now. I pulled out my machéte and told her I’d kill her if she didn’t leave. She took the things her husband packed for her into the early morning light. I had one leg up on the Ottoman. The one I liked.
My head itched fiercely. I resisted the urge to scratch viciously as I looked after her. The Neandertal was silent.
“Don’t worry.” I said. The dogs will look after her. So will the Spirits.”
How do you know?
“I took care of it.”
from the short story project “Dysautonomia”