“Did you hear?” The girl’s mother said in a somber tone. “Just last night, Kathy was – well – you’ve heard about it, haven’t you?”
The girl nodded into the phone then said a quiet, “Yes. I read the paper this morning.”
“It’s a tragedy,” The mother said.
“Yes,” The girl replied faithfully. “I can’t believe it.”
“It’s so sad,” The mother said.
“Yes,” The girl responded. “It doesn’t seem real.”
“I didn’t know her that well,” The mother said.
“No,” The girl remarked. “Neither did I.”
There was a long pause while each of the women thought about what to say next. Should they bring up the details that the newspaper typed up – words like ‘massacre’ and ‘double homicide’ and ‘pools of blood’ printed in stark black ink on scratchy grey paper? Should they talk more about Kathy – who she was, what they’ve heard, how it happened? Should they change the conversation and forget about it all in a couple of days – much like the newspaper, the town, the courts will do?
“So,” The mother said finally, “We got ten new chickens at home.”