My husband does not admit to disposing of the body.
I have just realized our resident house elf has a problem. Somehow its body is missing. This creature has lived on the tops of various picture frames ever since one of our sons wanted an elf-themed 7th birthday party. Although no one knew quite how our elf moved from picture frame to picture frame, we all knew then and know now that this isn’t a real elf, like the elves who (when it’s very quiet here) can be heard snickering and scuffling through the pages of their teeny tiny books and living their best house elf lives. Still, I’m shocked to notice only its decapitated head now rests on a picture frame.
I ask the spouse in a casual non-interrogating way:
“Where is the elf’s body?”
“Why didn’t anyone tell me?”
“How long has he been broken?”
Even under repeated (casual!) questioning he claims no involvement in disposing of the body. Says it’s no big deal. Says it has likely been broken for a few years.
A few years?
The last few years in this family have been rough, health wise. Far be it from me to fess up to more magical thinking than is psychologically normal. (None is normal, I’m told. That can’t be right.) But if there is a ever a time to indulge in some elf-sized superstition, it’s now. Why piss off the Elm Realm if you can avoid it?
But I’m not sure how to deal with this decapitated head. I consider a respectful burial. Consider letting it rest in a box with other sentimental things. And then I consult the son who had that elf birthday party many years ago. “Put it back on a picture frame,” he advised. “He’s still our elf.”
Maybe I need to redirect my superstitions toward the chipped-wing gargoyle in our flower bed.