5.

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5. The itchiness culminated in a triple-murder-suicide. It happened one subdivision from where my parents lived, where I used to and my father still does. They’d go past the place where the house was, before it burnt, on their evening walk. The murderer — a Mennonite — burnt himself down in it after he’d shot his daughter — 19 — to alleviate her suffering from migraines and depression. He killed his wife soon after, followed by his sister. He reasoned that they wouldn’t deal with the grief of the loss and the shame of his husbandly/brotherly presence if they weren’t around to feel those things. The man stated as much in a confession posted to Facebook.

No one speaks of this event anymore. Not the media, not the church established by the murderer’s parents, and from this day forward, though his surname is close to mine, neither will I. The fingers of murder that reached inside him have been extracted. The process that scratched at his thoughts and guided his actions are nothing more than a geometrical stretch of charred land now grown over and up for sale.

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