My father killed a woman to steal money from her when I was right in front of him! I stood in the room while blood dripped off her sagging arms, and I looked at him, the idiot.

“How do you think you’re going to get rid of her now?”

He left the room. I sat perched on a stool looking at her clumsy flesh.

He returned with a sewing kit. “Stitch her up, s’yl te plais. I detest the sight of blood.”

My father comes from a generation of people who don’t waste. “It kills me to throw away anything,” he explained while shredding an old cowboy shirt.

I used the fabric to plug the wounds and control the flow of blood. Then I sewed together patches of cloth and draped them over her body.

When I was done with her, she looked like a quilt. Reds and blues and checkered breasts. We picked her up and took her to the sea.

When we got to the water we admired a machine that was built to maintain the brightness of the ocean. It stood on a cliff overlooking the stagnant waters below. I wanted to turn on the switch that would make the sea luminous. I wanted to purify all liquids, but the dashboard was inert and the technology too antiquated. I knew it wouldn’t work.

“You better stick to the stitching part,” said my father, “you are a manual labor kind of person.”

I looked at the patchwork woman and the polluted sea. If I had been given a chance to do things my way she would be alive and the water would be blue.