A chalk circle around a dead mouse won’t stop the ants from coming to feed on its little furry brown corpse. Ants not crossing a chalk line is just something someone made up. My mother imparted this false truth on me one day. “Simone, ants will not cross that line,” she had told me one day as she chalked around our kitchen window sill.
It seems ants in Detroit don’t know that chalk lines hold some mystical power. It May be that these ants evolved and adapted like a lot of people in our city have had to do. Regardless, these city ants will march right across that damn line without a care. However, a chalk circle and some blood will bring a mouse back to life if you’re the right kind of freak.
I stumbled upon my ability quite innocently enough when I was eleven-years-old. Our tomcat, Mr. Bojangles, had decimated a poor mouse and was playing with its dead body on the sidewalk in front of our building. It’s not Mr. Bojangles fault, his lot in life was that he was reimbursed with one square meal a day and a dry place to sleep for carrying out the task of being a mouser. He was doing the job he was designed to do. But it broke my heart to see these poor mice being ruthlessly murdered and then seeing their little bodies batted around. As such, I shooed Mr.Bojangles away from this particular victim.
Having watched one too many episodes of Grey’s Anatomy with my mom I thought I could save this mouse using skills I had garnered from the TV program. So I tried to suture the mouse back up with mom’s sewing needle and thread which in hindsight was probably a cruel act of torture.
I can just imagine what was going through that mouse’s mind. “Aaah a cat got me, tore me to bits, scratched and clawed me, bit me and ripped me open! That’s got to be the end of it. Time to shuffle off this mortal coil oh wait….some little girl is trying to sew me back together! Ouch! That bloody well hurts. Please stop! AAAAHH!”
Poor damn mouse. Needless to say no number of episodes of Grey’s Anatomy will ever make me, or anyone else for that matter, a surgeon. My eleven-year-old surgical skills couldn’t save the little critter. I’d used the stoop in front of our apartment building as an operating table and I didn’t want the ants feeding on the corpse while I was performing surgery. So I had drawn a chalk circle around his body having heard from my mother that ants won’t cross a chalk line. That, as we discussed earlier is pure and utter horse hooey.
Meredith Grey never had to deal with ants in her operating room on Grey’s Anatomy. These ants were determined. If only I had a McDreamy to help me during this procedure. He could peer out at me over his mask from across the OR table with those playful, flirting eyes. Of course, I would staunchly tell him, “Derek, stop looking at me like that and manage these damn ants.” But, I was flying solo for this operation and as a result, I accidentally pricked myself with the sewing needle while trying to flick ants away from my little patient. A single drop of blood fell from my hand into that chalk circle where the mouse lay and when the blood hit there was a fizzle and a pop and the smell of burning hair. I felt a tingle race through my entire body as if some jokester had shaken my hand with one of those toy buzzers – except I felt it all over. The mouse still looked like hell after having been torn apart by Mr. Bojangles and sewn back together by eleven-year-old me but it jumped up and ran off regardless.
That was five years ago and it was the first time I found I could raise the dead.