The Saran Wrappers ~ fiction by Xenia Taiga


In the McMansions there was a lady who Saran Wrapped her house. She never did make it to the roof. It took her two days. She had three kids but it seemed like five or six. She rode a bulldozer to her wedding. There was a picture of it on her hall table in the foyer. It was Christmas time and the father fake-blew them away in the living room with his paint gun. There were rumors the lady was going get a divorce. She wanted to downsize and live in an apartment two hundred and forty-five square feet.

At the per-assigned date, we went for potluck supper. A special hole in the Saran Wrap was cut out. The red, green, and blue paint marks on the walls danced around us. It was stuffy. There wasn’t much air circulation, but there was much to eat. Everyone showed up bringing a dish. We covered the plastic dining table with our deviled eggs, spinach dips, bean dips, rice crackers and vegan enchiladas.

She did not prepare the house for us. Stinky piles of clothes scattered about the living rooms and dishes rotted in the sink. The kitchen cabinets held numbered plates, but we could not use them. We found unnumbered plates.

“Yes, use those,” she said.

They were chipped, stained and dusty with green mold. We did not find the husband. His closet space was mainly empty except for a few dress shirts. We did not know whether the divorce papers were served or not. She was in the den, sitting on the floor, busy Saran Wrapping her family photos. She had a million photos. She looked at peace. We gave her our coupons for Saran Wrap.

In the mornings, we’d wake up hearing whimpering and found one of the kids stuck in the Saran Wrap trying to get out. We’d cut them lose. Social Services never came. They declared Saran Wrap safe and clean. They said there was nothing to worry about. We walked down the street and turned the corner to where the social worker lived and knocked on her door. She said her hands were tied, she reminded us Saran Wrap was immaculate. Later when one of the kids, the smallest one, the one with the missing front teeth, died, suffocated by Saran Wrap, the mother was sent to prison. When we had time, we went to the house to give the other two kids Saran Wrapped cooked dishes, but they were not there. They were shipped off to some place. We don’t know where.

In prison she asked us for Saran Wrap, she said she needed it to protect her children. She kept taking off her shirt and unhooking her bra. “I need to feed my children,” she said. We nodded and gave her our Saran Wrap coupons. She sewed them together into a quilt to keep her warm at night. Her McMansion stood empty. The Saran Wrap was all gone for the cockroaches have eaten it spit-clean.

The woman from Social Services changed jobs and opened a dry cleaning business. Inside were glimmers of Saran Wrap draping from every hanger. She took the Saran Wrap and held it up near her face. “This Saran Wrap is a dream,” she said. “It keeps everything so clean.” She smiled, showing too many teeth. We looked away. There was a Starbucks. We walked across the parking lot and the sun hit everything hard. Everything shimmered like Saran Wrap: the black tar pavement, the shops’ windows, the cars’ hoods, the traffic lights, the security guards’ guns, and our melting Unicorn Frappuccinos.

In the corner of the lot there was a fake 18th Century Lady Justice statue on a pedestal. She called out to us. We followed her sirens and circled her. Her lips pursed a high-pitched squealed that made our ears bleed. We took off our shirts and helped each other wipe the blood away from our necks and faces. She kept shrieking. We took the Saran Wrap boxes out of our purses and together we wrapped the statue from top to bottom. Extra tight around the mouth, nose and ears. It did not mute her. She screeched louder. Blood ran from our noses. We ripped off our bras to soak in the blood. The wailing turned us into a frenzy. We danced around, shaking what our bodies got, giving her everything. Stop please! Stop! The blood now ran from our feet and hands into the town streets. It was only when the police came, twisting our hands behind our backs and sliding the doors to our cages locked tight, that she stopped screaming.


Xenia Taiga lives in southern China with a cockatiel, a turtle and an Englishman. http://xeniataiga.com/.