Monday, March 02, 2009

Short Story Sample

I've been posting haibun rough drafts in my well-being blog. I occasionally share samples of my creative writing in this blog as well. The following is the start of a short story I have not yet finished. Enjoy! Two weeks and three days after Curt left my mom, moved out of our house, and said “fuck you” to the door he slammed behind him, mom brought home a long-haired tabby. “Her name is Tigger.” “Tigger was a boy,” Tara pointed out the obvious, as always. “Stop being such a brat,” mom said. Tara at thirteen was a mistress at making mom’s life miserable. “I like her eyes,” I said, trying to distract and appease. I was eleven and not yet ready to be man. Two years later, stupid Tigger would disappear for three days and forty days later give birth to a litter of kittens. Mom never knew Tigger had come home at all. I found her panting, hidden beneath my bed where she felt safe because I didn’t want to be bothered with the bitch. Albeit, a cat can’t technically be a bitch but I knew that Tigger didn’t want or need me and the feeling was mutual. So when I heard her panting, I was surprised to see her curled in the furthest corner of my bed. I tried to lure her but she wouldn’t come out. It wasn’t until I realized what was happening, that she was giving birth there beneath my bed, that I understood why she was being so resistant to my persistence. She was giving birth and had no desire to come out from the haven of my bed. I didn’t push the point. The next day was my birthday and I fell asleep to the odd sounds of kittens mewling as they were being cleaned before finding the nipple. When I woke up, the water bowl was empty and there was a pile of cat shit in the corner. My fault. I had closed my bedroom door and stupid Tigger couldn’t get to the litter box in the bathroom. I don’t know why but in the morning, I didn’t tell mom that Tigger had come home. Mom was making my favorite breakfast: cream of wheat with fresh strawberries. As she set the bowl down in front of me, she started singing in her thready voice an off-key version of “Happy Birthday.” She punctuated the last note by kissing the top of my head and ruffling my hair. “I love you, moochie. Happy birthday.” I suppose I muttered a thank you or some such. I can’t really remember. I waited until she left the kitchen, leaving my breakfast unfinished, and grabbed the milk and a bowl. I guess I figured Tiggger would want milk. This is how it began. Tigger lapped up the milk and then faded under my bed again. I didn’t really care. We’d pretty much ignored each other for two years. Why should now be any different? I went out to hang. No need to stay home. Skipping school wasn’t a prob. That’s one of the good things about having a birthday in July. Tara, she had skipped school last year. Her birthday’s in April and mom blew a fuse when she learned that her precious baby hadn’t been perfect. For once. A few weeks later Tommy Thompson told me Tara blew him in the bleachers and I beat the shit out of him, stood over him as I licked his blood off my knuckles. Guess he didn’t think some middle high punk could kick his ass. I live for the surprise.

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