Chairs splintered. Egg yolk dripping off the ceiling. A gash here, a bruise there and he was tired. He was more than tired. The lumps and blame he had taken over the years finally put him over his line and as he sat nursing the latest wound, carefully devising another excuse to avoid punishment, a little place in his feline brain began expanding. Instead of the inevitable excuse, instead of the blood dripping down his paw, the brain space began to grow. It began to focus on his blood.Continue reading “A Better Mousetrap by syndie allen”
I have a lot of guns. Most of them people have given me, and one I stole. Adam bought me a shotgun to hunt grouse and ptarmigan in the mountains, and we would eat the meat carefully, picking out the pellets. The rifle I couldn’t resist taking from the old man who was an evicted hoarder, and I was hired to clean out his basement. It had been under a pile of new shirts with their tags still on them, and I stuffed it with the clothes in a trash bag, carried it out, and put it in my trunk. I never shot deer, so I would lend it to Adam, who sometimes brought home venison that I would cook with carrots and tomatoes in a stew. A friend had given me the handgun. I had been complaining to her about my current job weeding the landscaping for some man who worked for Google, wore silver chains and Hawaiian shirts, and kept trying to touch my shoulder when we talked.
I low gear the Mazda pickup down the dirt road to the floodplain. The headlights help me find my way as the sun peaks over the horizon. I park by a small pond with stunted trees and knee-high shrubbery.
I grin at Mac, my big Airedale, rub his neck; he shakes his head, eager for the hunt. I grab the thermos of coffee. Mac and I move to the back of the truck. I open the top of the camper shell. Shaft and Dart, the brindle and the white greyhounds, greet me with muzzles and tongues and an eager trembling.
”You see this meadow, boy? It was a swamp before we moved here. One of the conditions for buying the mansion and the adjoining land was that I paid to have it fixed and also the beach. You enjoy the beach, right boy? The restoration of the pier as well. How do the villagers repay us? They let their dogs shit on the meadow. They shit on the meadow, boy. They want me to pick it up… Look out the window! There’s Andersson with his ugly daughter.” Erik stopped and rolled down the car window. “HEY! Andersson! Pick up after your shitty daughter’s shitty dog! Or I will empty my septic tank all over your ugly house. I’d do you that favour. The shit glaze would probably raise the property value.”