Calico

A thief breaks into my home. And kills my cat. I don’t know this at first. It is only afterward that I realize, when the cops and whoever else are mulling around my front yard. The police catch the devil a block from my house. Idiot was trying to rob another house. Crack fiend. I don’t care. I have no sympathy for him. I’m going to kill him.

Cop tells me, “He’s – uh – gonna be – uh – arraigned on – uh – charges of – uh – breakin’ an’ enterin’ – uh – and – uh – home invasion and – uh – animal cruelty – uh.”

“He killed Abigail,” I say.

“Your – uh – cat, right?” he asks.

“Yes.” Lord, I can’t stand this cop. “My cat. Abigail.”

“Yeah, well – uh – he will be charged with – uh – animal – uh – cruelty for that.”

I look at this blockhead. Deep into his mush brain. “He booted her across the dining room.”

Cop nods. “He’s – uh – a – uh – a … a savage, sir. No better than a – uh – wild animal.”

“She hit the wall. Then died. He had no regard for her life. Do you understand what I’m saying to you? What the fuck…?”

Again, the cop nods, looking like the slow-witted cousin of a bobblehead. “Yes, sir, and – uh – he will be – uh – charged – uh – with animal – uh – cruelty.”

“Abigail is – “ Ah, god damn it all. “… was – Abigail was a member of my family. This motherfucker killed her. She suffered.”

“And – uh – he’s gonna – uh – go away for a – uh – long, long – uh – time.” A satisfied smirk on the cop’s face. A job well done, right, you moron?

“Eh, fuck you, buddy,” I mutter, walking back into my home.

***

In the courtroom, I sit directly behind the thief. He’s barely listening to his charges. He’s giggling to himself about something. Fuck him.

The judge says, “Blah blah blah yakkity yak yak yak.” I guess I’m not really listening either, huh? But, I’m not the motherfucker here, am I?

I stare at the back of the thief’s head. How the hell does someone get a bad, uneven buzzcut? This guy’s a disaster. And a murderer.

If I think too much, I won’t do it. But, no one hurts someone I love, and then doesn’t pay for it tenfold. I finger the pen in my coat pocket. I stole it from the bank. Now, there’s a building full of thieves, am I right? Pen still has the ball-chain connected to it. Just in case I want to strangle him, too.

Enough thinking.

This all happens so fast, for which I’m thankful.

I jump from my seat. Like a cat. Like my lost Abigail. Springing forward, crashing on top of the thief, the murderer. I’ve been reading up on anatomy. So, I know exactly where his carotid artery is.

In the pen goes. A knife into soft butter. Gushing, hot, red melted butter. All over my hands. Makes me feel sick, if I’m being truthful. I pull the pen out. And jab it into his eyes. Just for good measure. You never know. What if he survives? At least I’ll have the comfort of knowing he’s blind. I wrap the ball-chain around his neck, yank tightly. He’s making horrible noises.

Guards pull me off. Restrain me, of course. People start screaming, yelling like he doesn’t deserve what’s been done to him.

Blah blah blah yakkity yak yak yak, and I’m tossed in a cell. I know what I’ve done. I know I’ll pay a price. That’s fine. Because I have my revenge.

I don’t see anyone for hours. Seems odd. I haven’t even been cleaned up. Still have dried blood on me. Eventually, a guard checks in.

“Is he dead?” I ask.

The guard laughs. Probably at my tone. “Yeah,” he answers. “He’s dead.”

“Okay,” I say. “Okay. Good. He was only an animal.”

The guard shakes his head. “You think killing that guy over your cat is worth going to prison for murder?”

“What?” I’m taken aback. “Murder? How was that murder?”

He’s looking at me. Seems perplexed. “You murdered a man. What’d you think would happen, fella?”

I laugh. “I murdered no man! He was an animal!”

The guard’s head shakes, shakes, shakes. “And, what’s the difference?” he inquires.

I laugh, once more. “Ha! There’s a big difference I’ve been told!”

The guard has nothing left to say.

“What you witnessed out there,” I shout as he walks away, “was an act of animal cruelty! An act of animal cruelty! Shall I repeat myself?”

At the end of the hallway, I hear the door close.

Alone, again. It is apparent to me that the justice system has failed.

I feel I have not mourned the loss of Abigail properly. I sit on my bed and think. I soon find myself asleep, and, if dreams can be described as calico, well then, my dreams are calico.

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