I’m home sick today, thanks to the worst cold I’ve had in ever. I’m pretty sure that there have been moments this week when my brain could have used more oxygen. Not just moments. Hours. I seem to be missing a lot of those, and I haven’t been taking The Mighty Q. @bhoneydew’s also sick, and one of us has to be alert (Dayquil does to me what Nyquil does to normal people. Just imagine what happens when I take Nyquil), because, well, Monster. Monster is no longer sick. Monster seems to be aware that his poor parents are sick, and is taking advantage of this.
The one positive thing about this week is that I’ve been Writing. Lots. Project #3, mostly, instead of #1 or #2, which means I can’t talk about it other than to say that it needs to be done by next Friday, but yea, baby, I’ve been piling up word counts like…
Oh, great. Just got brain freeze when I tried to think of something to compare it to. THIS IS NOT GOOD.
Speaking of other things that aren’t good for my mental health, Chuck Wendig’s just thrown down a Flash Fiction Challenge about Unicorns. That’s right. Unicorns. None of which has anything to do what I’m supposed to be working on. Or the other things I’d like to work on. Or especially capital-W working on, because that capital-W stuff offers a nice paycheck.
But I took a break from staring at the current Work with a capital W project and wrote about unicorns. It’s after the cut.
DISCLAIMER: Subject matter is profane, offensive and blasphemous. It also bears no resemblance to any person or thing living or dead. At least it shouldn’t. I’ll probably read this when I’m feeling better and regret it.
[Flash Fiction] Friday Morning, 1000 words.
The cat threw himself out about a month ago. The weather warmed up, and I guess he remembered he was a great hunter, not just a menace to computer cables. He freaked out one morning, sliced through my forearm — fucking scratch scarred — and went out the screen door. I’ll admit I might have helped a little. I don’t like to bleed.
He was gone for a week or two, then sauntered back, idly scratching at the fleas he’d picked up and harboring godknowswhatelse in his fur. There’s Lyme Disease here. West Nile. Catholics. No way was he bringing any of that shit into my house. Did I mention I still have a scar?
He tried clawing his way back in through the screen door. I dumped a party cup of water on his head.
Since then, he’s been trying to bribe his way back in. Bringing me presents.
Everybody I mention this to thinks it’s cute. If I get one more crack from my crazy cat lady mother about it, I’m going to mail her the next goddamned dead chipmunk I find on the porch. Or maybe a possum. Pretty sure I could find a box big enough to hold one of the possums the cat’s left me. Tie some yarn to its tail, and hey, look, Mom, it’s a balloon!
She’d probably try to have me locked up. That is, if the folks at the Inspector General’s office didn’t report me to News of the Weird.
So, yeah, not telling anybody about the unicorn. Or, well, part of a unicorn. The horn, mostly, with some bits of hair and skin and shriveled up dangly things that are probably blood vessels. I admit I gave it a good looking over before I chucked it into this trash bag. It’s not every day I get to see a unicorn horn. Correction, there’s not any day I should be seeing a unicorn horn. Between you and me, I’m not looking forward to seeing the rest of it either. It’d make more sense for me not to be out here in the woods behind my place, huh? I agree. But the last thing I need is somebody else to find the rest of it and come knocking on my door.
Hey, lady, you know you’ve got a dead unicorn on your property?
Why would I have a dead unicorn on my property? And why are you on my property? Damn hunters. Can’t you read? Big Orange Signs. No Tres-Pass-Ing. Beware of Grumpy Broad with Internet Access and Friends with Not-So-Hidden Liberal Agendas. Do you really want to wind up on YouTube?
Ah, damn it … not finding anything. This is not good. What’s worse is, I’m usually really good at finding things. The trick is to be quiet while you’re looking, no word of lie. Things make noise, especially when they’re trying to stay hid. Hey, I’m not talking Zen or some shit like that, it’s true! Mostly true, anyway.
Maybe I should wait until the sun finishes coming up. Not that I want to: that’s when my stupid neighbor starts mowing his yard. He’s from New York. Queens or Brooklyn or one of those other places where people don’t have yards. I don’t know, and I don’t want to ask. He and his wife moved out here three years ago, and bam, first thing he did was buy a riding lawn mower. He’s on it from sun up to sun down, every damn day when we don’t have snow on the ground. Never thought I’d be grateful for snow.
He hates snow. Hates nature. Bitches at me about the wildflowers in my yard and the trees out back. You look like you’re too busy to mow your yard. Want me to swing over and do it? Could rent something and get rid of those shit trees for you. Eh, yeah, thanks, but no thanks. I like things like they are, despite the Lyme Disease and West Nile. I haven’t mentioned the Catholics to him. I think he might be one. Hard to tell these days.
Never seen his wife. My neighbor down the road thinks she might be who’s feeding all of the stray cats. Probably pisses her husband off.
I wish she’d do a better job of feeding the one that used to be mine.
It occurs to me, as I head back toward the house … no, that’d be mean.
I think about it anyway. Yeah, not nice.
Sun’s just about up, but the lights aren’t yet on next door.
Being quiet’s good for other things, too.
There isn’t enough room in the kitchen garbage for the empty trash bag. Great. I hate it when I have to empty the garbage when I just have to throw away one thing. But I do, you know? Otherwise, crap’d just get stuck to the underside of the trashcan lid, and I don’t know if Lysol can kill dead unicorn germs.
I do know now that they don’t sparkle. Guess that means there’s some justice in the world, or whatever good exists to counter the existence of My Little Pony.
So, garbage. Right. Need to deal with that. Dealing with…
There’s my neighbor, right on schedule, heading out to his shed to get the lawn mower. Guess he hasn’t noticed what was on the back step.
He’s got my ex-cat, swinging it by its tail. Cat hasn’t been dead long enough to balloon.
My neighbor’s shed sits right up against my property line. When he gets there, he flings the cat into the trees.
Maybe it’s not a good idea to bang on the window. Oops.
My neighbor turns, waves at me, and points to his forehead. Can see the scratch from here. It starts up on the top of his shiny head and wow, cat damn near got his right eye. Fucker’s definitely going to scar.
“Thanks!” he yells.
Hey, c’mon, what else can I say?