30 or so Stories I’ve written in 2018 that have been rejected: Oscar

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A week ago, the gray cat showed up on my porch again. It’s Jerry’s from next door. I hate this cat. He claws at my fertilizer bags by my garden and occasionally tries to sneak into my house. The jingling of his collar always gives him away. I’ve talked with Jerry about this, he said he would keep an eye on him. Jerry lied. Before my early run, I chased it’s sassy ass back into his yard. Jerry must have been up, a light was shining through one of his blinds. Once I got back, the gray bundle of joy wasn’t anywhere near my blue lilacs, or even Jerry’s overgrown bushes. Mission accomplished.

A few days later, the same gray cat darted from underneath my Yukon.  I hit the panic button by mistake and he barreled into my legs. Coffee flew all over my red shirt and I had to change. On my way back, I found the gray cat rolling in the yard and grabbed the back of his neck. I carried him past my fresh cut grass to Jerry’s dandelion field. He hissed as I dropped him by the oak tree. I walked past the growing oil blob underneath the Dodge Neon to my yard. Jerry had really been letting this place go. I considered knocking on the door but I had to hurry if I was going to make it to work.

Saturday night was game night. I was playing Yahtzee with my nine year old. I slammed the dice down on the wooden table and began adding. She yelled “Kitty!” and pointed by the window. The gray cat meowed and ripped the wire mesh with his claws. I slipped out and blocked the entrance into my house with my foot. The gray cat peered at me and let out sassy taunt.

I marched past my yard and into Jerry’s property. His tall grass made my shins itch. I could see the same light shining through his blinds. I stomped up the small stairs to his faded white door and pounded my fist at the wood. I waited for a moment… No response. This time, I screamed out “Jerry!” and tried to put a hole in the door with my foot. Seconds passed… Still no response. I jiggled the bronze door knob and found it was left unlocked.

Slowly, I cracked the door open and yelled, “I’m letting your cat in Jerry!” The cat crept in the open crevice and a rank smell punched me in my nostrils. The odor was like a mixture of rotten egg and burnt hair. I coughed out and stuck my red elastic collar over my noise. The door creaked fully open and I found Jerry hunched over his kitchen table. An orchestra of flies played around him. A sliver gun lied on the floor below him and I made out a blackish-red stain all over the front of his Hanes crew neck. To his right, the alphabetic magnets on the fridge spelled out “I’m Sorry, God Forgive Me”.

Without thinking, I grasped the phone from my pocket and dialed the police. As I waited for the operator, I felt something push against my leg. The gray cat stared up at me. I reached down and started petting his head. He meowed with delight. My fingers made their way down the back of his head to his collar. I grabbed the jingling chain and looked at the oval shaped tag. It had Jerry’s address on the top line and below it read Oscar.

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