By Dave Clapper

I poached an egg. The old way, mind you, before specially designed compartments. I dropped the egg in the boiling water. I watched it assume new forms, a butterfly. The cat watched, too, occasionally extending a paw, batting at the steam. He was hungry. I forgot to get Friskies at the store.

"You've got to be more aware of my nutritional needs," he said, and I nodded.

Lacking utensils, I scooped for the slithering yolk with a cupped hand. Pruned fingers rapidly turned to steamed meat. The cat licked his whiskers. I popped the egg in my mouth and broke off one of my freshly cooked digits for my pet. A special treat to apologize for my negligence. He ripped the flesh away greedily and then worried the bone for a while before secreting it under my pillow.

Through the window, the sky was missing, replaced by a new brick building across the street.

The cat came out of my bedroom, cleaned himself, and said, "Go get some Friskies." I nodded and, opening the door, found the new building blocking my egress.

"Looks like fingers for a while," I said, and poached another egg.

Dave Clapper is a founding member of Criminals From the Neck Up (untruecrimes.com) and publisher of SmokeLong Quarterly (smokelong.com). His writings are forthcoming at3 A.M. Magazine, LitPot, Dead Mule, and Insolent Rudder.