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.


tracking device necklace