by Ruth Draves
A brief study of a marriage
|“You aren't going to believe this,” Sheila gasped as she stumbled into the living room. Darren finished his sip of beer before flicking his eyes away from the TV.
“Not going to believe what?” he belched, turning back to the game.
Sheila gulped a few breaths before speaking. “The cat,” she wheezed.
“Yeah, the stupid cat. What about him?”
“He spoke to me.”
Darren muted the sound and stared blankly at his panicky wife.
“Spoke to you?” he asked.
“Yes, spoke to me.”
“In what? Swahili?” Darren coughed as he chuckled at his own wit.
“Oh Darren, it was horrible,” Sheila sputtered. “I told Bootsie that it was dinnertime, and he said, clear as day, 'That is fine, as long as it's not that canned swill.'”
“Your cat said that?”
Sheila meekly nodded.
Darren considered the football play silently dancing across the screen before answering.
“Look,” he finally sighed, “there ain't no way a cat could say that. Cats say stuff like 'meow,' not 'canned swill.' Sounds like you've been hitting that Ambien stuff too hard again. Think of what you did with the peanut butter last week.”
“But, but,” Sheila protested.
“No buts,” Darren said, raising his hand to stop her. “You just need to go back in that kitchen, take your pills, and let me finish my game in peace. In the morning, it will all be a bad dream, just like that peanut butter..”
Sheila wavered in the doorway, obviously confused and defeated. At last, she turned and plodded down the hallway.
“Speaking cats,” Darren muttered as he upped the volume. “What will she come up with next?”
“Yeah,” agreed the ficus tree in the corner. “What kind of idiot thinks that cats talk?”
Word Count: 299