Beanery Online Literary Magazine

October 25, 2009

True Love

True Love

Ed Kelemen

    “John, you moron,” she continued, “I told you that we should’ve evacuated with the rest of the neighbors. But, ohh-noooo, you had a better idea. You wanted to ride out the storm.”

     OK, he admitted to himself, he might have made a mistake. But just then wasn’t the time to dwell on it. It was damn cold and wet up on the roof of the mobile home that was threatening to give in to the floodwaters any time.

     Why wouldn’t she just shut up?

     She went on, “You saw a chance to make some money out of the flood. Yeah, right.”

     She clutched that damn scraggly-ass alley cat to her overflowing bosom and went on, “How much did you think you could make robbing a trailer court?”

     “Listen Mary, it was a no-brainer. I gathered up all the jewelry, valuables, guns, and whatnot from all the other mobile homes and cut all their tie downs so that they’d drift away in two lousy feet of water.”

     The cat yawned, blinked his bilious yellow eyes, and made a yowling sound.

     She went on, “See, your stupidity has even made Mr. Snugglebum unhappy.”

     The rain beat down, and the wind howled and even his underwear was soaked. He thought about giving Mr. Snugglebum a swimming lesson.

     She went on, “I guess you expected to find the crown jewels of England in a trailer at Happy Dale Trailer Estates.”

     “Mobile homes, Mary. They’re called mobile homes,” he muttered.

     She went on, “If you can put wheels on it, it’s a trailer. I never shoulda hooked up with a loser like you.”

     Mr. Snugglebum showed his agreement with Mary by directing a yellow-fanged smile in his direction. He wondered how far Mary could swim through eight feet of storm-driven floodwater.

     She went on, “You are a loser, you know. Nothing you have ever tried has worked out. You haven’t had one good idea since we got married. If it wasn’t for me and my disability check, you’d be out in the cold.”

     He thought about some hot soup, hot coffee and hot sausage sandwiches and hoped she hadn’t heard herself.

     No such luck.

     “Out in the cold. Out In The Cold! OUT IN THE COLD! Where in the hell are we up on this goddamn roof in the middle of a hurricane if it isn’t out in the cold?” she wanted to know.

     She went on, “And it’s all your damn fault, you stupid ignoramus, you.”

     She pushed Mr. Snugglebum down in her voluminous breast region so that he’d be warm. All that was visible of him was his happy contented face poking up from between those two monstrous melons of warmth. He sent another snaggle toothed smile John’s way.

     He thought how comfortable he could be in the cat’s place. It wasn’t going to happen.

     They’d been up on this roof for six hours. The sun had long ago deserted the sky, along with any rescue choppers.

     It looked to be a long night.

     She went on, “You know. I coulda married Cletus. At least he has a truck. He works for a living. He wouldn’t have me stranded on top of a piece of crap like this. He woulda took me places.”

     John thought of one place he’d like to see Mary go to. It was as cold and wet as the roof, but the water was deeper.

     The water must’ve gotten to the transformers. The last street light had gone out. At least he didn’t have to look at her doughy little face with the raisin eyes and nostrils. He bought her the goddamn teeth, why wouldn’t she wear them?

     She went on. ”Yeah, Cletus woulda at least bought me a double-wide. And we woulda probably been on our own lot, too. Not stuck in some swampland trailer court.”

     She got up and stood over him like a harbinger of doom, her fists resting on her pannier-like hips. While he could barely make out her features, he had no problem locating the malevolent yellow glow of Mr. Snugglebum’s eyes peering from under the ruffles of her ludicrous tank top.

     Rising to his feet to be on an even level with her, he thought that, just as some women shouldn’t wear stretch pants, he was married to one who should never wear a tank top. Even if she could find one that fit.

     She went on, and on, and on, punctuating each and every insult, complaint, and nasty remark by poking him in the shoulder with her right index finger.

     “Mary, don’t poke me,” he said evenly over the sound of the rain.

     “Don’t poke you? What are you gonna do about it big guy?” She punctuated this with an even harder poke to his shoulder. Mr. Snugglebum gave his approval of her actions with a yawning yowl, exposing his bilious fangs.

     The sight of that comfortable, warm, snug, smug cat ensconced in Mary’s ample bosom was more that John could stand. He lashed out and struck back, pushing Mary with all his might on both of her shoulders. It was just an uncontrollable impulse on his part. But the consequences…

     Mary stumbled back, teetering on the edge of the roof, all the while directing every invective in her vast repertoire straight at John. He even reached out to help her, but he couldn’t.

     A screaming, spitting ball of fur, fangs and claws exploded from her tank top, pushing with all its might to escape her now precarious position. Using one of Mary’s huge breasts as a launching platform, Mr. Snugglebum leapt onto John’s face and stapled himself there for a quick moment. He then scrabbled up and over John’s face. His push on the back of John’s head was just enough to destroy what little balance John was maintaining and John fell onto Mary. The pair of them disappeared into the swirling flood waters.

~~~~~~~~~~~~

     Two days later, the water had receded and the rescue teams were combing the neighborhood for survivors.

     The corporeal remains of John and Mary were found snagged in the hawthorn tree at the corner of the street.

     “Ah Charlie. Look at this. These two loved each other so much that they are hugging each other, even in death.”

     Charlie replied, “Just bag and tag ‘em. Don’t get sentimental, it’ll drive you crazy.”

     As one rescuer disentangled the bodies from each other and the tree, he was distracted by a plaintive cry for help. Charlie searched out its source and then said to his team mates, “You guys get them into the body bags. I’ll go get that poor starving kitty up on that trailer roof.”

ADDITIONAL READING:

THE KILLER KITTEN

THE HAUNTED CABIN IN THE WOODS

JOURNEY’S END

Living with OCD

ALWAYS IN THREES

Grandparents, homemade cookies, & licking cream off milkcaps

Should your cat be kept indoors or outdoors?

Nicole

G-20 Poem

AT FORT LIGONIER: Excerpt from book, WARPATH

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