She sat on her porch step watching the morning rise. She did this every morning as part of her routine, and this routine did not vary much. She woke up every morning at 5 am, a habit she’d been unable to kick since the discharge. She did 50 crunches in 1 minute, followed by 27 push ups in one minute – minimum requirements but she’d settle for it. Then she went on her 3 mile run. 3 miles may not seem like much, but when you do it every morning it keeps you fresh. When she returned from her run she’d indulge herself by make pancakes, though sometimes it was waffles. Continue reading “‘BOB’”
It’s not often that one see’s a bobcat in the swampy humid extravagances of Florida, but this particular bobcat had been seen poking around a secluded beach many times over the years and was counted by the locals as a lonely soul. For it is common knowledge that the bobcat walks along the beach at night, yowling at the water with a sound so piercing it can be felt in the soul.
One night, a tourist traipsed along the beach, unbeknownst to him that this beach belonged to our lonely bobcat. Suddenly, the bobcat shot past him into the water and pulled out a long-nosed shark. The tourist could not decide if he was more terrified or fascinated by the creature with his new prize. The snapped a picture with his tourist-required-camera and the next day visited the local papers. It did not take long for the headlines to appear: Bobcat Goes Shark Fishing on Florida Beach!
At first people were outraged. This is not the time of year to go fishing for sharks. Protesters appeared on the secluded beach, signs held high with the bobcat’s likeness etched upon them, a red circle with a line across it. “No bobcats here! No bobcats here!” The lonely bobcat did not know how to react, so terrified it was. It hid in a cove of piled driftwood, isolating itself from the angry mob of shark fishing activists.
Some of the locals fought back, holding signs of their own baring “No tourists.” The local newspapers were getting weeks worth of entertainment and articles out of the spectacle. Finally, authorities had to step in. It was decided that in truth, there are no shark-fishing regulations for bobcats. Just people.
The protesters dispersed, the locals had more stories to tell, and the bobcat was finally able to come out from it’s driftwood cove. It can still be heard yowling at night – and if one were to walk along the beach they would find shark bones buried within the sands.
The man sat in an old solid desk chair in a small room with no windows. The table was old as well, wooded and splintering. He took solace in that it was circular. Tables never seemed to be circular anymore. In one hand was a cup of black coffee, bitter and lukewarm. The other, a newspaper turned to the obituaries. A face stared back at him, and chills ran down the back of his neck. He read aloud, as if to make it seem more real.
“JOHN T. MITCHELL —- SPRINGFIELD —– Man found in river on Wednesday has been identified as John T. Mitchell of Springfield. A loving co worker, friend, and brother…” The man let out a loud “HA” then. John T. Mitchell had never been loving nor had he ever had friends. He looked down at the black and white face, John’s face, and smirked to himself. Here, in print, he looked like a decent fellow; friendly, handsome, and surely too young to meet such a watery end. He read on.
“Mitchell had a promising career in business, a great rapport in the community, and loved para-sailing.” The man stopped because he had begun gagging on his coffee. Para-fucking-sailing? When had he ever para-sailed in his entire god-given life? Never. And promising career? Please. The whole reason he got into this mess was because he was in debt up to his fucking eyeballs. Bullshit.
“The community’s heart breaks at losing a young man in such a tragic way. John Mitchell will surely be missed.” The man felt as if he were going to be sick. Of all the ways they could have portrayed him, it had to be like this. Fake. A lie. If there was one thing he wasn’t, it was a fake. Sure, he’d made mistakes, but he’d always coughed up to them, hadn’t he? Jesus. What a way to go.
Suddenly, the only door to the small room opened and he jumped up, arms locked and ready. He stared at the silhouette in the doorway.
“What the hell are yeh doin’ John? You gonna fight me with your two bare fists, eh? Come on.”
John grabbed the paper and shook it in the air. “What kind of horseshit is this Mick? Makin’ me out to be some glorified fucking sob story?”
Mick laughed. “I thought you’d like that. Gotta make it believable though, ya know.” John sighed. Mick would do this just to get to him. Not that he didn’t deserve it.
“Mick… who was the kid?”
“Oh, just some drug addict from an alley somewheres. Already half dead. Just offered some extra blow, and 10 minutes later he OD’d. He left the world sailin’ high my friend. Looked enough like ya; that with a planted ID and it was easy-peasy.”
Jesus. What had he gotten himself into? “It’s too late to back out, isn’t it?”
Mick looked at him and half laughed. His face turned mean. “You knew what it meant when you started this mess. Now you gotta clean it up. Can’t do that if you have a life. We did what had’ta be done. Now get your shit. We’re leaving.”
John grabbed the single suitcase in the corner, and his jacket. There wasn’t a lot left commemorating his old life. Just a couple of outfits, a packet of cigs, and a picture. He looked back at the newspaper, now on the table, and sighed. John T. Mitchell was dead. That’s what happens when you break the rules with this lot. He looked at his face one last time, and left. He didn’t look back.