I write short scenes to keep my mind active. Nothing special. Just something to do.
“Bob. Hey, Bob, goddamnit! Get your skinny ass up here, you scaly piece of mud-born shit. We’ve got work to do!”
I put my pen down and stared for a long time at the last words I’d ever said to Bob before scratching them out of my journal. If I was reading this at some time in the future, I figured my future-self would know what kind of prick I could be; the exact words would be unnecessary fluff padding out the memory of finding Bob in the backyard, his internal organs removed, his tail skinned and the meat taken.
Bob was dead. That’s all that mattered.
I picked up the pen again and set it to the paper to instead record my mother’s thoughts. Even though her words were clear in my memory, I felt disconnected as I watched the loops and jitters as they took on my mother’s voice of accusation and recrimination.
“Bob loved to be rubbed under his chin, right where his scales folded into his neck. Did you know that, dear?”
She was so fucking smug. Of course I knew that Bob liked his neck rubbed. He was, after all, my fucking dragon. I knew everything about Bob that was worth knowing: he hated the neighbors, and had roasted their dog with his fiery breath; he thought the paperboy was a putz who deserved being eaten alive; he didn’t like shitting in the woods, because he was afraid a bear would get him.
Of course I knew, I thought, scratching hard at my mother’s words. I just didn’t like the gunk that formed under neck scales. That shit would get under my fingernails and stink like a corpse.
A tear rolled off the end of my nose and smudged the scribbles in my journal. Fuck. Mom wanted me to go with her to the pet store, and all I could think about was the corpse-like stink under Bob’s neck.