Bad Listener (Day 29)

Buck paced back and forth on the white tile, moving between the living room and the dining room at an accelerated pace. He was nervous, because he was told to just chill out and behave himself. It wasn’t often that he was left alone in the house, but if it was longer than a casual nap, he usually got antsy and needed to entertain himself. This entertainment usually lasted until something laid shattered in a million pieces, and today was no exception.

He avoided eye contact with the victim as much as possible: a small glass vase that had shattered on contact with the kitchen floor, spilling flesh flowers and water everywhere, including the mat that lay in front of the sink. He wasn’t sure how it happened, but he did know that with nobody else around he would be taking the full blame for it. So typical he thought, blaming him when something went wrong. It wasn’t always his fault, he was sure of it, but somehow he always got the scolding. Every time.

Buck suddenly had an idea: If he simply went to his bed and laid down, maybe he would either wake up and none of this would have really happened, or when the damage was discovered, they wouldn’t suspect him at all since he was sleeping so peacefully. It would be his ticket out of a bad situation.

He turned quickly and headed towards the far bedroom, but as he entered the hallway he could hear the jingle of keys outside the door as Mary and Paul set upon reentering their home. He quickly rushed to his bed, curling up into a tight ball, hoping to deflect any suspicion. They would simply think he was cute, sleeping peacefully, and all would be right in the world.

With his eyes shut tightly, Buck heard the misses walk in first, her heels ringing loudly. He couldn’t count the number of steps specifically, but it wasn’t long before some curse words began their journey out of the kitchen, down the hall, and into Buck’s ears. The heels clicked quickly now, the volume increasing with each step.

Mary’s shoes fell silent on the carpeting as she entered the room, approaching Buck’s bed with long, determined strides.

“You!” Don’t you play possum; I know you’re not sleeping.” Mary grabbed Buck by the scruff of his neck, yanking him up out of bed and carrying him back to the kitchen. His eyes were wide open and he knew his rouse had failed to convince her. Now he was dangling in her grasp, feeling the burden of his misdeeds.

“You see here,” she said angrily, “you see what you did?”

“Damn cat, what the hell am I going to do with you?”

This is part of a 30 day series of 2-3 minute short stories written for the 30 days between Thanksgiving and Christmas, 2011. You can view all the stories in the Short Story A Day category.

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