Praline by Robert Eydmann Jr

“She’s doing it again.” 

Sara half looked over, but still more or less kept her attention on the TV. “Huh?” “The cat’s on the work surface.” 

“Then get her down,” she said. 

“It’s your cat.” 

Sara sat up. She nearly swore, but caught herself, not wanting to rise to the bait. “You can’t just grab her?” 

“I’m busy,” Steve replied, his voice rising an octave. 

Sara muttered. Decided to ignore him. Took another chocolate from the box. “What if she starts eating the chicken?” 

“Fine,” muttered Sara, dragging herself up, trudging through to the kitchen. 

Mimi, or The Cat as Steve insisted on calling her, turned and froze. She watched Sara approach, paying no heed to the entreaties to get down until Sara was reaching out to take hold of her, at which point she jumped down with a little squeak as she landed, then padded nonchalantly to the back door and out the cat flap. 

Sara watched her leave, then turned back to the food. The chicken looked untouched, sitting in the baking tray, more or less thawed. She picked it up and held it in front of her face, turning it slowly. Just a dead chicken. An expired hen. Deceased poultry. An ex-bird. She smiled, put it back down, patted it between the shoulders where its neck used to be. 

“Is the chicken ok?” Steve called through. 

She lifted one of the fleshy pink wings and let it fall. Thud. “It’s snuffed it.” “What?” 

“It’s kicked the bucket,” she added. 

Steve pushed back from his chair at the dining table and stepped into the doorway. “What did you say?” 

“I thought you were working.” 

“I was.” 

“Don’t let me disturb you.” 

Through the window she watched Mimi, flicking a leaf into the air and chasing it. 

Published in Issue #17

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