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Cat Rood ([personal profile] cat_rood) wrote2017-03-08 08:03 am

Some of the creative writing I've been doing

A Mobile Safe

It was always our thing. The tumble of tumblers, the soft click as yet another one fell into place; ears pressed to the cold metal, listening to them closely.

But now, we have nothing. Nothing but the safe. Standing alone in the field, I stare at it, wondering when our lives came to this. Spikes of blackened wood surrounded it. Scorch marks painted obscene life-like figures on the side of the safe. I tucked my hands into my pockets and turn away.

You were the one. You held me tight and brought me to the light where I basked in the warmth and held onto the feeling throughout the darkness. Rolling your eyes whenever I said that endeared you to me. The wind picked up and the smell - acrid destruction - assaulted my nose. I heard laughter and wondered at it. It sounded like you. Music cascaded through the air and I closed my eyes, wanting to reach out and touch that sound.

More music. I turned back to stare at the safe. The music came out of it. Barely there, and waiting, it sat squat as a frog. The acrid smell kicked up with each step of my shoes. They gained a sheen of blackness over them. I didn’t care. I wanted to kick them off and dance.

Kneeling, blank-faced, I wished to stop the music. It was obscene now. It was the part where the surprise rape scene happened to the female lead. It was the part where you threw a pillow at the TV and told me about the patriarchy and how I benefitted from it and you were oppressed by it.

Click. Click. Click. Clunk. I knew the numbers by heart. I didn’t need to fit my ear to the worn metal and listen to the tumblers fit into their slots. I twisted the dial again, listening to the soft click of the tumblers, wondering when they would fall into place. Another one fell. My eyes watered, and tears dripped down my face. Dust stirred up, tickling my nose. I wanted to leave. I wanted to never come back. But I had to stop the music.

Finally, the last tumbler fell into place and your laughter surrounded me. I tossed it away.

You ruffled my hair again. One final time. I closed my eyes again as the safe disappeared and I was alone, kneeling in a field that had been a yard.

Pushing myself up, I dusted off my knee and leg. Tumblers twisted in my heart and the safe locked securely around my heart. No safecracker in the world would be able to blast, cut, or guess their way in. You were gone. The safe was secure in my chest.

Stepping out of the mess of the fire-blackened hole that had been our house, the noises and smells came back. I listened to the people chattering and the birds calling. Somewhere, a horn honked and it’s still you. Music swelled on the wind; you laughed.

I walked away, a mobile safe.

Mama and the General

The apartment was sad. Threadbare carpet, dusted knickknacks. Juan Plaza stood in the doorway, looking around. None of it was worth very much, but each held a memory, a precious moment in time.

He put on his booties and stepped into the house. The cat of the house - a black and white Maine Coon - came padding out of the bedroom and acknowledged his existence with a short hiss, before wandering toward the heaping food bowl sitting on the kitchen floor. He hoped someone would come fetch the cat. That wasn’t part of his job.

He slowly began taking the paintings off the wall. They would be crated and taken to the appraisers. The family photos would remain. With a meticulousness that he showed every case that came across their desks.

With gentle, large hands, he carefully wrapped each knickknack in bubble wrap, placing them in a box. He ignored the photographs, except one that was in a gilt silver frame. That one was carefully packed away with the knickknacks. All of it would be appraised, then auctioned off.

His searching of the apartment turned up lost and abandoned cat toys. It also turned up nearly five thousand dollars, and innumerous change. He sighed and slowly closed one of the drawers in the bathroom. The cat was watching him from the doorway. It meowed at him and then jumped up on the counter, rumbling like a lawn mower.

He ran his hand down its back, and scratched its ears, but kept going. He had more drawers to go through and things to pack up. The toiletries all went into the garbage. The shower curtain followed. Nothing of interest or value in there, anyway.

He moved through the apartment gathering up the pieces of a life. The cat followed him from room to room, still rumbling out that purr. He really hoped someone was going to come get it soon.

He finished packing up the jewelry, mostly costume, he was sure, and then went for one last sweep. Under the mattress on the bed, he found stock certificates. They were tucked in with the cash that he’d found.

“Juan?”

His partner, Ronald Rodriguez, stood in the doorway, looking at the ordered chaos that the apartment had become. “Man, you don’t have to do this.” He stepped into the apartment, getting a hiss from the cat, and then a disappearing with a flick of the tail. “Come on.”

Juan shook his head and just continued on with what he was doing. He sighed and straightened, rubbing his back. “I had to.” He whispered.

Ron’s hand landed on his shoulder. “I understand. But you’re done now.” He said, gently.

Juan nodded. In all his digging, he’d found a carrier that looked more like something for a dog, than the beast that was roaming around the apartment. Sighing, he clucked his tongue. Golden eyes watched him suspiciously from the doorway of the bedroom. He opened the carrier and the cat sauntered on in.

“What are you going to do with the cat?” Ronald asked, his hands in his pockets.

“He can stay with me.” Juan defended his choice to take the cat. He couldn’t leave it alone in the apartment. He followed Ronald out of the apartment, closing the door on the chaos he’d left behind. He’d come back and finish up. After the funeral.

“What’s his name?”

Juan smiled a bit. “General.” He used the Spanish inflection. The cat meowed, hearing his name.

His mama had been dead three days now…..

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