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Mus Musculus – Part III

The third and final instalment of Marvin Thrailkill’s three part short story.

An ice cold beer served in a frosted glass on a hot day when your throat is barking dry. This is the max. Life is good. The mind can wander its course, picking its actors, modifying the script and please do something about that overly theatrical director. Here’s to every small town production that’s been done to death with its two bit actors and their walk on parts. Self proclaimed demigods. Hmmmm, a few more of these would be nice, he thought, as he gulped down the last swallow. Think there are still three more in the fridge?

Max sat back down in a grey metallic outdoor chair. Resting his feet on the balcony railing and leaning back in a manner that seemed characteristic of an extra in an old cowboy movie. “New in town, stranger?” he said out loud in a drawl he imagined would win appeal in a John Wayne movie. He addressed this to no one in particular. The closest audience would have been the kids playing in the empty lot across the street. They had been playing a game which resembled a mix of baseball, hockey and soccer. It reminded him of Calvin Ball where the rules were created as the game progressed or decayed into a free for all. Their attention had waned and was now directed to one of the piles of junk which offered great hide n’ seek cubby holes or obstacles in a game of tag. One of the group was using a stick to point at a dark corner. He prodded into the abyss, creating a flurry of screams, yelps and nervous giggles from his play mates.

Irene sat in the aging lounge chair; her feet tucked up under her in a Yoga like pose. She read a collection of poems by Bukowski, his seedy imagery reflecting a roughness in her spirit which she identified as the catalyst for many of her life choices. She had always gone for men of a darker spirit, those who did not follow the norm. They were exotic and so much unlike her upbringing, with its classical music and stuffy gatherings where guests gave their opinions on a variety of topics.

Her reverie was disturbed by Max’s sudden arrival. The front door swung open and banged against the side of a large fish tank, sending its inhabitants into hiding, as he entered the room in a state of heightened excitement. Like a small boy on his first trip to the seashore, he presented his findings. Wrapped around his right hand with the jaws secured in his left was a large snake. Its skin was a shiny brown with an emerald tint that seemed to change with the creature’s movements. Irene reached out and touched the sides running her fingers along the body, she felt enticed by its whole aura. She looked into its dark eyes and as the serpent flicked its tongue she reciprocated by flicking hers in a symbiotic like ritual. She knew it would join the household and could only ask,

”What does it eat?

Max replied, “Mice”.

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