The Domesticated Creature
“Tom, he’s done it again.” My wife, Ginger, called from the garden.
“Matt’s stuck up the tree – I’ll get the broom.”
I slapped my newspaper down on the coffee table and got out the armchair which I’d not long curled up in. This was the last thing I wanted to be dealing with after a long day in the office.
Ginger’s sandy body was prancing around the base of the tree, limbs flapping about, broom in claw. I told her to put it away; it wasn’t long enough to reach where Matt had climbed to this time.
“Matt,” I purred at him, cooing to him as if he were a kitten. “Why don’t you come down here you squishy little thing?” He grumbled back at me, eyes vacant yet taunting.
A prickling sensation along the fur of my tail. I started throwing stones at him. He yelped, shuffled along the branches, and tightened his grip; there wasn’t enough foliage to hide him.
“I’ll get the water pistol.”
Ginger moved too swiftly for me to stop her pouncing into the house. I wondered why Matt couldn’t sit in front of the fire like a good cat, why he had to keep climbing up trees despite knowing he can’t get down.
Angry, I picked up another rock and lobbed it at Matt. This time I hit him square in the eye. He howled; with a thud he landed on the ground. He was quick to compose himself. With his arms flailing around, he scampered on his two legs back into the house and out of sight. Stupid human.
Santino Prinzi is the Flash Fiction Editor of Firefly Magazine, and helps with National Flash Fiction Day in the UK. He was a recipient of the TSS Young Writers Award for January 2016, and was awarded the 2014/15 Bath Spa University Flash Fiction Prize. His debut fiction collection, Dots, and other flashes of perception, will be published by The Nottingham Review Press in September 2016. His flash fiction and prose poetry has been published, or are forthcoming, in various places, as well as being longlisted, shortlisted, or placed in competitions. You can find out more on his website: https://tinoprinzi.wordpress.com