Filling The Hole
Tiggy had a voice that played like a piccolo, the spots of a leopard and every agility that any young cat would possess. When she sprang up from the grass with a dragon fly in her mouth, Angie flew through the meadow to save the critter. Tiggy dropped the injured insect in front of her. The bug was moving its legs, trying to right itself.
The stress was tightening the back of Angie's throat and she wanted to scream, but she couldn’t. She was speechless, unable to yell out. The dragon fly was struggling. It’s wing was gone. She had no idea what Tiggy did with it or how she could repair it. She ran back to the house, holding the dragon fly by the tail. She placed it in her peachy cereal bowl which she snatched from the kitchen. Nobody was around. Nobody was looking when she took it. Mother would fuss about that.
Angie pulled her bangs out of her eyes and gave Tiggy a stink eye and promised to put Tiggy in the pound to punish her. There was a sudden message at the back of her skull which told her that Tiggy was doing cat things – that it was her job , so get over it here and now, Seniorita.
Angie woke up this very day with a scratchy throat and an awful headache . Perhaps she was coming down with something and now she was hearing voices. Voices?
“Who said that? How come you spoke with an accent in the back of my brain? It’s MY head. My heart is hurting and my mind is scrambled. Everything happened so fast,” she complained
Locking hypnotically into the dragon fly’s dark eyes, she promised that she would do what she could for it, but there was no way she could fix the wing. She wouldn’t let it suffer.
Angie opened Father’s liquor cabinet. Clutching a bottle of sherry, she filled the cereal bowl, hoping to euthanize the dragon fly out of its misery.
Nobody could feel her angst. It was a situation she couldn’t turn around, you know, like Ronnie
“It’s not like Ronnie,” she blurted out, " This is a thousand times worse than Ronnie." There aren’t enough stars in the sky to count the tears Angie could cry, but not on this day would they be for Ronnie.
Ronnie was five years old when he passed out of this life last year. His surgery was not a success. He had a hole in his heart. That’s how her parents described it when they brought Tiggy home to fill the hole in Angie’s heart. All of their attention went to Angie, overly so. They took her and Tiggy everywhere with them, except the last time they saw Ronnie.
She complained out loud, “People just don’t know how to mourn any more. I am going to cry forever for Mister Dragon. My brother died in the hospital with nobody but a bunch of masked strangers in a sterile room. Zip him up, ship him out. I never saw Ronnie again.”
She missed her opportunity to send him off. She wondered who was there to pass the time with him as he crossed over. Who would shut the curtains, stop the clock and do all of the stuff she saw in the movies.
“Damn darn it all,” she said, hoping her mother didn’t hear her curse.
Angie couldn’t bear to watch the critter pass, She was so confused and distraught that she left for less than a half hour. She realized that it was her duty to be there when this little soul crossed over. Tiggy had to be there, too. She would want the critter to be there if she croaked. It was something she felt strongly. She made sure that she stayed by its side. Nobody knows how to mourn any more so she would do the right thing..
Much to her surprise, the insect woke up. He had new wings.
"Are you 'woke'?"
He was speaking with that accent. Angie could understand some of what he said, but his volume increased and his language became crystal clear even though his mouth wasn’t moving. Dragon flies have eternal smiles on their faces. It’s a silly look, she thought.
"Entiendes Seniorita? Do you understand? Get this straight cutie: I smile because the world is crying so smile because they think you’re dying, smile and the world smiles along with you.
Part your lips cupcake and let me see your cavities."
"That's nasty! Who are you?? I have a scratchy throat today and I don’t feel like joking around. What happened to you? Where did you get those wings?”
“I had an extra pair, so I went to fetch them,” he said. "Thanks for helping me out little girl, but do you think that the next time you buy me a drink, you can ask the bartender for a shot of tequila, slice of lime and salt? I’m really particular about that. Presentation counts towards an a-plus on your delinquent report card.”
“WHO are you? “
“I am Enrique Domingo Florez, dragon fly temporarily out of service, but ready to rock and roll. ”
As soon as he said all of that, his smile lit up like magic and the dragon fly turned into a praying mantis, just like that.
“Where’s Mister Florez? What happened just like that?”
Don't freak. Don't call the Pope. You asked me who I was and I awoke. I get to be what I want you to see and my wings the things your cat broke, stupid folk! Don't be scared. Don't try to scream. Oh, I forgot, you can't.”
That was way over Angie’s head, but she’d learn about it later because later is always full of surprises.
“OK, tit for tax Mr. Lopez. How come you’re brown?”
“Brown, like poo poo brown? I’m not brown. I favor neutrals with an earth tone palette, and with just a hint of sage. Oh, that’s if I am wearing cologne, but I never do when I’m alone. Do you see my green accessories? Look closely. I would never be caught in monochrome, not even when I’m alone
"Little girl, could you order me up another Patron? Here's to that stink in your eye. I'm feeling like a social butterfly."
“ Don't change on me again. I'm not up for that. I saved you once, that’s all. I expect that Tiggy will behave the next time.”
“Not so fast little one. You bought me a drink and if you get me another, I’ll go home with you every night, tonight and forever. We will have fun , but if I vanish for a bit, you'll curse me out, call me a twit. We'll date for a while. That would make me smile. We will be a thing. Doesn't that have a nice ring? It will be the three of us - you, me and Tiggy. Head on over to the karioke bar and let me hear you sing your praises of Enrique Domingo Florez, the master crafter of all. Oh, I forgot, you have a sore throat.”
“What are you talking about? Are you a drunken bug?”
“ Never try to change a man, especially one who likes good tequila.”
I don’t drink! I need to know where my mother is. I am looking back at the house and I don’t see the car there. I don’t see my father, either. How did we get here? Where are we?
“You don’t recall, “ Enrique Domingo Florez asked, “ Do you remember when you tore your poodle shirt and that little drama with the fugsicle stick?”
My shirt isn’t ripped, Angie said as she looked over her sleeveless white shirt with the poodle printed on her left shoulder. Oh the fugsicle stick. She remembered swallowing it with chocolate all down the front of her. When was that? What happened?
”Do you remember when the car flipped?”
“NO. Are you telling me something?”
Angie was confused.
“ Angie? That’s not my name. Why are you calling me ANGIE?”
“It suits you little girl. Angelica. , Angel. You’re looking more and more like an angel.”
Angie could feel herself lose about 40 pounds and she weighed less than 85. The poodle on her shirt was starting to bleach out. As Angie clutched Tiggy tightly, she could feel Tiggy melt into her heart, right into that big hole she was told that she had.
“STOP THIS GAME. I want to go home right here, right now. I want to see my parents.”
“You can’t go home to your parents. They didn’t survive. We have to go now. Let’s go see Ronnie.”
All rights reserved. Copyrighted material: Renee Ing Akana, Pinkie Ing. No part of this page, either word or image, may be copied, downloaded, re-imaged or used in any way without the express written permission of the author and artist.
Keywords: cat, death, fantasy, fast fiction, fiction, insect, macro, transformation
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