I have another teaser today!! A little background: Erik has been arrested for possession of alcohol and his father decided some time in the slammer would be good for him. Just as a warning, there's a bit of swearing in this one.
“Cookies have crumbs.”
I break off a bit of cookie – the last one.
“Rats like crumbs.”
I dip the cookie into a box of rat poison that Wiggins has kindly left me.
“This is why Erik has become The Pied Piper, calling for rats instead of enjoying the cookies himself.”
I throw the bit of cookie towards the urinal where I last saw the rat disappear into a hole in the wall.
I sigh and lean back. “Fucker could have at least left me some tape to cover the damn hole.”
Slim snores on the cot opposite mine. He was nearly passed out when he staggered in a couple hours ago so I haven’t had the chance to ask him anything. Not sure if I want to either. Right now, I can’t imagine Slim having anything good to say that would change my opinion about the son of a bitch who I call my father.
I hear the rat before he emerges - hard little taps of his nails against the concrete. There’s a slippery little squeal of glee when he spies the poison-laced cookie. I keep still when I see his flashlight eyes flicker back and forth. He scampers forward, and I scoot my butt up to the edge of the cot, so that I can see him take the cookie.
My chest aches as I contemplate what I’m going to have to do. The rat is getting closer to Slim, could eat his fucking ear off and the old man would never wake up unless I intervene. I’m tired, and if I don’t kill this rat now I’ll be falling asleep on top of my math test tomorrow.
I inch forward slowly as the rat explores his meatier prey. He stands on his hind legs, sniffing the air.
I get ready.
He scampers away, but I leap in front of him. He dodges to the left, and I slam my knee against Slim’s cot trying to follow. The drunk grumbles and rolls over, still asleep, but the rat is cornered now. The only way to get back to his hole is to go past me. He thinks he’s faster, so he comes forward.
My boot is ready.
There’s a crunch as I smash his head. This is followed by the ear-splitting squeal of a dying animal.
Slim snores again.
I grind my heel against the rat’s neck, feeling my belly roll at the bony-squishiness. I kick the twitching carcass to the corner next to his skeletal friend, and then lean against the wall, waiting for my heart to slow, my breathing to ease.
I stare through the bars and out the window.
My throat burns from unshed tears.
I told Matt that you decide before you do something whether you’re prepared to face the consequences. And I was, but it doesn’t change the fact that I wouldn’t be in here if my father weren’t such an asshole. He left me in here, with fucking rats. And he hasn’t even had the decency to call or stop in to check on me.
I slide to the floor and draw my knees up. I rest my head in my arms and rock from side to side, thinking I can contain it. But I can’t. I’m weak.
He hates me.
My father hates me.