Volume > Issue > Behemoth Goes Back to Bed

Behemoth Goes Back to Bed

A SHORT STORY

By Jeffrey Wald | October 2022
Jeffrey Wald writes from the Twin Cities. His stories, articles, and book reviews can be found in periodicals such as Dappled Things, Touchstone, Genealogies of Modernity, Front Porch Republic, and The University Bookman.

“Damn it, Igor!”

“What did I do this time, Mikhail?”

“You let the cat out!”

“No, I didn’t. He’s sleeping in his cage.”

“No, he’s not. Look, you left the door open. And he’s gone.”

“Oops.”

“Oops?”

“Sorry, my bad.”

“Your bad? Do you have any idea what that cat did the last time he got out?”

“Ah, I think so?”

“You think so? Does 1917 ring a bell, Einstein?”

“Oh, yes, yes, yes. I remember. Okay, I’m sorry. I didn’t try to let him out.”

“I don’t want your apologies! I want that damn cat back! Go, find him, Igor!”

An enormous fat cat, reminiscent of a miniature hippopotamus, strolled the sidewalk. He had sleek black fur and silver whiskers as brittle as guitar strings. He appeared to be an ordinary stray tomcat, but two features were distinctive. First, from time to time, he raised his front paws and walked upright on his hind legs. Second, a devilish smile remained perpetually plastered to his fat face.

The black cat strolled and strolled, breathing in the city air, taking in the sights and sounds. It had been decades since he’d been out, and some things were noticeably different. For one, the automobiles appeared much faster, and there were more of them, many more; they whizzed and zipped by, seemingly intent on murdering whoever got in their way. Also, there was a noticeable absence of horses. This displeased the cat. He had always been fond of horses. They were a quiet animal, on the whole, but with a pull of the tail or a bite to the back leg, they could be turned into a catalyst for frenzy. And the cat loved a little frenzy.

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