• Vol. 07
  • Chapter 08


Ironic, isn’t it, that you described yourself as a ‘fancier’?
I don’t think that you ever desired me.
I was the shape at the end of the hands that placed loaded plates and gleaming glassware beneath your chin and swept them away in a graceful waft.
I was the shadow that crept in the periphery, my skirts whispering, the unworn heels of my shoes never touching the knotted wood.
I was the flesh that lay beside you.
From being repeatedly slapped by the flat palm of indifference, I began to bleed invisible drops from the growing spikes of hatred that pierced my heart. Pummelled numb, I filled with the heavy weight of nothingness. My head hung with the effort of carrying it.
In every connotation, I was an empty vessel.
But you could love.
Always at your side, Rufus, Jingo and Dexter were your dinner companions, devouring the choicest cuts of succulent meat alongside you. I salivated as their pink tongues swiped and circled, lapping every last drop from their gravy-doused muzzles. I envied as, satiated, Jingo dropped into a contented sleep while my stomach cried out hollow night after night. When their dishes shone, Rufus’s soulful eyes would turn to mine.
I think he was telling me he was sorry.
Your treasured birds were caged next to the window, fluttering like my trapped heart inside my ribs, singing while I swallowed every word. I thought it cruel that they could see the wide blue of the sky behind glass. Many times, I thought of releasing them, watching their wings fan open as they found a current and disappeared like black ciphers tossed into the beyond.



I don’t ever remember having a photograph taken, but there were several of your ‘boys’. I was tasked to create a collage of you and them. You placed it on your desk.
And now you have gone, George. Yes, I am going to use your name.
I have removed the collage from the frame and have arranged to have a photograph taken of me. I shall pose in a new dress, and when I get home, I shall clip-clop around the house, and there will be beef and gravy for me and scraps for the dogs.
For now, I am going to line the cage of the lovebirds with the picture until you are obliterated. And soon, the sky will be specked as I open all doors and windows and the birds scatter.
Oh, and George…I added a little something to my work.
I know how much you detested cats.