narrative begins

Shelter under tree. Hear car. Step out. Mud and rain. Shiver. Open eyes wide. Vehicle stops. Female that has not reproduced inside. Non-reproductive male inside. Male falls for ruse. Inside car. Warm and dry. Attempt communication. Communication failure. Humans attempt communication. Communication failure. Humans smell related. Family. Familiarity. Lick water from fur. Non-reproductive male insists on touching. Do not kill him. Attempt communication. Communication failure.

narrative change

“You’re such a talker, yes you are,” he says. The cat meows again.

“His name is Whiskers,” he tells his sister, reading from the tag around his neck.

“Why have you not reproduced?” the cat asks the female.

“Ew. He’s touching me. He’s still all wet.”

“He’s a sweet boy,” he says.

“Why do you refuse to engage in reproductive intercourse?” the cat asks him, batting at the riverboat gambler tie. “Is it because of this?”

“We cannot bring a wet, muddy cat to the wedding,” she says, sniffing, her ovulation artificially suppressed by chemicals.

“I couldn’t leave you out there in the rain, now could I?” he says, addressing the cat.

His sister snorts and tugs at her seatbelt.

“Two older sisters,” he grumbles. “No wonder I’m gay.”

narrative change

I could have gone to the lake house with Philip, he thoughts. Cat meows. Seed grows.

The lake house. He drews it in his mind: the deck, the herringbone roof, a tattered beach umbrella, the scratches in the tile near the hallway light switch, the linen from the closet smelling of mildew, hanging them outside to dry, Philip taking him on the deck, boards creaking, seagull shit everywhere, salt air and dead fish and spume, the little room at the top of the stair where you could see nothing but ocean, Philip smelling like his wife’s perfume, Philip, Philip, Philip.

“Are you even listening to me?!?” his sister screechums. She is histrionic. Her womb is dry. No nephew. No niece. Cat paws at his neck, feeling the pulse running through his jugular.

“Why do you dream?” cat askowls as he presents his asshole to the man and backs into him. The cat’s anus leaves a puckered kiss of shit on his lapel.

narrative change

picking up cat in the rain why can’t he take anything seriously it is Maddy’s wedding for god’s sake and he is being a man-child like always attention attention look at me look at me been the same way his whole life the baby the baby all the attention no one ever cared about me no nobody cares about the middle child the plain sister the younger sister and the older sister did I take my adderall did I did I did I I guess so who cares this is what they deserve I’ve had to do everything for the wedding and I had to go back and get the flower crown of course she wanted a flower crown fucking Maddy and I had to pick up Tom fucking Tom I get to sleep with all the boys I want because I’m so fun and super-gay and no one for me no one for me I get all the shitty dudebros fuck don’t think about Steve you’re done with Steve it would have been nice to have a date for the wedding I wonder if their will be any cute guys probably not probably not all of John’s friends are man-boys with their video games and vintage tees and fuck the cat the cat touched me again I hate cats I hate cats maybe I should get a dog a big dog and just become a lesbian yuck maybe she could just do stuff to me and I could keep up the house or something a really big dog I’d make a hot lesbian why didn’t I lose weight for the wedding I just want to be touched by something other than my goddamn vibrator mud mud all over my car fuck fuck fuck

narrative change

“Adaptive all-wheel drive, bitch!” the car thought as it thrashed another washed-out mudhole.

narrative change

They are late, of course, they are late, only my wedding day after all, at least I’m not showing yet, I think as I forced a grin onto my face.

[calibrated squeal of delight]

“What happened to you?” I make myself ask, working the muscles and tendons of my face and throat.

“Who’s cat is that?” I ask, wincing at the rhyme.

I’m getting married in a barn. A barn. Why was I fucking a hipster in the first place? Why did I let him coom all over my cervix? Why didn’t I have it scraped out of me? A barn wedding. I deserve this.

The cat screeches: “This one has had reproductive sex. It is gravid.”

“It’s a long story,” my brother says. I think about the time I caught him wearing my clothes, his erection straining against the thin fabric of my date night underwear. In family be all our embarrassments remembered.

“You look so beautiful,” my sister says. She needs a man to marry and hate.

narrative change

“Whiskers!” the old man, the barn owner, cries and picks up the cat.

“NO!” the cat screams. “I have not finished my reproductive studies.”

“You naughty cat,” the barn man says. “Where have you been?”

The cat contorts his small body in an attempt to free himself.

“Unhand me!” the cat howls. “UNHAND ME!”

“Whiskers, are you hungry?” barn man asked. The cat hisses and shits a little.

“I must watch them copulate! I must see the deformities of their offspring!”

The cat jumps from his arms and runs back to the wedding party, paws and claws digging into the wet earth for desperate traction.

narrative end