Mr. Fiddlesticks

Adam pushes through the fire door, yanking the glove from his left hand. He eyes the plum colored bruise already forming and leans back against the hallway wall.

Impression of Modern Ellipse stands oafishly in the doorway. Long and clumsy, the sculpture’s awkwardness rivaled only by it’s ugliness. Adam rubs his wound and glares at the thing, wishing for a moment that he could punch it.

Groaning as he cranks back on the hand truck, Adam swerves unevenly down the deep cold hallway. His enthusiasm for the piece had always been, shaky, at best. How he had been talked into, not only hauling the thing from deepest Brooklyn; but also displaying it in his living room, was something of a mystery.

Fuck it, Adam thought. I’ll just make it work.

He pushes through the front door into the loft.

Moppet’s already waiting.

Long tail wagging gleefully, Moppet leaps and scratches at Adams legs.

“Baby,” Adam yelps, “Baby, come get the dog, he’ll get crushed by this fucking thing.”

Shashka steps from the bathroom, gliding along the hardwood floor she swoops down and gathers Moppet into her chest.

“Jesus, what is that base made out of?”

“Who the hell knows.” Adam grunts, lowering it carefully next to the wall.

Moppet leaps from Shashka’s arms and rushes to Adam, his little claws tapping ecstatically on the floor.

He scoops up Moppet and shuffles across the large, open living room. Moppet rolls back and pushes his snout up into Adams face.

“We have to leave in an hour and a half.” She says absently, already back in front of the bathroom mirror.

“Sure Baby.”

He sets Moppet down. The dog stands frozen, unsure of which human to go to, until Adam pulls the massive roll of caribou salami from the refrigerator. Moppet shuffles toward Adam, and sits reverently.

“I just fed him Adam, don’t feed him again.”

“Uh-huh” Adam says, dropping a salami chunk onto the formica tile. Moppet snatches up the meat, and scampers over to his bed. Adam slices another block of salami.

“I’m serious!”

“I know Baby.”

“Oh my God,” Shashka blurts out. “Winchell came home today and found Freemen dead, just lying in front of the living room closet!”

Moppet twists on his bed, greedily chewing through the hunk of cured meat. It smells of deep hickory, bourbon mixed with Tobasco and sage. Moppet’s entire being is committed to devouring it.

“What.. No way?!?”

“I know right?!?” She says, slipping into a blue faux-fur vest. “The vet said he had a heart attack.”

“He’s had that cat for years, that’s insane.”

“I know.”

Adam downs a bottle of beer. “Speaking of… have you heard from Jaia?”

“No,” Shashka answers, “last she said, she was weaving bamboo mats with some tribe in Burma.”

“Jesus Baby, I wanna weave mats in the jungle, and have someone take care of MY dog.”

“What, and step on land mines?”

“Of course not Baby,” Adam says. “Just… Hanging out in the jungle, and lovin’ it up.”

“That’s great Lovey-Boy. Get ready!”

Shashka flicks off the light, firmly pulling the door shut behind them. The glow from the streetlights fall ghostly and cold across the floor as music purrs from the living room speakers.

Moppet sits, whimpering at the door. His heart pounding as the couple’s scent becomes fainter and fainter. He doesn’t like being away from his pack. Every molecule in his body tells him that being alone is dangerous. Moppet stands and with a short jig scampers to his bed.

The room is large, double hung windows on two sides, with a bedroom and bathroom caddy corner from each other. Moppet crosses the room. Leaping across the large leather bean bag slumped forgotten next to the closet, he moves to his bed.

A complete stillness settles across the room, as if the very oxygen there stops moving. Moppet stays buried in his bed, watching the door. He never sleeps when he’s alone. The possibility of a human, or anything else, coming into his space keeps him alert.

Nothing moves for an hour or so, then, from nowhere…

The closet door shudders gently, and out rolls a freshly made donut, warm maple frosting covering fat chunks of smoked salmon.

It wheels slowly across the floor, bumping gently against the bean bag, and spins gently to rest on it’s face.

Moppet perks up instantly, any movement in the room warrants investigation, but movement PLUS food is a whole other matter.

He pops from his bed and moves boldly toward the bean bag.

Moppet eagerly digs his snout into the donut, his back to the closet. He’s too busy to notice the scent that slowly exudes from the closet. Old and soulless, it is the essence of deep soil…

The hand creeps from the closet opening slowly, almost playfully; it’s long dirty fingernails sprouting from pale, blistered flesh.

Moppet turns, now aware of the other presence in the room, it smells sharp and angry, a vast black well of hate. The fingernails tap gently and lazily on the floor, creeping out farther, and farther.

Moppet stands frozen, watching the blistered hand slowly reveal an arm covered in velvety red spandex.

The hand slams down, sending Moppet flying backward, the fingernails gouging hungrily into the wood. Moppet jumps to his feet and scurries to the corner of the room, a great stream of urine covering his legs.

The hand hammers down again and again, searching for the dog, and finding nothing it quiets, shrinking backward until only the fingernails remain visible.

Moppet crouches in the corner, while the fingers tap placidly and patiently.

Moppet again creeps toward the donut, eyeing the hand carefully. As he bites into the donut the hand comes down again, the fingernails now biting into the corner of the bean bag. Moppet scuttles backward, burying himself under as it drags toward the closet door.

A dull flicker appears in the blackness of the closet, followed by the ancient, soulless giggling of a child. Moppet pushes backward, his front legs shaking and pushing vainly as the bean bag creeps closer and closer.

He doesn’t realize the bean bag is on top of him until he feels his butt stick out from the other side, he pushes against the closet tracks as the rest of the bag goes in deeper…

He pops out the other end and darts away, dragging the donut with him. He leaps onto the couch and buries himself in the pillows.