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Rat Patrol
Feb 15, 2008

kill kill kill kill
kill me now

gently caress it, I'll give it a try. In.


Rat Patrol
Feb 15, 2008

kill kill kill kill
kill me now

It Could Have Been Worse
Word count 1138

In the fall of 2010, I clumsily took a fall, resulting in two crushed feet and a pelvis broken in half "like a pretzel," according to my doctor.  Nine days in the hospital, six surgeries, and some hardware installation later and I was fit to go home to recuperate.  It would be about three months before I could walk again, but at least I would walk again. Going back to my third-story apartment was out of the question for now, but my parents were ready and willing to bring me back to their home until I could. I was grateful, but it was frustrating to go back to my parents' house after having lived independently for over a year.

My parents brought me belongings from my apartment to make me comfortable: books, toiletries, my laptop. On one trip they brought my laundry. The night of my accident I had intended to go to the laundromat, so most of my clothes were dirty.  My mother added my things to theirs, and that night there was already a basket of clean clothes at the foot of my bed. 

I was up late that night after everyone was asleep, reading a book through a prescription haze.  I looked at the laundry basket and wondered why they'd bothered to bring so much.  It was a pain to change pants over broken feet, and it's not like I had anywhere to go anyway and- OH gently caress.

A panic gripped me worse than the night I fell and realized I couldn't move my legs.  Worse than hearing the doctor mutter "poo poo," as he measured the extent of my fractures.  Worse than finding out I'd be losing my job because I couldn't make it back within a week.  A real, freezing terror gripped my heart.

The shirt.

The "I [HEART] FEMALE ORGASM" shirt.  It was a souvenir from a college sexual education seminar focused on the female experience.  I supported the organization but didn't really care for the shirt.  I only wore it around the house occasionally as a not-so-subtle clue to my boyfriend.  And I had worn it not long before my accident.  And it would have been in with my laundry.

My parents raised me conservatively, with the idea that sex is for marriage.  With the idea that sex is private.  With the idea that sex should not be advertised on a t-shirt.  If they found that shirt, I would receive possibly the most awkward, angry talking-to of my life, made infinitely worse by the fact that I could not walk away from it.  I would be a captive audience to their disappointment. For months.  There was no where I could wheel to be out of their reach.

My heart raced as I fumbled through the basket.  My stomach churned; it wasn't there.  Had she already found and confiscated it?   Then I realized:  the basket was nothing but whites and jeans.  Of course! My mother actually gives a poo poo about separating laundry before washing it.  She hadn't finished the colors yet.  She hadn't seen. 

I had to get that loving shirt.  I knew then it must have been in the laundry room, but there was a problem.  That was in the basement. The wheelchair clearly wasn't going to carry me there, and my swollen, useless feet weren't volunteering; I would have to crawl.  Carefully I lowered myself to the floor, knees first, being sure to keep my feet elevated lest they bump painfully into something.  Stealthily, I crawled past my parents' room to the top of the stairs.  The stairway yawned beneath me.  My palms began to sweat. If I fell, I could undo all the wonders medical science had built from the wreckage of my bones.  If I didn't try, my parents would find out I knew what sex was.

I decided the best way down would be feet first, scooting on my butt, step by step.  Gingerly I lowered myself, careful to be quiet, down to the dark basement. 

When I reached the final step, I flung myself sideways to the floor, taking the impact in my hands.  Quickly I crawled to the laundry room and reared up onto my knees, peeking into the drier.  Colors!  With frantic joy I rifled through t-shirts and boxers, socks and pants, finding at long last the object of my quest.  I stuffed the shirt into my mouth and began the long crawl back to my bedroom like a harried mama cat dragging an errant kitten to safety.  

As I exited the laundry room, however, I was startled by the sound of a door opening.  From his bedroom emerged my youngest brother, Brent.  I hastily dropped the shirt and tried to act casual, staring up at him from the floor, my drool-soaked obscenity crumpled in one hand.

"Oh, hey.  You're...downstairs."  My brother, the genius.

"Yeah," I said, trying to play it cool, "I just wanted to give it a try."

"Oh, cool, you need help back upstairs?"

"Nah, I've got it.  Thanks though!  Goodnight!"

"Okay, goodnight."

As I resumed my journey, I prayed a silent thanks to the god who designed teenagers not to give a poo poo. But my relief faded as I once again reached the foot of the stairs.  I was already exhausted, but I'd come too far to quit.  Quietly and deliberately, I began my trek back on all fours, a step at a time.  Hand, hand, knee, knee.  One.  Hand, hand, knee, knee. Two.  Halfway up, I neglected to pick my leg up enough to completely clear the step and the edge of the wooden stair scraped along the stitches of my foot.  My teeth ground deep into the cursed shirt. Why didn't I just donate cash? I don't even care about the loving shirt.  I don't even like it.

Hand, hand, knee, knee. Five. I wished I was dead. Hand, hand, knee knee. Six. Who the gently caress even lives through a three story drop anyway?

Hand, hand, knee, knee. Fourteen. At long last, my efforts brought me back to the top of the stairs.  Gently placing the shirt beneath my legs, I scooted myself down the hall with my arms and into my bedroom.  I crawled back into bed, folding the shirt as small as I could and stuffing it into my pillowcase, resolving to have my boyfriend take it after his next visit.  I never wanted to see it again.  

In the months that followed, physical therapy, bills, painkiller withdrawal, none of it hurt as bad I feared it would. I had glimpsed the worst case scenario and knew nothing could be as bad. After all, at least my mother never saw that shirt.

Rat Patrol
Feb 15, 2008

kill kill kill kill
kill me now

Just wanted to thank God over Djinn for putting in the effort and giving constructive crits: I personally found mine pretty enlightening.

Rat Patrol
Feb 15, 2008

kill kill kill kill
kill me now

Okay gently caress it I'm in.

Rat Patrol
Feb 15, 2008

kill kill kill kill
kill me now

Creature Comforts
1,149 words

Jill sat down at her desk and logged in to her computer, the mouse's cord brushing against a framed photo of a smiling man with blue eyes. Her co-worker, Todd, entered and sat at his desk.

"Good morning, Typhus Mary,” he said.

Jill sighed. "Typhoid Mary. And good morning to you."

He rolled his eyes.

Erik from HR popped his head in the door. "Do either of you have a lint roller?"

Todd produced one from a drawer and handed it to him. "You too?"

"Not just me," said Erik, attacking his suit jacket. "Lacy, Lisa, Mike upstairs, and like four guys down in IT have them too."

Todd punched the arm of his chair. "What the gently caress is going on? Where the gently caress are all these kittens coming from?"

"I don't know," Erik said. The lint roller made a zipping noise as he brushed his pants. "Kittens don't just appear out of nowhere."

"That's what the animal shelter told me. Rude as hell about it too. They said they were full.”

"They probably thought you were just some rear end in a top hat who didn't fix his cat and can't afford kittens," said Jill. "I bet it happens a lot."

"You're the only rear end in a top hat in this situation,” Todd said. “This whole mess is your fault!"

Erik laughed and returned the lint roller to Todd. "Why is it her fault? She's not a cat.”

"Um, how about three days ago? When Jill came in all, 'Hey, guys, look at these kittens that randomly appeared in my house! Isn't that neat?' And then suddenly anybody who came near her desk finds kittens in their home. Now everybody's got these loving kittens showing up! What did you even do, Jill?" He pointed the lint roller at her angrily. Jill shrugged.

"We'll figure it out,” Erik said. “Regardless, don't give them away. Alice gave hers to her parents for their farm, and when she got home, there were new ones waiting. Just hang onto the ones you have and hopefully it'll clear up on its own. Anyway, I've got poo poo to do; I'll let you know if I find anything out." With that, Erik left.

"Clear up on its own?" Todd cried. "Those little bastards kept me up all night squeaking and scratching all over my poo poo. What am I supposed to do?" Jill shrugged again and turned back to her computer.

The rest of the day was a parade of people lamenting their new pet owner status and the cost of cat supplies. Jill's day, however, was very productive, despite the commotion and the number of people who interrupted her work to call her a fucker.

That evening, she returned home to find five tuxedo kittens waiting. Scooping one into her arms, she rubbed its soft fur against her cheek. It playfully grasped at her earrings. She laughed and scratched its ears. As the kittens played and pounced on each other, scrambling on uncertain legs, Jill was reminded of her grandparents' farm. Every spring she'd track down where the mother farm cats hid their litters and pick one kitten to tame so that she'd always have a friendly cat play with. Without her intervention, they would grow up too skittish and mean.

She remembered when she was upset how she would run out behind the barn to cry. At those times her kittens would find her, cuddling up on her lap as long as she let them. It always made her feel better.

The cat in her arms purred. "I don’t think you’re so bad to have around," Jill said.

The phone rang and the kittens scattered. The caller ID said it was Lacy from work. Jill braced herself for another soft-spoken conversation of how are you doing? and do you need to talk? and reminded herself that Lacy had the best intentions. But ultimately the words that were meant to provide comfort were just another reminder that Jill was still pitiable, that her apartment was still empty, that she should still be sad. She sighed and answered the phone. Lacy’s voice was frantic.

"Oh, Jill, I've got them too!"

"I heard," said Jill. "How many?"

"Three. I just don't know what I'm going to do. I've never had a pet in my life.”

"Just play with them. They'll wear out."

"I'm worn out. But what about you?” At these words, Jill tensed. “You have five, right? I can’t imagine."

“Oh, you know, I'm actually doing alright. It’s been good to have something to do in the evenings. The kittens are a great distraction."

"Well, that's one good thing I suppose."

"And since this started, nobody at work has been walking on eggshells around me. I can actually get work done now the kid gloves are gone. I feel awful that everyone else has been having such a hard time dealing with them, hasn't been all bad for me. It’s been strangely nice.”

"Well, I'm glad to hear it. I wish I could be happy about this. I don't know the first thing about animals!"

For the next two hours, Jill walked Lacy through basic pet care. By the time their talk ended, they both felt better. That night the kittens slept in a heap at the foot of Jill’s bed, and awoke with her in the morning to beg for food that would have been provided anyway.

At work she was greeted by a cheerful Todd.

“My kittens are gone,” he said. “I’m free!”

Jill raised an eyebrow. "What did you do with them?"

"Nothing, I swear. I shut them in the bathroom last night and when I opened it this morning, no kittens." He collapsed into his chair. "I think it’s finally over."

Jill shook her head. "Mine were still there this morning."

"Maybe they'll be gone tonight."

"Maybe so." Jill's stomach churned.

As it turned out, Todd wasn't the only one whose kittens vanished. Everyone told the same story – the kittens had mysteriously disappeared. The building bustled with the news. Though the days before had been preoccupied with complaints and frustration, this day found everyone's mood much improved. No one worried about the state of their drapes or carpets or what new messes awaited them at home. People laughed, shared kitten pictures, and by the end of the day even Todd admitted the strange guests had been "pretty cute." Jill said nothing to anyone.

Her heart was heavy as she opened her front door that evening. "Heeere kitty-kitty-kitties," she called. She listened for the sound of skittering claws or excited mews. She was met with silence. She sighed and plodded back to her bedroom, dropping her bag and coat in the hall. She flipped on the lamp to reveal a single black-and-white fluffball asleep on her pillow. The kitten blinked his blue eyes in the light and gave a happy chirp, stretching his tiny legs before jumping down to meet her.


Rat Patrol
Feb 15, 2008

kill kill kill kill
kill me now

Thank you very much, I can't disagree with any of it. My first draft was a bit too obvious on the "big deal" and I swung too far the other way. Helpful feedback, thanks!

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