Fiction by S.R. Holcombe

Common Lethargy


It’s not like that. It’s not sunshine and lollypops. It’s more like dry humping a mud cake smothered in whipped double cream, dark and velvety, somewhat nice but mentally detrimental. I shouldn’t say that, it’s not all bad. You get to lie down at least, and I love lying down, particularly on a couch with a nice bowl of ice-cream, watching TV. 

It was my goal to die of a fat and greasy myocardial infarction, though death is an empty thing and we rarely live up to our expectations. What I’m saying is that I failed in that regard. I didn’t die properly, but I had a good life. I heard some of my friends once say, “it’s ok. He or she lived a good life,” as though that excused the rudeness of their death. They can say that of me too, I did live a good life. I did everything I wanted to though I did it all one day after when I wanted to do it, ad infinitum. The only thing that bugged me was the way it ended, the cause and effect of it.

It was the cat you see.

I saved the stupid thing from drowning. It was small, fury, wet and shivering and it was lost. I made it dry, warm, fat and for the most part friendly. It, in all its feline wonder, repaid me one day by biting me on the hand. Why? It’s not important, suffice to say that all I was doing was lying on the couch watching TV and it kept getting in the way, rubbing its stubby ears under my nose. It knew I hated that. I’ll admit it, I hadn’t fed it for three months; I was too busy lying on the couch, so it bit me, hard. Then all these stupid spidery veins appeared around the puncture marks in my hand. Tomorrow, I said, I’ll get that seen to tomorrow. Two days later they had crept up my arm and started fanning out over my chest. Two days after that the septicemic creep forced my limbs to seize and I couldn’t change DVD’s, or get more ice-cream. I wanted to, but my fingers wouldn’t do anything for me. My jaw locked and then I died. Kaput!

Not very spectacular. No rushing ambulances or fantastic attempts to save my life with charged shock pads pumping volts into my stale heart. No romantic moments as I lay swooning and dying in some fantastic melodrama. My great last line was stolen from me. I died alone on the couch, veiny and stagnate, stabbed in the hand by the bastard of all felines. Et tu, Brute? 

If I had known it should end like this I may have done something about it. Stood up and walked around a bit more or gone outside perhaps. Rang people to say good buy. Murdered the cat. If only I had one more day, I would have done all that and more, the day after.



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