Categories
Short Stories | Contos

THE OLD CAT

Constable Martin was almost twenty years old and had all the qualities of an undercover cop, which he refined with age. If you paid close attention, you could find the cat everywhere, always making close contact with all kinds of citizens and non citizens of the metropolis’ animal world. To distinguish him from other cats, you should pay attention to his right hip, where a half-circled scar made proof of his wrestle against one German-shepherd of the vice unit. Constable Martin was accidentally covered in cocaine and Bullseye Lady had the nasty habit of biting the packages she sniffed. Her instructor said she was hooked. Constable Martin wouldn’t say otherwise if he could talk.

The old cat still used to jump through the windows of police cars, either patrol or detective vehicles, making his own inquires. No, he never solved any crime or presented evidences to police officers. This is not a TV show. Most times he would find mice, pigeons and burned spoons from drug addicts. Forensics got mad each time he jumped out of the car to run all over the crime scene.

“Cats are home animals, for Christ sake!”

Not Constable Martin. He was savage, a wild cat from trash cans, alleys and rooftops. When a cub, he appeared at the canteen and officers started feeding him. One fat inspector once tried to give him a collar, ending up unrecognizable with zillion scratches on his face. People noticed “Fat” McKenzie became obsessed with making arrests since he was diagnosed with ailurophobia.

Though he didn’t solve any crime nor had any role in finding evidence, Constable Martin had the useful habit of sitting on the lap of complainants, witnesses and suspects under interrogation. He let these people stroke him while he purred as noisily as the engine of a paddy wagon. More frequently than you could imagine, he used his hunting skills to protect law enforcement agents from armed suspects, mainly the cut off pigeon technique. Little before having completely grown up, the cat started practicing the intersection of pigeon flight. At least twice a week visitors were startled by his blurred silhouette crossing the sky from some window-sill on the first or second floor and smash a pigeon on the sidewalk. He devoured the bird in front of everyone, much for the delight of wearied personnel. Imagine the same acrobatics on the face of armed thugs.

His old age got noticed when he started missing the pigeons. Sometimes his claws pluck half a dozen feathers, but the gray sky rats managed to zigzag upwards, letting Constable Martin waste his seven lives in dangerous free falls. The stubborn old cat only stopped after having one leg broken. This happened when “Fat” McKenzie was leaving station at dawn, his arm bleeding after being stabbed on his patrol. He was going to the hospital by his own feet. The blurred silhouette of Constable Martin spiraled before him after close contact with one lucky pigeon. Next he saw the cat shaking on the sidewalk, tainted in orange by the sunrise. For the first time in years, “Fat” McKenzie had no fear at all. He freed his hand from the wounded arm and carefully took the old cat with him. They were both treated in the hospital.

That afternoon, everyone stood still when the inspector made his entrance with the wounded arm on his chest sustaining the purring old cat.

“Now you have the chance of putting a collar on his neck,” yelled Forensics, raising her arms. “Please, adopt him out of here!”

“Believe it or not, I gave it a thought, but he wouldn’t let me.” “Fat” McKenzie laid the cat on his desk, who did not move the whole afternoon.

Constable Martin started meowing at night. Inspector “Fat” McKenzie took him to the floor and let him slowly move away. The old cat had some patrolling to do.

Monday, September 6th 2021

Categories
Short Stories | Contos

LUCY BREAD

“I got bread!,” shouted a brute in high school while groping Lucy’s buttocks.

“You got toasted!,” she retorted, hitting him right in the eye with Thomas Mann’s The Magic Mountain.

This is Lucy Bread and the moment was magic indeed. Never more in her all entire life she would be a victim of abuse. The brute got blind, she was expelled for the first in a million times and in all of those she couldn’t care less. Expulsion, sacking and debt became natural in her life. A happy life, believe it or not.

Lucy Bread had the genius of being highly responsible without taking life too seriously. She had her moments of grief, as anybody, and let them go away. Sadness did not deserved to be clinged by her heart.

“I am leaving you,” howled her first husband, “and the kid goes with me. You better stop laughing!”

Smiling widely, Lucy Bread scanned the condescending dimwit expert on money making from crotch to eye.

“Do you really want to fight me, win me over? Are you sure?” When it came to stabbing her heart, Lucy Bread’s voice had the calm, persistence and reach of a deadly epidemic. “Are you really considering destroying your daughter’s childhood out of spite for her mother? Do you really want to drawn your money there?”

“You won’t have a chance!”

“Try me.”

He did. For years. Lucy kept on laughing, as well as her daughter. The kid learned from the best and her dimwit father had to realize no money could depress that woman.

“How can you do it?,” asked one friend at the job center. “How can you be so happy while living in tragedy?”

“Find me a better way to deal with it.”

“You’re a nut case,” said one lover. “Too bad I don’t have the balls to cope with such invulnerable joy.”

“People are taught to solemnly cry and suffer with dignity. I taught myself to let all tears pour fast and laugh it out when I’m done.”

“You’re on denial.”

“And you’re deaf. I just told you I get all the grief and mourning done in one blow. No more annoying and tedious sadness, believe it or not.”

“You should coach people.”

“I’m not that presumptuous. People don’t laugh because they’re chicken.”

The second husband of Lucy Bread had the maturity to make no judgment and learn from her. I’ve never seen a happier man. I envied him hard and my wife noticed that.

“Would you like me to be like her?”

“I would like to be like her,” was my digressive response. “We should all be like her.”

She gave me the glare of immediate divorce and I kept my mouth shut to the moment I widowed. I don’t know if I fell in love with Lucy Bread. I eat a loaf of bread in her honor every night and do my best not to care a thing.

Saturday, August 28th 2021

Categories
Short Stories | Contos

THE DONKEY SITUATION

I was minding my own business when the intercom starts buzzing. This is rare. Actually it would only happen when there was some package or registered letter. There was a donkey on the video screen.

“It’s the mail”, said a voice I knew quite well, but I could only see the donkey’s head nodding. I pressed the button to open the door and went to the bathroom to look at myself by the mirror. There was no donkey looking back at me. One doesn’t know how far hallucinations can go.

After throwing some water to my face I opened the door and stared at the elevators. One of them had the light flashing. This was not Carnival nor Halloween, There was no movement on the extinction and procreation of donkeys right now. Either way, besides donating a few euros there was nothing I could do.

The door of the elevator opened. There was a donkey and the mailman in it.

“Mr Gilberto Inácio?”

“You know very well it’s me. I offered you a coffee last week at Mendes.”

“I wasn’t asking for your name. I was just wondering whether you were expecting a donkey.” Man and beast walked the aisle, as elegantly as possible, hooves echoing on every walls like the rattle of a machine gun. “This donkey is yours. Please sign here,”

“This is a mistake. I’m not signing that.”

“Do it as you please. I’ll follow the protocol.”

“Do you have a protocol for delivering donkeys?”

“To farm animals in general, yes.”

“This isn’t a farm.”

“According to protocol, once you’re home to receive the package, this is donkey’s wonderland.”

“I will not sign and I will not keep the donkey with me.”

“Very well. I’ll leave the donkey here and flip the receipt under your door. Have a nice day.”

“Wait a minute! What would you do if I weren’t home?”

“We knew you were home.”

“How would you know that?”

The mailman and the donkey looked at me in the eye.

“We are the post offices. We know everything about everybody.”

I felt a chill and got angry.

“How come you leave acknowledgment receipts to withdraw packages on the post office if you know when I’m home?”

“Sometimes we want you to go there.”

“What for?”

“To be checked out.”

“Checked out?”

“Of course. We can’t check out clients and let them know that. It would contaminate our files with wrong data. So we make you go there and check you out while you collect your package.”

“Check me out for what?”

The mailman shrugged his shoulders.

“Who knows?”

“Someone above you, I suppose.”

“Oh, my chief knows nothing. He just runs things.”

“And above your chief?”

“Who knows? That’s nothing of my business.”

I swear to you the donkey was laughing at me.

“I’m not keeping this donkey.”

“I will follow protocol.”

“No, you won’t.”

“One thousand euros fine says you will.”

I was chocked. I considered he was bluffing, but his eyes showed me otherwise. And the donkey’s.

“I must add”, the mailman hushed, “the fine for not signing the receipt is two hundred fifty.” Again, no bluffing in his eyes and the donkey showing its teeth.

“Give me that.”

He handed me the board with the receipt attached for me to sign. I carefully read it. I knew the sender. Too well. It was all explained.

“Have a nice day.” Now the mailman was handing me the rope of the donkey, before turning his back while whistling The Beatles’ She Loves You.

“Hey! Isn’t there any letter?”

“Nope.”

“Not even a note?”

“Zip. Only the donkey.”

He disappeared in the elevator, leaving me with the package from my ex-wife.”

Saturday, August 21st 2021

Categories
Short Stories | Contos

REALLY SHORT PROSE

Once upon a time there was someone somewhere about to do something. This someone bumped against someone else and an explosion of emotions occurred on the caring and erogenous areas of the brain.

Taking in to account most narratives only exist with the overcoming of an obstacle of some sort, this someone else was already erotically and caringly involved with some asshole. This is real frustrating for the protagonist, but happy endings demand the full exposure of assholeness of the someone else’s companion, in order to the protagonist someone get lucky and live happily ever after.

A montage is made to show the boring lives someone and someone else are having while being apart after the asshole exhibition. This pause is always required to mimic real life.

Finally they meet by accident and launch themselves together towards happiness and enlightenment.

Saturday, August 14th 2021

Categories
Short Stories | Contos

LOVE’S MUMBO JAMBO

Gregory sat on the bench, tightly close to Sophie due to the cold. For thirty eight years they would sat there every Saturday afternoon, except on vacations. When occupied, they would lay down on the lawn. The river started to change color as the Sun moved towards the horizon, dimming the stains of pollution to tones of mustard. Some kids were jumping on skateboards, boys and girls. Though he could be their grandfather, the girls were making Gregory horny.

“Good heavens! Things never change!”, muttered Sophie, flashing wide open his overcoat. “With this cold and you having a lump under your trousers. They’re underaged, Gregory!”

“It’s automatic. You hear me saying this for decades. Do you really want to have another argument on this?”

“I thought you’ve learned something.”

“Their boobs are giggling, for crying out loud! There’s no learning to restrain the effect! We could be on the North Pole and my pole would rise still!”

Sophie punched him in the stomach.

“Time to get you distracted, you sperm brain.”

It hurt, but it did not work.

“Honey, come on. You also get aroused when some well dressed Adonis passes by. You blush like a tomato.”

“I do not!”

“You’re blushing right now, in denial!”

“Here we go again.” She rose her arms to the purple clouds. “We know the drill back and forward, and we will repeat it all over again until we die.”

“Even after our death, honey. This is eternal. This is eternity itself.”

“Sure is. The programming of nature, the gods and God. Thou shall have lust and jealousy.”

“Right. The urge for multiple sex encounters and to demand fidelity from each other.” Shivering, Gregory closed his overcoat and rested his head on Sophie’s shoulder. “The darnest thing is knowing all this doesn’t prevent us from lust and jealousy and from blaming each other.”

“I must blame you. I am your wife. I’m the love of your life for almost forty years.”

Taking a deep breath, Gregory growled:

“Their boobs are awesome!”

“Stop that, you pedophile!”

“I bet you’re now remembering the surfer you stalked last Summer. The kid was fifteen!”

“I wasn’t stalking him!” Sophie punched Gregory again. “He just happened to be in all places.”

“You offered him sandwiches and tried to put some cream on his chest.”

“There was a red alert on the weather report! Some people had to go to the hospital with sunburns and dehydration.” Now she rested her head on his shoulder. “God! We really are survivors. The excuses we get to keep our animal selves getting their way.”

“I like being an animal.”

“I noticed that.” She patted his thigh.

“You’re blushing”, he whispered.

The Sun was getting orange. Two skaters kissed. It was damn cold.

Saturday, 12th June 2021

Nuno Neves