Friday

As Alan walked out of Petland petless and looked down at the curb, he thought of the ideal animal to confide in. He went back and asked, “Do you have any rats?”


A rat would be perfect. He could send it murderous thoughts for hours on end and get satisfying vibes back. He was certain of it.

“We have just one.”

It didn’t look like the ideal type of rat to receive murderous thoughts, for it was mostly white with a few brown patches, but the mere knowledge that it was a rat would more than make up for its prim coloration. If he ever felt uncertain, he’d just stare at its eyes and nose and repeat the word “rat” in his mind, and he’d get a metaphorical hard-on. He just knew it.

He bought the rat. The love affair began immediately. It was torrid. That evening, they watched TV together, the rat lying spread-eagle, flat like a pancake, on Alan’s stomach. Alan was stroking its back while the rat practically purred with contentment and fell asleep.

Alan took a bath with the rat. Then he combed it and talked to it and named it Pancake. The rat’s small abrupt movements were slightly annoying, and Alan thought Pancake would look more intelligent if only he didn’t move so jerkily. That was really the pet’s only flaw: bad body language.

Alan held Pancake on his chest, his hand over the rat’s back, his fingers around the rat’s face, to hold it in place and prevent it from making those movements that made Pancake look as though he had Parkinson’s disease. Alan stared into the rat’s eyes and said, “What do you think? Should I kill them? Should I?” He stared deeper into the little black eyes that reminded Alan of periods.

Love Creeps by Amanda Filipacchi

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