Sunday, May 31, 2015

Welcome to the Lit Bulb Festival


Lit Bulb Festival    new international writing 2015

Here in a cozy corner of the interwebs is my story "Thurgood," selected for inclusion in Lit Bulb, an online festival of writing from around the world. Be sure to check out a day-by-day schedule of events and links to other writers' work on the Lit Bulb Festival site. Thanks for dropping by, and help yourself to fried dough, cotton candy and a turkey drumstick on your way out.

Jenna is a good woman, but she has a bad cat, and because I’m with Jenna, so do I. We have a bad cat together.

The cat’s name is Thurgood and he’s big and gray and mean. When Jenna tries to brush his coat, he hisses, bares his teeth, squirms from her grasp. When I push him gently off the bed he jumps back up and rakes his claws against my arm. I look like a goddamn junkie.

When I moved in with Jenna I wasn’t too crazy about her having a cat, but it seemed a small price to pay for being with Jenna. Now I’m not so sure.

Thurgood wrecks everything. He scratches up all our furniture. Our chairs and tables and our sofa look like something you’d give to Goodwill, but that’s where they came from in the first place and I doubt they would even accept the stuff now. It would be nice to have new furniture, but with Thurgood ripping the hell out of everything, what would be the point?

Thurgood has—get this!—diabetes, so we spend a fortune at the vet. That damn cat gets better medical care than Jenna and I do. I haven’t had a physical exam in three years, but Thurgood sees a doctor once a month. He eats better than we do too. Jenna’s a vegetarian, so we eat a lot of lentils, carrots, and brown rice. Thurgood’s on a special diet too. Seafood.   

After we pay the landlord and the veterinarian, after we buy cans of seafood for diabetic cats and tofu, rice and vegetables for ourselves, there’s nothing left over for fun, forget about new furniture.

I wish it was just me and Jenna, lounging on our new Ikea sofa, sitting at a table from Crate and Barrel while we eat a meal containing actual meat, cuddling in a stylish, queen-size bed, leafing through magazines in comfortable leather chairs from Pottery Barn. 

For once, I’d like to get up in the morning and not trip over the cat, not have to open another stinking can of his greasy seafood medley, not have to listen to that awful thrumming sound he makes.

I wish stupid Thurgood would die. I’m a terrible person.


  1. I like this story very much. Want to read more

  2. Why do I get the feeling this is non-fiction. ;) Give it up. You can never come between a woman and her cat.

    1. Jayne, I hate to disappoint you, but it's pure fiction. I'm happily married and we don't have a cat. I have a friend, though.... You've got a lit bulb piece coming later this week, no? Best wishes, Todd

  3. Life with a diabetic and a vegetarian... but it sounds like he's in it for the long haul... isn't he...?
    Great piece!

  4. great writing. I really enjoyed it. Will come back for more :-)