My grandpa asked me one time if I care whether I live or die. Yeah I do. Now it’s too late.
A few weeks ago I was at home watching the morning news sipping away at a poorly made cup of coffee. My attention was more focused on the 3D character I’d been working on for the past couple of days but somehow the news broadcaster’s robotic voice seemed to find it’s way into my ear. He rambled on about the poor season the farmers out west were having and how a young girl at the local middle school won an award for her commitment to the community by tending to the elderly after school. I was about to tune out the broadcast in favor of the tune my brain decided to play in my head when something caught my attention.
The anchorman was midway into alerting the viewers about a string of burglaries in the area. This peaked my interest of course so I swung my chair around and turned up the volume. He continued with his report stating that the assailants were brazen and broke in at any point in the day or night. While there had been no reports of anyone being assaulted or injured the criminal acts were still heinous enough to give me some very warranted concern for not only my safety but that of my wife as well. Seven houses and apartments in my neighborhood had been robbed in the past 3 days alone. I could feel my heart start to rise into my throat as they showed a map of the outlaying area with little red blips marking where the criminals had struck.
My house was dead center.
As a precaution I made it a point to take a tour of the outside of my house to make sure all my windows and doors were secured. I felt a little silly doing so because, after all, I’m a 220lb grown man who spent 20+ years in one of New York City’s roughest neighborhoods. I can handle myself. I laughed off my paranoia and went back inside. I had a long day ahead of me. The wife was gone for the day and I had a ton of web projects to complete so I settled in for the long haul. With a fresh cup of joe at my side I placed my earphones on, set the iPod to shuffle and hit play. T.Rex’s “Get it on” blared as I proceeded to rock out in proper work fashion.
I was a half hour into my first project when the unthinkable happened. Without warning something wrapped tightly around my throat and pulled me backwards. I slid out of my seat and crashed hard onto my back. With Arcade Fire’s “Wake up” ringing in my ears, I looked up through pained eyes only to an orange and black striped tiger grinning at me. He couldn’t have been more than half a man high in height but he looked monstrous from my perspective. I laid there frozen in fear as he proceeded to hop around in a rhythmic manner. His demented raspy laugh sent chills down my spine. I could hear all kinds of commotion going on in my kitchen. It sounded as though a mob of people were rifling though my cabinets. His tail was still wrapped around my throat so I couldn’t maneuver my head around to see who else was here.
After a few agonizing minutes the banging and crashing ceased and the tiger’s powerful grip on my jugular loosened. I quickly spun around and pressed my back against my desk. There he stood. A golden bear with a tight red shirt. He was barely 4ft tall and was holding the bottle of Honey Bee honey I just purchased the other day for a dessert recipe I was going to try. He smiled at me devilishly as he tilted his head back and slurped down half the bottle in one gulp. Honey dripped off his arm and trickled down his bulbous stomach. The tiger seemed to relish in delight over his accomplice’s rather insolent gesture, laughing menacingly as he coiled his tail underneath him and bounced even higher. The golden bear wiped his honey matted mouth and looked at me intently and uttered this one sentence to me..
I fearfully shook my head in compliance. A wide smile spread across his face as he slowly turned around and began to waddle away with his energetic companion in tow. They left through the door I forgot to lock earlier…
This piece of fiction was written in response to The Hippie Cahier Experiment.