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omeone is killing cats in Claire's neighborhood. A cop shows up Sunday morning to examine the nearly decapitated tabby on Claire's front lawn. Its eyes are milky, its head thrown back. There's a triangle of blood-soaked grass between its neck and body. "Probably a machete," the cop tells her. He crouches by the dead cat and squints up at Claire, who shivers in shorts and a tank top that just covers her gently mounded belly. A house key is tucked in her running shoe. She was about to go on her daily walk when she found the cat. Looking at it makes her want to gag. "You should be more careful, ma'am, especially in your condition. Carry a cell phone for emergencies," the cop says. He's got saucer ears, a lipless mouth. She's pretty sure he's the guy who testified against one of her assault cases last year (a homeless kid who took a swing when the cop woke him up in an alley). He seemed like a blowhard then, too. With his baton he prods the eat's head, tearing the gristly bit of connective tissue. "Third decap around here. Seems like the modus operandi"-prod, prod-" although there was a skinned cat near Fairfax"-prod-"and one chopped up on Miracle Mile, guts spread out all fancy, like the killer was being arty." The gristle rips completely, freeing the little head; it rocks blindly toward Claire. The cop wipes his baton on the grass. The bully. Fairfax and Miracle Mile aren't even that close to here. Poor pregnant girl can't stand a little blood, he's probably thinking. She nods and feigns indifference.



I 9

Fugue 39 - Summer/Fall 2010 (No. 39)  

The Literary Digest of the University of Idaho

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