Written with my Thursday night group with prompts including: no such thing as, what they taught me, three pounds of puppy cute, a mile from the nearest neighbor, a thud and a yelp, the killing began, change scares people
“There is no such thing as reality,” he told me. “All this is an illusion. You may think there’s a table and chairs here, but there is only a collection of atoms vibrating in a pattern that resembles a table and chairs.”
I thought he sounded nuts, but I didn’t care. I live over a mile from the nearest neighbor, and I’d been getting pretty lonely till he showed up on my kitchen counter one day. He was three pounds of puppy cute, an elf or a leprechaun or something. Maybe he escaped from a box of cereal or cracker jack. I don’t know. I just know he was entertaining. That particular night, he leaned back against the pillows I’d stacked as bolsters on his chair and took another sip of his Coca Cola, finishing off the can. “Do we save them?” he asked, indicating the aluminum empty. “I don’t care,” I said, taking another drag. “Just tell me another story.”
I stood and went back to the kitchen for some chips because I had a powerful case of the munchies coming on. Then I heard a thud and a yelp. I turned but my little friend was nowhere to be seen. I stooped down to peer under the tablecloth, but he wasn’t on the floor. So disappointing. I picked up my ash tray. Maybe if I could get one of these butts lit my friend would come back. Oh, it was too much bother. I decided to skip the chips and the cola and the smoking and the recycling, and go lie down in bed and watch another episode of The Crown on Netflix. And that’s what I remember doing. But later they told me that that was when the killing began.
I asked the officers if they’d found my little three-pound friend, my little leprechaun. I feared they’d find him face down in a field with a bullet in his back. But no, the man they found was somewhat taller with considerably more girth. I had to allow he looked familiar since we had been married once upon a time, but that seemed a lifetime ago. Change scares people, and being scared changes them too. I guess that’s why I’d come to live way out here with the little creatures who live in cereal boxes. What they taught me was to live small and quiet, to mind my own business, because I hoped eventually I too could learn how to manipulate all those atoms and create a more pleasant reality.
That’s what I plan to tell the judge at my sentencing hearing anyway. I just hope he’s a friendly fellow who’ll understand.