He rests his elbows on the rail, gazing out at the twitching streaks of sandy fur, a few square yards of mounded dirt littered with scraps of drying vegetable.
‘Aren’t they amazing?’
‘I guess,’ she says.
‘You don’t like them?’
She shrugs. ‘They’re a bit done, aren’t they – meerkats?’
‘What do you mean?’
‘All that standing on your back legs looking cute and killing snakes – ‘
‘I think it’s mongooses that kill snakes.’
Another shrug. ‘What’s the difference? Anyway, they’ve got the baby faced killer thing down. But they still smell like my hamster after it ate one of its babies.’
This wasn’t how he’d imagined the conversation. ‘But they look out for one another. Their family units …’
He feels her body stiffen against his.
‘You want to talk about that here?’ she says.
‘Well. You know. Spring. Nature in all its fecundity.’
‘And kids screaming for ice cream. And kids screaming because they “didn’t see the monkey pooing, Daddy”. And kids just screaming because that’s what they’re good at.’
‘I just thought …’
‘No, you really didn’t. And next time, take me somewhere that doesn’t stink of dead rodents.’
He smiles. ‘Next time?’
First posted in response to for Roger Shipp’s Flash Fiction for the Purposeful Practioner, Week # 15 2016. See here for full Ts and Cs.
Another repost, this time with a Valentine’s Day theme. Well, ish. Look, it’s about as romantic as I get, alright?
Will be posting and commenting in the flesh again soon, when normal service will be resumed.