A Certain Type of Decisive

United States

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Practice Makes Perfect

November 24, 2020

    Sometimes people end up in places they didn't mean to-- they get older and wish they didn't. At least, that's what the centaur lady in the forest used to say whenever I tried to rob her. I'm an idiot for doing it-- she's a psychic after all. But she wouldn't mind too much when I feigned dead.
    The same sentiment did not extend to vultures. They kept pecking, even after I realized this old cat's tricks weren't going to be enough. 
    I don't-- I don't want to play dead.
    I don't want to be passive.
    I want more than practice and practice and then one day, dying for real.
    Maybe that's why I stole from Hadar-- it's not like I needed anything she had. All her knives were too big, too cumbersome for my little body. The incense smelled nice, but it wasn't much fun to chew on. She had so many pages of scribbled notes-- from some old guy that used to live in the cabin by the river.
    Now I'm the only one who lives there.
    My saying goes a little differently: sometimes possums end up in attics they didn't mean to-- they eat unholy amounts of preserves and wish they didn't. It's not my fault the old man didn't screw the jelly jars tight. It's not my fault that strawberries taste sweet. It's not my fault that my nature compels me to eat and eat until I'm too fat to squeeze underneath the loose roof tile. Well-- maybe that last one's a little bit my fault.
    Being trapped in that attic wouldn't have been so bad-- relaxing, sleeping, daydreaming. Marsupial paradise. It was quiet in there. Or at least it usually was.
    The rustling and creaking from the lower floors made my heart race-- something bigger than me was down there, I was certain of it. I could feel my pulse in ever finger pad, in ever pore and follicle. There was something down there and it was going to find me.
    And I wasn't going to play dead.
    When the door creaked open, I didn't even think. I didn't even look. I just dropped from the door-frame, scratching, hissing, and screaming. The girl screamed back, even louder and tried to wrench me from her face. Normally, I might've been able to hold on, but my fat fingers were too weak, too tired. She hurled me against the wall and the blood in my mouth didn't taste quite as good at the strawberries, but it looked the same when I spat it out. I clung to the wall, scrambling up towards the rafters, towards the sky.
    I stayed there long after she left.
    I stayed-- passive.
    Sometimes possums play games they weren't meant to-- they get into fights and wish they didn't. I didn't die that day. I didn't even practice. And the lack of practice makes it more terrifying. More dangerous. More unpredictable.
    And so much more fun.

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  • November 24, 2020 - 11:24am (Now Viewing)

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2 Comments
  • Starlitskies

    Oh wow this is creative and well written! Who knew you could build such a deep character out of a possum? Also your possum is so adorable!!!


    10 months ago
  • Anne Blackwood

    Okay the fact that you wrote this from the perspective of a thieving opossum makes it so much more endearing and hilarious than I expected. I simply adore it.


    10 months ago