The new cat-clock ticks its cadence high on the kitchen wall: a child dashes past and hopes the clock does not see him. He must fight the curtains, heavy and red, to the other rooms cat-clock less side. The heavy red hides him good. The drub of the black and white eyes stays outside, watching.
Under the cat-clock, Mom stirs the crock pot. She flaps and coos for him to stop. ”Stop the clock, or I’ll kill it,” the child shouts from around the heavy red sheet. He tries to dash again, but the clock sees him. He pulls his shirt over his head. “Stop horsing,” Mom clucks, “come eat.” With shirt half up the child comes and eats what’s from the crock pot.
After food is chewed and gulped, Mom’s new friend comes over. The child is quickly shooed and his roomed for bed. At night, the silence is up and Mom and the new friend are playing giant frog; the giant frog moans unguarded by the curtains open heavy red and the cat-clock paces the kitchen, his belly counting every second watched on the kitchen floor and bedroom frog.
The child hopes the cat-clock does not see the giant frog. He curls his toes and works his fingers. Anticipation shakes him. The child begins himself a crawling quest, with his white body anti cat-clock cloaked in his beloved ragged blanket. Chatter toothed with stomach in a knuckle and visions of War Movies in his head, he traverses, palms sticking to the orange linoleum, following the rat path along the counter close around and the stove slipping past the cold empty bottles and cat clock tail like between the kitchen table legs.
Eyes peer off the cat-clock, through the curtain open wide crack.The giant frog cannot be but must be saved.
The giant frog rustles wheezes and puffs when the child slides past the curtain swooshing slowly, little jaw dribbling excited, cat-clock eyed past heavy red, first the one child eye, then one melon head, then one whole cloaked child bulk.
Mom’s hair is unfolded in the smog dim moonlight and puked up atop the bed under the giant sheet frog. The giant frog is choking on Mom, her face stuck between what reminds the child of the time he lost his tooth and howled in the mirror, and the time he got a picture taken riding the donkey at the County Circus Fair. He hiccups a laugh when the frog lets a short snarled fart, remembers the mission and grips his hand on a bedside boot. Turned towards the kitchen the child launches the bedside boot into the cat-clock’s belly. Falling high from the kitchen wall, the cat-clock smashes on the crock-pot and down. “I see you!” the child yawps and the giant sheet frog goes numb. Quickly collapsed, the giant sheet frog presents naked Mom. Breasts flipping thin she grips the child by the arm and drags him out past the heavy red curtains. Swatting for his ragged blanket, the child hears the new friend burble under his breath, “Dirty little mucking Bass herd.”
While being drug through the no-drub room getting told to never get out of bed again and to never play stupid games and to never come into Mom’s room because he is now five years old and big, he grins at the cat-clock now face down on orange linoleum in pile of cold glass bottles dead.