Published in New Rivers Press American Fiction V. 13, 2014
Teenie leaned against the back door, shoulder to glass, and considered the fat, black water moccasin lazing on the slab outside. He didn’t see the orange tom that’d been coming around lately, the too lean cat with only one eye and a ragged bit missing from both ears. Most evenings, it would sweetly pluck scraps of steak and catfish from his fingers, and Teenie’d gotten used to him. He figured the tom was probably somewhere cooler than his usual spot on the stained slab, snoozing under one of the camellias or his momma’s roses, thank god, what with the moccasin fatter around than probably all four of the tom’s thin legs put together— the snake a winner in that fight, for sure.