Tuesday 18 August 2009

AN EYE FOR AN EYE By Jimmy Calabrese

Warning: Here's one from Jimmy that animal lovers may not appreciate...until the denouement...but then again...

An Eye For An Eye
I slide open the glass door, and the cat crouches in the middle of the patio. It’s the same cat that’s been crying outside my bedroom window at four in the morning. I aim the BB gun between the cat's eyes.
I pull the trigger and watch the cat jump three feet into the air, land sideways, and run for the space under the back fence. I hoped to crack its skull, but I just took out its left eye. Laughing, I slide the patio door closed, and turn to find my wife scowling at me.
"That's not funny. You’d feel horrible if you hurt that cat."
"I feel horrible now, it's been a week since I've had a good night's sleep." I place the BB gun next to the door when my six-year-old daughter, Iris, enters the kitchen.
"What are you doing with that gun Daddy?"
"Shooting at the neighbor’s cat."
"Please don't shoot the cat, that's a living animal."
"That animal needs to be LIVING somewhere else."
"Please Daddy don't shoot the cat! Do you promise?"
"Listen to your daughter," my wife chimes in. “You might regret it."
Defeated, I take the BB gun and put it on the top shelf in the garage. I blame my daughter’s school. Kids today don't understand that humans are above animals. When I was my daughter’s age, I’d already killed dozens of birds, and maimed countless stray dogs.
With a click, my wife turns off her light on the nightstand and rolls back into bed. I can already hear her snoring. I on the other hand just lay there awake, dreading the night. My wife’s a sound sleeper, and can sleep through anything, so I’ve been the one who goes outside to shoo the cat away. By the time I get back into bed I'm wide awake.
The four cups of coffee I drank today are finally wearing off. I can feel the deep pull of sleep. I roll over when the howling begins. I sit up quickly, and pound my fists on the bed. I stare at the glowing red numbers on the alarm clock; it's four in the morning. Fuck, I have to get up for work in two hours.
I run to the garage, grab the BB gun, and pump it over and over again. I stop pumping when I get to the kitchen. I need a free hand to quietly slide open the back patio door. The yard is pitch black; only the nearby street lamp lights my way. Through the shadows I follow the howling.
I swiftly raise the BB gun toward the howling disturbance and pull the trigger.
A shrill scream pierces the air, and my heart sinks as I hear a child crying. The lights from my bedroom window turn on sending a spotlight on my daughter. Iris holds her face, covering her right eye as blood seeps between her fingers. She sits on the grass rocking back and forth screaming hysterically. A plate of moist food lies in front of her. The cat on my daughters lap stops feasting to look up at me with its one good eye.
Jimmy Calabrese is a singer, songwriter and bass player for the internally acclaimed cult horror rock band Calabrese. He's been published on Microhorror, Flashes In The Dark, and when inspiration strikes on the Official Calabrese Blog - http://calabrese666.blogspot.com/ . Check out all things Calabrese at http://www.CalabreseRock.com


  1. Hi, Jimmy. Heavy stuff, here, but well-written all the same. I was kind of hoping the kid would shoot the narrator in the eye!

  2. Thanks guys, glad you enjoyed it. I tried to think of a good way to punish the narrator, and there can't be anything worse for a parent than living with the fact that you disfigured your own child.

  3. A modern twist on Poe "The Black Cat"?

  4. You kept it short and fast paced- an extremely well written take on poetic justice.

    Very nice.

  5. Great story Jimmy. As a parent, heartbreaking. The right ending I think. Well written.