Aphelion Issue 229, Volume 22
June 2018
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Only a Drop

by Robin B. Lipinski

Inside the mind were the rules. Everyone born into a world was born with the rules. Rules, rules, rules... Hate the rules, screw the rules, let the rules go to hell as inside the mind also resides choice. There within the body resides free will. To be a life free from superstition and the excess baggage all are born with.

"Hey! Oh, man. You let a black cat cross in front of the car, now something bad is gonna happen," Cecil said to his friend, Mike, driving the beat-up Toyota 'something or other'. A car proudly showing the world a cracked windshield and ample coatings of winter mud. Some of the fresh mud from the rolling tires splashed mud on the black cat narrowly missed as the car sped by.

"You believe in that crap? Nothing happens when a black cat crosses your path. Nothing happens when you step on a crack on a sidewalk. Nothing happens when you walk under a ladder... There is nothing but what we make of our own lives." The smile of knowledge on Mikes face exposed some of the recent training he was receiving at the University. Mike was studying to be an intelligent human being.

"No, you're wrong, Mike, bad things happen when black cats cross. Man, I tell you, there is some crazy stuff that goes on when stuff like that is ignored." Mike grinned as he could hear the scared seriousness in his friend voice.

"Oh, come on, Cecil, are you serious? Since when did you believe in such juvenile crap? I tell ya, nothing bad happens unless there is a logical reason. There ain't nothing, absolutely nothing bad that happens when some silly superstition presents itself."

As soon as Cecil said that, if he had looked back he would have seen the glaring red eyes of a very angry, muddy black cat. The cat was standing silently, licking one of the dirty paws.

If Cecil could have seen his mother back home, he would have seen her grab her chest in pain. Her face contorted; breath erratic; mind filled with horror; body falling to the floor where soon it would cease to be alive. Her last picture in her mind being the claws of a black cat ripping out her soul.

Of course, Cecil and Mike could not see such, they only sat in the moving piece of Japanese crap made in Ohio. Soon the topic of superstition was forgotten, and being young men, they started to discuss female bodies, but rules had been broken. Funny thing about those breaking laws, they never are satisfied and usually continue to self-destruct.

It should be mentioned I suppose that time also has rules. Today, for example, a simple date. Friday the 13th. Mike would remember this day very well when he gets home and sees the horror etched on his dead mother's face.

"I still think big breasts rule. A guy needs something to really sink his hands into," Mike seemed to know everything, now imposing his opinion to his friend.

"You're crazy, if a breast can fit into a champagne glass then it is perfect," A sound rebuttal by Cecil. It is starting to appear that Cecil is the more intelligent of the two. He did not finish school and the world considered him average, or slightly below normal.

"A champagne glass? Why not a beer mug or coffee cup? Maybe a cereal bowl? I like when a breast fits into my hands..."

"Watch out!" Cecil shouted as his friend headed the car towards a mailbox sitting on a post. It seems that the topic of a woman's breast had taken Mikes attention away.

Smash. Tinkle. Crunch. There are different words for sounds of plastic and metal hitting other solid objects. For the two in the Toyota the sound of the car rubbing the right side against a now obliterated mailbox sounded, not good...

"Oh, man. What the hell." Of course, Mike used a whole lot of other words dear to the heart for those embracing profanity. He stopped the car and getting out to survey the damage saw the huge dent and scratches alongside his car.

Cecil got out of the car also, only he had to get out of the driver's side as his passenger door was no longer able to be open.

The car was not worth much and the damage done would cost more to repair than the car was worth. As the two sat there looking at what could not be undone, Cecil said, "Damn, you are one unlucky dude. A black cat, Friday the 13th, and now you broke a mirror..." The right side-view mirror was obliterated.

Mike did not reply, instead he thought this was just a lousy day and he was starting to get a bit tired of his friend. He definitely paid no attention to the cracks on the sidewalk he was standing on.

Both got back into the car and were silent. There was no mention of female breasts or superstitions. The car put into gear and heading towards Cecil's home. Once arriving Mike had to exit and allow his friend to once more wiggle out.

"Bit weird today." Cecil said.

"Yeah. I agree. Crazy stuff."

Cecil turned to walk away and Mike backed the car out of the driveway just in time for a fire truck to come blaring up the street, sirens howling. He just sat there motionless waiting for the red truck to pass by, the ladders on the truck passing over his car as they made the corner...

As the sounds of the siren faded, Mike put the car back into gear, and drove down the street. Inside his friend's house, Cecil heard the sounds of the sirens also and when he looked outside to see what was going on, he tripped over a light cord coming from the lamp on an end table. He stumbled and fell to the ground, but unlike Cecil's mother, he was allowed to live. After his broken neck healed he would be back to obeying the rules.

Rain clouds started to form; a coincidence actually considering they formed just after Cecil's friend fell and broke his neck. Raindrops started to fall on the old Toyota and the wipers sounded very tired as they swept back-and-forth. They still worked, their squeaking protest letting anyone listening that it was raining.

Pulling in front of his mother's home, he parked the car. The various creaky sounds, along with the sounds of tired wipers, ceased. The only sound now was the heavy rain pouring down from the sky.

Cecil was an educated young man. He studied very hard at the university and he lived at home with his mother. Amazing fact on how many young men and women lived at home while knowing it all, knew rules of fantasy can be ignored...

"Mother, I'm home..." he said, soaked to the bone. The rain completed saturated his clothing, even his, Fruit-of-the Loom underwear were wet.

"Mother? Are you here?" There was now concern in his voice.

"Hello... Oh, my God!" He saw the frozen look of horror on his mother's face. Her body laying just where it had died behind the sofa.

Running over he knelt down and shook his mother's shoulder, "Mother. Oh no. Mother, are you okay?"

Ha. Ya gotta love that word, 'okay.' It was very obvious his mother was not only deceased, not only cold, but the glaze formed on those dead eyes showed the perfect picture of death.

The young man was now in a panic of distress. He rose, took out his cell phone and dialed 9-11. On the telephone, he heard, "Hisssss..."

"What, what's this?" He ended the call and tried again, only to hear the same hissing sound.

Putting down his cell phone, he went to the telephone his mother had in the kitchen. The linoleum in the kitchen was very slippery when wet and since he was soaked, the water still on his shoes let his body obey some basic rules of physics.

As he fell, his arms flailed like a windmill. When his body hit the floor, it pulled a lamp with him, his right arm hooking the electrical cord recently repaired with tape.

The tape parted, the body fell, the water splashed, the electricity coursed through his body...

With the circuit breaker tripping, the room went dark. In the darkness lay the now-deceased body of a young man who broke the laws, very important laws pertaining to superstition. He might have gotten a pass if he had not been so arrogant when dismissing the black cat crossing earlier. He might have... but, to spray the same cat with mud? A very special cat? An emissary from Hell on a very important mission?

Not good.

Sitting outside the home now a place of resting two rotting bodies, a now-clean black cat rose and silently sauntered off, a smile on its face.


2017 Robin B. Lipinski

Bio: Robin B. Lipinski claims to be addicted to writing. It helps that his good dreams are other people's nightmares. There is not much to know about him other than he shares this planet with you and others.

E-mail: Robin B. Lipinski

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