#28 Revenge on an Alligator
Most days in the algae-covered golf-course pond, I lay there, stealthing in coolness, eyes and nose holes peeking just out of the surface. I lay there waiting.
Waiting. Ducks. Cormorants. The dumber waterbirds are the easiest.
Storks, flamingos, those birds on their stilts can see me from over the surface. Harder to catch, but bigger, more to eat.
Shrikes and mockingbirds are tiny and the lightest. The most skilled to catch, the least satisfying to eat. Sometimes they land in just the right place and become distracted just enough with calling and mating and ‘SNAP’ Gone. They’re mine.
Usually, I can catch a duck or a stilt bird at dusk. I take it down and it lasts me for a week.
If I fail, I can find a few frogs. Frogs and fish. They suffice.
But oh the warmth of a fresh bulky bird, its juices oozing as my teeth pierce it, after its body succumbs between my jaws after it struggles and kicks with impunity.
These are the delights of my golf-course life.
This week though, the birds hardly came. Today a shrike came to rest on the foxtails. Weary with hunger, I approached. Uncareful, I splish splashed a second too soon and off it flew.
Not a bird to eat. The pond has been ringing silent in the absence of croaking frogs.
I’m running out of food.
Forlorn, listless, I grow sleepy. I drift in and out. The sun rises. The sun sets.
I float in the water between the reeds another day.
Rustle rustle ruffle ruffle… ch ch ch ch…
I wake up…What’s that?
I open my eyes, I emerge just one more centimeter from the surface, don’t let the water ripple, don’t let the water ripple.
Ch ch ch ch ff fft ff
It’s next to me. Slowly, I angle my head, making no white on the water, roll my eyes, and I see it.
Its front paws dig dig dig rustle rustle and its head looks around.
I hold my head still and watch the gleam off its obsidian eyes.
A fluffy, furry, healthy dog, just larger than a duck.
I inch closer. It digs and rustles.
I inch closer. It pauses, then digs and rustles.
I inch closer. Closer. Closer.
Arrf arrf ARRF!
rrf rrf fff
Crack crack crack the bones, and then gone, down my gullet, the best meal of the month.
I simmer down into the pond.
Minutes later. Pop. My head. “HEY! Mother fucker!” a human hit me with a rock.
I look at him. Normally I could take on one of these, but I’ve just eaten.
He lunges at me. I dodge to the left. He lunges at me again. I dodge to the right.
Then he stops, standing, watching me. I lay there, watching him. I can’t attack. Too much food after too many weeks without food.
RRAAARGH he dives at me then wrestles me. He tries to squeeze me.
“Crack! You mother fucker! Crack! Like you cracked my dog!” he yells
I don’t crack. My shell is hard, sometimes slippery, he can’t seem to get a grip.
“RAAARGH!!! I’m gonna teach you a lesson you fucking monster!”
He runs off.
I drift off to sleep, despite my instincts.
Suddenly awake again, I’m being pulled out of the water. I move my legs but they can’t. They’re tangled — I’m in a net.
The man is back with another man and they’ve caught me, one holding each end.
“What are you doing with it, man?” one says to the other.
“Teaching it a fucking lesson, man!” the other replies.
“It’s fucking heavy, man” says the first one.
“Don’t be a pussy,” says the second one.
“Shut up, you idiot,” says the first one.
“Don’t tell me to shut up.”
“You idiot, I told you not to bring your dog here.”
“Shut the fuck up and throw it in!” says the second one and SLAM.
They through me in a cold black bowl.
I stop feeling the pull of the net on my limbs but I feel the night air on my skin.
They’re running and I’m in a vessel on wheels. A wheelbarrow, they call it.
Run run run run. I go dizzy.
Then I feel levitated. There are two more men now, four altogether.
Swing, Swing, Swiiiing — I fly through the air then SMACK. I stop. I’m not on the ground. This surface is slanted, and rough. Claws, I have claws. I reach up and sink my claws into these rough black layers and slide no further.
Time passes. Then lights, red and blue, red and blue, spinning spinning.
I hear the words, “sir, you are under arrest for stealing an alligator from the golf course.”
“Come on, officer,” says the man.
“Furthermore, you are under arrest for vandalism and property damage caused by throwing the alligator on the roof of this bar.”
A bar. Don’t bars serve a lot of chicken around here?
Today’s prompt — Google “Florida Man” along with your birthday. Then scroll down to the most ridiculous headline you find and write a fictional story around it.
My hit: “Florida Man Steals Alligator from Golf Course, tries ‘teaching it a lesson’ by throwing it on roof of bar”