22 Chapter Twenty Two/ Killing the Rat

“Oklahoma, Native America” The welcome sign read as Jay Branch crossed over from Arkansas to Oklahoma and he thought to himself “What the hell does that mean, is Oklahoma the only part of America left that was once owned by Native Americans?” The bizarre wording of the sign gave him a laugh and he realized that his mood had drastically changed since his chance encounter with Sonny the drug dealer behind a bathroom in Arkansas. He knew that being overly cocky after conquering a challenge had only gotten him in trouble in the past and then suddenly remembered a time in his life that was eerily too similar to today’s events.

Once right after Jay and Beth had moved into their little bungalow they had a little furry visitor of the rat variety. Beth had called Jay at work and informed him there was a giant sewer rat in their closet and that he would have to come home and kill it or she would not return home. After his shift was over he drove to their house, went into the garage and retrieved a baseball bat from a stack of unused sports junk in the corner and like a manly man went right into the house and killed the beast, put it in a trash bag and threw it in the large garbage can by the curb. Then called Beth to let her know all was safe and that her burly husband had killed the beast. The part he left out was when he went into the bedroom and opened the closet door the rat had scurried out towards him and he had jumped in the air and screamed like a little girl; landing luckily on the small mouse that had masqueraded as a beast and smashing it with his work boot. It looked almost like one of those little grey pet mice that some people put on a hamster wheel or fed to their snakes, not at all like the monster sewer rat that Beth had described but for some reason, maybe the force of the blow, it had squirted what looked like every single ounce of blood out of its body across the old tan carpet that use to be in their bedroom. Making it look like Jay had truly killed a beast of epic proportions.

The true trouble had come almost a year later when one of Beth’s girlfriends had a rodent problem and she had sent her manly man over to take care of it. Jay had smashed half of their kitchen apart attempting to hit one of what turned out to be more than twenty actual rats before calling a professional to actually take care of the problem. He then had to shell out almost five hundred dollars to replace a kitchen table, toaster and microwave.

 

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