Creepers by Sam Difalco | Flash Fiction | #thesideshow

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Creepers

by

Sam Difalco

Tired of linearity, truthfully. What a chore to keep pushing what comes next. But not everyone likes a sudden shift in perspective or tone. Keep it moving forward without thinking too much about where it’s going—it could be going nowhere, or it could be going somewhere beautiful, special, pick your modifier. I know where I am going as soon as this is over. I’m hitting Cass’s Bar and Grill for beer and wings with the creepers Paulo and Pino. I call them creepers because they cruise around all night in Pino’s van looking for action. I gather that the action they find would not make for a wholesome listening experience. But these are men who don’t care what we think about them. They live their lives as they see fit, and if they bother anyone in the process it’s just some filth on the shoe to be scraped off curbside before you climb in the van. If the van with Pino and Paulo were to stop you in the street, as you walked to the corner store for milk or cigarettes, would you wonder if they were malicious? They look like two overfed mamones, but you know as well as I do that looks can be deceiving. Just the other day a man came up to me and asked where City Hall was. I pointed south and told him to walk until he saw the big clock. City Hall was right beside it. He thanked me, then asked if I was saved. Saved from what? I replied. Then I noticed his smile had that extra element people of ruthless faith possess, and a shine in his eyes that proclaims they see signs of God everywhere. This approach generally angers me. I told Mr. Good God there to leave me alone and walked away. Maybe I’d see him in Hell one day. He wasn’t going anywhere that included angels, I’d wager. Some people just get to you, you know. But since I have all but forgotten the original premise of this exhortation, and refuse to review it, I’m afraid I’ll have to end on a rather desultory note. One of the neighbour’s cats leaped to its death the other day. I don’t know the circumstances, whether it leaped of its own accord or someone flung it off the balcony. The neighbour has a few cats, I’ve never asked how many. The smell of cat permeates the hall. The neighbour is a widower, retired from his job as a comptroller. I’ve always liked that word. I’m sure people who bear that title like it. How many comptrollers have you known in your life? How do you become a comptroller? I wonder if the neighbour was a good comptroller or an indifferent one. The cats keep him company. One down, but the others, one hopes, will compensate.


Sam Difalco lives in Toronto