KING FROG #3 (10.04.18)
It's one of those grey, cold mornings, the wind is tickling the trees, freeing some of the first color-changed leaves to dance about the street, and tapping at the window with sprays of sheeted rain. That window, the one my dad was staring into last night. Dead, milky eyes. I had fought off sleep as long I could, but it eventually snuck up and slipped away with me. I woke up on the floor, sheened in sweat and covered completely by a blanket, the torn mini-blinds by my side like some dead stranger. I can feel the exposed window burning a hole in my skin. I dare a peek, and to my relief there is nothing peeking back. I can hear a muffled conversation from the television vibrating through the wall, my dad must still be sitting out there. I don't hear my mom. Where is she?
I muster some courage and emerge from hiding, like some pupated monster. I'm hollow, and my stomach growls, but there's no way I'm going out there. I peak my head up to the window. The coast is clear. I slide it open, cringing every glacial inch, willing it to stay quiet. The cool rain welcomes me to the outdoors and steams as it hits my hot face as I slip out and drop into the bushes below. I run across the street and hide behind the tall row of bushy trees that line the front of Fred's house. Fred is my best friend, his bedroom is on the second floor, but I can climb up the trees to get to it. I do it all the time. I make my way up and tap on the glass. I hear a sharp crack in reply, and feel a sting shoot across my face and through my ear. I lose my grip and feel all the branches reach out to thwack me in the side and on the legs and all over as I fall to the ground with a heavy thud. I've been shot!