Melvin shoved his feet into the blue practice futbol cleats and started to stretch. He had been recovering from a nasty cold for the last couple of weeks and hadn’t been able to exercise at all for an extra few days because he was so tired. His best friend Chester said that Melvin’s girlfriend probably got him sick but the jury is still out on that one. As far as he was concerned, if she had given him a cold then her best friend Maria would’ve gotten it too. They were all so close together in that tent in the woods after all.
Melvin’s mom wouldn’t let him practice futbol drills either until his doctor said it was okay. He tried to explain to her that after his sinuses cleared up and his appetite came back, the doctor’s permission wouldn’t mean he was any more “okay” to practice than if his physical therapist had said it. She wouldn’t listen. He filed away her concern as parental habits that wouldn’t change, particularly after the year she’d had. Melvin was all she had left in the world. Her last remaining grandparent and uncle died in a car accident with a distracted driver at the beginning of the year. His dad left when he was eight years-old and might as well be dead too, considering he left a blank check for his college fund account. Melvin wasn’t sure if it was legal but it was a considerable chunk of change.
As Melvin got into his warm up exercises, he realized he’d forgotten his phone in the car, which also meant he didn’t have any music to help the practice go by faster. He jogged back to where he parked his car and was about to unlock the passenger side door when he saw the fuzzy, black blob by the back tire. It was about the size of a quesadilla and was rocking from side to side. Melvin did what any high school student who paid attention in biology class would do — he looked around for a thick twig and gently touched the fuzzy blob. (What, did you really think he was going to touch it with his bare hands?)
It yelped. Melvin thought perhaps it was a kitten, but he didn’t want to pick it up in case it had rabies. He touched it again with the twig and the blob unfurled itself. Two green eyes, a pink nose, and two sharp teeth fixed onto his position. Melvin dropped the twig and got inside the driver side of the car and sat there for a few minutes. He picked up his phone and searched the internet for “fuzzy, black animal, green eyes, sharp teeth.” He thought it best to skip futbol drills. He could always tell the coach he still wasn’t feeling up to it. The coach would understand. Melvin rolled down the back passenger side window and climbed into the back seat to see if that possible kitten was still next to the tire. It wasn’t, but where did it go?
This piece of prose came to me while listening to Tori Amos.
Original pic cred: Lukas Eggers @beschtephotography, unsplash