November 29, 2005

Nat'l Novel Writing Month Short Story Challenge, Day Twenty-Two

Today's suggestion is from Brian Fountain: "Mr Sizzle"


In a nice white suit and a big black car, Mister Sizzle comes to cut the tail off our dog.

He shows Mama his papers that show heís not a doctor but heís certified to do this one thing. He says the type of dog Rugby is, the tail gets too long and gets infected real easy. Mama asks how he knew we had this breed of dog. Just luck, he guesses.

He makes the kitchen table his operating table. Mama shoos me and Jessi into the living room and closes the kitchen door. I watch through a crack; heís my dog after all, Pa gave him to me when his bossís dog at work had too many puppies. I donít let Jessi watch, though.

The radioís on real loud.

Mister Sizzleís back blocks me from seeing exactly how he does it but once he does he takes the tail and wraps it up in a handkerchief. He puts the handkerchief in his pocket while Mamaís turned around to start the kettle. I feel about like throwing up and accidentally squeeze Jessiís arm so hard she says ouch.

Mama tells us to go wash up for supper. At the bathroom window I can see Mister Sizzle rooting around in the garden. I figure heís burying the tail. Thereís two goldfish buried out there already.

Mama has invited Mister Sizzle to stay for dinner. He talks using big words and tells Bible stories, well not Bible stories exactly. The stories have characters from the Bible but theyíre in different situations.

He tells me Iím a very lucky boy because our backyard is good snail-hunting territory.

He and Mama stay up drinking coffee. I try to stay awake Ďtill I hear him leave but I canít.


When I wake up my head hurts and Iím in the back seat of the big black car. Itís moving. Mister Sizzle turns around and asks me if I ever heard the poem ďsnakes, and snails, and puppy dogís tails, thatís what little boys are made ofĒ and I tell him yes, I had to recite it in school. He tells me he already had the snake.

I wonder if the boy he left with Mama is half as good about taking care of Jessi. Or half as good in arithmetic.

He tells me not to worry, somebody came for him like this too when he was my age and itís just something thatís always been happening. He says weíll stop in the next town and get me fitted for a nice white suit.

Posted by DC at November 29, 2005 12:00 AM
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