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A Goat, a Jaguar and Some Yams - page 4 / 6

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pocketbook Herman got her for her birthday at JC Penney in San Juan. She loved her er yam vines, a goat named Cesar, and - no shit - a pygmy jaguar named Jimmy Smits. Yo, the jaguar looked like a spotted alley cat with fangs, and if Herman was smart he’d have sold that cat to the zoo or the Smithsonian in D.C., because all of the jaguars in Puerto Rico were supposedly extinct. Now, this muthafucka was tiny. Still enough to scare the shit out of Cesar and the chickens, though, and he gave Herman a deep scratch or two, and when Herman would whip out that ol’ Browning Isabella would plead and suck his dick or let him kick her in the stomach or fuck her asshole. Sadistic shit like that, all for a midget mountain lion?

A year goes by in el casa Munster. Herman tells Isabella that’s it. He’s going to smoke the mini-leopard-looking thing Jimmy Smits, eat the goat Cesar, dig up the yams and feed them to the sows he bought in town. That was enough for Isabella.

So it’s September now. Isabella’s in the kitchen washing dishes and the rice pot. Herman’s sleeping and farting in his chair. Big ass plasma screen’s on the Weather Channel, bruh. Nigga on the screen say Hurricane Howard bearing down on Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands. Category 4, dude. But instead of getting batteries and water, dude is fast asleep. And Isabella’s dreaming of New York…

Morning comes and Herman’s telling the locals they crazy to fear a storm. He fucks Isabelle then drinks his faggot spiced rum as a liquid breakfast. By noon the gusts and rain are monsters. At four, aqui, se va a forma un despolate! Papi it’s fucked up on La Isla. Drowned chickens and tree limbs flying. Black sky. Then, eye’s blue sky, and then the wind howling like a bit-up Pit when the eye passed. Black sky again, and the power lines are down. Isabella finally gets a damn lantern. Herman’s snoring right through this muthafuckin’ hurricane. But she did see him load a clip into his Browning before he climbed onto that nasty Lazy-boy. No looters were going to fuck with casa Munster!

Isabella says fuck this. She digs some fat yams out of the muddy ground, shoves them in her apron pockets. Under one she shoves a scared Jimmy Smits. Under the other, Cesar. Neither animal is squirming, biting, kicking, sticking horns or hooves cause that’s they mami, si? Slung on her shoulder is that JC Penney purse. With only her sandals covering her tiny feet from broken glass, bricks, wood and shit, and two, carrying two freaky animals in the wind, the rain like knives, the blackness, she felt her way down to the Rio Ponce.

A creek no more, yo. Truly a rio, with whitecaps on the foaming brown eddies. It looked like a pot of boiling Nestle’s Quick! There was just one boat. And it was tiny. If she got across, she’d never see Herman Munster again. Groping her way to the bridge wasn’t cool, and the bridge was probably wiped out anyway. There was no way she could fit herself and her whole world into that leaky little dinghy. She’d have to make a few trips. In the dark. In the flood. And Herman would wake up soon, demanding his dinner even though half the fucking house was gone!

If Isabella left the yams with Cesar or Cesar with Jimmy Smits, then Cesar would eat up the yams or Jimmy Smits would eat Cesar. And either could rip up her JC Penney purse.

But she did it. All by dawn, with Howard spinning west toward Cuba. Yams stuffed back in her apron, animals tucked under each arm, she waded through the mangrove on the opposite bank, then hiked up the slope to the road.

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