by Christamar Varicella
Once upon a time, I washed my dishes with a cat who spoke French. With no other sponge on hand, I rubbed his fur against cheese-encrusted plates and a Tupperware container permanently stained by leftover marinara. In between soakings, the resourceful feline attempted to mesmerize me with fanciful tales about trees that were struck by lightning but didn’t die, a glowing orb found in a cave where the Dead Sea Scrolls were discovered, and a particularly detailed yarn about a battle fought between an army of ill-tempered orangutans and a horde of flying squirrels. When at last he concluded, I held the sopping fuzz ball in the air above my sink and watched him gasp for breath. Looking into his shimmering eyes, I could tell how delighted he had become by his own narrative. Alas, my arm grew tired. “I don’t speak French,” I said, and I plunged him back into the water.
So far in 2009, Christamar Varicella has placed stories in Minnetonka Review, 580 Split, and JMWW. He holds an MFA in Creative Writing from Spalding University.