Fiction by Monica Raymond & Art by Milojka Beutz
LION IN THE LIVING ROOM
by Monica Raymond
I could be doing homework, clipping coupons, playing solitaire. It’s not like old St. Nick who brings you a lump of coal if you’ve been a bad pop tart. I could be doing anything.
I run, claw the moldings, try to climb curtains, one time even grabbed the chandelier. I’m light, so nothing’s come tumbling down on me, not yet.
I yell, but my brother’s in the next room, spying on the neighbors. Dad’s at the lab. Mother’s upstairs, doing the Marie Kondo thing for the umpteenth time, garments unfurled on the bed. “Does this spark joy?” Always throwing out but somehow always more to deplete—how’s that?
One time it gashed my leg. One time just a grasp of its paw shredded my slipper. It’s getting tiresome making up excuses, caught in the brambles, bullying, blah, blah, blah. I’m running out of inventions.
But no way I’ll tell the truth and get knocked into catatonia, clothespin Klonepin, she’s just doing it for the attention, a swat of white coat oblivious to what’s really going on.
If someone from outside came in and took a picture, in less than a minute, they would see.
So far, in the meantime, I triumph.
Which is to say, I escape.