Tuck your tail and run (chapter 3) by Christopher Reel

My plan was to go home, lie to my wife about work, act as if everything was normal, and then call Phil to take me to see the old man. However the moment I opened the apartment’s door my plan crashed and burned to the sound of Tabitha’s mother’s voice.
Inside of the apartment my mother-in-law, who I affectionately out of spite call Godzilla, sat big and wide on the sofa watching television. As I headed across the living room she gave me a sideways glare of contempt.
‘Hi.’ I said tossing my jacket onto the back of the sofa.
Godzilla knocked the jacket onto the floor and then said, ‘Hang that up. That’s no place for a man’s coat.’
I ignored her and went into the kitchen where Tabitha was smoking a cigarette and drinking a cup of coffee at the table. She looked up at me immediately noticed my swollen face, that I had completely forgot about.
‘What happened?’ She said and stood.
‘Nothing.’ I said and sat.
‘Let me get you some ice.’
‘I’ll be okay.’
‘Are you sure?’ She said and sat.
I nodded.
She stared at my face with somber eyes in which made me wonder how her eyes would look if she seen my tail.
‘What happen?’ She asked, again.
I thought about telling her the truth, That Phil and I were fighting because he thought that I was the devil when saw my tail, but the way it sounded in my head was the way an insane resident at a mental hospital would explain why his cup of gelatin was dripping from the ceiling. I laughed.
‘What’s so funny?’ She asked as the somber in her eyes dropped into curiosity. She sniffed the air and then leaned in and sniffed my shirt.
‘What?’ I asked.
She leaned back and said, ‘You’re high.’
‘High?’ I said, remembering the joints I smoked with Phil and Monica.
‘Don’t play stupid. I can smell the weed.’
I stammered senselessly before giving up and staring in a smiling stupor.
‘Why didn’t you tell me you had got laid off?’ She said; which ran into me like a bull, and then she stood. ‘What’s going on with you?’
‘Well . . . I . . . um . . . you know I . . . I’m . . um . . . a . . .a fuck up.’
‘You scare me sometimes.’
‘Maybe we shouldn’t have married so soon.’
It felt as if someone was playing kickball with my heart.
‘Don’t get all worried.’ She continued. ‘I’m not going to leave you. You’re the love of my life but I do think we rushed into this.’
I sat in stare with my mouth open, too stun to say anything. She walked over to the sink as the kitchen filled with silence before her mom came in.
‘You ready girl?’ Godzilla said.
‘Yeah, just give me a minute to do these dishes.’ Tabitha replied.
Her mother waddled to the table and sat down. ‘My feet are killing me.’
I was stuck in a stare off in nowhere in particular thinking about what Tabitha had said until Godzilla interrupted with ‘I heard that your sorry ass got fired.’
‘He didn’t get fired mom,’ Tabitha said. ‘He was laid off.’
‘I remember when my first husband got fired. I cheated on him as a punishment.’
‘You cheated on my daddy?’ Tabitha asked.
‘No, I cheated with your daddy.’
‘Infidelity is a fault of character.’ I said and then stood, ready to make my escape from the present of Godzilla.
‘That’s crap!’ Godzilla said. ‘I think adultery is need and underrated. Especially on the woman’s behalf. Once they realized that they married the wrong man and they knew that they should have married Malik Carter. I mean what else could they do other than cheat? Do you understand me Tabby?’ She paused. ‘I know Malik is a little chunky but that’s alright, a man is supposed to have a little meat on him; for the bed and to protect you. Your anorexic husband can’t fight his way out of a wet paper bag with a shotgun.’ She laughed.
I left out of the kitchen and went to the bedroom chuckling to myself as I wondered what Godzilla would of said if she had saw my tail.
In the bedroom I called Phil’s place. A woman answered with ‘Hello, Phillip West’s residence.’
‘This is his cousin, Alex. I need to talk to him.’
‘Alex? . . . Oh, okay, you’re the cousin with the tail, right?’
‘Yes.’ I said reluctantly.
‘This is Monica. What did your wife say about it?’
‘I didn’t tell her yet.’
‘Secrets are relationship destroyers.’ She said. ‘Although our relationship is new I have told Phil everything about me. No secrets. So now he won’t become surprise when someone tells him that I was born a man.’
‘She’s joking.’ Said Phil’s voice invading the phone.
‘Phil,’ I said and waited until his laughter had stopped. ‘I need you to pick me up and take me downtown to see about my tail.’
‘Alright but after I finish moving the rest of Monica things in.’ He said.
‘You’re moving her in?’
‘She’s the one. How many beautiful and successful women would just laugh and understand that your cousin is a freak with a tail. And you know understanding is one of the keys to a great relationship.’
‘The key to a great relationship is weed.’
‘Did you tell her that you were fired?’
‘She already knew.’
‘Did you ever wonder if she had casted a spell on you; giving you that tail?’ He said.
I laughed.
‘I’m serious cousin.’ He said. ‘Wives do things like that all the time.’
‘No they don’t.’
‘Remember when that lady cut off her husband’s dick and tossed it onto the side of the road?
‘What does that have to do with me having a tail?’
‘Ask her watch she’ll tell you.’
Ask her what?’
‘If she put a spell on you.’
‘I’m not asking her that.’
‘Why not?’
‘Because I think I know who did it.’ The old man face flashed across my thoughts, which almost caused me to laugh. Because if he had something to do with me having a tale I would have to believe in magic and with a tale dangling in the back of my pants I’m forced to believe in extraordinary things such as magic, Santa Claus, The Tooth fairy, and that Topic and Biggie smalls are alive and well performing as opening acts for Michael Jackson at an resort casino on one of Jupiter’s moons.
‘You okay?’ Phil asked.
‘Yeah, I’m cool.’ I said. ‘When you’re finished moving Monica in call me.’
‘Okay.’ He said and hung up.
‘Why didn’t you tell me?’
I turned to Tabitha standing in the doorway. ‘Huh?’
‘Why didn’t you tell me?’ She repeated, as her eyes dropped down to the phone suspiciously. ‘Who were you talking to?
‘God. He has a new toll free number. They say it’s better than prayer.’ Quietly she stared as I continued with. ‘When did we start asking each other who we’re talking to on the phone?’
‘Why?’ She replied. ‘What are you afraid to tell me?’
‘Are you cheating on me?’
‘You sound like Godzilla.’
‘Shut up!’ She said. ‘I hate when you call my mom that, her name is Catherine. And no she doesn’t have anything to do with this.’ Her soft brown face was filled with anger as she walked towards me. ‘Who were you talking to, to your side bitch?’ She asked, close in my face, voice loud.
‘Phil.’ I said. ‘Go ahead and press redial if you don’t believe me.’ I tried to sound forceful and assertive but instead it came out whiny.
As she picked the phone up I flopped onto the bed landing awkwardly sending a pain up my spine causing me to jump.
‘What’s wrong with you now?’ Tabitha said.
I shook my head and took backwards steps away from her as I rubbed my lower back and tail.
‘Oh, hey Phil, It’s me Tabby. I was . . . um . . . calling to . . . um.’ She paused; looking at me.
I was sure that Phil was telling her about my tail.
‘Oh, alright, I’ll see you later.’ Tabitha said and then hung up. Her eyes had begun to water. A tear ran down her cheeks. She sat onto the edge of the bed with her head down.
‘What’s wrong?’ I said.
‘I’m sorry.’ She replied.
What was she sorry about? If Phil had told her about my tail and it made her start crying and become sorry did that mean Phil was right? Did she really cast a spell on me? That would of been nonsense, I was sure of that. However, I had a tail and nonsensical felt as if it was the only logical way of thinking at that moment. ‘Sorry about what?’ I asked, carefully sitting beside her on the bed.
‘About thinking you were cheating. You’re right, my mom . . .’ She broke into soft sobs.
I moved closer to and embraced her. My tail moved inside my jeans against her leg. ’What’s that?’ She asked and stood.
I looked down at the slightly moving lump on the side of my leg and then up to Tabitha. She wiped at the streaks of tears that stained her cheeks. Her eyes focused on my pants leg. I wanted to run or spontaneously combust. I stood.
‘What’s that?’ She asked again, this time with a smile.
‘Nothing.’ I said. ‘I think Godzil . . . I. . . I mean I think your mom is calling you.’
She tried to make a serious face but she couldn’t stop smiling. ‘Stop acting like a little boy.’ She said. ‘And show me what’s in your pants.’
‘You already know what’s in my pants.’ I had begun to take backward steps towards the door.
‘Where are you going?’
‘To sanity.’
She leaped forward grabbing my pants at the waistband. ‘Help! Rape!’ I said. When I tried to grab her we had both fell. On the floor she stuck a hand into the back of my jeans and grabbing a hold of the tail. She released it and stood. Her face was covered in glee and curiosity. I stood.
‘Let me see it?’ She said.
‘See what?’
‘The tail. Let me see the tail?’
‘How the fuck did you know I had a tail?’
‘I didn’t, but you just told me. She said. ‘Besides that’s what it felt like. What else could it be?’
I unbuttoned my jeans, dropping them and boxers. I then turned around.
‘You really have a fucking tail?!’ Tabitha said as she walked towards me.
As she rubbed the tail up and down an odd but relaxing feel good sensation hugged me. I had grown an erection.
‘That’s not natural.’ The voice of Godzilla interrupted. She stood in the doorway. ‘No man is supposed to let no one play with his ass.’
Panic had begun to creep inside of me.
Tabitha laughed and then said ‘That’s not what’s going on.’ She turned me around to show her mother my tail.
‘What on God’s green earth is hanging out of his ass?!’ Godzilla yelled.
I dropped my head onto Tabitha’s shoulders, asking God to smite me at that moment.
She lifted up my tail and said ‘It’s a tail. A real live tail. Come and feel it, mom.’
‘The devil is a liar.’ Godzilla said. ‘I’m too old to be into that kinky shit.’
I pulled up my boxers and jeans.
‘Why the hell did you marry someone with a tail?’ Godzilla continued.
‘He wasn’t born with it.’ Tabitha said. ‘He didn’t even have it last night. I don’t . . .’
‘Well, he must have been cheating on you with a voodoo witch or something.’ Godzilla said.
‘I don’t know where it came from.’ I said.
‘Tabby I’ll be in the car.’ Godzilla said. ‘And hurry up I’m trying to get as far away as possible from your freak ass husband. He might be contagious and I’m too old to have to explain some shit like that.’ She turned away from us and then disappeared from the doorway.
‘It popped up out of no where.’ I said to Tabitha. ‘It didn’t grow or nothing. I was using Phil’s bathroom and all of a sudden I had a tail. That’s why my face is like this. Phil thought I was the Devil and attacked me.
She laughed.
‘It’s not funny.’ I said.
‘I’m not laughing at that. She said. ‘Well, okay, yes I am. He really thought you were the devil.’
I nodded.
A silence invaded as her face dropped into a mixture of joy and melancholy. Finally, she said. ‘I’m pregnant.’
‘I meant we’re pregnant.’
‘Sex, stupid.’
‘How long have you knew?’
‘I missed my period a few days ago. So I went to the doctor today and he confirmed it. I’m 3 and half months.’
Her eyes watered as she leaned into me. I held her in my arms trying to stir my emotions into happy but depression was all I had.
We slowly broke our embrace before she wiped at her eyes.
‘Because you’re pregnant and I was laid off is what made you say that you think we married too fast?’ I said and then sat.
‘No. I don’t really think that at all.’ She said. ‘I was just listening to the bullshit of my mom.’
‘What are we going to do now?’
She kissed my forehead before saying. ‘Don’t worry we’ll be fine.’
‘I have a tail.’
She smiled.
‘What am I going to do about this tail?’ I was essentially asking myself.
‘I’m going to drop my mom off.’ She said as she headed towards the door. ‘And when I get back we’ll talk.’ Everything will be fine. We’re a team.
I smiled.
Before she walled off she blew me a kiss. I caught it and mashed it into the left side of my chest.


About thebabbler

The Babbler is social commentary and literature by Christopher Reel

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