Stephen

By
“Milk. Yes, more milk! I sure do like milk!”


Jack was a pretty nice guy. He liked his apartment. He also liked milk. You might even call him “cool.” He liked to make frequent visits to the grocery store. He liked buying snacks at the grocery store. He liked a lot of things, but most of all, he liked his cat, Stephen. In fact, Stephen reminded him of an old television program Jack used to watch.

“No soup for you!” Jack would scream at his cat as it attempted to paw its way across the sea of chocolate swirl wrappers and Spaghettios cans. His little Stephen would retreat at this nostalgic remark. Stephen was a gray cat, although Jack wasn’t quite sure what breed. Stephen was usually “in a state of delight,” which is what Jack would refer to it as.

Jack heard a knock at the door. “I sure would like Stephen to answer that door, but my little cat won… wo..w…”

Jack was struggling with the word “won’t.” But that wouldn’t stop him! Jack made his way to the door and opened it. “Jack! You haven’t paid your rent in months!” Jack’s landlord was mean. “I like taquitos. And milk!” Jack fought back. Jack pushed his gaping landlord aside, and walked to the elevator. The landlord caught Stephen trying to run, and put him in the room, and closed the door. Jack still wondered for a while why his mean landlord put Stephen back.

Jack walked down the street, heading North, because North was the direction to the grocery store from his apartment. Jack didn’t have a car; he was above that. He walked everywhere, and therefore was a very thin man. Jack was skinny; wily black hair and a small head. He had little muscle, no one knew how he managed to stand up, let alone walk to the shop. He walked down the street, and greeted his friends. “Hey, friend, how’s it goin’?!” he would say. “Get away from me, I don’t even know you!” was the response he usually got. He liked his friends. Jack was approaching the store and thought how lovely the pumpkins out front looked. He walked into the automatic doors, past the shopping carts, and into the metaphorical music store Jack loved so much.

As you, my reader, may have guessed at this point, the first aisle of this gargantuan enterprise of soups and low-fat choices was the dairy section. Jack slumped over to the dairy aisle and walked up to the milks. “Don’t worry, my beautifuls, Jack is back.” Jack proceeded to cram one regular, and chocolate, and one strawberry half-gallon into his frail arms, and walked to the counter, meeting some more friends along the way. Jack walked up to the clerk, at the one empty checkout lane in the store. He loaded up his milk onto the conveyer belt, and asked the cashier the question. “May I pay you in tattered cloth, my good man?” The cashier was stunned. She didn’t know what to say. She finally mustered up a response, to which Jack responded with “No! Give me back my milkies! GIVE ME MAH MILKIES!!!” As you can see, Jack didn’t like store security.

Jack managed to negotiate a deal with one of the security guards, and walked away with only one of the cartons, the strawberry milk, because nobody drinks that. Jack happily skipped on home, stopping to greet even more friends. But this time, he met a new type of person. “Hiya, what’re you up to?” “Nothin’ much, just a little milk shoppin’.” Jack’s eyes widened. He began shaking. He was ecstatic! He had finally found someone that related to him! “Wait, you got a cat?” Jack asked. “Sure do.” “Got a car?” “Nope.” “Like Spaghettios?” “Uh-huh.” Jack was so excited; it was very noticeable. Passerby were giving Johnny funny looks when he started rolling on the concrete sidewalk like a crazed maniac. “Well, I got to go home.” “Where do you live?” “Oh, I have a nice little cozy home in the suburbs.” Jack’s excitement hit rock bottom. “It’s a small home, only about 2000 square feet, but it can hold a family of three!” Jack felt sick, his stomach felt not like butterflies, but scarabs, crawling, tearing through the soft and weak flesh as Jack realized the epitome of friendship was reduced to a man who owned a house. “AHHHHGGGHHHHH!!!” Jack exclaimed, as his hopes and dreams shattered. “What’s the matter?” “EeeeeYAH!” Jack flung himself at this character and made sure his teeth hit the neck. “Ahh! Get off of me! What did I do to you?” Jack enjoyed the violence that followed.

As Jack walked up the stairs to his apartment, he wondered why he didn’t take the elevator. He approached the door to his apartment, and opened the unlocked door. In his small room he found Stephen, sleeping on an old pillow with little or no down left inside. He put his milk carton on his tattered sofa, and sat down on the floor. He imagined what would happen if he was a different person, maybe a police officer, or an insane asylum manager, or maybe a government law enforcer. He mused over this idea for a while, when he noticed something; Stephen was nowhere to be seen. He looked and searched, but could not find his beloved little kitten. He looked for well near five minutes. He finally sat on the couch, only to notice something else: the milk was gone!

“Agh! Where’s my milks! EEEK!” He looked all over, but could not find his milk. He sat on the floor and began to cry. He didn’t care about his rent. He didn’t care about his friend from the street. He didn’t care about Stephen. He didn’t care about the soft fur he felt on the nape of his neck. He didn’t care much for the sharp pain he was receiving in his spine. He didn’t care that he couldn’t move his arms. He didn’t care that he saw a strange light ahead of him. All he cared about was his milk.



“Cheese, yes, more cheese! I sure do like cheese!”
Johnny was a pretty strange guy. He had more than enough room in his brand new house to cower and be alone with his boston terrier, Jack. He liked to be alone, and his dog reminded him of an old radio talk show he used to listen to. Every time his dog would come near him, he would mutter, “This American Life, brought to you by the number 125.” Johnny liked talk radio, but most of all, Johnny really liked the superstore, where he could buy cheese.





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