Ferret Story NUMBER 6

by Ksenia Anske

FERRET FICTION FRENZY continues! You can read about how it started here.

Please welcome our 6th FERRET AUTHOR, J.C. Lillis, a pop culture junkie, serial fangirl, thrift-store art enthusiast, and Catholic school survivor. J.C. Lillis writes with both feet off the ground at all times. She never trusted ferrets. Her first YA novel, How to Repair a Mechanical Heart, came out on September 21st 2012.

Ferret Story NUMBER 6 by J.C. Lillis

The Picture Window

"There's a ferret on the front lawn," said Bob Smedley. "Two of them."

He stood at the picture window in this thick brown tie and a dress shirt stained with Sanka, leaving a ring of nervous taps in the condensation. They were ferrets, all right. Bob was not the sort of person whose eyes deceived him. He knew the long weaselly bodies, the pin-sharp fangs, the stripe of black across the faces, as if they were wearing masks. What he didn't expect was the ring of blood around each tiny mouth, and the way the little beasts moved. He anticipated frolicking. But these. . .these seemed to shamble.

April, his wife of twenty years, sipped weak tea from a chipped china cup in their neat, freshly Endusted dining room. She barely heard Bob. She preferred looking through back windows, her gaze caressing the skeletons of her prized summer rose bushes. She watched a cardinal hop from branch to naked branch, looking for someplace to settle.

"That's fine, Bob," she murmured. "Don't forget your lunch."

Bob knew much was on the line today. He was up for a coveted promotion at the stapler factory. All his life he'd took pride in his job, in being part of a company that helped stick things together. Now, as he watched five more ferrets stumble into the fray, their eyes wild and unfocused and their paws stained with red, he felt himself coming apart.

"April," he said. "I really think you should see this."

"I heard you," his wife sighed, wiping at the ghost of an old water ring. Bob never remembered coasters. "Will you stop and get some milk on the way home?"

Four more ferrets lurched onto the lawn, dragging the remains of the Rogersons' Yorkshire terrier. Bob just blinked. How easy it was to acclimate to savagery, to accept casual destruction at the end of breakfast hour. He felt shipwrecked. If only he could talk to April. If only she would hear him. If only she would stop scrubbing the breakfast dishes before he was done, and correcting his use of whom, and putting her hair in pin curls at night.

The words gathered inside him. Then, thunder.

"FERRETS," he heard himself shout, his voice cutting through the hum of the dishwasher, the saccharine swoon of Bobby Vinton on the radio. "FERRETS FERRETS FERRETS. FERRRRRRRREEEEETTTTTTTSSS!!"

Now he had done it. Surely he had.

April sighed and replaced her teacup in its saucer. "Bob," she said. "We don't need to talk about ferrets. We aren't savages." 

She got up from the table and went to the kitchen. He heard a familiar rustle: tuna fish sandwich dropping into paper bag.

"You're going to be late," he heard, faintly.

The ferrets--thirty now, maybe forty--had finished their congregation, and now they had turned their primitive attention to the Smedley house: specifically, the picture window. When they reached it, the tapping was ruthless and efficient. Within thirty seconds, the first small crack had spidered across the spotless pane. Dishes clinked in the faraway sink. Bob watched the ferrets work, their mouths a terror of want, their bloody paws a frenzy of focus. He admired that. You had to. Idly, he wondered what death by ferret would feel like, and if his church-promised afterlife would contain a fresh wife with a taste for hot-air balloon rides and monster movies, for spontaneous popcorn and midnight picnics by some celestial lake.

When they came for Bob--claws battening to his chest, teeth tearing into his thick brown tie--he was smiling. 

P.S.: If you want to indulge in more ferretness, here is Ksenia's Ferret Story that started it all (NUMBER 0?). And here you can find more amazing ferret stories written by different authors: Ferret Story NUMBER 1Ferret Story NUMBER 2Ferret Story NUMBER 3, and Ferret Story NUMBER 4, and Ferret Story NUMBER 5.

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