Deathwish 049: Dante

Editor Matty Byloos, Editor's Choice, February 2nd, 2017

"My boyfriend knew that the cat was him."

Dante Deathwish NAILED Magazine
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Great God Above us. O, child in the apartment above us, stop thy crying. Stop thy endless rant against sanity. It was a shock to meet thy crier-ship, fully shaped after months of formless ceiling sobs. In the end, you were purple and tiny and a bit sick, but sweet. Your body wrinkled like one of those hairless cats on TV. Like one of those hideous cats in that sitcom I used to watch every night before bed. What a comfort. What a joke, and that naked cat crawling through my dreams at night, always the last thing I’d see before I woke up. My boyfriend knew that the cat was him. His representative. I walked for hours through the torn streets of Moscow looking for that cat. It was hairless and wrinkled and sweet and was sometimes curled up in the lap of a babushka eating a potato dumpling, or spread like gray butter on someone’s windowsill. My boyfriend promised he’d come visit me in Russia. Then he promised he’d try. You know how it goes. I walked through those torn streets for hours, trying to see anything but the cat, and in the end, on one of my last days in that bronze, onion-shaped city, I saw three great furry street dogs with blood on their muzzles, bent over the cat in a death huddle, their red tongues like huge retractable slides, bloody, a promise fulfilled

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To read the previous installment, “Deathwish 048: Devon,” go here. To participate in Deathwish, find details here.

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Dante was born in Los Angeles, California, and lives in Kaliningrad, Russia.

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Matty Byloos

Matty Byloos is Co-Publisher and a Contributing Editor for NAILED. He was born 7 days after his older twin brother, Kevin Byloos. He is the author of 2 books, including the novel in stories, ROPE ('14 SDP), and the collection of short stories, Don't Smell the Floss ('09 Write Bloody Books).