Loose Cannons - Cover

Loose Cannons

Copyright© 2022 by Lazlo Zalezac

Chapter 14

Feeling like she was on the verge of being a millionaire, Maggie walked into the house with a check for over ten thousand dollars in her purse. The first payment from the website company had arrived and she was feeling ten feet tall. She had even gone out to show it to one of her boyfriends.

She happened to glance over at Guy reclining on the couch. She hadn’t expected to find him at home. He was supposed to be at work. Puzzled, she looked at him again. He didn’t normally use the couch. It took a moment and then she spotted it.

“What’s that?” Maggie asked.

That is Patches,” Guy answered. “He’s my cat. Or maybe I should say that I’m his person.”

“I don’t like cats,” Maggie said while glaring at the beast.

Disinterested in her opinion, the cat looked at her and yawned. Guy scratched it behind the ear and it turned its head into his hand.

“I do,” Guy said.

“You’re getting rid of it,” Maggie said.

Flippantly, Guy said, “I’d rather get rid of you.”

“You can’t mean that,” Maggie said.

She’d never seen Guy act like this. He seemed completely unmoved by her demand that he get rid of the cat. He knew how much she disliked cats.

The kids entered the house having returned from school. Hardly a second passed before Bill said, “Hey! Dad has a cat.”

“A cat?” Sean said while doing a double take at the cat.

“Mom doesn’t like cats,” Ellie said. Everyone in the family knew that Maggie didn’t like cats.

“Get that cat out of here,” Maggie said.

“No,” Guy replied.

“You know I don’t like cats,” Maggie said. “I demand that you get rid of it now.”

Guy said, “Kids. I have a question for you.”

“What?” Sean asked afraid that he and his siblings were going to get dragged into a war over the cat. All three of them edged away from their parents.

Ellie said, “We don’t want to be involved in an argument between you two over a cat.”

“There’s no argument. Besides, you really want to answer my question,” Guy said.

“All right, ask it,” Ellie said resigned that she was going to have to tell her father to get rid of the cat if he wanted any peace in the house.

“Who would you rather live with, your cat loving father; or your disease ridden, skanky mother?” Guy asked in a conversational tone of voice.

What followed his question was the kind of silence that can only exist in a vacuum. To say that everyone was stunned would be an understatement. No one had ever heard him say a negative word about his wife. The kids backed even further out of the room to put as much distance between them and their parents while still being able to watch what was going to happen next.

The silence was broken by a loud screech, “How dare you say that!”

Guy picked up the remote control and pushed a button. Everyone turned to stare at the television with the exception of Guy and the cat. Guy was busy petting the cat and the cat was enjoying the attention.

A video recording of a conversation between Fred and Maggie started playing on the television. The setting was the middle of the living room. Fred was telling Maggie about his visit to the doctor and that she had given him gonorrhea.

Maggie fainted. Her drop to the floor was unnoticed by anyone except Guy. The three kids were staring open mouthed at the television.

Ellie said, “Fred?”

Guy let it play until it reached the part where Maggie was speculating about whether he had been infected and if she could blame him for her infection. The absence of sex over the past month was brought up. Fred was explaining that it wouldn’t explain why his wife had it too.

Guy turned off the DVD. He said, “Kids, I’ve been faithful to your mother since the day I met her. I can’t say the same about her.”

“Fred? She was fucking Fred. I can’t believe it,” Ellie said in disgust. “He’s like a hundred years old.”

“He wasn’t the only one. She was doing a couple of other men. I found out when I was diagnosed with gonorrhea. You can imagine my shock. I went to a bar to drown my sorrow in drink. I’m sure you know what happened there,” Guy said.

“I can’t believe she was screwing around on you,” Sean said.

“I had just as hard of a time coming to grips with it as you,” Guy said.

“That bitch,” Sean said.

“Right now, you’re mad at her. Tomorrow, you’ll be mad at me. I’ll understand your anger,” Guy said.

“That’s thoughtful of you,” Bill said.

“Fred?” Ellie said. “What was she thinking?”

Guy said, “I’ll repeat my question. Who would you like to live with?”

The cat turned its head to look at the kids.

“I like cats,” Sean said deciding that choosing the cat was a little easier than coming out and choosing one of his parents.

“Me too,” Bill said.

“Cats are fine,” Ellie said. “We’ve never had a pet before.”

“You don’t have cats as pets. You cohabitate with a cat. Our job is to feed and water them. They occasionally let us pet them,” Guy said.

The cat chose that moment to climb onto the back of the couch. It curled up and settled down to sleep. Guy smiled at the cat. “See what I mean?”

“Yes,” Sean said.

“Spooky,” Bill said. “It’s like it understands you.”

Now that the cat was off his chest, Guy sat up and faced the kids. He said, “I apologize for the language I used to describe your mother. I have listened to hours and hours of video in which she badmouthed me to you ... and to her lovers. I fear that I let my anger overrule my manners.”

“That’s okay,” Sean said.

Bill said, “We understand.”


“Thank you,” Guy said.

He looked at his wife who was still on the floor. He said, “I think when she regains consciousness, I will send her over to Fred’s house. I think they deserve each other.”

Ellie still couldn’t get over her mother’s choice of lover. She said, “I can’t believe it. Her and Fred?”

Maggie groaned. Sean looked down at her with anger. Ellie stared at her with disbelief. Bill wouldn’t look at her.

“Fred? You had sex with Fred?” Ellie asked when it was clear her mother had revived.

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