G a y D e g a n i
Eye for an Eye
An F-150 pickup—three laughing girls crowding the front seat—knocked Jackie Dolan’s mutt "Boneyard" into heaven and kept on going. Jackie, standing the sidewalk, saw the whole thing. His grandma wasn’t home so no one stopped him from stuffing his dead pet into the refrigerator for safe keeping and heading out to wreak vengeance. He knew who the driver was and he knew where she lived. He jumped on his skateboard. Took a crowbar with him.
The truck was parked two blocks over. He smashed the front windshield. He was big for thirteen and mad. The blond who’d been driving came out of the duplex with a baby on her hip, the baby giving Jackie big eyes and round lips. Jackie smashed the passenger window.
“That’s my dad’s pickup, you dumb-punk.”
“You was driving it.”
“You should keep that skinny old bag-a-bones on a leash.”
“You should keep that fat old baby on a leash.”
“That doesn’t make any sense.”
“That ain't your baby. Whose baby is it?”
“Why would I tell you?” She shifted the kid to her other hip, the baby twisting around to keep eyes on Jackie.
“Maybe I wanna take that baby home to replace my dog.”
“Get outta here before I call the cops.”
Jackie planted his feet on the sidewalk. Held up the crowbar. “Gimme that kid.”
The girl’s face flickered from scorn to anger. “Screw you.”
Jackie sprinted the distance between them. The girl put the baby on the grass and backed away.
“I’m calling the cops. I’m calling my dad. You’re gonna go to jail. You’re gonna get squashed like your filthy dog.” She turned and ran inside slamming the door.
Jackie glared after her, the crowbar growing heavy in his hand. He shifted his gaze to the baby who studied him back.
“You believe that witch deserted you like that?”
The baby gurgled and fell over on its side with a soft thump. Jackie put the crowbar down and rode the baby home on his skateboard tucked under his arm.
“You know,” Jackie said once he'd settled the baby into his own bed. “You’re gonna be happy here with me and my grandma.” Jackie petted his head like he used to pet Boneyard’s. Scratched gently behind his ears. The baby sighed and closed his eyes. Jackie lay across the foot of the bed and sobbed himself to sleep.
A scream tumbled Jackie to the floor. The baby woke and started bawling. Jackie snatched the kid and ran into kitchen where his grandmother was vomiting on the linoleum floor in front of the open refrigerator. The dead dog stared from between milk and mayonnaise.
“That’s just Boneyard,” said Jackie. “Didn’t want him to decompose.”
“Hit by a car?” asked Grandma, wiping her mouth with a kitchen towel.
“Sorry, hon. He was a good old dog. Who's that?”
Jackie held up the baby. “This is Son of Boneyard, Boneyard Junior.”