A yellow-eyed Calico cat guarded the parsley patch. Calico sounded like prairie skirts, gypsy breezes, flute notes drifting dunes. That cat and I had been staring at each other all summer.

            Mrs. Casio’s high heels clicked onto the duplex porch.

            “Cat’s meaner than hot tar,” she warned. “Watch out.”

Orange sun baking parsley fragrant. Peeling paint poking my thighs. When I stood up, the cat stopped licking. I crawled toward her patch, my mouth watering.

            “Nice kitty,” I cooed.

            She howled, struck. Red blood dropped, nodded green leaves. Tambourines clanged.

The Calico’s claw missed my eye by one silk thread.