j. l. navarro

The Blood Cake Vendor

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Illustration by Daniel Patrick Galanaugh

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"A cat can feel you looking at it, did you know that?"

The doctor's bathroom smelled like hell in the first place, and in the second place, I felt I shouldn't have been there. My wife had insisted that I come.

"Yes," the doctor continued. "A cat can feel you looking at him. He can sense your intentions."

What died in there?

"And they know how you will react to them in the long term."

Why doesn't he shut up?

"Open wide." The doctor poked with a flat, round wooden stick and flattened out my tongue. He held a thin small flashlight in the other hand and shone it down my throat. "Looks inflamed."

"Something died in the bathroom," I told him. "Shut the door. It stinks in here."

"It's in your mind. It's all in your mind."

"It's in my nose."

"The smell of death is everywhere. My bathroom has nothing to do with it."



This story is included in The Blood Cake Vendor and Other Stories.

Story sample.