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The Short Form

“Cats with Pitiful Mystiques”

Christen Enos

Excerpt

Not that it matters where I got the cats, but the first ones came from Joey and Tommy.  They both died at the Towers—the only guys in my department to go, and they had three cats between them—and everybody figured I, being the only gay member of the unit, should take them.  “Give ‘em to Paulie,” they said.  “He’s a fruit.”  And of course I wanted to ask them why my being gay meant I should take cats, but by then the word had spread, and guys from the fire department up the street were dropping their comrades’ cats off for me.  Twenty years ago, I would’ve been beat up, or worse, and now I get cats.  I guess I can’t complain.

We read it in Quick Fiction: 13.