Concise Prose. Enough Said.
purple feathers backround pattern


By Antonios Maltezos

He’s left me no options. I have to pinch the soft skin on the inside of his back leg, squeeze hard. He's hungry, keeps chewing until he falls over from the pain.

"You still want to eat meat?" I yell, step on his head and watch as his tongue slips out from under my boot, picking up all kinds of dirt.

There's some good wire in the barn.

"You still want to eat some meat?" I repeat, more quietly this time because I'm getting angrier. I bend over so I can reach his jowls, scrunch up his face as I drag him all the way to the barn doors.

He isn't going anywhere, I convince myself. I turn away long enough to fetch the wire.

It's rusted because it's inside wire, but it'll do.

"Hold up, Bingo boy. Hold up."

I'll need the ladder if I'm going to reach the rafters.

The ground is hard between the doors and good for the ladder, so I set it up, the roll of hanging wire at my shoulder.

The leg I pinched starts to quiver then kick.

"I'll have you kicking both legs," I tell him as I loop the wire around the beam for the second time, and look to the housethe wife stooped on the ground trying to salvage my dinner. I won't look again until my chewed-up rib-eye is on the plate and I'm trying to forget about the dog.


Antonios Maltezos has flash fiction in SmokeLong Quarterly, Thieves
Jargon, The Shore, Pindeldyboz, Cautionary Tales, Skive Magazine,
and NFG. He has work upcoming in The Mad Hatter's Review, Ghoti, Foliate Oak, and Story Garden 6.

Scraps is an excerpt from a longer work in progress.

Antonios's last story for VerbSap was The Last Man.


Photo "Up The Ladder" courtesy of Derek Jones, Leicestershire, United Kingdom.


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