Chemical Elements and Waste

They’re playing card games in the garden. Whenever I shuffle the card pack or sniff their coffee, or shift their keys, they get furious. ‘You have no place here, Spotty’, they point a finger at me. ‘Keep out of the way. Mind your own business.

What exactly is my own business? I need to know what’s going on here, which card is next, what their coffee smells like, which doors their keys open.

One of them once sprayed me with the hose. It lurched and curled and slithered on the soil like a snake, until water spurted out. I was breathless. From then on that’s how they mistreat me. To keep me out of their business.

One night our neighborhood  clowder gathers. We think things over. We couldn’t possibly attack the tap, so solid and metallic and impossible to destroy, so we claw and bite at the hose with all our might.

The next day, the wounded ‘snake’ – soon mended and in the saddle, sprays us away.

Another scheme from our clowder: Drink as much water as our bladders can hold and then pee onto their vegetable patch. Every single night. Some plants die, others hold out. And then, as meek as lambs, we have our meals –  leftovers of course, fish bones and skulls from the ocean –  water with various chemical elements and waste –  watching them devour their fresh veggies, full of other kinds of chemicals they know nothing about. Sprayed with our own waste.



Konstantina Sozou-Kyrkou lives in Athens, Greece with her family and writes in both English and Greek. She has studied Literature and holds an MA in Creative Writing with Lancaster University. Her stories have appeared online and in print literary magazines and anthologies, while some have won in competitions in Greece and abroad. Her first short story collection  written in Greek, entitled Watermelon and Feta was published in November.