Short Story | ‘Cold and Hot’ by Craig Towsley, Illustration by Delilah Buckle
Owl slunk away from the locked door and sat on the warped wooden steps. He sucked at the blood seeping from the cracked skin on his knuckle. The few drops of blood made his stomach rumble.
Dark clouds, thick as wool blankets, moved across the sky. Fat drops splashed around him. He pulled his ratty sweatshirt up over his head and cursed his mother and sister. Thunder growled as lightning speared down from the sky.
He shivered and sneezed and starved and thought he was about to die.
The door opened behind him. A strange man kissed his mom on the cheek and looked at him sideways. Owl wished his eyes were cannons. He stood and pushed past his mother, peeling off his wet clothes as he stomped to the bathroom.
Owl lay completely submerged in the hot bath. He heard a warbled sound and opened his eyes to see his mother standing over him. He exhaled and watched his breath turn to bubbles and travel to the surface. He followed them up.
“I need to run out to the store,” his mother said. “What do you want for dinner?”
Owl shook his head and sunk back under the water.
Illustration by: Delilah Buckle