What’s in a Name

“Sometimes, it just don’t work the way’d you’d expect.” Cain said, taking a long, hard pull from his Pall-Mall. His hand shook the entire time. He gave a last glance to St. Catherine’s, the parish he’d grown up with, received Confirmation through, and just accidentally tripped into the hanging crucifix, pulling Christ down among the masses and rendering 3 unconscious.

Cain wasn’t even referring to that, specifically. He didn’t really even care about church—it was a habit he was drawn to. Spiritual rehabilitation; made him feel like one of the “good guys”.

Earlier in the day, Cain opened his front door to leave, but not before his dog, Boutros Boutros-Collie, took off down the street and out of sight faster than a flash.

“I thought this damn dog was supposed’ta be one’uh the smart ones?” Cain thought to himself, between drags, unable to catch up to his furry diplomat. Cain was right, at least—Collies are a very smart breed of dog.

He had gone to church that day with the hopes of confessing his sins, hopefully he could kill two birds with one stone—get a conscious cleanse and his stupid dog back. Cain was late for confession, but apparently right on time in destroying whatever was left of his chances through the pearly gates.

He was known as a dead-beat; a guy to stay away from. His pew in church was always empty, save for some late-comer hoping not to distract from Mass. Didn’t matter now, within 2 hours Cain had found himself out a dog and a church.

Sometimes, Cain worried himself with existential “Why me?’s”, hoping to suddenly make sense of a constant and unwinnable chaos; a gloomy forecast always cast above his head. Most times he’d forget all about it in an instant, equipped with just enough foresight to know he just had some damn-bad luck. He couldn’t change fate, Cain. Maybe it came with his name. “Of all the god damn names on Earth, she chose this one…” It was like his mom destined him to struggle.

When a younger Cain understood his name and place in the world, he introduced himself in humorous ways, trying to take the sting out of his existence, “Names Cain, definitely not able.” It usually got a chuckle, at least, until whoever Cain was talking with began to understand he was as shifty as his Biblical counterpart—as unable to accomplish practically anything, as he said, either. “Can’t fault the guy for being honest, at least.” They’d sometimes think, other times they’d settle on “Wow, what a dick.”

Later that night, Cain returned to an empty home. Boutros Boutros-Collie’d come back eventually, Cain was sure. He was a smart pup. When Cain rested his head to sleep, he was filled with an unending sadness; an evaporation of what little was left of his self-esteem. Boutros Boutros-Collie, whose name was thought up to alleviate some of the oddity of Cain’s own name, was Cain’s only pal in a world of people who stayed far away.

“Why’d he have’ta leave?” Cain thought, tossing and turning in dirty bedsheets.

“Oh, pup. Please come back.” He begged, to the God he face-planted earlier.

Before he eventually fell asleep, Cain thought, “Why me?” Then, as his reality fogged with memories and dreams, Cain couldn’t help but resign to “Today wasn’t so bad…” and his spirits were slightly lifted, about as much as Jesus from the ground (he was quite heavy, professionals would eventually lift Christ back on his cross). Cain fell asleep with what would have been the slightest smile ever exerted in history, had a witness been present to record the event.


Author: antbrov

Fiction | Magical Realism | Introspective Write > Edit > Hate > Learn > Write...

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