“I’m home Mrs. Johnson,” Hockersmith calls out as he walks through the front door, “I stopped by the store and got us both a special treat for tonight.”
“You would never believe the day I had, Mrs. Johnson. It was brutal. I have never heard any one carry on screaming and crying the way this little girl did today in the waiting area. She started throwing a fit before we even got her in the chair. Once she heard the drill start up she really started hollering.”
Mrs. Johnson flops down on the floor and playfully rolls around on his back. Hockersmith bends down and gives his belly a quick rub before heading to change his clothes. Mrs. Johnson follows him in to the bedroom and sits back on his haunches while watching Hockersmith struggle with the buttons on his shirt.
“I can’t tell you how glad I am that it’s Friday. To top that my favorite show is premiering tonight. After that cliffhanger that they ended with last season I am dying to see what happens tonight!” Hockersmith flashes a grin at Mrs. Johnson.
“I bet your wondering what I got for you. Well come on out here and I will show you,” Hockersmith said as he makes his way over to the kitchen counter.
He retrieves a chocolate bar from the plastic bag and sets it aside.
“This is for me and for you I bought a can of tuna fish.”
Mrs. Johnson meows and rubs against Hockersmith’s legs.
“You have to wait until seven o’clock. That is when The Unknown Identities comes on. I want to save our treats for the show Mrs. Johnson.”
Mrs. Johnson runs over to his scratching post and begins clawing furiously at it. Next he swats at the furry catnip mouse. With a disgruntled flick of his tail he then dashes off towards the bedroom only to come charging around the corner a moment later. He pounces on top of the mouse and tosses it halfway across the room.
Meanwhile Hockersmith places a frozen pizza into the oven and starts a load of laundry. He heads for the couch and sits down. It’s six-twenty-nine in the evening. He anxiously prepares for The Unknown Identities that is scheduled to show at seven. He turns on the television and checks the guide then he flips it to the correct channel and adjusts the volume.
After scrubbing out the microwave and cleaning out the refrigerator he checks on the pizza.
“It’s almost done Mrs. Johnson.”
Mrs. Johnson is curled up on the back of the couch taking a light nap. Hockersmith retrieves some potholders from the drawer and then checks on the washing machine. The washer is done and so he tosses the wet clothes into the dryer. The timer on the oven beeps obnoxiously alerting him that his pizza is done. He flips it off and then returns to start the dryer. Everything is going smoothly and his show is about to start soon.
He removes the pizza from the oven with some difficulty. The heat from the ovens licks his face as he bends down to remove the pizza. His arms are much shorter than an average person’s and therefore brings his head much closer to the heat. This time he is more careful not to bump his head on the hot surface. Unfortunately he had to learn the hard way a few times and he has the burns on his forehead to prove it.
The pizza turned out well. It is golden brown and all of the cheese has melted. He sets it aside and lets it cool while he looks for the can opener to open Mrs. Johnson’s can of tuna. The clock on the microwave reads six fifty-seven. He is halfway done opening the tuna can when the power goes out. He freezes in horror and waits for it to come back on.
“NO! This is not happening! Mrs. Johnson this can’t be happening right now! I forgot to press record on the DVR!”
Mrs. Johnson smells the tuna from the can that has been partially opened. He rubs between Hockersmith’s legs and meows with a demanding tone.
“I need a flashlight! Move Mrs. Johnson I can’t see anything!”
Hockersmith fumbles through the drawer of junk and finds a flashlight.
“That just figures!” He says shaking the flashlight.
“Of course the batteries are dead! Okay think for a minute. It’s all right I have some candles.”
After bumping into a few pieces of furniture he finds the candles and some matches. Hockersmith lights all three candles then takes a peek outside. Apparently the whole block has lost power.
He angrily dishes out the tuna and places it in front of Mrs. Johnson. He listens to the seconds tick by on the wall clock and takes a seat on the couch with his dinner. After a few minutes pass he decides to go ahead and start eating in the dark.
“Just my luck! I bet that somehow you are behind this Mrs. Johnson. I don’t know how you do it, but you always manage to ruin everything for me,” Hockersmith shakes his head and bites his lip with frustration.
He finishes eating his dinner and puts his plate in the dishwasher. While he is fumbling around in the kitchen the power roars to life and the TV blares the last few minutes of The Unknown Identities. Hockersmith charges towards the living room to grab the remote which scares Mrs. Johnson.
Mrs. Johnson scrambles to get out of the way and leaps onto the coffee table. He knocks the candle onto the floor with his back foot as he claws the slippery wood for traction. The carpet fibers quickly ignite and a small fire ensues. Hockersmith runs out the front door while barefoot. He tries to smash the glass on the fire extinguisher’s case. He has trouble breaking it because his arms are too short and weak. That is when his neighbor comes out to see who is causing so much noise. Breathlessly, Hockersmith relays to him with hand signals that his apartment is on fire.
The athletic thirty-five year old newlywed smashes the glass with ease as his proud new bride yells after him to be careful. Hockersmith follows suit and winces when a large shard of glass penetrates the heel of his foot. He stops to pull out the glass as the strapping young lawyer works quickly to put out the fire.
The wife calls the fire department during all the commotion then helps Hockersmith to bandage his bloody foot. The fire truck arrives after the fire has been put out. They inspect the scene for any possible smoldering ash and then give Hockersmith a warning to be more careful with open flames. When he blames Mrs. Johnson the firefighter laughs sarcastically.
“Okay, Sir then make sure you tell your cat to be more careful,” he said with a chuckle.
After things have calmed down Hockersmith stands in his apartment and studies the big black burn mark in the middle of his floor. The burnt smell of the carpet will probably last through the night even with the windows open. He looks over to Mrs. Johnson who is hiding under the kitchen table with his favorite catnip mouse next to him.
“Why don’t they believe me? I told them that you did this and they just laughed,” Hockersmith said with disbelief.
Mrs. Johnson jaunts over to the litter box and begins digging at the plastic and kicking sand over the edge of the box.
“Yeah, thanks for listening you jerk! Screw you Mrs. Johnson! I’m going to bed.”
Mrs. Johnson runs back to his hiding place under the table. His green eyes seem to be smiling in the darkness. Just as Hockersmith lays his head on his pillow he inhales deeply and releases a breath. Then it hits him.
“Damn it Mrs. Johnson! You stink!”
Want to read more stories with Hockersmith? Check out my blog The Hockersmith Adventures http://www.melodywhitaker.org