episode II: Neighborhood heroism

Keeping it real with kyle

Malcolm, the haggis dealer, laid down his bagpipes after finishing “Scotland the Brave,” the formal introduction to any sort of illegal arrangement. Still catching his breath, he opened the brimmed cooler, displaying the goods. He adjusted his kilt and cleared his throat, awaiting a response.

Cargo-shorted Liam, the haggis buyer, unlatched his cash-filled attaché case. Raj rubbed up against his leg, her dense coat exploding with hair.

Within minutes, Liam was wheezing in anaphylaxis. While Malcolm, confused, unsheathed his lowlander sword, Raj escaped to her rendezvous point where the FBI’s FUCKS (Feline Undercover Kleptocracy Subordinates) picked her up in an undercover ice-cream truck and awarded her a healthy dollop of vanilla gelato.
Despite Raj’s guilt concerning Liam’s cat-allergy-induced death, by wearing a wire, she’d collected enough evidence during the botched deal to convict Malcolm, her abusive owner.

Following Malcolm’s incarceration, the FUCKS became privy to a hit he had placed on Raj after a rookie agent had told him, “You must be a dumb son of a bitch. Who doesn’t notice a bundle of wires strapped to their own cat?” So, being the president of Cat Cabal, a local support group that offers shelter for troubled pussies, I was approached by the FUCKS, who said that Raj had been placed in the Witness Protection Program and needed a home to live incognito.

After Raj had been living with us for several years, I received word from the FUCKS that Malcolm had suffered a fatal shiv wound during an altercation with another inmate. News of Malcolm’s death spread, and because there was no longer a claimable reward, the FUCKS believed the likelihood of a hit to be less than that of Tommy Wiseau winning an Oscar. Raj was released from the WPP and finally had her life back. Then I recruited her as an agent....

And now this brings us to today’s assignment.

You see, Angus decided to tie one on before driving home last Friday night, and his van—a make and model notorious for non-consensual acts—plowed through my mailbox. Even though the mud-caked tread marks left a trail straight to his driveway, he denied my friendly allegation and refused to pay for a replacement.

Thus, I head to the shed, Raj in tow. We enter. Raj places a paw on an outfit, staring up at me in affirmation, a bright red jacketesque piece, and assumes the identity of Marlboro, esteemed chain smoker and rodeo clown, notorious for siding with the bucking bull and leaving the cowboys concussed and broken-boned, at best. And I choose the red racing jacket, granting me speed and anonymity, becoming Dirk, the crotch rocketeer and daredevil who once tried to jump the English Channel with a souped up moped. 

It’s action time.

We convene in my garage and devise our plan. Marlboro confirms her understanding with a slow blink, her calm demeanor unchanging while I collect the befitting supplies.

I delve into my stockpile of Mountain Dew, snag a fresh two-liter bottle, and shove it into a backpack. Then I rip my hanging bike from its hooks and hop on. Marlboro performs a theatrical jump and slaps the wall-mounted garage door opener. We exit, hauling ass next door to Angus’s house.
The van is parked in Angus’s driveway, and I position my bike behind it, out of view from his coming vantage point. Marlboro and I bolt to the front door. I give her a nod, ding-dong ditch Angus, and take cover near my bike.

Angus answers the door, “I’ve had it with you kids! Wait … what?”

Marlboro doesn’t waver. She splits past Angus for the dining room and starts decimating his China cabinet.

“Get back here, you little shit!”

The chase ensues amid an imaginary backdrop of “Yackety Sax.”

Crouching, I scan my surroundings for witnesses. Nobody. So, I whip out the funnel, insert it into the proper orifice, pop the Mountain Dew’s cap, and unload the entire bottle into the van’s gas tank. “Take that, you bastard,” I say, addressing both Angus and the van.
I blow a catcallish whistle, signaling Marlboro that the job is complete. She escapes Angus’s house through a broken window, unrepaired since the lawnmower affair, and vaults the fence to my backyard. Meanwhile, I burn rubber back to my garage and close its door before Angus finishes scratching his hair-thinned head.

Marlboro and I meet at the shed and exchange a congratulatory bow. We doff our heroic garments, reassuming our civilian identities, and Raj lays down for a pet. I oblige.

We stroll into the house and my wife firmly asks, “Where have you been?”

“We went for a walk, babe.”

“Have you folded the laundry yet?”


Later, I hear Angus fire up the van. He pulls away. Hours pass....
Raj and I watch from our living-room window as Angus returns home in the passenger seat of a tow truck. He exits, nearly faceplanting, and drunkenly staggers into the night.

Words: Kyle Lichtenberg
Imagery: Courtesy of Kyle Lichtenberg

Kyle is a recluse based in the Rocky Mountains. He enjoys writing, guitar solos, and anything feline. His predominant fears are food poisoning and social media.