The narrator is a health care aide who cares for a disabled woman (Betty) as best as possible and tends to her many hamsters, including Brutus, with the ultimate compassion.
It seems that Betty’s real confidant and friend is not the hamster she obsesses over in the story, but the young man who cleans out the hamster cages, cooks her meals, and buries her once-beloved rodents in the backyard.
This story originally appeared in Fleas on the Dog Online in 2020.
Mark Tulin is a poet, short story writer, and author residing in Ventura. He also has time to take pictures of the quirky people and strange objects he finds on Southern California’s beaches.
Gordon Lawrie (author and editor of Friday Flash Fiction) writes, “Tulin’s skill lies in raising his central characters above everything that surrounds them.”
Mark had appeared in Fiction on the Web, smokebox, Vita Brevis Press, The Literary Hatchet, Amethyst Review, Friday Flash Fiction, The Daily Drunk, and podcasts and anthologies. His books include Magical Yogis, Awkward Grace, and The Asthmatic Kid and Other Stories.
Keep up to date on all of Mark Tulin’s stories, poetry, and books at:
Photo © Mark Tulin
Music (faded in and out) from Comming Back by Loco Lobo under a Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.