The Menagerie (Don't Read in the Closet Events)
by Ithra Reyes
He’d spent the day at the crappy little traveling zoo, but he’d spent it with his little brother, which got the little guy out from under “Uncle Larry’s” thumb for the day, so it was totally worth it. Plus, he’d really been hung up on those cats. He loved cats. Not exactly one of his more manly attributes according to Larry, but whatever. He was drawn to them. Understood them, with their solitude and quiet strength.
However, he was not expecting to return to his car, after dropping his brother at home, to find a tiger cub sitting on his front seat. Stunned, he just stared at the little guy who just stared right back at him. He remembered seeing him scampering around the cages, trying to catch the interest of the big cats, but how in the hell had he gotten into his car? And what the hell was he supposed to do with him now? That traveling zoo had been packing up even as they left. Besides, something about that place had felt… off.
He did the only thing he could think of, at least once the cat nudged his hand towards the steering wheel, snapping him out of his stupor. He took him home, to his little studio apartment over the hardware store. He pulled into the parking lot and the cat climbed right into his lap to be carried inside. He was purring so loud, looking at him so adoringly, like he was his hero, or something. Taking the little one inside, he plopped into his thirdhand recliner, and petted, cooed, and soothed the cub until they both relaxed. He was thinking that this was maybe the strangest night of his life. And then, things got really weird.
A young green-eyed man in an oversized brown sweater holds a small tiger cub.
This story was written as a part of the M/M Romance Group's " Love Has No Boundaries " event. Group members were asked to write a story prompt inspired by a photo of their choice. Authors of the group selected a photo and prompt that spoke to them and wrote a short story.
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