Little Bird

Image of Long Story Short Award - 2022
Image of Short Fiction
Sometimes, I have trouble understanding people. It is not that I hate them, or even that I think I am better than they are. I just do not know why they do the things they do. I worked at bar once, before I owned Pet's Palace. I was very good at job. I got good tips because I wore low-cut tops, and listened to people complain about problems. I saw many people sit on my stools and whine about their miserable lives, and I nodded along. For long time, that was my every day. I tell girls they are pretty, I tell boys they are strong, I get big tip, I go home.
I always listened to their stories, but I rarely understand them all the way. One time, late on Saturday, older woman comes up to my bar, she orders vodka, I give it to her. She ask if I can keep a secret, I nod. She whisper to me, "I think tonight I will kill my husband". I say, "Why?" I have many people sit on stools and say they want to kill people, none of them ever do. This time, woman look serious, not just drunk. She look at me and say "Sometimes he hits me, but it is okay because he is rich. But I have not seen my dog in days and I do not trust him." I look at woman for a moment and smile, "Why you not kill him before?". She smile at me, say "thanks for the drink" and leaves without paying. A few weeks later, I see woman on television, crying fake tears at trial. I understand this woman.
It has been many years since I worked at bar. I saved up money, only eating noodles, and never buying the quick food. Now I own Pet's Palace, a store which gives animals to little children who cannot take care of them. I do not mind work at pet store, I understand animals more than people. Animals want food, drink, companionship. That is it. I understand the want for food and drink, and the want for companionship. That is why I keep dogs, and cat, and parrot. Parrot is my favorite. I like the way he does little dance when he's hungry and the way he talks back to me sometimes. He learn curse words make me laugh, so he say lots of curse words. He is very strange little bird, but he likes me, and I like him. I would do anything for little bird, little bird is my favorite thing on planet.
Sometimes I wish that I did not like little bird so much. Little bird has gotten me into a bit of trouble. I do not blame little bird, it is not his fault that big man break apartment door and take television and cash. It is not little bird's fault that big man like little bird and take him from apartment too. It is not little bird's fault that I see big man on sidewalk with little bird and stop him, say, "why you take my little bird". Big man say, " I thought he was cute". Little bird take opportunity and say "Bullshit". I laugh and take out knife. I take back my little bird, leave big man on street in pool of blood. I go home, wash hands, and order new television. Police come knocking at my apartment door few hours later, say "did you stab big man". I say "he took my little bird". They say "but you killed him". I say "but he took my little bird". They put me in handcuffs, bring me to court, say I show no remorse. I wish I had little bird with me in jail.