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Mr. Cactus, a Short Story

Mr. Cactus, a Short Story

“Hello, Mr. Cactus.”

“Is it all right if I call you Mr. Cactus? I’ve never spoken to a cactus before, and I wouldn’t want to be im-po-lite. Did I say it properly? Granny taught me that word. She says it means ‘rude’. Why can’t I say ‘rude’ then? She says I’m a very rude little boy.”

“Granny is always angry with me. I want to be a good little boy, I really do, even if I’m not that little anymore, but I never make it. Granny says that I’m a bad little boy and that she has to punish me.”

“Hello again, Mr. Cactus. I can’t speak much now. It hurts.”

“Hello, Mr. Cactus. I’m better now, so I can speak again. I don’t know what to say, though.”

“I wish I was with Mom and Dad. Granny says they’re in a better place now. I wish I was in a better place. Granny says I’m a bad, bad little boy for wishing that. It’s disrespectful to God, she says. I should be very very grateful to God for sparing me and not sending me to Hell, because that’s where all the bad little boys go. This way, at least I have the chance to become good and not go to Hell, if I pray all the time and do as Granny says. I pray to God Granny wouldn’t hurt me so much, but she still does it. Do you think it’s a bad thing to pray for?”

“Granny says it’s my fault she hurts me. She says, if I was a good little boy, she would never hurt me. She’s a God-fearing woman and doesn’t hurt good little children, which means I’m really, really bad. Did I say God-fearing right? Granny says I never speak properly, but how can I when she keeps hitting me?”

“I… Are you still there, Mr. Cactus? I can’t see you well. I can’t see anything well. May I touch you?”

“You are a cactus, if I may say that. How come you didn’t prick my finger when I touched you? I wouldn’t mind, really. It would mean you were still there, and that’s all I wanted to know. I’m grateful you let me touch you and didn’t prick my finger, I really am, I just don’t understand. I wish I could understand you. You’re my only friend.”

“I’m so happy I can see you again, Mr. Cactus! May I hug you?”

“How come you didn’t prick my face when I hugged you? Are you a special cactus?”

“Granny says I have to sleep here, because I’m a bad little boy. I’m not so little! Although, if it means I may sleep in your room, I don’t mind.”

“Good morning, Mr. Cactus. Did you move?”

“Hello, Mr. Cactus. I… Granny says I have to go. I’m a bad little boy and I can’t stay with her anymore. Do you know where she’s sending me? She says they will finally teach me discipline and put the fear of God into me. I don’t know what it means. Do you? Will I see you there? Will I… Will I ever see you again?”

“Mr. Cactus, it’s Granny. I know it’s a stupid thing to say, you know it’s Granny, but… It’s Granny.”

“Mr. Cactus? You’re the best! You really are! I don’t have to go now, do I? I can stay with you forever!”

“Um, Mr. Cactus? How do I move Granny? I know I should, she smells really bad, but how do I do it?”

“Oh. It’s easier now. Thank you, Mr. Cactus.”