J. Wint

J. Wint is an architect by day, and, well… an architect by night. He averages three hours of sleep, lives in the city of Kvatch with his wife and medium sized dog, Gretel, and enjoys daydreaming about sleep.


By: J. Wint
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“Well, man, that’s the problem. He’s been shittin’ all week, and I can’t get him to keep anythin’ down.”

“Sir--” I began.

“Bro. It’s Kendall. And this is Pop Evil.”

“Excuse me?”

The guinea pig let out a miniscule fart that interrupted the brief silence.

“See what I mean?” Kendall said. “He’s at it again. I don’t know what Evil ate, but he ain’t been normal for the last few weeks. I know he looks like he ain’t starvin’, but he used to eat all the time. Now, it’s like he’s fastin’. When a twenty-six pound guinea pig starts doin’ that, you notice. I spent sixteen-fifty at the grosh on Tuesday just for the smell; potpourri, scented candles, nothing helps. He won’t eat, and he ain’t keepin’ nothin’ down. I don’t even know where it’s all comin’ from, t-be honest.”

“Sir”, I said, pushing the aquarium back across the countertop. “I’m afraid you need a veterinary clinic. There’s one down the street called One Stop Vets.”

Kendall looked at his watch. “Bro, work with me on this. I got be at my girl’s in ten minutes. I can’t have this.”

But I was already shaking my head. The last thing I needed before Christmas was a twenty-six pound guinea pig nicknamed Evil with diarrhea. Even though I had nowhere to be, and no family to entertain, I could at least watch a rerun of Happy Days with the Fonzie and the Cunningham’s in peace. “Sir… Kendall,” I corrected myself. “I wouldn’t even know what to do with it.”

“You turnin’ me away?”

“Yes,” I said firmly. “I’m sorry, but we’re closing for the holiday.”

I thought that would be it. I had rarely turned customers away; I had a hard time turning anyone away. But maybe if I had, Isabel would never have left me. Maybe now was a good time to start--maybe now was a new start.

Kendall stood rooted. He sighed.

The kid on aisle two (all one hundred and thirty pounds of him) was the last customer to leave the store. The bell jingled as the cold Minnesota wind slammed it shut.

I began to wonder what this guy wanted of me. I was no doctor, and a shitting guinea pig was not my problem. But before I could say another word, Kendall was sliding a one hundred dollar bill across the counter top. He let it sit there beneath his badly manicured index finger. Tapping. Tapping.

I looked at him.

“Take the C-note, Bro,” Kendall said. It sounded more like a threat than a plea.

“Make it two,” I said calmly.

He opened his wallet without a second thought and slapped a second bill down hard. It was 4:03 p.m. on Christmas Eve and I had just made more in two minutes than I’d made all week.

I took the money. “What are the conditions?”
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