Sunday 10 December 2017

Moe L. F. Roth

L. F. Roth has had stories published in competition anthologies brought out by Biscuit Publishing (2011), Earlyworks Press (2012, 2013, 2014, 2016), Bridge House Publishing (2014, 2015, 2016), Cinnamon Press (2016), (2016) and Momaya Press (2016). They generally focus on relationships, gender issues and trauma — at times all three. For details and a few excerpts, see

The tiger holds her, its eyes cold, distant. Mesmerized, she blocks the man’s way, paying no heed to the rush-hour crowd around them. “Truly amazing.” Her words come in a whisper. “So lifelike. So in control.” Due to the man’s tan, even the colour is right. “Where did you have it done?” With his shirt unbuttoned halfway down his chest, exposing most of the tiger’s head, the question doesn’t feel intrusive.
“You like it?”
She confirms that she does.
“It was either that or a wolf.”
“I’m a cat lover myself. Dogs I can do without.”
“So you’d have picked the tiger, too.”
She hesitates.
“A cub, perhaps.”
His is full-grown; it needs a chest twice the size of hers. Three times. She casts a quick glance at the man’s face. He’s neither wolf, nor tiger. His hair, unkempt, might turn into a lion’s mane if left to grow, but is a little dark. He has a drawn look.
But if he’s tired, he isn’t the least bashful. There’s a pub around the corner, he says. How about they drop in? To her surprise, she accepts. And though they split after one drink, they exchange not only names but phone numbers. Elaine. Gene.
So it goes.
Engrossed in thoughts of the tiger, she arrives home, checks her mail. None. Miriam welcomes her, while Alice and Misha hang back. “Salmon today,” she tells them, having stopped at the Co-op on the way home. She takes her shopping into the kitchenette, cleans the cats’ tray to get rid of the smell, feeds them.
Eeny, Meeny, Miny, Moe had been their names when there were four of them, but having lost Moe, she renamed the others so as not to be reminded constantly that her favourite was gone. Now, in spite of that, the children’s counting rhyme comes to mind — catch a tiger, she thinks. Catch a tiger by the toe. But will Gene’s tiger really have toes?


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