Furry little imps, cute trouble makers of the suburban wildlife.
Broken purr louts, eaters of garbage and dog food.
They smell like the living dead, their black paws speak of necrosis.
They say that the black face is like a mask, but I know the truth.
One summer in high school I went away to go work with a brother.
The work sucked, but that was also the summer I met Tessa.
A farm girl and Tamer of Raccoons.
She loved her babies, and they loved her.
One especially, more than he should.
After work I’d walk across the pasture to go see her,
and give her the time in the barn as he watched.
The raccoon, heartbroken and pale faced, tried to forgive her, time and again.
Until it was too much.
He went back to his room, looked at his crying face in the mirror.
He put on his saddest record and slowly painted his eyes black.
Black as the void left in his heart.
He looked at his new visage, pleased that he finally looked how he felt.
Under our sounds in the loft he softly whispered to his reflection
Then with a trembling black paw he reached for the gun.
And shot himself.
Email Mr. Tesch at email@example.com.