There was a tremendous noise as the patio doors blew open, and you blasted into your host's den. Casually you strode through, except you were not alone. In bed, napping on that hot afternoon the tiger stirred and sat up and glared, wide-eyed blinking and evidently seething. You both stared, shocked, bewildered, both of you overtly disappointed.

"I'm getting my stuff," you muttered, flustered.

The tiger had plenty he could say that he did not wish to unleash. He knew he had no off-switch and he worried the detonated dam would drown them both.

When you first encountered the tiger you bleated you were homeless and he offered you shelter. In return you lied, you stole, and here you are breaking and entering. Which does explain why the slats of the fence enclosing the bedroom patio have collapsed.

One day you'll have silver in your beard and you'll reread the clipping about your father. You'll see yourself in him. The scam artist. In the article he is being indicted on a hundred counts of fraud.

Doesn't matter to the tiger, he'll imbibe what remains of your youth, lick your courage, snort your pulverized conscience. He'll compose a poultice to ease the suffering of others. The tiger invited you to stay just long enough to inhale the flickers of your fading aura, your tattered potential. Under the guise of hospitality.

You were born bad, it can happen. When you read over that article, about the man who fathered you, you understand yourself, you know you are radio-active. You will scam and be scammed forever. It is in your trickster blood and there's no exorcism to rid you of your fate.

The tiger nudged you out when you were vulnerable and laughed when you foot-faulted, and for this you will despise him, just as you hate anyone who helps you, eventually. Gathering your things and hustling for the exit the tiger's lazy roar extolled.

"When you go do use the front door."

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