A tractor trailer sits on a barge docked at a wharf.
The docks and asphalt are slick with rain. It’s still coming down. Not hard, but enough and the dirty streetlamps glare off the oil black ground, staring at the moon floating coyly behind a wisp of cloud.
A rat skitters out from under a piece of driftwood and heads toward the barge, it’s matted fur pushing through a slim crack in the trailer. It hooks its claws around a plastic rung of the first Mountain Dew six pack in a tower of dozens. He climbs diligently.
At the top, his feet click across the aluminum. Scratching across the tabs. Running. He pauses.
His already dead eyes go blank. His body and legs tense. He begins to urinate. The urine pools in the top of a can of Mountain Dew, first circling around the edges like a tarnished wedding band that’s been sitting in a dresser drawer for decades.
He finishes and runs off once more. Down the metallic stack and toward the hole where the moon and lamp light creeps through. He runs back toward the driftwood.
There’s a new light now. Two of them. Bouncing, lumbering twin lights. They belong to a fork lift. It crushes his hind legs and the lower half of his spine. His small body is sturdy. It could deftly leap and run. It could withstand exposure, evade predators. It was now dying.
He dies with a shudder running through him like a stevedore shudders after pissing into an ice-filled trough at a dive bar.
A fly lands on the still open eye of a dead rat. The fly has been long thirsty and so he drinks.
The way a child with a speech impediment sounds when putting his voice through the back of an oscillating fan, its voice reverberating: that’s how the fly sounds now as he looks up at you and speaks.
“Do the dew.”