– Claire Fitzpatrick

There was something so terribly sad
about the death of an animal, Bill thought.
Especially when it was you
who took its life.
You could actually feel the sound
of a bird’s neck breaking under your shoe,
or the silent screams of the kitten
as you held its head under water.
Bill thought killing an animal
tore one’s soul in more ways
than if you had killed
a human being.
A human could resist the torture,
and fight back.
But an animal simply stared at you
with a look that said ‘hurry up’
It couldn’t communicate
with you by speech
– and not even through telepathy –
but it still told you it understood.