Already Talking like a Real Man by Bogdan Dragos

A bare chested young man with black marking on his body and holding an axe up in one hand and the index finger of his other hand is placed on his lips
Image Source: Canva

their deaths were


days apart

first went father

and then


And now the dark smoke

took the shape of

a cat

and clung to his

shoulder, digging sharp

claws into his

tender flesh

“It hurts,” he cried

“Oh, shut up,” the smoke cat

said, “Be a man. In this

world only the

strong survive. While the weak…

look what happens

to them. You must

become strong.

So start with your father,

he’s been

dead for longer.”

“But I’m scared of blood,”

he cried. “And it

stinks in here.”

“You’re scared because

you’re still not a man

yet. Grab the

fucking cleaver and start


He didn’t want to die

like them. So he

raised the cleaver above

father’s violet wrist

and dropped it

The blood

squirted stale and


in all directions


“Ew is well said,” hissed the

cat. “That was

below pathetic. How are

you gonna get

through the bone with

such weak strokes?


You deserve to die just

like them.”

“Hey… I thought you

were my friend.”

“I am your friend,

dumbass. But I would like

to become more

than that, you know? And for

my wish to come

true you must


a real man. So do as I say now!”

“What do you mean

more than a


“You wouldn’t get it

and you don’t

have to.

What you have to do now

is hurry the fuck up

and grow. Become

a man!”

“But I can’t eat

my parents.”

“Oh, shut up. You’re

not even trying.”

“Can you at least

cook it for me?”

The smoke cat’s


felt raspy in his ear.

“There you go, already talking

like a real man. Almost.

That’s enough to

get me

quite excited, you know?

Hah, I guess I can help

you a bit.

All right, the straw mattress. Light

it on fire

and get out.”


“The house is already

infected with

their sickness. It’s no longer

suitable to live here.

Why not turn it into a

giant oven

and then eat the meat cooked

after the flames die?”

That night

they were perched on the hill

behind the


watching the spiky orange

flames devour the

small cottage

“Dammit,” he said in

a raspy voice. “You bitch

are gonna burn my food. It

better not be all

ashes or I’m gonna

strangle you some.”

The smoke cat

shape shifted slowly

into a more feminine

form, more


In her transformation

she made noises

of excitement

at his words


Bogdan Dragos supervises casinos for a gambling company, working twelve-hour shifts locked in a dark office full of TV monitors. There he mostly daydreams and writes poems and stories. He also manages a poetry blog Daydreaming as a profession.

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15 Comments Add yours

  1. Terveen Gill says:

    Bogdan gives the expression ‘a real man’ quite an elaborate and horrific meaning. A man must clean up a sick mess left behind by his parents. His inner voice or rather a smoky cat lays the plan out plain and clear. It’s time to chop, roast and dine. I have a funny feeling that mom and dad may not be the only ones on the menu. The ticking of an unsettled mind.
    Congratulations Bogdan!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. ʕっ˘ڡ˘ʔっ Thank you!

      I like to believe the smoky cat is like a coping mechanism for the kid’s fragile mind who’s been exposed to a horrific reality so early. It’s easy to call people ‘horrible degenerates’ and so on, but often we don’t think that something made them that way, and their evolution into the person they are happened as a survival mechanism. They were placed in the evil environment without their consent, and jointing the evil and becoming so themselves was a choice they made in order to survive.
      ( つ﹏⊂ )

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Terveen Gill says:

        Very well said.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Didn’t like it one bit. Sorry ……

    Liked by 2 people

    1. (っ╹◡╹)っ Nah, that’s okay :)) I bet the kid didn’t like the taste of the ‘food’ either…

      I don’t blame you though. This one aims to gross out, rather than be adored (I like it when poetry does that…)
      \( ^o^ )/

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I knew you wouldn’t mind me saying what I felt. Writers should feel free to write what they wish and readers free to comment how they feel…..

        Liked by 2 people

        1. (☞ ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°)☞ Agreed 101% my friend 🙂


  3. Interesting story I could really get into Well done🥰🤩
    🌐Ninth/Ennea Ennea 🌐

    Liked by 3 people

    1. (ㅅ´ ˘ `) My thanks for checking it out! Much appreciated 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Daily Poetry says:

    This imaginary smokey cat sure did make a real man out of him. I just can’t believe rotting flesh tastes very great, even if it’s cooked in a house. But I love all the things you come up with, man. Keep on writing!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Haha, yeah, rotting flesh can only taste good to someone who’s hallucinating (like the kid in the story). But, well, when it comes to survival and nothing but survival, even the help of a demon that takes the shape of a smokey cat is welcome…
      (⁎˃ᆺ˂ )


  5. jonicaggiano says:

    This completely reminded me of a movie we watched called, “Frailty” with Bill Paxton and Mathew McConaughey. If you haven’t seen it you probably should. It shows how evil begets evil, or mental illness creates more mental illness. I think some people don’t realize the crazy world we live in and the horrors that many children actually do see. One of the things I love about MasticadoresIndia is the great variety of types of writing. I really enjoy your work because it makes me think and catches me off-guard. It is not for everyone and I applaud Don’s honesty. What he said was certainly true. When I was a young nurse a schizophrenic patient off his meds wrote a letter I read in his room. He described in great detail how difficult it was for him to walk around such tiny people, like ants for him and he really didn’t want to hurt anyone. His doctor described him as an amazingly brilliant young man even before he was stabilized and they were able to find out who he belonged to. Amazing story as always. Big hugs, Joni

    Liked by 2 people

    1. (づ ◕‿◕ )づ Big thanks and hugs right back, Joni! Much appreciated.

      I should totally check out that movie :)) You clearly know a lot about all those subjects that fascinate me to no end. And this is exactly why I love MasticadoresIndia as well. The diversity is to be highly appreciated. Only here can you read a heartwarming poem about love and nature, and then click NEXT only to land on something like this one :))))) It’s a ride, an adventure.
      ⊂( ◉‿◉ )つ

      Liked by 1 person

  6. jonicaggiano says:

    It is my pleasure and I agree. I like to call it “writing raw.” It takes courage to publish such diverse writing and I applaud our editor for that. Keep writing about those wild adventures! Enjoy the rest of your week as well. Thanks for the hugs and emojis!

    Liked by 2 people

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