Apéritif

(a 100-word story)

Waiting for takeout tonight, I read in the paper that if every time you give one rat food, you give another rat electric shocks, the first rat will stop eating.

It made me remember a time in New York, when I watched some police chase a homeless man away from the front window of a sushi restaurant where I was dining.

And how that had reminded me of suppertime as a kid, when “The CBS Evening News with Walter Cronkite” showed Vietnam War footage on TV.

I wonder: Could you train a rat to eat while another one gets shocked?

 
 
—Lester Smith
 
 
(Originally appeared in Free Verse)

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