My short story “Watching the Iguanas” is now up at the great online thrill-ride of a magazine Spinetingler. I wrote the story many years ago for my zine Mongrel, inspired by an Elvis Costello song and my brief experience petsitting a friend’s iguanas (FYI: they don’t fetch and they sure poop big but otherwise they’re quite cool). The first version of it was 500 words of drug-addled surrealistic weirdness, just enough to fill the two pages I needed to finish the issue. I’ve revisited the story many times since, but last year I finally remolded it into a sci-fi thriller, which Jack Getze and Sandra Ruttan were kind enough to publish. Many gracias, Jack!
Here is an excerpt from the story:
Watching the Iguanas
by Richie Narvaez
. . .
“I need someone to watch my iguanas, to take care of them while I’m out, feed them. You think you can do that?”
Do whatever it takes to survive, Manolo had told her once. Everyone else does. Don’t be stupid.
“What do they eat?”
“A green vegetable.”
“Sounds exciting,” Oonie said.
“It is. You stay at my house. Just one day. Clean up. Get some rest. Eat as much as you want. I’ll even pay you a shuttle to get wherever it is you want to get. This is easy work.”
Oonie wondered what the difficult part would be.
“One more thing,” the woman said. Oonie could not see the woman’s eyes behind the goggles.
“Yes.” Whatever it takes.
“My husband will be there,” the woman said. “I need you to kill him.”