Duke and Sally had two children. The older, Leela was a good girl, but Brad was a very bad boy. Brad would swear at his parents and kick them in the shins. They tried all of the child experts and all of the popular techniques with no success. Shin guards helped. After neighbor Nader’s cat died, the parents got rid of all of the poisons in the house and tried to avoid Nader.
After all of the usual approaches failed, Duke suggested taking him into the woods and leaving him there. Sally wasn’t against the idea on moral grounds but thought that they would be prosecuted. She countered with one of the popular tough boot camps for delinquents, but found out that he was too young.
Leela had a little control over Brad, but her approach was threatening murder if he crossed her, which seemed a little extreme. Because of this advantage, Duke and Sally decided that Leela could take Brad for Trick or Treating.
It started off fairly well. Brad did throw treats he didn’t like back at the treaters and did smash some pumpkins, but that was mild behavior for him.
Leela panicked when they saw a huge cat the size of a St. Bernard come slowly out of an alley. The cat had its eyes closed and a short muzzle. It made quiet mewling sounds. Leela started to say something, but Brad interrupted screaming “Hate cats” and ran over to kick it in the ribs. The cat mewed plaintively, followed by what appeared to be the headlights of a truck shining from the alley. Leela realized what was happening and yelled “run”.
A half hour later Leela came home without Brad. Duke asked what happened.
Leela asked “Have you heard a rumor about a giant cat?”
Sally said “Yes, what about it.”
“The rumors are true. After Brad kicked her kitten, she killed him.”
Duke responded after a minute “It was bound to happen, but I thought a neighbor would do it.”
Doug Hawley lives on the left coast of the USA. His five hundred or so publications are spread over many publications (Short Humour #1), countries (UK is #1), genres (humo(u)r hybrid #1) and lengths (mostly short story and flash). Two significant publications were written in 2015 - Reprieve (pandemic story before it was cool) and a religious story pronounced elrod (word won't let me spell it because it has two *) but are still being published.