Erd Neff wanted as little to do with his fellow men as possible. So he lived alone in his big cash-vault. Alone, except for John....
body knew for sure just how much money Neff kept in the old desk, and big-time pros wouldn't tackle a job like this without a pretty fair notion of the loot. For all they knew, maybe he mailed it to an out-of-town bank.
"Okay, fetch the pencil."
John jumped from the desk and moved toward the open door of the shower-stall where Neff had thrown the pencil stub. He paused by the wheat can, then scurried on to get the pencil. He climbed Neff's leg and dropped the pencil into the open palm.
"Smart punks up at State College. So you can't teach a rat anything but mazes and how to go nuts from electric shocks, eh? Wouldn't they be surprised to meet you, John?"
"You're always hungry!"
"Yeah. You can sound your "e's" real good when you say, 'meat.' Some day I'll cut off your tail and feed it to you." He laughed, grabbed John by the coarse hair of his back and slipped him back under the cage.
Then he undressed down to his underwear, turned
It's not really a science fiction story, regardless of where it was published. But it's a good, atmospheric, pulp story about a gross, hateful, rich man who lives alone with his pet rat in a personally-built vault holding all his money. He gets whatever he wants in the small farming town he dominates. Until he gets what he doesn't want.
I liked it.
2013 SFR GALAXY AWARD WINNER
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