Heathcliff vs Garfield: Dawn of Catnip
Heathcliff sat on his bed in the house he shared with his human family in Westfinster. He looked at the mirror on the other side of the room. His body was no longer the temple it once was. Years of eating plump birds and fish from Mr. Shultz’s Elite Fish Market combined with lazy days on the windowsill left his orange and black-striped body fatter than he would have liked.
There was another fat, orange cat who had finally taken things too far. His name was Garfield, and he lived with his owner, Jon Arbuckle, and dog Odie. Garfield was fat, lazy, and complicit. There was nothing worse than an uncle tomcat.
Heathcliff had waged a never-ending war against dogs. He single-handedly got Westfinster to forcefully neuter and spay any dog not owned by a listed breeder (it was just the start), and he worked part time helping animal control catch and gas stray dogs.
Then there was Garfield.
Garfield lived in gluttonous bliss alongside this dog, Odie. Odie. The name brought bile tinged with sardines to Heathcliff’s throat. Garfield was possibly more famous that Heathcliff, and he was portraying dogs and cats living side by side, taunting him with their sin. It was sickening to even think of the two, sleeping side by side in their pet beds while their disgusting, pet-mixer owner slumbered soundly.
“He needs to be taught a lesson,” Heathcliff said to the silent darkness. He clenched his fist and opened it, letting his retractable claws out, knowing he’d relish the feel of opening Garfield’s veins.
“Soon,” Heathcliff said, smiling.
“GARFIELD!” Heathcliff shouted, standing on the garbage cans outside Jon Arbuckle’s home in Muncie, Indiana. There was no response, so he took two metal garbage can lids and banged them together. “GET YOUR FAT ASS OUT HERE!”
Heathcliff jumped down from the garbage cans, letting the lids fall to the ground with a clang. “I’m not here for a chat,” he said. “I’m here to put an end to you and your dog-loving ways.”
Garfield turned to look at Odie, who was sitting in front of the large living room window with his abnormally huge tongue hanging out, fogging up the glass with his hot dog breath.
“Come on,” Garfield said. “I know he’s a moron, but he’s a really lovable moron.”
Heathcliff lashed out, punching the garbage can on his left. It dented inward before falling into the street with a racket. “You think this is a joke?!”
“You’re classless.” Garfield said, his droll voice becoming mixed with his growing anger.
“Excuse me?” Heathcliff said.
Garfield sighed. “I’ve left turds at the bottom of my litter box with more class than you,” he said. “You came to my house, called me out, and picked a fight. I’ll give you this one chance to walk away. Go back to Westfinster, forget about me, and live your life far away from me.”
“Fat chance,” Heathcliff said. “Head over to the kitty korner and fuck yourself.”
Garfield took the first shot, punching Heathcliff in the stomach. “I’ll squash you like a smart-ass spider!” he exclaimed, following up with a punch to the side of Heathcliff’s head, sending him to the ground. He kicked him in the ribs while he tried to rise. Heathcliff had to roll out of the way before another kick came.
Heathcliff was surprised at how hard Garfield hit for a fat cat. He figured he’d be soft under all that orange fur and blubber, but he punched like he was made of bricks. Heathcliff didn’t think it would be easy to win the fight, but he had been scrapping since he was kitten. He stood from the ground, moved his feet, and started throwing jabs.
Garfield’s head rocked back again and again as Heathcliff’s left jabs found their marks on his chin. Heathcliff hit him with a hard right, sending Garfield’s head back. Garfield responded by charging Heathcliff, tackling him to the ground. The two fell into the trashcans, making a ruckus as they brawled on the street.
“SHUT UP!” a neighbor shouted from his window. “Friggin’ cats!”
Garfield rolled, hitting the ground on his back. Heathcliff was on him in less than a second, barraging him with his fists. “Feel that, fat boy?!” Heathcliff exclaimed. “That’s what justice feels like, you dog-loving fuck!”
Garfield lashed out with his claws, scratching Heathcliff across the face. His head rocked to the left as fresh blood filled three scratches along his cheek. He reached up, feeling the warm blood on his hand. “So that’s how you want it?” he asked. “Fine.”
Heathcliff brought out his own claws, racking them along Garfield’s face and body over and over, hissing as he gleefully cut fur and skin. Garfield screamed as he tried to push Heathcliff off of him, but he was relentless with his savage attack.
“I SAID SHUT THE FUCK UP!” the neighbor shouted, throwing an old boot at the fighting cats. It hit Heathcliff in the side, and he fell off his foe. Garfield took advantage, tackling Heathcliff as he did before. Now Garfield was on the offense, punching Heathcliff with a renewed veracity.
Heathcliff put his fists in front of his face to block the punches from hitting him in the head. Just of a few of them would daze him. A few more and he may actually go unconscious. He was straddled by Garfield, so he couldn’t roll free.
“You feel that?” Garfield asked, struggling to catch his breath while he kept up the pace of his punches. “That’s what your classless ass gets for starting a fight you can’t hope to win.”
Heathcliff smiled behind his fists. Garfield was getting tired. He could hear it in his voice, and he could feel the power of his punches wane. Nobody that fat could keep up such a pace. He would start to slow, and all he had accomplished with his latest barrage was bruising Heathcliff’s forearms.
Heathcliff’s assessment was right, and Garfield’s fists slowed. There was enough time between punches now for Heathcliff to reach over and grab an old pan that fell from one of the garbage cans. He brought it up in an arc, striking Garfield in the side of the head. He fell off of Heathcliff, landing on the ground.
Heathcliff stood over Garfield, kicking him in the side to roll him on his back. He was definitely dazed and may have had a concussion. His orange fur was read with the blood oozing from his scratch wounds. Heathcliff raised the pan over his head, ready to finish the fight.
“DO IT!” Garfield shouted. “Finish it!”
“You’re not going to give me the satisfaction of you begging for your life?” Heathcliff asked.
“I have feline AIDs!” Garfield said, tears swimming in his swollen eyes. “Do me a favor and end my life before this disease does it!”
Heathcliff looked at Garfield for a moment before throwing the pan to the ground with a clang. “Fuck it,” he said. “Let the AIDs get you then.” He turned, walking away and feeling like he was the one defeated. He worried that some of Garfield’s blood had gotten in his wounds when he was attacked from behind.
“I don’t have AIDs!” Garfield said, wrapping a thick arm around Heathcliff’s throat. “Look at how fat I am, you idiot!”
Heathcliff struggled to free himself, but Garfield’s grip was too tight. He started to try to walk away, but he just dragged his fat opponent with him. He fell to one knee, then his hands hit the ground. The world swam out of focus as he lost consciousness. His one moment of stupidity was likely going to cost him his life.
“There’s no such thing as a fair fight,” Garfield said as the world melted away. “I want you to remember that next time you show up at someone’s house, shouting your ugly face off.”
Heathcliff tried to crawl away, but the world went black.
“You’re awake,” an extremely feminine, yet male, voice said.
“Who are you?” Heathcliff asked, trying to get his bearing through his migraine, “and where are we?”
“I’m Nermal,” Nermal replied. Heathcliff knew him, but not well. He couldn’t see in the blackness, but he knew he was a grey tabby cat, and he was fascinated by his own cuteness to the point of being guilt of the sin of pride. “You’re in a box with me, on our way to Abu Dhabi.’
“He wanted me to give you a message,” Nermal said. “He says to walk away. Otherwise, the next box he puts you in will get buried in a backyard in Westfinster.”
“He can’t mail cats,” Heathcliff said. “It’s illegal! It’s cruel!”
“I’m used to it,” Nermal said. “He’s mailed me to Abu Dhabi more times than I can count. It’s one of his go-to gags.”
“Has it ever worked?” Heathcliff asked.
“No,” Nermal said. “The mailman usually hears me crying and lets me out, but this time is different.”
“Why’s it different?” Heathcliff asked, “because I’m here?”
“No,” Nermal said. “It’s because Jon…”
“Go on,” Heathcliff said. “You’re talking about Arbuckle, right?”
“I can’t say,” Nermal said. “He’ll kill me!”
“Not if I kill him first,” Heathcliff said, opening his claws. “This will end badly for you if you don’t start spilling the beans about Arbuckle. I’ll rip that adorable face off your head.”
“Alright,” Nermal said. “I’ll tell you. It’s not like Garfield cares about me. He sent me in the box with you after all.”
Heathcliff listened as Nermal spoke, his shock growing as the short tale reached its end. “Oh my God,” he said. “That’s unreal.”
“It’s as real as it gets,” Nermal said, on the verge of uncontrollable sobbing.
Heathcliff’s head spun, reeling over what he had just learned. The spinning stopped, and a plan formulated from the chaos. It was almost too perfect. He’d have to call in a few favors, but he would best Garfield on every level.
“Can you do one thing for me now that I’ve told you?” Nermal asked. “Can you free me from Garfield forever?”
“Sure thing,” Heathcliff said, “but you’ll have to do one more thing for me.”
“Anything,” Nermal said.
Heathcliff approached Nermal, and turned him around so he was facing the corner of the box, pushing his face to the ground.
“What are you doing?!” Nermal exclaimed.
“You said anything,” Heathcliff said, positioning himself behind Nermal.
“But I’m a guy!” Nermal cried.
“Does it look like I give a fuck?” Heathcliff asked.
“Stop!” Nermal pleaded. “Please!”
“Scream more,” Heathcliff said. “I like it better that way.”
Lightning forked the night sky of Muncie. Garfield sat on his kitchen counter, tossing handfuls of lasagna into his gullet. He tossed the empty pan to the ground when he was done, letting Odie lick the remains. “Enjoy that,” Garfield said.
Heathcliff stood outside, uncaring that he was getting drenched from the rain. He picked a rock up from the ground and hurled it. It spun through the air, smashing the front window of Jon Arbuckle’s home.
Odie yapped inside at the noise, and Garfield came to the window, looking through the broken shards at Heathcliff. “Do you ever learn?” he asked.
“You should have killed me,” Heathcliff said. “Come out and finish this.”
Garfield left the window and emerged from the front door, hands balled into fists. “I warned you to walk away,” he said. “I won’t let you live and put you in the mail twice. You’re going to end up buried behind the tree in the backyard.”
Heathcliff had no use for Garfield’s manipulative words. He walked toward his foe, fists ready to pummel the fat wad of orange and black into a red mess. Garfield walked too, murderous intent also on his mind. The two met just ten feet from Garfield’s front door, and they began fighting as soon as they were within range of each other. Heathcliff’s fist battered the side of Garfield’s head as his own face rang out in pain.
The fight became more savage than the first. It was no longer about Heathcliff’s disdain for Garfield’s life with a dog, and Garfield was no longer trying to defend himself from the classless brawler who came into his life to pick this fight. Neither one of them wanted to be in a world where the other existed, and they both knew only one of them would walk away from this one.
The two orange cats scratched and punched and clawed as they rolled down the sidewalk. Heathcliff mounted Garfield, punching him in the eyes, but Garfield used his bulbous body to roll, gaining the advantage. He wrapped his hands around Heathcliff’s neck, squeezing as hard as he could. Heathcliff punched Garfield’s face and neck, but his grip was too strong. A sly half-smile appeared on Garfield’s face as his eyes swelled from the fight.
“I told you to stay away,” Garfield said. “I’m bigger and smarter than you, you thuggish punk. You could never win.”
People were coming outside of their homes to see what was going on. Soon, there were dozens of people on the rainy street, watching Garfield choke the life out of Heathcliff on the front lawn of someone’s house. Garfield felt his triumph was at hand when a dark blue truck pulled up in front of his house with lights flashing on top.
Heathcliff took advantage of Garfield’s confusion. His hand found a stone on the ground, and he swung it in his fist, cracking Garfield in the side of the head. Garfield fell off, finally releasing his grip on Heathcliff’s neck. Heathcliff thanked God the truck showed up when it had. Another ten seconds, and he would have been unconscious and dead another few seconds later.
Two men got out of the truck and went inside the house. “What the fuck is going on?!” Garfield said.
“I called them,” Heathcliff croaked, breathing fresh air. “There’s no such thing as a fair fight, right?”
“What are you talking about?” Garfield said, turning to Heathcliff.
“Nermal told me about Arbuckle,” Heathcliff said, rising from the ground. Nermal was there as well, watching with the crowd.
“I had to tell him,” Nermal said. “He did things to me. Horrible things.”
“They’re here to take Odie,” Heathcliff said. “A dog needs a human. He’ll have to go to the pound until they can find him an owner. I don’t think anyone would want a dog his age with an intelligence problem though. Something tells me his trip to the gas chamber will be fast tracked.”
A police car pulled up next with its lights flashing. “Looks like the police are going to pay Arbuckle a visit,” Heathcliff said.
“No,” Garfield said, running toward his house. Heathcliff followed, scurrying into the house behind him before the police were out of their car. They two of them went up the stairs, and Garfield crashed into Jon Arbuckle’s bedroom.
Heathcliff looked in from the hallway. There on the bed, Jon Arbuckle lay, dead. From the look and smell of the room, he had been dead for a while. Maybe even weeks or months. There were scented candles all over the room to mask the smell, but the aroma of a human being decomposing into a mattress was overpowering the flowery scent.
“It’s over,” Heathcliff said. “The police are going to find this, and they’ll take you like thy took Odie. How long did you think you could live here before someone found out that Jon Arbuckle took his own life?”
“I should’ve hid those damn pills,” Garfield said. He turned to look at Heathcliff, and his rage was renewed. He looked as if he realized he was actually standing there. Heathcliff seeing Jon like this was a sin. Nobody should have been in that room. Nobody should have to see Jon like this. Nobody.
Garfield screamed in a rage, rushing Heathcliff, but his foe was ready. He dodged the coming tackle, letting Garfield’s momentum slam him into the wall. The dresser nearest to them shook with the force of it, sending the burning candles to the carpet.
Heathcliff punched Garfield in the back of the head, following up with a throw into Jon’s nightstand. More candles tumbled down, landing on the bed and the carpet. The smell of burning fabric filled the room as fire began to spread on the floor and bed. Garfield landed and uppercut on Heathcliff’s chin, sending him outside of the room and into the upstairs hall.
Garfield screamed as he punched Heathcliff, switching from his left to his right hands. Heathcliff walked backward down the hall as smoke began to pour from Jon Arbuckle’s bedroom. Heathcliff tried to block the punches like a boxer in a peek-a-boo stance, but the forces of the blows were too much for him. They pushed him back, further and further down the hall.
The policemen shouted to call the fire department as smoke filled the house. The house had become cluttered with trash and feces since Arbuckle died, and the fire spread quickly. The downstairs became ablaze while the cats fought, knowing they would both likely die in Jon Arbuckle’s makeshift pyre.
Heathcliff’s throat burned from a combination of his strangling and breathing in smoke. Garfield wasn’t slowing down as he did before, but his body had to have been growing weary. Even the rage now fueling him could only push him so much. His heart couldn’t handle this much. Heathcliff knew he just has to outlast his opponent, and he’d likely drop dead of a heart attack.
The floor opened up before Heathcliff’s theory could be tested. A smoking crack opened up behind Garfield. Heathcliff took advantage, shoving Garfield. Garfield lost his footing, falling into the hellish chasm with a horrible scream.
Heathcliff wasted no time with a witty remark to commemorate the death of his enemy. He used what energy he had left, leaping out a window and into the branches of a tree. He nimbly climbed down, relishing the feel of the cool air in his lungs. He took one look over his shoulder at the burning house where Garfield’s corpse burned before leaving, walking past the flashing lights of the police cars and fire engines.
Garfield’s eyes fluttered open. The last thing he remembered was falling through the floor and hitting his head as he landed between the flames in the kitchen. He didn’t know how he escaped death, but someone had to have pulled him out of the house before it was completely burned to the ground.
Garfield sat up, wincing at the pain in his body. He was bandaged where he had been burned, and he was placed in a box-bed with a blanket over him like he was used to. He sat up and looked around, realizing he was in the home of Dr. Liz Wilson, Jon Arbuckle’s former love interest and paramour.
Dr. Liz had blown up at Jon and stormed out months ago, causing Jon to slip into a deep depression. Garfield heard from Snoopy what it was like when he found Charlie Brown hanging from a electric cord from the basement ceiling, but it still didn’t prepare him for finding Jon after he downed an entire bottle of sleeping pills.
Garfield knew what he had to do to avoid the animal shelter. He had to hide Jon’s death and go about life as if he were still alive. He only needed to buy enough time to come up with a more long-term plan, but he got lazy and complacent. No plan came, and Heathcliff came storming into his life, looking for a fight.
Everything he had left in this fucked up world had been taken from him by that bastard cat, Heathcliff. Jon’s home was destroyed, Odie was in the pound and on the short list to be gassed if Heathcliff could be believed, and he had been left for dead. The only saving grace was that Heathcliff had no idea Garfield survived.
“That’s right,” Garfield said, getting out of the small bed. “He thinks I’m dead. I can destroy him, and he won’t even see it coming.”
Garfield moved quietly, listening in case Dr. Liz was around. He would have to leave quickly. She would never let him go if she found out he was up and about. She may have learned what happened to Jon as well. For all she knew, he decided to never contact her again after their breakup. She may now know he killed himself shortly after.
The sound of snoring came from upstairs. He knew he needed to plan his attacked on Heathcliff, but he was unable to stop himself from following the sound. He walked silently into the bedroom. He climbed on the bed, looking into the face of the woman who took him in after Jon’s house burned.
“You broke his heart in a billion pieces,” Garfield said to the sleeping Dr. Liz. He moved a pillow in both of his hands, placing it over her nose and mouth as soon as she was done exhaling. “He never got over you.”
There was a small struggle from Dr. Liz once her body relished its air supply had been cut off. She was awake a few seconds later, looking into the face of Garfield as he held the pillow with all of his might. She tried to fight him off; but he was too tenacious, and she had no air in her lungs. Her fighting became labored as the life left her body.
Garfield smiled as he tossed the pillow to the floor. “Your next, Heathcliff,” he said. “I’m going to take it all from you.”
Garfield watched from afar as Heathcliff went about his morning, taking a bottle from the milkman, greeting the Westfinster dog catchers, and giving a nod to a group of female cats. He was enraged by his display of cool after all that had happened. Heathcliff still had everything, and he didn’t deserve any if it.
“Good morning,” Garfield said, approaching Heathcliff and keeping a calm attitude.
“No,” Heathcliff said, the smile fading from his face. “You died in the fire.”
“Check for a pulse next time,” Garfield said. “My fur was singed, but I am otherwise fine, unlike you.”
“What are you talking about?” Heathcliff asked.
“Did you think I’d come all the way to Westfinster empty handed?” Garfield asked. He held up an electronic device with four red buttons. “Like my new toy?”
“What is that?” Heathcliff asked.
Garfield smiled, pressing the first of the four buttons. There was an explosion a few blocks behind him. Heathcliff jumped, but Garfield stayed perfectly still. Fire and black smoke filled the morning sky. “I’m so sorry,” Garfield said. “Looks like the Elite Fish Market is a crater in the ground.”
“You bastard,” Heathcliff said. “Mr. Shultz was inside!”
Garfield pressed the second button, and there was and explosion off in the distance. Heathcliff turned to see where it was. “Is that the junkyard?” He asked.
“Your friends the Cadillac Cats won’t be helping you,” Garfield said.
“They had nothing to do with this!” Heathcliff exclaimed.
“Two more buttons,” Garfield said. “Do you know what comes next?”
Heathcliff ran at Garfield, but he pushed the last button anyway. There was explosion behind Heathcliff, and a house blew into flaming debris, sending shrapnel of wood and glass into the street.
“You destroyed my home,” Garfield said. “I wanted to return the favor.”
“My family was in there,” Heathcliff said, looking at the burning hole where his home used to be. “They’re dead. You killed them.”
“You started this, Heathcliff,” Garfield said. “You wanted to pick a fight about Odie, and he’s dead now. That’s right. I went to the pound to spring him after I woke up from my fall, but it was to late. They had already gassed him. You took everything I had left in the world – even Pooky burned in the flames of Jon’s house. You made me very dangerous when you turned me into a cat with nothing to lose.”
“You’re insane,” Heathcliff said.
“Then end this,” Garfield said. “Finish what you started the day your screamed for me in front of my home.”
Heathcliff approached Garfield, ready to do exactly what he was asking.
“Wait,” Garfield said. “I have one more button!”
Heathcliff stopped, watching Garfield as his paw poised over the last button of his remote. “What’s that one blow up?”
“Not what,” Garfield said. “Who. Nermal!”
Nermal came from an alley, pushing a wheelchair. Sitting on the chair was Heathcliff’s girlfriend, Sonja. She had a vest of explosives chained to her. “I’m sorry,” Nermal whispered.
“Don’t do this,” Heathcliff said, putting his paws out. “Let her go.”
“There it is,” Garfield said. “I wanted to make sure I’d see you suffer as I have.” Without any more warning, Garfield pressed his final button. Sonja’s vest exploded in a ball of flames, killing her along with Nermal. The smell of burning cat fur filled the air. Garfield tossed his useless detonator to the ground, spreading his arms. “Ready?”
Heathcliff thought the rage he felt when he thought about Garfield living in sin with a dog was bad, but what he felt now put it to shame. His insides burned with white-hot rage, and he became wrath incarnate. He pumped his legs, charging Garfield with all he had.
Garfield braced himself for Heathcliff’s attack. Heathcliff was blinded by his rage, choosing to tackle him around the midsection rather than punch or claw. Garfield brought both his fists together, slamming them on Heathcliff’s back. Heathcliff pushed as Garfield hammered, neither one of them relenting. Finally, Garfield fell back, and he had to twist to avoid Heathcliff getting on top of him.
Heathcliff punched out, jabbing at Garfield’s plump body with speed and ferocity. Garfield couldn’t block blows that fast, and opted to strike out as well, aiming for Heathcliff’s head. He found his mark a dozen times before he realized they weren’t slowing the cat down. He began to think fueling him with rage was a mistake.
Heathcliff landed an uppercut, sending Garfield back. He then brought his foe down by the gut, scratching and clawing at him like the first time they fought. Garfield put his arms up to block the claws, but Heathcliff was satisfied ripping flesh and fur away, regardless of where it was on Garfield’s body.
“DIE!” Heathcliff shouted, balling his fists once again, pummeling Garfield. “YOU SON OF A BITCH! DIE!”
Garfield knew Heathcliff would get his wish if he couldn’t get him off. He wanted Heathcliff to get sloppy in his anger, but it had put more power into his fighting. Heathcliff was the better fighter, so Garfield was forced to fight with his mind. There was nothing he could say that would stop the barrage of punches that would soon end his life.
Garfield summoned his strength, lashing out with a claw, raking it across Heathcliff’s face. Heathcliff screamed as one of the claws scratched his eye out, causing a torrent of blood to pour from the socket. He finally relinquished his punching, giving Garfield the opportunity to push him off with both of his feet. He fell back on his back, and Garfield took advantage by kicking his fallen foe in the ribs as many times as he could. He didn’t know how long he’d have the upper hand in this fight, and he planned on keeping it as long as possible.
“You have nothing!” Garfield shouted, landing a kick to Heathcliff’s neck. He brought his foot down, stomping on his temple next. He could feel his eye swelling up and blood pouring from his wounds, but he didn’t care. He intended to finish off Heathcliff if it meant his own life would be forfeit as well. He gave one last kick to Heathcliff’s ribcage, sending him rolling.
Garfield limped after Heathcliff, feeling the ware of the fight weigh his body down. He needed to finish the fight soon, or his body would betray him. Heathcliff was luckily hurt as well, and he was slow to crawl away. One of the kicks or stomp to the head had to have done some real damage.
Garfield knelt next to Heathcliff as he tried to get up, slamming his face into the street. He did this three more times before Heathcliff threw an elbow, hitting Garfield’s arm. It did little damage, but it cause Garfield to loosen his hold. Heathcliff swung his elbow again, hitting Garfield in the chest this time. He did this one more time, swinging his whole body with the motion, knocking Garfield off his feet. He stumbled as he tried to keep his footing.
The rubble of Heathcliff’s house was all around them. Heathcliff’s hand brushed a large shard of glass as he moved to get back on his feet. Garfield was on him again, punching him in the kidneys and spine, desperate to keep him on the ground.
“You won’t win,” Heathcliff grunted, getting to one knee, despite the the pain. “You tried to take it all from me; and you succeeded, but you won’t leave here alive.”
Garfield ignored the taunt, kicking Heathcliff in the side, sending him on his back across the wood and glass. He straddled him, wrapping his hands around his neck as he had before. He squeezed Heathcliff’s neck, cutting off the air. He was sweating and panting. He had pushed his body too far, and he was paying the price for it. His heart was going to give out any second, and he just wanted to kill Heathcliff before cardiac arrest claimed his life in the process. A lifetime of sloth and gluttony would kill him before Heathcliff could.
Heathcliff’s hand moved swiftly, thrusting the shard of broken glass into Garfield’s eye. He screamed as he let go of his opponent, allowing him to breath freely again. Garfield fell backward, grasping his chest rather than the glass protruding from his bleeding socket. He heaved once, falling to the ground on his back.
Heathcliff stood and watched with his remaining eye as Garfield convulsed one more time, then stopped, lying still as he died. “Ashes to ashes,” he said. “Enjoy Hell, you fat fuck.”
Heathcliff walked away from his dead opponent, his body aching from the fight. He looked around his neighborhood. Smoke rose in the distance from the junkyard where the Cadillac Cats had died, a fire raged where the Elite Fish Marked used to be, his own home was in ruins, and his family and girlfriend were dead. He had beaten his foe, but he felt like he had lost.
“This was what he wanted,” Heathcliff said, feeling guilt for all that Garfield had done to his loved ones in the name of revenge. “Son of a bitch. This is what that fat mother fucker wanted all along. I did to him what he couldn’t bring himself to do. He let me take his life from him in every regard, and then he took mine.”
The sound of police cars and fire engines filled the morning as Heathcliff looked at the ruins of his life. His enemy was defeated, but he had paid a high price to do it.