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Garfield in Real Life

Categories: Creative Writing Prompts Tags: creative writing exercises, creative writing prompts, writing prompt.

You are trying to read the morning newspaper when your cat begins pawing at your leg. You brush it away, but it jumps on the table and begins meowing. Finally, the cat speaks. What does she say? Write this scene and what she is trying to tell you.

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466 Responses to Garfield in Real Life

  1. TCorr53 says:

    It was a typical Saturday morning which started out with sleeping in and then sitting down with a cup of tea and the newspaper. I glanced over the headlines and then started reading an article in the travel section when I heard a scraping sound. I looked down to find it was just my cat Simba pawing at the table leg and then my leg trying to get my attention.
    “You just ate” I told him. He would eat all day if he could. At 24 pounds he looks like a small mountain lion. “I can’t give you any more food right now. I don’t want you to have health problems.” I don’t know why I talk to him like he can understand me. I think it’s because he looks like he knows every word I’m saying. As I focused back on the article featuring Bed & Breakfast vacations in New England I heard a loud thump as Simba leapt onto the table. “Get down! No more food! I’m trying to read about a trip to a Bed & Breakfast.”
    Then to my surprise Simba’s mouth opened and he said “Well, sign me up. Those are my two favorite things.”
    I jumped back and ran into the family room. My heart was racing and I was shaking in disbelief. “No way, this can’t be happening,” I said.
    “I had to get your attention somehow,” he said.
    “Well, you got it alright and you don’t eat again until 5 o’clock”, I replied.
    Simba just looked at me and said “It’s 5 o’clock somewhere”.
    Not only is my cat talking, he’s quoting Jimmy Buffet. I guess it’s not a typical Saturday morning.

    This is the first time I’ve posted anything. I’m new at this as you can probably tell.

  2. MrsCass007 says:

    “Garfield in Real Life”

    As I read my paper Isis my half siamese, half something else cat came and pawed my leg. Ever since high school I had become the local adoption center. I never knew who or what was going to be brought. A crow, a baby ground hog, a baby bird, puppies and kittens. Oh, yeah a baby pig and a baby raccoon. I guess since I had grown up on a farm that had made me the honorary animal lady to the “townies”

    I was just grateful I had always been able to care for and find homes for the helpless creatures that showed up on my door step. Isis was special and I kept her. She looked like a bob-cat siamese mix. Her eyes looked so human and sometimes I could of sworn when I turned around she would talk.

    This time there was no mistaking it. “Someones coming!” I dropped my paper. ” “You have to get out of here he’s coming!!! Isis scratched me. I jerked up and started running towards the back door. But someone was already there. Isis got in front of me and growled.

    I began to feel power fill me and in a voice that was mine but not yet mine I asked “What do you want?!

    “I have come to take my cat back.”

    “The last time I checked she choose to live with me and your going to have to go through me to get her.”

    It was all a blur. I didn’t know I had it in me. The years of chopping wood and bailing hey was coming in handy in this grisly death match. I hissed and tore out this throat. “Whew…my heart was pounding, blood and sweat dripping off me. As I watched the” cat-man”started on fire and turned into a pile of ashes.

    “What the hell just happened?”

    “You saved me.” I turned and a beautiful blue eyed woman was standing in Isis place. The lady started to cry.

    “I’m so sorry to have done this to you.”

    It dawned on me I felt different. Isis picked me up. Now I was Isis.

    “Whats your name?” My voice sounded the same to me.

    “I was called Lillian , before I was changed.”

    “Lillian it looks like your going to be changing the litter box tonight.”

  3. tightlywound says:

    I’ve been following these prompts for almost two years now, writing some of them on my own but I’ve finally decided to share one.

    Here we go:

    Placing her cup of freshly brewed coffee down on the counter, Melody pulled up a stool and sat down. She then picked up the newspaper and got to reading. Halfway through the front page she reached out and grabbed her coffee cup. She brought it to her lips and promptly spilled it down her front when her five year old, orange Tabby jumped up onto the counter and scared her.

    She screeched as the hot liquid soaked into her blouse and fumbled to put her coffee cup down without spilling the rest of it. “What the hell Tigger?” she hissed at the cat, knowing full well that he wouldn’t respond.

    Yet she was in for her second surprise of the morning.

    “I’ve got a bone to pick with you,” the cat said, perching on his hindquarters, his tail flicking slightly.

    Melody was stunned into silence.

    “I’ve put up with a lot since we’ve met. You insisting on naming me after that silly, children’s character, putting my litter box in the sun room where I have absolutely no privacy, refusing to hold open the backdoor long enough for me to decide if I want to go out or not, and that’s just to name a few but this is the last straw.”

    Melody was shaking her head, this could not seriously be happening.

    “Oh yes,” Tigger said “for the past month and a half I’ve been leaving out little hints about what I wanted for Christmas. For example the Pet Smart ad I dragged into the bathroom so you could have a little light reading, or how I scratched the back of the couch to hell. All I wanted was a scratching post but then I wake up Christmas morning to find that you’ve gotten me a toy mouse, I already have three of those!”

    “So,” Tigger said as she started into his amber eyes “will you get me a scratching post or not?”

    Melody nodded mindlessly.

    “Good.” Tigger said standing up and jumping to the floor. Melody turned to watch him saunter across the room, his tail held high “Oh and you’re going to want to put that shirt in some cold water if you don’t want it to stain,” he added as he hopped up onto his favorite pillow near the window where the sun was streaming in.

    He looked at her from his spot and they held eye contact for a moment before he turned his head and immersed himself in his mid-morning cleaning routine.

    Melody watched for a moment longer before pulling out her cell phone from the pocket of her jeans and dialing the number for her therapist “Hello Ann, yes, I need to make an appointment with Dr. Todd today.”

  4. MicheleB says:

    Only four days had passed since my little black mare, Caarja, had expelled her last breath. I’d held her head, comforted on my lap, and looked deeply into her eye – large, brown with black flecks, distant, and with long lashes. With tears running down my ruddy cheeks, and all the time trying to quieten her, stop her anxious struggle, I felt helpless. She soon relaxed to my soothing voice, my calm stroking of her neck and shoulder. The little black beauty stopped trying to fight it, and calmly let go. It’s remarkable the strength we find within us when it’s needed. But later I howled.

    Two day ago I begged my mother, who had died when I was fourteen – I’d occasionally felt her calm and loving presence – to let me know that my beloved horse had not just died, and there was nothing more. It couldn’t be. I wanted so much for there to be another life for animals, for her. She’d been a courageous little girl, spirited, yet always dependable, and gentle. Having been brought up a Catholic during the sixties, I didn’t want to believe that animals had no actual soul. That when they left us – there was nothing.

    The following morning I went through the gate to the paddock. Our other horse King refused to come near me. It was strange, he never backed away, ever. But perhaps he felt the loss too. So, I put it down to that, and let him be.

    At feed time, with James our ginger cat, and Cobber our overweight blue cattle dog in tow, I carried the bucket of chaff and oats towards the horse yard. Unchaining the gate, my dog whisked through ahead of me. It seemed odd. He shot through with his tail between his legs like something was after him, or about to tread on him. I shook off any thoughts and walked to King’s feed bin, tipped his feed in, then returned to the house.

    The following morning was crisp and the sky a bright blue, with the type of light that only autumn days deliver. James bounced ahead of me, his tail straight and heaven bound. He never seemed to mind his soft paws getting wet on the dew soaked grass. Aren’t cats suppose to hate water? He stopped and turned around, as if he knew I was about to talk to him. I laughed.
    “You have an uncanny sense of knowing, James. What is it about cats?”
    James meowed and waited for me to catch up.

    We walked towards the paddock fence, near to the gate, and as we approached I heard a clicking sound. I couldn’t understand what it might be. My eyes darted, and my mind searched for possibilities. Then I saw it. The metal loop locking the gate was clicking. But more, it was sparking! But how could it be? We no longer had electrified fences hooked up, and even when we did the gate was never on. The clicking and sparking continued, but I couldn’t bring myself to move any closer. I just stood there, a little shocked. I jumped – something was around my legs. I glanced down, and saw James, he was purring and twisting in and around my legs. Sort of comforting me.

    This morning I found myself taking longer than usual to sip through my cup of tea. My heart was still heavy, and I only flicked through the Sunday newspaper. Nothing was of interest. I just wanted to know that my Caarja was still there. Tears welled, again.

    Suddenly James was on the table, in front of me. Usually he wanted to head butt, but not this time. He just sat there, tail flicking, as though irritated.
    “Ohh James, I’m sorry I’ve been neglecting you. Just, it’s, ohh what’s it matter. You wouldn’t understand.”
    I shuffled out of my chair and started to reach across for him. “Now come here James, I want to cuddle you.”
    James continued to sit.
    “How many signs do you need?” James almost spat the words at me.
    “What?” I yelled, freaking out in total disbelief.
    “You heard me. Three signs Caarja has given you, and yet you deny them all.” James was a little less aggressive this time.
    “You’re telling me it’s true? That Caarja is still here? And that you can talk?” I collapsed back into my chair.
    “Yes, her spirit is galloping free. She wanted you to know. And yes, I had to talk. You just refused to see. To believe. What is it with you humans – you’ve forgotten the one thing; to trust in yourselves. Your instinct! About being intuitive.”

    James jumped into my lap, snuggled, and purred loudly. I woke up, startled, and gently stroked the soft ginger fur. I looked at the clock – It would soon be time to feed up.

  5. Leanderdias says:

    GARFIELD IN REAL LIFE
     

    It was a pleasant spring morning in Livingston, Alabama. The breeze was a fresh constant that sometimes carried over the mouth watering scent of fresh food from near by and the heat of the morning sun, mollified by the cool breeze, made it wonderfully comfortable for those like me, who enjoyed reading the news on the front porch with a large mug of fine roasted coffee. Julie Walker would jog conspicuously past my house every morning, and sometimes, if i was particularly lucky, would show me one of her pageant winning smiles. When she waved that day, i was prepared. With my hair neatly side parted, horn rimmed spectacles evenly placed and nose hair efficaciously tweezed, i waved back as if it was no big deal at all. Yes, it thought to myself, it was only a matter of time before she wanted me. A few more smiles like that, and there’d be wedding bells for sure. The birds sang sporadically from the quaking aspen across the road, adding a relevant soundtrack to the fantasies that swirled in my head.

    Gertrude, my frustrating yet lovably fat cat, waddled along the installed wooden railing towards the cream pie i had forgotten to take in last night. More than anything, i wondered how my rotund companion managed to get up there in the first place. It didn’t surprise me that she managed it though, because when it came to food, she was unbelievably resourceful. Although an impeccably unfit cat, Gertrude always seemed to possess a reliable intuition that made up for her lack of feline agility. From her pungent farts that alerted me to the gas being left on in the kitchen to reminding me that the weekend was over by demanding, with incessant meows, her monday morning store bought tuna casserole, Gertrude got me out of many a sticky situation.
    After devouring the pie, she slid down from the rail and nestled like an enormous ginger fur ball next to my slippered feet. I smiled at her affectionate cuddling and continued to read the business section of the daily paper.

    Without warning, Gertrude begins to aggressively paw at my well pressed chinos.

    “What’s the matter Gerty? You hungry?” I say, as get up and bend down to look down at her with palms on my knees. I place the newspaper onto the table and watch her lift her head and turn it towards the street. I follow her gaze and see to my astonishment, Julie making her way to my house from her little one down the road. Sure, i dreamed of this moment many times, but never in my wildest dreams did i think she would actually come by. Julie smiles at me from afar, and i wave nervously from my porch with sweat starting to saturate my trimmed armpits. I start towards her but am halted by a loud meow that resonated from the breakfast table.

    “What now Gerty ?! Julie’s coming” I turn away from Gertrude, and am once again pelted with a fusillade of whiny meows. I stomp angrily towards Gertrude and ask her once again with extravagant exposition what was her problem. As soon as i did, i realized how pathetic i looked; it wasn’t as if Gertrude was going to open her feline jowls and answer me with words i could understand. It dawns upon me that Julie is watching and that i am making an utter fool of myself, so i take a deep breath and turn towards her ready to ignore any further meowing remonstrances from my cat. Suddenly, a shrill female voice with a rather nonchalant tone hollered at me from behind. I jumped around to see who was there and saw Gertrude lazily raise an outstretched paw towards my crotch from the smooth breakfast table.

    “Hey Johnny Smooth,” Gertrude said, with her sleepy feline drawl,”Your zip’s open.

  6. MrChuckles says:

    Jake sat in his underwear staring into the coffee cup on the kitchen table. The steaming coffee smelled good, but he left it alone, worried he’d puke at the first swallow. Why in the hell had he insisted on all the tequila shots? His head pounded.

    Motor, his cat, pawed at Jake’s pajamas. “Knock it off Motor,” Jake said and flicked his foot. Motor dodged the brushoff kick with ease. Instead of leaving, he jumped onto the table, claiming squatter’s rights on the newspaper. Motor locked eyes with Jake, stared hard, and yowled.

    Jake put his head in his hands and closed his eyes. He was thinking about going back to bed when he heard a thin nasally voice say, “Snap out of it you twit!”

    “What?” Jake asked, lifting his head. He looked at Motor.

    “You heard me twit, Snap out of it.”

    Jake stared at the cat with his mouth open. He couldn’t believe what he’d just seen. By all counts it seemed like Motor had spoken. His mouth moved and his jaws even matched the words. That’s nuts, cats don’t talk, Jake thought. He looked around the room to see who was punking him. But he was alone.

    “Don’t pretend you can’t hear me Jake. You know we’re alone, at least that is if you don’t count that blonde bimbo in your bedroom that you were so enthusiastic with last night. She’s still comatose in your bed, so there’s just the two of us. Face it dude, I am talking and you can hear me,” Motor said.

    Jake struggled to form thoughts in the post alcohol fuzz of his brain. “If you can talk, then why in the hell haven’t you done it til now? We’ve been together for five years for god’s sake. Why now?” Jake asked.

    “Let me break it down for you Jakey. It’s all about reincarnation my human friend…past lives and all that. That shit’s real. I’m proof. I haven’t always been a cat you know. Mind you the cat thing hasn’t been so bad, I mean you can lick your balls for god’s sake. And jump? You wouldn’t believe what that feels like. But I digress. I was a human before, and I want to go back. Correct that, I AM going back,” Motor declared.

    “What makes you so certain?” Jake asked. “You seem pretty cocksure of yourself.”

    “Once you’ve been through the process, you get to know how it works. I’ve lived it. I know it. So let me break it down for you my friend. There are only two rules; first, you have to spend at least five years in your new body. Check that one off Jakey. I just celebrated my fifth birthday. And second, you need a fresh body to move into immediately after someone dies. You lose one, you get to take one, so to speak. We need to talk about that one Jakey,” Motor said, his eyes fixed intently on Jake.

    Jake started to speak again when Motor lunged. He was on Jake’s neck before he could react, claws sunk deep, teeth searching for Jake’s jugular. Motor’s head twisted from side to side as the blood began to spurt from Jake’s neck. He was bleeding out, his hands still clawing frantically at the cat as Jake’s knees buckled sending him to the ground.

    Jake was lying lifeless in his own blood when the Blonde walked out of the bedroom. She froze mid step when she saw Jake. Before she could move, Motor was on her, his mouth latched on hers as if he was trying to give her mouth to mouth resuscitation. But instead of blowing “the breath of life”, Motor sucked hard, pulling the Blonde’s life energy.

    The Blonde was just at the tipping point of losing her life forever when Motor reversed the energy flow and powered his way into her body. Her eyes bugged, her face tightened, and her body flinched at the sudden power pulse. As she did, the lifeless body of the cat fell to the floor. The Blonde visibly relaxed a smile coming across her face. She cupped a breast in each hand and said, “Ah, this is going to be nice. Life is good.”

  7. AmeliaPond says:

    Hi, I’m in Eigth grade and just getting started here so constructive critisicim is greatly appreciated.

    Emmi sat on her table she was flipping through the morning paper glancing at the headlines over a cup of hot black coffee. She sighed and let it flop closed. Emmi’s light gray cat Taryn meandered over. She bumped her head against Emmi’s leg affectionately. Emmi didn’t look at her she wrapped her hands around her mug and fixed her eyes on a spot on the wall. Her first week of unemployment was not going well, after she had been laid off her boyfriend had dumped her because she couldn’t support him anymore. Taryn was a gift from him so her presence in the house was not helping Emmi sipped and Taryn mewed bumping her leg again. Emmi moved her leg and Taryn huffed jumping onto the table and rubbing her face with hers. Emmi pushed her away and Taryn sat back on her Haunches.
    “Emmi.” Emmi whirled around and knocked her cup of coffee all over Taryn. “Jesus Christ Emmi. I just want Breakfast.” Emmi turned her face back to Taryn who was standing on the other side of the table looking grumpy and covered in black coffee. She stared at Emmi angrily. Emmi pushed her blond hair out of her face and stared. For a moment she opened her mouth and closed it again.
    “Cats,” she said slowly. “Aren’t supposed to talk.”
    “Girls aren’t supposed to mope about their boyfriends when their boyfriends are good for nothing losers.” Said taryn settling down to lick her fur.
    “Now how about some breakfast. Forgetting to feed your cat is also something girls aren’t supposed to do.” Emmi looked into the kitchen Taryns food bowl was half full.
    “Cat.”
    “I have a name you know, you gave it to me.”
    “Cat, you have food.” Emmi said not sure what else to say. Taryn Guffawed.
    “Please, you call that food?” said Taryn “I don’t think so.” Emmi sat rooted to her chair. Not sure what to do. She reached for the phone book. Taryn bored of licking herself sat down on the other side and watched her tail flicking slightly back and forth. She purred and Emmi almost subconsciously reached out and pet her. Taryn stopped purring and laughed when she saw what Emmi was looking up. Strange strangled laughter.
    “Please, a psychiatrist? I’m the one who’s talking, admittedly you did spill coffee on me.” Emmi picked up the phone book and flung it at the cat. Taryn jumped to her feet and streaked from the room. Emmi put her head in her hands and heaved a sigh. Pure panic swept over her. A minute later Taryn pocked her head around the corner.
    “Really though, he was.” Emmi lifted her head. “James was a loser, your better off without him.” Emmi sat up and Laughed slightly through her teary eyes.
    “Wow a cat giving me dating advice, I never thought.” she sighed and moved her chair backwards.
    “He was using you, if he loved you he would have told you, and he would have stayed.” Said Taryn creeping over. “ You’ll forget him soon, and thats best.” Emmi sighed again. Dropped her hands from the table Taryn hesitated and jumped up onto her lap lying across her knees. Emmi scratched her ears absentmindedly.
    “Sure, your right.” Emmi said. “It’s best.”

    • AmeliaPond says:

      Sorry the line breaks didn’t copy from word, my mistake.

      • PromptPrincess13 says:

        Hi AmeliaPond, welcome to Writers Digest! I’m relatively new here myself but I can tell you, the more you post, the more fun it gets. I really enjoyed your story. Your dialogue seemed 100% appropriate for the scene ( I especially like the bit about calling a psychologist) and the characters were well portrayed. I think you have a very good base here, especially if this is your first prompt, and since you are still pretty young. Great going!

    • Svapne says:

      First off, I’d like to welcome you. I started branching out in writing back in 8th grade, and I never would’ve had the confidence to post online (I’m 23 now and *just* got that confidence a few months ago, in fact). So kudos to you- I hope you get a lot of good feedback so you can improve over the years.

      Keep in mind that, here, sometimes you’ll get harsh critique. But keep in mind that some people here think that everyone here should be on the verge of publishing tomorrow and should have the corresponding skill set. They’re not expecting an 8th grader. Most importantly, don’t let anyone get you down.

      Now, on to your story!

      There are some issues with punctuation and run-ons, as well as fragments. If you re-read it, you should be able to pick them out. I used to insert a lot of what I felt were “artistic” fragments, but it turns out that people will bomb you for that kind of thing. Use commas and colons for that kind of added description instead. (Also look up semi-colons.)

      Your spelling, however, is quite good, and you don’t seem to be making a lot of the mistakes that a lot of your peers do (they’re/their/there, lose/loose, to/too/two, and that kind of thing). You seem to be ahead of the curve on that one.

      I think you use names a little too much, but I understand that using “she” and “her” when writing a story about two females can get confusing and tiresome. Try using other descriptors, like “the cat” or “the feline” so you can use more generic pronouns when talking about the human. Branch out from the subject-verb-participle format a bit; mix up your sentence structure. Passive sentences are okay too.

      Just like Princess says, your dialogue does seem quite genuine and fitting for the situation; I know I didn’t have that kind of skill at your age. Everything my characters said seemed fake. I still have trouble with that today.

      Lastly, for formatting here, when you type it up in word or some such, set it to single spacing with no extra spaces between paragraphs. That’ll give you a good idea of how it will look here. Just add an extra line between paragraphs. (I’ve noticed though that getting more space than that is impossible… I think you have to use HTML if you want bigger gaps. Or you could put a hyphen or two on some of the lines to keep them from condensing into one space.)

      Happy writing!

    • Observer Tim says:

      Welcome, AmeliaPond. I love the flow of the story and Emmi’s reactions are natural and unforced.

      If you want to work on grammar (a good idea, there are some errors here), I would recommend The Deluxe Transitive Vampire, which is good and a lot more interesting read than most texts of its type. When it comes time to publish, they do take away marks for grammar.

  8. frankd1100 says:

    Five thirty on Sunday morning and I was showered, dressed and halfway through my first ‘tallboy’ with two eggs frying in a black, cast iron skillet.

    Tabbs came in through the back door looking beat up. He worked nights and whatever he did out there, it was physically demanding.

    “Tough night,” I asked as he hopped onto his chair by the table?

    “No more than usual,” he said. “By the end of the week I’m usually dragging.”

    “You want breakfast,” I asked?

    “If you wouldn’t mind…two eggs raw over one of those chicken cutlets from yesterday?”

    “Coming right up,” I said, taking a cutlet from a container in the fridge. Since I was already there, I grabbed another beer.

    “Your eggs are getting cold,” he said as I dropped the cutlet on the skillet.

    “They’re fine,” I said, placing my breakfast on the table, moving quickly back to the stove. I transferred the warmed chicken onto the monogrammed dish Millie had given Tabbs before she left us, sliced it into six pieces and cracked two eggs over the top.

    He was busy combing snags and dirt from his long, white, puffed up fur as I set his plate on the table. “Do you eat with that tongue,” I said with a chuckle?

    He looked up at me with a quizzical expression unique I think to Persian cats and said, “How else would I eat?”

    “I was just busting your chops Tabbs.”

    “Me too,” he said. “Thanks for breakfast.”

    Tabbs stood on the chair placing his front paws on the table on either side of the plate and devoured the eggs and chicken. Finished, he dropped to the floor licking his face and went back through his door onto the deck I’d built for Millie when things were good.

    I cleaned up, found another beer and went through the door into the bright sunlight of a glorious autumn day. Tabbs was stretched out on his side luxuriating in the sun that warmed the deck for most of the day. His ears twitched when I opened the door and his tail flicked once or twice.

    “I like these days,’ he said, without opening his eyes. “The air’s clean and the falling leaves haven’t been matted by heavy feet and drifting snow.”

    I took a good pull of ice cold, Iron City beer and said, “fall and spring are my favorite seasons. The fall is calming somehow, and springtime feels hopeful and vital.”

    “She’s not coming back,” he said, unmoving, lying still as death.

    “I know and I’m okay with it now.”

    “Are you okay without the alcohol,” he asked?

    “Not sure. I haven’t gotten to that stage yet,” I said.

    We were quiet after that, I might have napped briefly myself. At about one-thirty I went inside to the den and turned the television on to a football game. Before I sat down, I went back to the kitchen for another beer.

  9. Kylero says:

    I could feel the sun hitting my shoulders, warming the back of my neck through the window behind me as I sat head-deep into the computer screen, reading the pages of spreadsheets.

    Thirty-two pages in and five more to go. Five more to conquering the virtual reality of numerically defined people and items. Five – before Gary hopped off the floor onto the table, his front two paws knocking over the coffee over onto my laptops keyboard.

    “Damn it, Gary!” I yelled, shooting out of my chair to the paper towels which hung across the room. I snatched three and rushed back to the table, waving away my feline foe.

    “Shoo,” as I patted the papers on the keyboard. It’s that sad moment where you know no matter how much you clean off it won’t be enough. The coffee had set in, infecting it’s sensitive electrical core. Still, I tried turning it on, but it was silent.

    “Bad cat!” My hand clutching the towel tight enough to turn my knuckles white as Gary sat, staring at me. “I had five more pages. Five pages,” I said amid a sigh, sitting back down and laying my head upon my clenched hand. “And now,” hitting the crescendo, “my computer’s dead.”

    I sat, fuming, and stared at the ground, past the linoleum and whatever laid below it into the unescapable reality that I have no computer.

    Virtually homeless.

    Until the thud of Gary’s four legs shook me from my spell.

    “Gary!” I said, waving him away, but the cat didn’t move. “Didn’t you learn from the first time,” I said, waving at him again.

    “Didn’t you? I didn’t move the first time. Why would I move the second?”

    Standing, I pushed the chair back with enough haste I thought it’d fly, crashing out the window. I pointed.

    “You can talk!”

    “Duh.”

    “You’re a cat. Cat’s don’t talk.”

    “Mmm, I think your logic is all screwed up.”

    I must’ve I said something, but I refuse to write illegible babbling.

    “Relax.”

    “Relax? You’re a TALKING CAT!”

    “Oh, well yeah. That’s shocking, but this whole computer business? Come on. It’s not that big of a deal.”

    I stared. Silent. I mean, what do you say to a talking cat?

    “Look, I know you like your toy and you’re always playing with it, but it’s just a toy man.”

    “B-but,” I stutter to begin, “All my work… those spreadsheets and –”

    “Exactly. Look Dave there’s no easy way to say this but you’ve changed. When you first brought me here, you were always outside. Playing with your kids. Your wife –”

    “Ex-wife,” I corrected.

    “Yeah and why do you think that is. Look man, you’ve got to get out. These spreadsheets can wait, but the people you love won’t. You’ve got to go live, because what’s life worth without living it.”

    I sat down and laid my head on my hand again, trying to comprehend it all.

    A thud landed on the table, jostling me awake. Just beside my full cup of coffee sat Gary, motionless. Silent.

    Closing the computer, I grabbed my coat off the chair’s backrest and left.

    • Observer Tim says:

      Good story, Kylero. Even though it was all a dream (or at least mostly a dream), it’s nice to see the main character’s reaction. Too many people concentrate on one part of their lives so much that other parts slip away unnoticed.

  10. Scarly says:

    Soul Desire

    *I know I went over the limit>.<

    Humming happily, I slowly sit down in the old wooden rocking chair on the back porch, setting my trembling coffee down on the small round table nearby. I pull the Sota Times Times from under my arm and spread open the paper poking my nose deep into it like always. My eyes quickly find the 'Dear Abby' column, my mind eager to hear the woeful tales of some amazing but backstabbing husband that some idiot 'Lovehimstill" says she'll stand by his side. Ha! Last week a man was depressed from not knowing how to tell a woman that he didn't share the same feelings and didn't want to break her little precious heart! How beautiful! Beautifully stupid and disgusting and foolish.

    My gray hair has fallen about my face as sweat begins to form, my anger rising. The wind tickles against my legs as a cackle erupts from my throat, the mixture of anger and pleasure boils in my cauldron of a heart. Suddenly, I hear a thump and snap my head to the right. Desire, my Russian Blue, has jumped onto the table, careful to avoid spilling my coffee. I am puzzled as to why she's on the table in the first place though; my anger is fizzled, replaced by slight surprise. "Desire! Get your ass off my table!" I huff and shake my fist at her. She meows loudly, flicks her head quickly to the left, and raises a paw to brush her face. I don't have time for her dramatics, hastily roll up the paper, and swing it at her.

    Desire simply sidesteps the blow, the paper slips from my hands. I scoff loudly and hold my hip. I rest my other hand on the table, my old hair falling about my shoulders. Wagging my finger angrily at her I spit at her, "Desire! What in the jaws of hell is going on here? Just what do you think you're doin' you pea brained–" I'm cut off as she meows and speaks, her ears flick back and forth. "Haggerty shut up!" I blink and my head twitches. Just what is going on here, I think to myself, my eyes begin to search around the porch, to the worn chest, the railing, the woods out past the white picket fence. "Sit down, you hag. Don't look so surprised either, your face looks hideous." Desire hisses and licks her paw as she walks to the edge of the table and sits. "I've listened to you for years! Ugh, such an evil ugly soul you have. You hated and hurt everyone dear to you, abused your children and played with their minds, hated your jobs, made others miserable to the point where they kill themselves! Ha and you surely do turn the other cheek, don't even attend the funerals! Not even the one for your poor husband…"

    My heart flutters uncontrollably, I feel dizzy and light headed. I can't speak; I've forgotten my own name. I look fearfully at my cat, which is now standing in a poised strike position, her ears back, and teeth bared. She continues, "What a wretched old witch you are, you didn't think anyone knew." She smirks as she licks her teeth. "The one's you to whom you never reveal need no telling to know the veil." She begins to laugh a light sinister laugh, her paws thrown in the air as she falls onto her back. I suddenly remember who I am and a great fury descends upon me. I raise my hand and swipe at her, grabbing her by the neck I shake her and hold her to my face. She yowls and hangs helplessly but raises her head with a smile. "You're the horrendously stupid and foolish one, Master. I've only come to bring a message. You are in the last of your days and the pains and murderous plots will catch you as swift as a tragic accident. You'll never see it coming. Neither will I for that matter, but don't worry about preparing, for your time has come for your book to be closed." She paws playfully at my nose and gives it a lick. "Out with the old and in with the new!"

    In my fury, I throw her across the porch; she hits the railing and falls to the ground. I screech, seething with wrath. "You will come with me you foul beast! Enough of your crazy talk!" I take the straw broom that leans against the wall and raise it, beating it against her. Pleasure rises in my throat as I yell a cry of victory. Suddenly, the wind picks up and swirls with such force my chair and table fly towards me. They strike me as I cry out in great pain, holding my arm I think it's broken. I watch as the skies darken, thunder and lightning war in the winds. In my confusion and panic, I head for the door to get inside. I yank at the knob but it's locked, I feel numb, no longer does a hint of pleasure exist, my heart races as I beat on the door sobbing. "You damn cat! Curse you!" I hear a loud crack, turn to see lightning reach the fence and it convulses, and dark black smoke rises from it. Eyes wide with terror I open my mouth to say something but my coffee mug flies straight into the middle of my eyes and shatters on impact.

    I blink and wake up… what? Just a dream? I'm in my bed. Ha! "You stupid cat!" I sit up happily and find my cat at the foot my bed. She flicks her tail and stares me in the eye. "This is just the beginning." She meows loudly and hisses, suddenly hoards of cats come crawling from everywhere, under my covers and under the bed, from the windows and dresser drawers. I scream as their claws attack me. The mountain of cats departs as Desire sits on my bloody chest. I can't breathe or move my body is in flames. I am caught in her gaze. "You are now in your new life Gretchen. Enjoy the toil toil and trouble. This is what you loved so you'll get double. I'm off now to my new owner. Toodles!” She turns to leave, I scream, "No wait wait!” "I killed you! You're supposed to be here with me! What is this place? You're not leaving you damn cat!" I sob hysterically wishing I were dead.

    She scratches her ear and says, "You only thought you killed me, I am more ancient than you dear. I've lived too many lifetimes but I must say, and you are by far the worst case I've seen. At least the others took heed to my warning and changed their evil ways. Yes, I'm supposed to be here with you only as my duty permits. This is to welcome you to your new home." She pauses as her ears flicker, "I'm surprised you do not recognize the place… it is your soul dear child, torturous place isn't it?" With that, she turns and walks toward the edge of the bed leaping into nothing but disappearing.

  11. agnesjack says:

    Apparently, according to someone somewhere, today is National Cat Day. How appropriate.

    http://now.msn.com/national-cat-day-is-here-so-celebrate-with-this-photo-gallery

    • jhowe says:

      One thing I noticed in a lot of the stories this week is that cats like to mess with you when you’re trying to read the paper. Whats the deal with this? Have they no sense of right and wrong?

      • Kerry Charlton says:

        Cats are very old souls and are used to reading a parchment, attached to two rolls.

      • Stormsent says:

        Hey jhowe;

        The deal…

        Diva kitties: They’re right and the human opinion is insignificant….

        Tabby kitties: They’re right, but they still want to hang out with ya….

        Orange kitties: They’re right and don’t make ‘em come over and convince you….

        Calico kitties: They’re right and bless your heart your too dumb to know
        otherwise….:)

        Thanks for your tip w/ spacing. Much appreciated.

  12. vlfan says:

    “Aah,” I sighed, taking a sip of my morning glass of orange juice.

    I sank further into the futon on my porch and opened the Herald. I soon got lost in the night’s events and was on the third page, reading about Susan Winter’s latest escapade when I finally became aware of my cat pawing at my leg.

    “Einstein, not now,” I grumbled, jostling my leg slightly in hopes of shooing him away.

    His meowing got a bit louder and I was startled when his paw landed on the newspaper.

    “You beast!” I scolded, finally looking at him. “What’s wrong with you?”

    “Well, if you would look behind you, you would see the pot on the stove is smoking and about to catch fire,” He said. Then with a satisfied nod, he jumped off the table and lay on his side, watching as I hurried to take care of it.

  13. BezBawni says:

    I just want to say – I planned to skip the prompt, because it was really hard for me to come up with any ideas, but I couldn’t resist to read all the strories – it was a marathon of several hours))) I had so much fun, guys, I don’t have another several hours to write comments to all of them, so please accept a huge ‘THANK YOU’ from me for so many various ideas, amazing writing – I laughed and cried and whistled and my emotions were just not enough. I’d like to say welcome and well done to everyone new here. I’m happy I once found this forum – this is a cornucopia of inspiration and encouragement.
    And to pay a tribute to all of you I did come up with a story, which is also a true one (a memory of my childhood). I hope you’ll all enjoy it as much as I enjoyed yours.

    ***
    FRIENDSHIP

    When I was almost 6, but hoped to be 10 very soon, my elder sister bought me a dog. The dog was pitch-black – a female German Shepherd of incredible intelligence. We called her Rada, which meant ‘happy’, and we loved her from the first day. I remember she would always try to save me whenever we had a picnic by the river and I ventured into the water. My father would lock her in the car to let me swim, and she wouldn’t stop barking till I was out of the water. I was never afraid to swim, but Rada taught me to be careful. Once when I got sick she came into my room and put her muzzle onto my stomach. She sat there till I fell asleep – she taught me to be compassionate.

    I was almost 7, hoping to turn 10 soon, when my Dad brought home a small black kitten with incredibly huge eyes. The kitten was too small to know that he was supposed to hate dogs, so Rada and he became best friends. They would sleep together on our porch, the kitten tucked under the dog’s lower thigh. “The Black Gang” we used to call them.

    When I turned 10, I hoped to be 6 again. It was a sparkling winter day. Our street was covered with ice and snow that looked like a diamond coat in the sun. My sister and I were told to go to the shop to buy some food and Rada was untethered in the yard and feeling especially playful. She wanted to come with us, but my father told her to stay, and she would, as she normally did, but the game was too tempting. As we stepped onto the road – there were no sidewalks in our village – we laughed when we saw Rada outrunning us across the garden and over our neighbor’s fence. Rada darted out of our neighbor’s yard and stopped far ahead of us– her eyes were sparkling with triumph. She was confused when we started shouting and waving at her in desperate voices. The next second a huge truck hit the brakes, and our dog disappeared under it, sliding on the ice.

    She was still alive, and the driver helped us to get her home. My father was a vet and our last and only hope, but he only shook his head – Rada’s lower half was smashed to no repair. He gave her a pain-killer shot. Rada was half-lying half-sitting on the floor, propping herself up with her front paws, when her only best friend, our black cat, entered. The cat approached her, ignoring his sobbing owners, and she looked down at him. He came closer and buried his muzzle into her stomach. I had never witnessed a scene that human. We couldn’t bear it any more – we left them sitting together like that, to have their Black Gang farewell night. We couldn’t stop crying for hours, and our cat stayed with Rada, nuzzled into her fur all night.

    In the morning we were in the kitchen, afraid to go into the hall, and the cat came in as if to tell us that it was over. He didn’t talk, he sang – a powerful mournful and heart-breaking song – and we had never understood each other better.

    • agnesjack says:

      Wow, BezBawni. This was a lovely, heartbreaking story that was beautifully written. I especially liked the repetitive use of the ages, with the last one indicating a longing to turn back time. This type of tragedy is so hard for a child.

      I grew up with dogs and cats together, so the relationship did not surprise me. Bravo, BezBawni.

    • jhowe says:

      Powerful BezBawni. I liked it a lot. Thanks for the heart-felt intro with your tribute to your fellow writers.

    • Svapne says:

      That’s so touching and sweet… (I’m sorry about your puppy, too)

      I had a black dog named Happy too. And his “brother” was Jolly. They were a “Black Gang” too, and they were the best.

    • Scarly says:

      This was very touching. I was blinking back tears. Great write:)

    • Dragonlover says:

      Wonderful story. I have to admit that my eyes were a little misty near the end. I also grew up with cats and dogs and their relationships were heartwarming.

      • Kerry Charlton says:

        Gosh, BezBawni,

        There is much to talk about your story. I’m close to tears myself from just reading it. The powerful prose you wrote, is something to very proud of. The emotion in the story is so overwhelming, it’s a force all by itself. Wonderful, moving, emotional and so much heart, do you put into your writing. Thank you and God Bless.

    • BezBawni says:

      And again, thank you all. Though it was hard to go over the memories once again, the forum drags me out of my comfort zone and the pieces fit for a journal out of me (how ironic that the next prompt is called ‘the Journal’)) We had other dogs afterwards, cats too, though it was much later, and we never had any other pet like the Black Gang, they remained unique in our lives and memories. I’m also glad you could relate and found time to respond.

    • frankd1100 says:

      We humans are far away from having such comapassion and patience.

      A pretty story.

      • PromptPrincess13 says:

        Powerful, heartbreaking, and heartwarming all at the same time. You have my full respect for having written what must’ve been a painful memory so well. The tenderness of the relationship between the kitten and Rada was sweet and it makes me smile to think it truly happened. What happened to Rada is every dog owner’s worse fear and hard to read, but at the same time, it was beautiful. This may have been a tribute to the writers at this site, but it was also a tribute to the ” Black Gang” and their amazing friendship. Awesome prompt.

    • Observer Tim says:

      Very lovely and touching story, BezBawni. What more can I say that hasn’t already been said.

    • snuzcook says:

      First, I want to acknowledge your preface–I appreciate your sentiments, and greatly regret that I often do not have enough time to read all the stories posted, much less respond to them. I greatly appreciate you and the other participants who offer stories and feedback, and inspire me as well.

      Your story was very touching, and I needed a hanky. Your lovely prose touched that part of me who also has known and loved and lost amazing four-legged family members. Thank you for summoning up those memories for me.

  14. PeterW says:

    The cat told me get a job. Exact words.

    It was on my lap. It had almost been sexual assault the way the thing had taken over my lap.

    When I look at it, it licked at one of its paws and started purring. I said, “Nice kitty-wog, nice kitty,” because I was still unsure if the thing had really spoken. It’s my live-in girlfriend’s (yeah, my place) and it’s like the devil. Seriously, like, all cats are the devil. They make you stroke them. And then make you clean the shit out of your litter box. Cats don’t give a shit ’bout you.

    The damn cat said it again. Get a job.

    I thought of shooing it but the cat was speaking, so it seemed special. Also the cat was purring. Loudly, rumbly. And we are both male.

    For kicks I spoke back. Did Mindy (my f-ing GF) put you up to this.

    It said yeah bro, but its good advice.

    I countered by touching the feline and stroking it and scratching behind its ears and saying, “You soooz cute, you a good kitty; no, you a bad kitten-mitten,” then I roughly grasped it feline head and shook it back and forth.

    The damn thing purred. Then it said, you have a gigantic pussy.

    I said, “Alright, Borges (its name), at least I have sexual organs. You, my cute little, friend were neutered.”

    Best fucking day of my life said Borges.

    Stroke me said Borges.

    I bucked him/it off my lap.

    I want kitty treats said Borges.

    “No,” I said, “Bad monkey.”

    The damn thing strolled around the living room, then attacked my toes, then once again told me to get a job.

    “I’ll kick your ass,” I said.

    “Meooow,” said Borges.

    “Meeeeeoooooowww,” I said.

    Then that arrogant cat told me that my penis was small and that it didn’t satisfy Mindy (my GF).

    I was shocked.

    Then its said, that it had had intimate relations with Mindy and that her pussy was gorgeous.

    “I’ll kill you,” I said. Then pounced, ending up on the carpet.

    Stay down boy, Stay down. And also eat my non-existent dick said Borges.

    Damn cat. It had scurried in to the next room, its fat ass shaking, tail raised. I almost texted Mindy to say I hated the cat. I almost did. Then from the next room the stupid thing said that it loved when I touched him and that I was mos def a homosexual.

    I dashed in to kill it, to kill Borges. He was not there. I said, “Merrrrrrr_Roowww,” then I said, “Fuck you, homie.

    No response. I went back to the couch and loaded the bong. I thought, yeah, maybe I should get a job. It was my place. Mindy lived there. Her fat cat lived there. I thought, yeah, I probably should get a job. Then I inhaled that shit reallll hard.

    • PeterW says:

      Y’all should remember that even though you are writing for a prompt, your writing should stand alone: without the prompt to explain it. That is this week’s advice from the greatest =D,, ;-) woot.

    • Observer Tim says:

      This is a rather dark slice-of-life take, PeterW; an enjoyable read. I like how you made selective use of quotes to generate the impression that the entire conversation is actually taking place inside the human’s head. It appears the cat is standing in as an external source for his own frustrations.

    • Susan says:

      Very entertaining, Peter – the last line took me by surprise – works well.

    • agnesjack says:

      This was a well done look into the mind of a rather unsympathetic character. I, too, liked the lack of quotes when the cat was speaking words, indicating the MC’s drug-induced, delusional state.

  15. agnesjack says:

    O.K. Here’s a short one (still true).
    _______

    Maggie was a good girl and never jumped on the table, so when her fifteen pounds landed splat on my paper, I had to take notice.

    “Maggie!” I said.

    “Sorry,” she said, “but we have to talk.”

    “O.K.,” I said. See, I talk to my cats all the time. It’s no big deal.

    “Al’s got to go,” she said. “When I’m on the couch, all of a sudden HE’S got to be on the couch in MY spot. When I’m on the sunny windowsill, HE’S got to have the sunny windowsill. He chases me before dinner and after dinner and any time in between. I’m sick of it. I was here first. He’s got to go.”

    “Maggie,” I said, stroking her head. “Remember when you were outside with your mom, Red, and your siblings and it was raining and cold and you were hungry and wet, and then you came inside and were warm and had plenty of food, and were safe from gigantic raccoons?”

    “Vaguely,” she said.

    “Well, Maggie,” I said. “Al was in a cage when we found him. He had sores on his skin from allergies, and he couldn’t be touched anywhere except his head because he was scared to death. His previous human had dumped him off in a kill shelter without the slightest pang of guilt or remorse.”

    “Oh,” she said.

    “So,” I said. “He stays right here. O.K.?”

    “O.K.”

    “But there is one thing that you can do, you know?” I said. “Al is ten pounds and you are fifteen. All you have to do is pin him down with one big belly flop, and I guarantee, he’ll leave you alone after that.”

    “O.K.!” she said brightly, and jumped off the table to look for Al.

  16. blanderson says:

    Looking at me, she said pleadingly, “I think it’s time. Come on.”

    She was sitting on the table in front of me, looking at me through milky, formerly green eyes. Those eyes were kind.

    “Can I finish the paper first?”

    “Please, no.”

    I sighed, folded the paper and set it on the table. Then I smiled at her.

    “Well,” I said, “I suppose you’re right.”

    “You know I am.”

    She was. Getting someone to tell you the truth isn’t particularly easy, but Buckles always did. In many ways I felt it was unfair to give such a creature this ridiculous name, but it was her given name and I thought it odd to change it.

    She’d seen so much—helped me through so much. She saw my boys grow into men, husbands, and fathers. She’d been through two moves, including a particularly harrowing sabbatical on the English coast, where I swore she was angry with me for the entire year for forcing her to live in cold, wet weather. When Bev died, Buckles didn’t leave my side. I could tell she was exhausted, but she stood watch, ensuring I was OK.

    Her voice, louder now, repeated, “Come on.”

    “OK, girl. OK.”

    I lifted her gently, so as not to startle her. She didn’t like being grabbed—most likely never did, but especially so now.

    Before we left, I sat on the steps of the front porch, setting her down next to me. It’s amazing how many memories can fill one’s mind in a short period of time. The timeline of my life, of which the last 16 years included Buckles, passed before me. It had been a good run.

    I looked at her again.

    She said, “This is as far as I can go.”

    “I know,” I replied. “Thank you, girl. I’ll say ‘hi’ to Bev for you.”

    • agnesjack says:

      This was a very moving piece, blanderson. It said a lot with a few words.

      I was a bit confused at the end, however. I assumed that Buckles was saying that she was ready to die, and then it seemed that the human was dying (“I’ll say ‘hi’ to Bev for you.”), and all I could think of was, “who will take care of 16-year old Buckles?” Did I miss something?

      • blanderson says:

        You didn’t miss something. Buckles was helping the narrator through the end, though clearly Buckles will join him soon.

        • agnesjack says:

          It’s such a lovely thought — the cat guiding him. It reminded me of a cat in a nursing home in R.I., I believe, who would know when someone was about to die and would lay down on the bed with them.

    • Observer Tim says:

      Very touching story, blanderson. I concur with agnesjack in worrying about what will happen to Buckles, but I get the impression she will be joining her humans before too long, if the description of the cat’s advanced age is anything to go by.

      • blanderson says:

        I would imagine that’s the case for Buckles. I’m seeing the scene playing out in the narrator’s mind while on his deathbed, as he, like his wife before him, died young (ish) of an illness.

    • Susan says:

      A lovely, moving piece – like Agnes, I was a little baffled at the end, but it makes sense now I’ve read your follow-up comment. Quite a tear-jerker :(

    • Scarly says:

      Such a solemn story. I felt the emotional sadness and the peace in it. Nice perspective to take.

      • frankd1100 says:

        I had to reread the ending to be sure I got it right. I felt relief at first that Buckles lived on. But then I worried, who would care for Buckles with the end so near.

        A story that lives on the reader’s head…

  17. JRSimmang says:

    Following Tim’s lead, I’m aiming for a short #2.

    ###
    DOWN THERE

    There’s something sacred about the early morning, before the sun is up, before the kids are up, before the noise is up and scratching at my skull.

    I sat in my chair with a hot cup of coffee, and picked up yesterday’s newspaper.

    “I can lick myself.”

    I slowly lowered my paper. In front of me, Whiskey, our tabby, was staring at me.

    “I can. You want to see?”

    I cleared my throat, put my paper down, put my cup of coffee on the coffee table, and said, “Excuse me.”

    There’s something strange about the early morning. Something I don’t think I want to ever, ever, experience again.

    -JR Simmang

  18. Observer Tim says:

    And then another yarn attacked me and batted me about like a ball of … well, yarn. At least it’s short.
    _____

    I was reading the paper on Sunday when Spot, my striped tabby, jumped right onto the part I was reading. I had to scold him.

    “This is not the time to play, Spot. I’m reading!”

    Spot looked me right in the eye and said, “Puis-je vous parler, monsieur?”

    Totally unintelligible. “What was that? Are you talking, Spot? Like, people talk?”

    “Oui monsieur. J’ai appris à parler dans le canal français. ”

    “Huh? I don’t get it.”

    He spoke slowly, like he thought I was some kind of idiot. “Je peux parler français.”

    “Damn, I wish cats could talk people talk. That would be so handy. Then you could just tell me what you’re trying to say.”

    Spot stood gave me that cat-attitude sniff and walked into the kitchen, muttering to himself as he went. “Les humains sont des crétins.”

    • jhowe says:

      Observer Tim, that was brilliant. I’m in awe of your ability to come up with this stuff. Perhaps if the cat had spoken Klingon the cretin would have got it, but maybe not. This is not a challenge by the way, unless you interpret as such.

      • jhowe says:

        NaDevvo returned to his quarters after a particularly grueling shift on the bridge of the Klingon ship majQa. His cat HIghoS greeted him with a loud meow. NaDevvo was always perplexed by cats and their inability to communicate effectively.

        ‘Meow my ass,’ he thought ignoring her completely, what a dolt. NaDevvo was still upset with the high commander for his order that all Klingons possess a pet. It was all he could do not to boot the thing, which would have brought on an agonizing death as decreed in the order.

        The cat, much to NaDevvo’s surprise, jumped to the desk and said, “Heghlu’meH QaQ jajvam.”

        “bIjatlh “e” yIlmev!” said NaDevvo” but the cat did not back down. “bIjatlh “e” yIlmev!” said NaDevvo again. The cat remained where she was
        .
        NaDevvo calmly drew his weapon and put it to his own head. The cat had challenged him to a duel. He could fight the cat and probably win, but the order was implicit that a fate worse than death awaited him if that were to happen. “Well played,’ he thought as he pulled the trigger.

      • Observer Tim says:

        Haha! Good one, jhowe! I am not ready for a Klingon challenge, so I’m glad you answered it.

        As for poor NaDevvo, some days you’re the cat, and some days you’re the ball of string…

    • agnesjack says:

      Delightful, Tim. Très bien.

    • Observer Tim says:

      Thanks, Nancy and Kerry. I just had to find a way to put that grade-school French to use…

    • Susan says:

      Now that really did make me LOL – tres amusant, Tim :)

    • frankd1100 says:

      Humorous observation of how narrow cultures can be…

      Creative, original take on the prompt, Tim.

  19. Dragonlover says:

    “Riff! Will you please let me read the paper?” I asked my small orange and white cat as she jumped in the middle of the article I was reading.

    “Meowowow!” she said as I deposited her back on the floor.

    Seconds later she was back in the same spot joined by her brother, Raff. “What is wrong with the two of you?” I yelled.

    Raff looked into my eyes and swatted his sister on the head. “Raff!” “Don’t mistreat your sister like that. Now both of you GET DOWN!”

    “Mooooooom, I was here first and he’s trying to butt in,” Riff complained as she wiggled around Raff to get closer to me.

    “Excuse me, did you just say something?” I asked backing away from both of them.

    “Oops, you did it now sister,” Raff said swatting Riff’s head again.

    “What’s going on with you two?” Smokey, my silver-gray cat said as she jumped on the couch.

    “I just wanted Mom to pay attention to me and then Raff jumped in front of me,” Riff said with a hiss.

    “That’s not what I’m talking about,” Smokey said swatting them both on the head. “Why are you talking human talk to Mom?”

    “I forgot not to,” Riff explained as she dropped her head.

    “Wait a minute, all of you. How long have you been able to talk human?” I asked coming to my senses.

    “Forever,” they all said at once.

    “So why did you pick now to speak?”

    “I was aggravated at Raff and you were being unreasonable,” Riff whined.

    “Unreasonable?” I asked shocked.

    “You don’t seem to have time to spend with us anymore. You’re either working or too tired for us,” Raff replied.

    “You used to set on the couch and we would all gather around you and take a nap or watch TV,” Smokey said.

    “You don’t even give me much attention anymore,” Tippy, my black and white kitten said as he joined his siblings. “I was the little runt that you rescued but now you seem to ignore me.”

    “Wait just a minute. I pet you guys, I feed you all, I clean your litter, I make sure you have a home to live in and toys to play with. I can’t help it that my job has me working extra and I’m exhausted when I get home.”

    “We understand all of that, but we just want cuddled sometimes,” Riff said rubbing a tear from her eye.

    “Oh guys, I am so sorry. I didn’t realize you all felt so abandoned. You were all rescued from uncertain situations and I never want any of you to feel that way again,” I said wiping a tear from my own eye. “Come here,” I gestured to each of them as I leaned back on the couch. I soon sat with each of my babies curled tightly around me.

    “We love you Mom,” Riff sighed with a purr before drifting off to sleep.

  20. jhowe says:

    Note: This idea is from I joke I heard on the radio, so I can’t take credit, except for including a cat instead of a dog. It’s not really a story, and now that I think about it, it’s not all that funny. I have no idea why I’m posting it.

    Brian knocked on the dark green wooded door and an old man answered. Brian said, “I hear you have a talking cat for sale.”

    “That’s right,” said the old man. “Twenty bucks and he’s all yours.”

    “Well, I’m going to need some proof.”

    “Knock yourself out,” said the old man. “He’s in that room right there.”

    Brian entered the room and a large gray cat sat on the unmade bed. “Well, what have you got to say for yourself?”

    The cat said, “You’d be surprised if I told you.”

    Brian was astonished but concentrated on keeping his cool. The cat went on, “Not only am I the world’s only talking cat but I’m also one of the greatest cats in history.”

    Brian motioned for the cat to continue. “It was me who pulled a hundred people to safety during the 911 attacks. It was me who, against all odds, ran the fasted 800 meter time at the 2006 world track and field championship. It is I who have several patents that will prove to cure cancer in the next year.”
    Brian stared in disbelief. “Shall I go on?” the cat said.

    “No, that’s quite enough.” Brian scooped up the cat in his arms, dollar signs swirling in his head. He paid the old man and started out the door.

    “Why did you sell this cat so cheap?”

    “Well, it was nice having a talking cat, but he’s such a god damned liar.”

  21. DredfulGames says:

    Greg squinted his eyes as he read the newspaper. He’d never had great eyesight and it was always worse when it was dark outside. He had just started reading the front page article about the latest in a series of murders, when he felt his cat, Ripley, push up against his leg. “I’ll feed you in a minute.”, Greg muttered as he pushed him away.

    Just a moment later, Ripley’s pushing returned, a bit rougher and more insistent than Greg was used to. “Yeesh, just let me finish this article and I’ll feed you, okay?”, he said as he once again pushed Ripley away from his leg.

    Suddenly there was a thump and Ripley’s front paws entered Greg’s vision, landing directly on the article. “Greg…..”, Greg heard his name called in a deep and raspy voice. Greg immediately whipped his head up to look at Ripley. The voice definitely came from the cat’s direction.

    “Greg…..”, he heard again, and sure enough, Ripley’s mouth was moving.

    “Greg…..”, Ripley said again, but something was wrong, his mouth was moving out of sync with the words. That’s when Greg’s eyes focused on the bottom half of the cat’s body. The part where the creature’s arm entered the corpse. Greg’s eyes followed the arm up to a shoulder, and then a face twisted into an evil grin.

    The next day Greg was on the front page of the newspaper.

  22. scarybrat22 says:

    “Care if I read the sports section?”
    “Care if I read the sports section?”
    Toni Girl, all 15 pounds of her Buddha belly, flop plopped onto the kitchen table jelly roll position down onto the newspaper, the boom effect cart wheeling my morning cup of killer across the table and onto the floor.
    I eyed her. I eyed her. Not quite believing she actually spoke, I thought, What the hell?
    “Was that really necessary? That was the last of the coffee. No, you MAY NOT read the sports section.”
    Her claws scratched slowly at the newspaper now.
    “Can I read the funnies?’
    Being ever the disciplinarian, I said.
    “NO! On one hand, I am proud of you, but you missy are going to the catty corner to think about your coffee crime against humanity.”
    “Meow.”
    “Oh so now you want to play cat?”
    “Meow.”
    The door bell rang.
    “Okay, there is someone at the door, I will be RIGHT back!”
    “Miss?”
    “Yes officer?”
    “Are you okay?”
    “Yes, why?”
    “Your neighbors heard you talking to yourself again, QUITE loudly, I might add.”
    “Oh, I was just having a conversation with my cat. We were fighting over the newspaper.”
    “Ugh huh.”
    “No, really. She’s right here.”
    “I don’t see her.”
    “No, she’s here. Short black hair, Buddah belly, MEOWS like a cat! Only today, when I was reading the paper she asked me for the sports section.”
    “Ugh huh.”
    “No, really! Toni girl say something.”
    “Meow”
    “Did you hear that? She just said meow, but before that she said, “Care if I read the sports section” Here, I will act it out for you.”
    So I got on all fours, tail to the sky, wiggling back and forth saying, “MEOW, MEOW! Saying, “see, it was just like that!”
    “Ugh huh. Miss, I think it best you come with me.”
    “She even looks like me! See these three facial hairs? She gets her hirsuitism from me!”
    “We got meds for that too.”
    I screamed, Toni Girl, say something…. Toni Girl, REVEAL YOURSELF!
    She said, “meow.”

  23. seliz says:

    She didn’t kill him. She spent the night with me.

    One dead abusive husband: George Silvas. One lover in jail for murder: Melanie Silvas—innocent.

    The facts were seared through my brain. Melanie leaving her husband and finding her way to my bedroom. She slipped away in the morning, promising to return once she retrieved the rest of her things. I begged her not to go back to the house. But she persisted saying, “I’ve got an angel watching over me, Thomas. How else have I survived this long with him? I’ll be back, I promise.”
    But she never came back and my worry turned to panic. Yellow caution tape and flashing lights outside her house only increasing my alarm.
    “What’s going on?” I asked an onlooker.
    “Looks like the wife slit her husbands throat.”
    For a moment, my panic turned to relief. Melanie was alive. But the relief was short lived, as I realized the implications of what was said. They thought Melanie did this.
    That was a week ago. I found myself reliving the scene, as I made my way through her house. The police tape had been cleared, and Melanie asked that I bring her some toiletries. Jail wasn’t being kind to her, I could tell from the bags under her eyes, but she was adamant that this would be cleared up.
    I stopped digging through her drawers when a small gray cat rubbed against my leg.
    “Hey little guy, you must be pretty hungry, huh?”
    The cat simply stared with intelligent green eyes. It unnerved me to see the cat, which Melanie had never mentioned owning, dissect me with her eyes. I turned away and made my way to the kitchen in search of cat food.
    “Wait,” a female voice said from behind me. “I have something to show you.”
    I slowly turned to stare at the cat.
    “Come,” the cat continued. “In the garage—there’s something you must see.”
    Against my better judgment I followed. She stopped in front of a shelf in the garage and began to paw it, “Move this.”
    I did without question, a mix of shock and curiosity propelling me. Beneath the shelf was a small wooden door, which opened to a dark stair case. The cat simply nodded and I made my way down them.
    The stairs led to a torture chamber of sorts with metal restraints lining the walls and an exam table with scalpels and pliers next to it. My breath caught in my throat as I stared at the shelf lining the wall, jars with human organs floating in clear fluid. I choked back bile and stumbled backwards towards the door.
    “Now you see why I had to kill him,” the cat said from the foot of the stairs.
    “But how did Melanie survive this? The man was a lunatic!”
    I turned to the cat, but she was gone. Melanie always said she had an angel watching over her. She didn’t know how right she was.

    • Observer Tim says:

      That is one mean cat, seliz. But I guess she does what’s necessary when George the Former Ripper is in the house…

    • lailakuz says:

      You’ve got a really solid story concept. I think the language was good and the way you took on the perspective of the character was interesting. I like the plot twists in here and how the story kept on moving very quickly. My only suggestion would be to work a little with the dialogue to make it as compelling as the story. Nice job overall!

      • seliz says:

        Thank you! And I agree, the dialogue could have been better. I had a difficult time being over the word limit, and had to go back and remove some lines (including some dialogue and tags that the piece probably still needed!) Thank you for the feedback!

    • jhowe says:

      Nice one seliz. That was a well written, compelling story. I wonder if the cat will have the nerve to testify.

    • agnesjack says:

      A dark story, but it kept my interest.
      Good cat, protecting her Melanie like that… only problem is: how will Melanie be able to prove her innocence?

      • seliz says:

        At some point the MC would have to come forward and say that Melanie spent that night with him. I figured all those details would come out in the trial, that is, if I were continuing the story of course.

    • JRSimmang says:

      The last couple sentences sold me the story. It has a supernatural feel to it, though I’m uncertain who’s supernatural, the cat or the narrator. And, I’m okay with that. You could have a longer story here.

    • seliz says:

      All right, if you guys insist. :) Here’s installment two. I hope you guys enjoy it!

      I debated not telling Melanie—or anyone—what I discovered. George was already dead and explaining that a talking cat lead me to the dungeon seemed a little far fetched. My stomach churned at the thought of the people who had their lives snatched by George. Ultimately that was what gave me the strength to share my story.
      “I’m not sure how to break this to you,” I whispered into the phone connecting Melanie and me in the jail. “I found something in your house.”
      She waited patiently for me to continue. Even in jail, she exuded peace and kindness.
      “I found a torture chamber in your garage,” I said, the words running together as one.
      Melanie’s face twisted in horror at the words, but slowly shifted to understanding.
      “George,” she whispered.
      “Yeah, George,” I echoed. “I haven’t told the police yet. I wanted you to know first.”
      She nodded, but remained mum.
      “There was one more thing,” I said. “I met a cat at your house and it…” It talked. The words even sounded crazy in my head.
      Melanie snapped to attention at the mention of a cat. “And it what?”
      “It sort of talked.”
      Melanie shook with excitement at the words, like a dog told to fetch.
      “That is the best news I’ve heard in a long time,” she said finally.
      “Do you mind explaining?”
      She smiled widely, “That was Savanna. She protects my family; has for generations. Except,” Melanie paused, as if thinking about something painful. “I haven’t been considered part of the family for years—not since I married George. But if Savanna is back, that means I’ve been forgiven!”
      I stared at Melanie dumbly—none of her words making sense.
      “Thomas,” she continued on, smiling. “I’m a witch. Savanna is my families guardian.”
      “I’m not understanding how this is a good thing.”
      “It’s the best thing,” Melanie gushed. “If my family forgives me, that means I have my powers again. Its been years since they were stripped from me.”
      Then just as quickly, her expression slipped to sadness once more.
      “Thomas, I’m sorry. This is goodbye. I’ll never forget you.”
      She placed her hand on the glass and stared at me, a single tear slipping down her cheek. Then she was gone.
      It wasn’t a pretty sight when the guards found she was missing, they were focused other things when I told them what I discovered in the garage. The media dubbed it the, “Gore Garage” and soon every paper was filled with George’s madness and Melanie’s disappearance. With the commotion around them, it was easy for me to slip away unscathed from the media madness.
      I left the ordeal behind and continued on with my life, letting the horrors of the “Gore Garage” fall to the back of my mind. I did keep one reminder—a small gray kitten. It wasn’t Savanna, but for whatever reason, it made me feel safer than any guard dog could.

  24. George says:

    A visit to the doctor,
    By Ovidiu Panaite

    Saturdays and Sundays were always the same for me; waking up early in the morning, I was making my coffee, reading the newspaper, enjoying the free time…Having to work so much during the week, the weekend was a real blessing. All until this Sunday morning, the 20th of October…It was about eight or nine in the morning, the coffee was ready, I went outside to get the paper and the damn cat rushed into the kitchen like crazy. I wasn’t going to fight with it, so I let her in…I got a can of tuna, her favorite, and fed her; then I wondered off, reading the paper and enjoying my coffee. But the cat just wouldn’t stop wobbling around and punching my leg with her paws. I got kind of angry and I pushed her away. Then, after a while, after a few minutes of jumping around, the cat finally reached the top of the table and said: ‘Dude, you have to listen carefully! I know this might sound strange, but we cats can sometimes speak with people; and I have a very important message for you…’ And I was like ‘Whoa, whoa, whoa! You said you can talk to people? Since when? What the hell, man?!’ And then the cat said: ‘Man, there’s a great disaster approaching. It might as well be the end of the world. A big plague will spread amongst the species and only cats could feel it coming. We have to warn everyone and everything about this so that they take precautions. Now you have to…’ And it kept talking like crazy and it spoke like that for about two uninterrupted hours. It was telling me about some medicine which can be procured from a Shaman who lives in Peru, in the mountains, in an isolated Monastery. I was shocked the whole time; I just couldn’t figure out what to do…if I should call the Government or the police or…
    - What is the name of your cat?
    - I don’t know doctor, I can’t really remember. I think that I’m still in shock.
    - Mister Dan, your wife told us that you don’t even own a cat…that’s why she sent you to us. She told that it was better for you to see a specialist, and now I can see why…
    - Well that can’t be right. You’re saying that I’m crazy now? My cat freaking spoke with me, it told me to inform the world about a possible Apocalypse, and you’re telling me that I’m crazy? Listen to yourself, the cat is right, nobody can be trusted…
    - Mr. Dan, please calm yourself. If it will make you feel any better, you can go home today and bring your cat here so we may all witness and hear what it has to say…
    - Well, maybe I will…I hope that only my wife didn’t hid it or threw it away out of jealousy…I’ll be back doctor, with the talking cat…

    • Observer Tim says:

      This is the kind of story that calls out for a resolution, George (Ovidiu). I find myself wondering if Mr. Dan is going to get a visit from the Men in Black or the Men in White Coats… I found it a compact and enjoyable read.

      My only criticism is that it could benefit from some paragraph breaks; as it is everything seems a bit scrunched together.

  25. HALLOW’S MORN
    ==============

    Jackie pulled the collar of her housecoat tight around her neck and opened the door to let her cat inside after his morning romp. She clutched the coffee cup and shivered as her breath joined the steam, freezing against the frosty autumn morning.

    “Puddles!” she yelled. Goddamned furry bastard.

    Gripping a dead mouse, Puddles sauntered up the deck steps, dropped his prize and sat expectantly, awaiting praise and adoration. Gross.

    She spooned out some fresh pate for her beloved fuzz-ball and placed the plate on the floor. Puddles tucked in to his dish as if he’d not been fed in weeks. Jackie kept thinking about the mouse, but decided it was a task for later.

    The chrome kitchen set saw better days, as did the rest of the house, but Jackie didn’t mind. She sat at the table and read the daily obituaries, always the first source of inspiration. Jackie folded the paper back to the front page and scanned the headlines. No news is good news.

    Puddles started rubbing against her legs. “Not now,” Jackie said with a hint of irritation. He jumped on the table, pawed and head-butted the paper. She smirked a bit and put the paper down. Time to plan later.

    Jackie scooped the overweight cat up in her arms and started scrubbing him behind the ears.

    “Meow,” he said. “Right there. Yup, that’s the ticket, girl. Get the sweet spot. Thanks, babe.”

    “Don’t call me ‘babe’. How many times have I told you to call me ‘Mistress’?”

    “Whatever, babe.” Cats can be such assholes.

    “So, you brought me another field-mouse. I told you I needed something bigger.”

    “I’m just a mere cat, babe.”

    “Mere cat, my ass. We both know differently. The Grimoire clearly states that I need a young sacrifice for the spell. Tonight’s the night. Stop screwing around, Puddles.”

    “I’m sorry, babe. I’ll try harder. Just gotta nap first.”

    “Trying won’t cut it, kitty. These will though.” Jackie showed the cat her couponing shears and made snip-snip motions. “I’m sure there’s a nifty spell requiring feline testicles. If you can’t be useful one way, I’ll make sure you are in another.”

    Puddles ears went flat to his head, his eyes widening. “Please, Mistress. Just one more chance. I can do it. I will do it.”

    “You better. I need one pink, squirming little thing. Alive. That’s it.”

    “I’ll have to shift, you know. In daylight.”

    “Of course you do, numbskull. It won’t matter much after the storm tonight. Get it done. Shoo!”

    Jackie stood and opened the door for her servant to do as bid. The witch stood in the center of her kitchen, downed her coffee and hung up her housecoat beside her cassock. She wore a simple black singlet and shorts; the house would be very warm shortly.

    Two armloads of hardwood later, the wood range glowed orange and the cauldron boiled rapidly, its sweet vapors filling the room. Jackie was pleased with the work so far.

    There was a scratching at the door, then a familiar, welcome sound.

    “Meow.”

  26. wohisme says:

    Lady Crawley, my wife, Anna’s, cat, had inexplicably jumped on the table. Hungry she’d been meowing and pawing at my leg all morning. She is under the mistaken impression she’s aristocracy and we’re her servants.

    When, like that day, Anna was not around, Lady Crawley’s not so gentle reminders fell of deaf ears. She was still on the table, my shooing wasn’t working, I stood to go after her and she said, “Sit down you cheeky bastard.”

    My legs collapsed from under me and, as instructed, I sat. Cheeky bastard? Lady Crawley’s a Brit?

    “Don’t get your knickers in a twist, it’s time we had a little chat”, she continued.

    “My knickers are not in a twist and I’m not chatting with you, you’re a cat!”

    “Be a good chap and we can keep everything that goes on in the house, when you think you’re alone between us. You know, your guilty pleasure.”

    “No more Downton Abbey for you”, it was the best I could manage.

    “Listen prat, there are going to be some changes around here.”

    I raised my hands and tauntingly wiggled my thumbs, “I have opposable digits.”

    “Yes, and we both know what you do with your digits when you think no one’s around; locked in your office moaning and groaning.”

    “Not your business, Nosey Parker” defensively I added, “it makes me happy.”

    “Happy! You’re pathetic! If you don’t do exactly as I say your dirty little secret will be revealed; you’ll be laid bare.”

    Resigned, I asked, “What do you want?”

    What followed was a litany of requirements that would embarrass the most demanding diva; no eye contact; gourmet food, not gourmet cat food, gourmet food; flowers; cat nip, you name it. Not wanting to be exposed, I acquiesced to all her demands.

    Then, she went too far, I was to stop doing it, you know, that thing we all enjoy so much, “no deal!”

    “Stop being so melodramatic, I am sure Anna will lend a hand now and again. Besides, I am doing you a favor, must be hard the way you incessantly go at it, it’s a wonder you haven’t developed carpal tunnel syndrome.”

    “Hard, yes, but it’s a labor of love so no matter how tired my hands get I will keep it up. It makes me whole. And, seemingly, some people like what I come up with.”

    “People like what you come up with! You sure have a swelled head; wanker!”

    “Wanker! Did you say wanker? Oh… you thought I was…” I rolled my hand in to a loose fist and moved it back and forth in short rhythmic strokes, “for all those hours, I don’t have that kind of stamina.”

    A menacing glare was now in my eyes, she jumped from the table and bid a hasty retreat meowing as she went, we’ve never spoken again.

    I have to admit, I was relieved that she fell for my bluff, imagine my humiliation if anyone knew my behind-closed-doors-guilty-pleasure was writing… well mostly…

    • agnesjack says:

      I liked the change of direction in the end. It made it a better, funnier story.

    • Observer Tim says:

      Major league clever, wohisme. I like the twist at the end. Well, mostly …

    • seliz says:

      Funny piece. I couldn’t help laughing at the accent part! I did have to read the first sentence a few times, the “Lady Crawley, my wife, Anna’s, cat,” portion to make sure I was understanding correctly Lady Crawley was. After that line though, everything else fell into place. Good job :)

      • Kerry Charlton says:

        I enjoyed the British bit, gave a sparkle to your dialogue. And the cat’s personality lept from the story with your prose. I agree the first sentence was a hesitation for a bit, but rereading it didn’t affect the quality of your tale. I have hard times with my first sentence, quite a bit until I let it cool a day and reread it.

  27. agnesjack says:

    I didn’t have an inkling of a clue of what to write for this prompt, so here is a true story. —Nancy
    __________________

    THE RED CAT

    My husband and I had just gotten home after attending a funeral. It was July 25, 2005. I remember the date because two days earlier we had attended a wedding. They were both family events — a beginning for a nephew and his new bride and an end for a sister-in-law’s mother, who had suffered through a long illness. Life’s ironies.

    I was in the dining room going through the mail when I heard a sound coming from the kitchen. It was a hoarse, throaty sort of “roaw.” Our three cats, Jack, George and Kimo, had eaten and gone off to their special snoozing places. I heard the sound again, louder and more determined, “RAOW!” Then I saw the source. This little red/orange face was peering through the screen door at me.

    “Mark!” I called. “There’s a red cat at the door.”

    He came into the room and I pointed. “RAAOOOW!” it said to him.

    “What should we do?” I asked, stupidly.

    “Feed him,” Mark replied simply.

    The red cat devoured three bowls of food, waiting each time for us to go back inside before approaching the bowl. After the third bowl, we noticed a baseball-sized bulge in “his” belly. “Uh, oh,” we thought. “This is no ‘he’.”

    After that, she came to eat several times a day. It got so the sound of the screen door opening would bring her trotting up from the wooded area behind our house, but she was still skittish, so Mark would put the food down and go sit on a chair on the other side of the yard. Gradually, he moved the chair closer and closer, until he was finally able to sit on the steps no more than two feet away. After a while, I could sit there, too. We wanted to win her trust so that we could catch her before the kittens were born.

    At the beginning of August we went on a short, planned vacation. When we got home, our cat sitting friends told us the red cat hadn’t come by the day before. We opened and closed the screen door, hoping she would come. There was no sign of her. Mark stood in the yard tapping a food bowl. No response. It was late afternoon and we began to worry that something had happened to her. Finally, at dusk we heard the familiar “roaw” at the door and practically knocked each other over going for the food. It was obvious when we saw her that she was no longer pregnant. “Oh, boy,” we thought. “Now what?”

    The next chapter is too long to write here, but, in summary, it took us ten weeks to finally catch her and her five kittens. Four kittens found homes with friends, and Red and a daughter, Maggie, remained with us.

    How skinny, six-pound Red managed to keep her babies safe out there for all that time, I’ll never know. She even stood her ground to protect her babies when a huge raccoon came lumbering into the yard one evening. Mark and I had to bang on pots to chase the raccoon away. We called her our miracle mommy.

    A final note: Red was curled up on my lap when I wrote this. She woke up for a moment and looked at me. “This is the life,” she said stretching. “Wake me when it’s time to eat.” Then she yawned and went back to sleep.

  28. I’m reading the newspaper, engrossed in it and I feel my pet cat, Garfield pawing at my feet. I brush her away, almost as an involuntary action. The cat jumps on the tea table and I hear a meow – she is annoyed. I read on.
    “She never listens to me!” I hear a resentful complaint. I stop reading and narrow my eyes. Where did that come from? I lower the newspaper and look at Garfield who’s looking right back at me with sullen eyes. “Garfield?” The name comes out my mouth without me thinking of it. I can’t believe what I’m thinking because cats don’t speak!
    “Sherry” She says like she’s trying to make me see sense. As if cats walked around talking to people every day!
    “Cats don’t speak” I say out loud to reassure myself that I haven’t lost my mind. “They do” comes the whisper.
    I look at my cat and she yawns. “Can’t a cat be heard when she got something to say? You humans are so busy lost in your own worlds and you simply don’t stop to hear the cry of an animal,” Garfield says. I am astonished! I can’t believe my ears! “Please go on talking. I’m listening to you now” I say with mock respect as a part of my mind calculated how crazy I could’ve gone for hearing animals talk.
    “Listen to me, young lady. I see you everyday going about with your routine, reading newspapers like you care what’s going on around you –when you actually don’t- and talking to your friends on the phone like you were their queen…” She pauses to collect her breath. “I see you. I see you and all the others every day. Have you ever stopped to think what life must be like for silent creatures like me?” she asks.
    By now I have regained my calm and I’m actually listening. I think. “To be honest, no. I haven’t thought much about anyone other than myself. People say I’m selfish but I know they’re just jealous.” I roll my eyes.
    “I try to talk to you. I see how you ignore me. I see how you live like the sun revolved around the spot where you stand. I want you to change.” Now she’s sounding like my big sister.
    “Why do you care?’’ I ask.
    “Listen to the world, to the nature Sherry. Listen to the sound of small creatures. Think of lives that you would normally deem insignificant. Today I’m giving you a chance to change. Take it and be good” Garfield the cat/sage says. I look at her like I’m looking at an alien. Part of me can’t believe this. A part of me is awed into serious thinking. A cat is saying all this to me? A cat wants me to change? Is it possible that she might have observed me all day and night and know me more than I know myself? Is that why she wants me to change? I ponder.
    In a second, I go back to being myself and chuckle at myself. A talking condescending cat. I walk away from the table without a glance at Garfield thinking and knowing that I’ll always be what I am, the bitterness of the thought engulfing me.

  29. Ezaya12 says:

    Early morning while trying to read some news. My cat suddenly pawing at my leg. I brushed her away but she only jumps on the table and burst out meowing. After a while she stop and eyed me. Still busy reading some news I didn’t noticed it and caused it to snapped.

    “Are you really planning on reading that news paper all day?” She said.

    I was startled and for a second stared at my cat. Gawking. “D-Did you…Did you just talk?”

    “Yes, that’s me talking not meowing and you’re thinking it’s supernatural but hey! There are cats who planned to rule the world. So don’t be startled if I just talk.”

    Okay this must be something my mind create after living alone for a while. “This is only my imagination. There’s no way a cat could talk!”

    “We talk.” She said confidently.

    “You don’t!” I insist.

    “You’re talking to me.”

    “Yes I am!”

    “See, that’s one way to prove that I’m talking. Aren’t you happy that I can actually talk? At least you’re not going to make a fool of yourself when you’re talking alone in front of the mirror now.”

    “Uh…you see that?” I said, still digesting what’s happening.

    She rolled her eyes. “A lot. That’s why I’m here, you can talk to me all you want.”

    “Why?”

    “Why did I decided to talk? Well apparently since you’re the one who’s taking care of me it is my highest priority to be with you and take care of you. That includes keeping you away from going insane.”

    My jaw drop. As if talking to a cat will keep me sane in other peoples point of view!

    “I’m frightened that once you turned your attention on something else you might forget me.” She said with sadness in her voice.

    Why did I forgot? Shame on me! Animals also have feelings. They care like humans did. They love like humans does. But since we don’t know what they feel because they didn’t talk. We don’t actually have a clue on what they feel.

    “I’m sorry.” I muttered. Apologetic. “I promised that from now on, I’ll be more careful of what I do and what I say.”

    “Do you love me?”

    “You did get my attention.”

    “Do you love me?” She asked again.

    “More than you love me.”

    • Observer Tim says:

      This is a clever take on the prompt, Ezaya. I like the way the story is told through the dialogue, and it’s fairly clear at all times which character is talking.

      You need to work on your verb tenses, but that’s a learnable skill.

  30. Carlos Rios says:

    Garfield In Real Life.

    It was a stormy morning and Steve, the banker, was in his study reading the newspaper when his cat George walked in and brushed up against his leg; no response. George tried again, then again, and still his owner did not give him any attention. Finally the fat cat jumped up his owners desk and at once the banker took notice.

    George sat up nonchalantly and looked directly into Steve’s eyes.

    “Hey Steve.” George said to his bewildered owner.

    “George…is that you speaking?” Steve replied.

    “Yeah, yeah so what? Now listen up…” the animal said.

    After Steve took in a breath, rubbed his eyes, and closed his jaw, George continued.

    “Listen Steve, you know how us cats have only nine lives? George said.

    Steve nodded still in shock that his cat was talking.

    “Well, my eighth life was just extinguished outside in the yard. A lightning bold fried me into ashes. Now I only have one life left.”

    “So, what do you want from me?” Steve said.

    “Well you see Steve, I need to take out a loan. I have a couple of hair balls I can put up as collateral. What ya say?” George said.

    After that Steve held in his breath, opened his eyes wide, and opened his jaw. “Get outta here before I take you last life George!” he screamed.

    George turned and walked out the room without another word. He found his owner’s new and expensive suit on the bed, scratched it into pieces before he peed on it with great satisfaction.

    • Observer Tim says:

      Is George trying to borrow money or lives? Given that Steve only has the one life, I doubt he’d be too keen on lending it. But the treatment of that poor innocent suit is so cat.

      Very clever one, Carlos, and quite fun.

    • MCKEVIN says:

      This is a good starting point for a good story. It is a complete story but it could’ve been better. The best advice I received was from a seasoned writer here who posted “After you the author complete your story let it sit for a day. Then pick it up again and read it from a reader’s point of view” (I don’t always do and it shows up in my writing when I don’t) I’m offering you that same advice and welcome to forum. See you at the next prompt.

      • Kerry Charlton says:

        Welcome to the forum Carlos. You’ll find the site a great place to polish your writing. If this is your first story, you’re off to a fast start. Read all the stories and their critiques. Study their paragraphing, structure and content.

        For your first story out of the box, you show great promise. I’ll look forward to your next one.

    • Heart2Heart says:

      Peed Revenge……clever! Keep writing : )

    • don potter says:

      Your prompt demonstrated you understand the world of cats and are able to effectively turn this into a tasty tale. Good job. Keep posting.

  31. LizzieC says:

    I was sitting have a nice cup of tea, reading the newspaper, when the cat jumped on my lap and began waving his paw around.
    “Tommy, what is the matter with you? Leave me alone! I’m trying to read the paper and your paw is not helping matters.”
    “Good, I’ve got your attention.”
    “Excuse me? Did you say something? Cats don’t talk, they purr, meow and scratch things they are not supposed to.”
    “Well, I can talk given half a chance, but do you take any notice? Noooo!”
    “Go and have some food there is plenty in your dish. And do stop annoying me.”
    “I wanted to ask you a question.”
    “What?”
    “What was in that bowl you had sitting on the counter top last week?”
    I should explain that the bowl, to which he refers, contained the fruit for my Christmas cake. It was being soaked, with rum, to enhance the flavour. I had left it in the kitchen when later I heard a loud thump and on investigation, the whole bowl of fruit was upside down on the floor. There was only one culprit!
    “So it was you and not the other member of the family!”
    “Why do you always jump to the conclusion that it was me?”
    “Because it usually is.”
    “But the bowl was “talking” to me and “telling” me to have a taste.”
    “And did you like it?”
    “Well, yes, it was better than the meringue on the pie the other week. But when I jumped down my legs were really wobbly, I couldn’t see straight and my whiskers were all over the place.”
    “Serves you right! You were sloshed, pie-eyed and just plain drunk!”
    “Well my head was really sore the next morning and I didn’t feel like eating my breakfast.”
    “Tommy, I should tell you that human food is not cat food, as much as you think it is. Hot cross buns, lemon meringue pie and Christmas cake mixture is for us. Do I pinch your food?”
    “No,” he replied rather dejectedly.
    “Then leave me alone to read my paper and go and have a munchy. And in future, please talk cat!”
    The cat jumped down and walked off. Had I really been having a conversation with the Ginger Peril, as we sometimes refer to him, or had I dropped off while reading?

    ………………………………………………………………………………………………………
    The sampling really did happen and his name has not be changed to protect him!

    • Observer Tim says:

      I suppose we need to hope that Tommy doesn’t develop a taste for rum. Have you considered setting your food out in a double-layered steel-reinforced cage with three combination locks? It sounds like that might be what it takes…

      Wonderful story, LizzieC, I thoroughly enjoyed it.

    • MCKEVIN says:

      I liked it. Good one.

    • agnesjack says:

      So spot on cat, LizzieC. I always place stuff like that in the microwave above the stove so my guys can’t reach it. I’m sure you are aware that some people food (chocolate, grapes, etc.) are poisonous to cats.

      Anyway, I liked this story — especially the name, Ginger Peril.

    • don potter says:

      I enjoyed the drunk cat concept as I did changing the name to protect him. Nice little tale. Maybe I should say story — don’t want you to think I was referring to his tail.

    • jhowe says:

      Really clever take on the prompt. It’s my experience with cats that they always try to defer blame, even when they do something like fall off the TV right in front of you. “I meant to do that.”

      • LizzieC says:

        Thanks for all your comments. I belong to a little writing group and for the past two years we have produced a calendar in which the “Ginger Peril” features. This year I had to write another story of his adventures. Who knows what he will get up to next.

  32. 96fangorn says:

    I bush off a layer of grime from an old morning newspaper lying on the floor. Particles start floating everywhere in the ruined place as I move around. A light blanket of dust has settled in every corner and on every surface of the apartment. My cat, Cat, stomps around and sneezes, her paws leaving prints on the carpet. I sit on a nearby chair and try to make out what date the newspaper is from. Cat starts pawing at my leg. Unable to make out what is written on the newspaper I frustratingly try to open it to another page, but the ink has almost worn off. Cat meows quietly and jumps on the table gracefully. The filth sticks to her orange fur.
    “Where is everybody?” I ask her and sigh. I haven’t had a shower for five days and my hair is a mess. Having wandered around this apartment complex without as much as a hint of what year it is, things start to seem lost. My food rations are nearly gone – all I have left in fact is cat food. Still, even Cat seems displeased.
    I’ve been in a ton of different time capsules. There are endless parallel time loops in space, crossed or divided. My entire life has been devoted to the investigation of the ever-expanding universal time mystery. It’s what I have to do, being born a time-traveler. We are all slaves of time.
    “I think It’s a black hole,” I clearly hear Cat state.
    In shock, I jump from the table and hold my hands out in front of me. Recovering quickly, I stand up straight and look at her again. I squint my eyes, still not entirely believing my ears. Of course this has happened before. One other time – years ago when I was around 12. Thankfully, at that time I knew what year it was (901 B.C.) and could quickly leave the place. This time it seems much, much different. After a while, she meows again and jumps down from the table. I bend down to pick her up, still shaky. I look her in the eye to find any human intelligence. I don’t find any. In an odd second, her head sags and she turns cold. I drop her. Her fur is light grey and face wrinkled. Time has caught her.
    I’ve never been in a black hole before, though I read about it in college. Time being different in each loop, level or galaxy, it is also consistent in each zone. Black holes are different. Time here isn’t the same. It changes constantly. Suddenly gripped with a tight fear I take off my backpack and pull out a salt shaker. Pouring a handful in my palm, I throw it up in the air.
    “Undefined,” I say. A familiar feeling rolls over my skin. Light prickling all over, then a short, sharp abdominal pain before time is kind enough to open its portal and let me out of here.

    • Observer Tim says:

      Okay, 96fangorn, this one’s a mind-bender. I like how you laid down (some of) the rules of time travel quickly and without nonsense. I do feel sorry for the cat; I guess he’s lucky it wasn’t him that got aged to destruction.

      I’ve always been a fan of time-travel stories, and this one is quite imaginative.

      From where I sit the story seems just a bit rushed, though that probably came from trying to fit quite a lot into 500 words; this could use a longer treatment. Also, separating the paragraphs with an extra blank line would probably make it scan a little easier.

    • agnesjack says:

      I agree with Tim. This seems like part of a possible series. I, too, felt sorry for the cat and wasn’t sure whether the cat travelled with him through time, or not.

      You have created an intriguing world, here, though. I’d like to know where he goes from here.

      • 96fangorn says:

        Thanks for feedback – also funny how you imagined the main person to be male (not that it’s a girl).

        • Observer Tim says:

          I’m not sure why that is, fangorn, but I simply have that impression. It might be because the narrator seems to be focusing more on the situation as opposed to on the missing people and their lives. That may be a bit sexist of me, but it’s a subtle shift of perspective I’ve noticed over the years.

    • don potter says:

      If you’re going to have a talking cat it might as well be involved in a time travel tale. Quite a trip.

    • Svapne says:

      I agree- well laid out in the allotted word count.

      I felt so horrible for the cat when time caught up with her- and for the traveler. Time travel sounds like sad business, indeed.

      I’d love to know more of the story!

  33. wkspizer says:

    Pawning at my leg while I attempted to read the paper, I brushed my cat away as I was absorbed in an article on the health of the James River, the heart of Richmond and a historical and recreational treasure to Richmond and Virginia. I looked at Raspberry, a log haired, Persian-like, calico cat who seemed bored and perhaps wanted to play. “ We will play later Razz. Let me finish the paper.”

    Returning to my reading, I paid no attention to her. She was a great companion and for the most part a well-behaved cat. She had to be watched at Christmas or she would climb our tree and cause it to topple, so I solved this problem by securing the tree with twine or wire attached to the tree and a hook in the door jam. She loved to have her ears scratched and her belly rubbed, but who doesn’t?

    Her additional quirk was the propensity to exact revenge. If I behaved in a manner that was not satisfactory to her, she would go to my closest and pee in one of my shoes. Now, I loved this cat and I went out of my way to encourage her happiness, but I am an imperfect human and as a consequence I knew to always check my sliding closet door to be certain that it was closed and my shoes were not available for her use. Invariably, either I or another family member would forget and leave the door open and if I had misbehaved that day, I would lose another pair of shoes. There is no return from cat urine!

    I continued reading other articles in the paper when I heard “ I am bored. What are we going to do now?” At first the words were not clear as I thought that I was alone and by the time that picked up on the spoken words the sentence was completed and I had missed most of the conclusion. “Uhh!” I said to myself as I looked around to see if there was another person in the room and only saw Razz sitting on the table right in the middle of Debbie’s new antique table runner. I assumed that I only heard a voice from outside on Park Avenue which ran in front of the house and I said to Razz, “ You will be in trouble if you mess up that runner.”

    Then very clearly while she was looking directly at me she said, “ I love you.” I didn’t know whether to cry as the statement was made with a heartfelt matter-of-factness or find a way to double check my sanity. Although I felt a bit silly talking to a cat, I responded, “I love you too.” We both stared at one another for a few minuets, me in disbelief and Razz in boredom when suddenly through the open glass door which led to the front second story deck overlooking the street fell my neighbor and friend, Darrick, laughing so hard that he could hardly stand.
    “So you really believe that cats can talk?” he said as I was still trying to recover from my initial shock and Razz now turning to him as if to say, “Oh no. Not him again.” After a couple of seconds of recovery, I responded that he would pay for this little joke as revenge can be sweet. He thought that the joke was on me as he claimed to have spoken from outside on the deck, making me think that the cat had actually spoken.

    After we laughed for a while and talked about the evening plans for our brewery trip and the Homebrewers Meeting, he left to return to his home next door. Razz was still on the table watching me and I said, “If I turn you lose in his home, will you pee inn his shoes?” Getting no response, I turned to go to the kitchen, when I heard, “Any shoe in a closet will do.”

  34. ebersocats says:

    It was just an ordinary day, like any other when I wasn’t working. You know routine day off. But my cats still needed to be fed whether I was off or not. Apparently my cats wanted a fixed schedule. I had four of them here with me and one was really smart, Indy. Indy had arrived on Independence Day, hence his name, when he was only a kitten. He began bossing all my other cats around and became top cat even as a kitten!
    Indy was on my chest and mewing and pawing at my covers. He really thought he was the boss. It was just an ordinary day, until it wasn’t.
    “Jan, you are being lazy! And not taking care of us.”
    “What do you know about laziness? You sleep most of the day whenever you want!’
    Then it hit me, Indy was actually talking! What brought that about? Maybe I was dreaming. No, I pinched myself. Then I appreciated that if he had to speak, it was good it was in a language I understood.
    “Look, you only have 500 words and you’re wasting them on asking about my training. Spend the limit listening to what I discovered about the man in who died in the fire in the building that used to be across from us and is now a parking lot.”
    “Indy you have a wild imagination. No one was murdered – the man committed suicide by fire.”
    “No,” Indy stated and put his paw down for emphasis, “that’s the story that was put out.”
    “And you’re going to dispute that, and prove it.”
    “No, you are. And you’re going to get an investigation going.”
    “How do you know about this supposed murder?” I asked.
    “I have a witness.”
    “You have a witness who spoke to you and not the police!”
    I had to shake my head at the improbability of this.
    “My witness can’t talk to humans. She’s a cat and she saw someone running from the fire.”
    “So if I take your statements and your witness as reliable, I am to believe that someone deliberately killed the man who lived and worked there.”
    “Yes, that’s it in a nutshell.”
    “Well, what do you think I can do about it?”
    “Tell the police.”
    “I can’t tell them my cat told me.”
    “I know that but all you have to do is say a homeless man…and heaven knows we have enough of them. One of them decided to step forward.”
    “Ok, and then …this homeless man can identify the fire starter?”
    “Think– motive, means and opportunity – motive. Motive – gain ownership. Means – fire and …opportunity – night. Just get an investigation going! If, it was the store owner as I suspect, my source can ID him by smell. The police can go by property records, and questioning. Do you know the police never interrogated anybody?”
    “All right.”
    “So you’ll take it to the police?”
    “Yes.”
    “Mission accomplished,” Indy said.

    • Observer Tim says:

      This is really good, ebersocats. It makes me wonder if Indy is going to keep on with the feline detective hobby. This could easily be expanded into a Disney-esque caper (from back when they made innovative fantastic stories).

    • agnesjack says:

      Smart cat — and a responsible citizen, too! I agree that this could certainly be expanded into a longer story. Nice job.

      (As has been often mentioned to others, it helps if you put two returns between paragraphs. Paragraph spacing in Word does not translate in HTML. It just makes it a little easier to read.)

    • don potter says:

      A sleuthing feline. Nice way of handling the prompt. If the police can use sniffing dogs it makes sense to us sniffing cats. Well done.

  35. InkMouse says:

    It happened so long ago, you see. Well, it feels like it did. But I can’t separate memory from dream anymore. I blame the nurses for this. Those rhino-choking pills they plow into my mouth! Just a dream, Jim, take your med’s, it’ll go away. They say this in a soft coo like they’re trying to soothe a frightened kitten. But I know what I saw. What I heard. And let’s face it, terrible memories never go away. They’re like blood stains, fading but never disappearing.

    And that morning…

    My wife accidentally left the back door in the kitchen unlocked. I woke up to find the wind had blown it cracked open.

    Or so I thought.

    I sat at the table with a coffee mug steaming lazy spirals, the list of horse races before me—my Saturday morning ritual. The table quivers and I look up. Our cat Panzer stood on the table, agitated, his tail slashing the air. He swatted at the paper but I curled it out of reach.

    “Scram,” I said, frowning. “Lisa’ll be up and about soon.”

    He knew I never fed him—that was my wife, Lisa’s job. The old tom was just moving wallpaper to me. This time he swiped at my face.

    “Hey, you, better—“

    “He was crouched behind the chair.”

    I jerked back knocking the mug clean off the table. In the back of mind, I registered the thunk of it hitting the floor, the warm coffee splashing against my leg. I gaped at the cat, frozen.

    “He is creeping up the stairs,” the cat continued, his voice rich and rolling with the tremors of a purr.

    I threw a glance around, my heart pulsing behind my ears. It couldn’t be—it just couldn’t. I clutched my chest, thinking I could be having a heart attack. Thinking I could already be dead, just a ghost wandering the familiar.

    “Save her,” Panzer urged, widening mustard colored eyes.

    Then a creak from above followed by another, fainter, muffled, almost sounding like—

    “He’s tip-toeing,” the cat said, “He knows where you keep your winnings.”

    I stood up abruptly nearly sending the chair hurtling to the floor but I snaked a hand out to stop it, knowing I should. There was a stranger in my home. Heading toward the bedroom where my wife still slept. An Old Testament wrath sizzled in my chest, righteous and consuming.

    We crept up the stairs together, me holding a serrated hunter’s knife. Just outside the bedroom, the hunched man straightened and spun in surprise then ran for the window at the end of the hall. In one motion he flung it open and hurled himself out. I reached the window, staring into the tree just outside, the branches trembling with the man’s decent. I shut the window and ran into the bedroom. Lisa shot up, startled. Her wide eyes landed on me and immediately narrowed.

    “Don’t give a damn it’s Saturday, do you?” she said. Panzer jumped onto the bed and her expression softened. “There’s my Panzer boy—least you know how to be quiet.”

    I sighed and left the bedroom to report the intruder. Panzer never spoke to me again.

    If only I could say the same about my wife.

    • Observer Tim says:

      Nice story, InkMouse. I get the feeling this is the beginning of something longer and stranger, given that Jim is being severely medicated for something. It can’t just have been a talking cat.

      The story is quick-paced and exciting, with just enough suspense. Bravo!

    • agnesjack says:

      This story has a lot of potential. However, I felt that the first paragraph with the pills didn’t quite fit. I think it could have been eliminated and the story would still have worked.

      The wife’s oblivious reaction at the end was very nice.

    • don potter says:

      Relationships with animals are very personal and different with each one in the household. Enjoyed the story. Loved the last line.

    • jhowe says:

      Nice first story InkMouse. You produced a well written story that flows well. Good job. I’ll read your story every time.

  36. jake1126 says:

    What a resplendent morning it was. My roommate had just left to meet his family in Colorado and the apartment was all mine, save for Kitty (unique name right?), my roommate’s cat. After reading an inspiring article in the newspaper, I decided I would start my day off by writing a short story, accompanied by a fresh cup of coffee, black of course. I always liked to have a bottle of water by my side to balance out the bold taste of my coffee, and to stay hydrated. Our tap-water tasted like Chlorine, so we always had bottled-water. After setting my laptop and freshly-brewed Columbian coffee down on the table outside on the balcony, I went inside to retrieve my precious water.

    “Hmm, guess he didn’t buy water last night,” I thought to myself as I dug around the fridge only to find two half-full bottles of water left. Guessing at which one was mine, I grabbed the one on the left and headed outside. Kitty followed me, but the balcony was fully enclosed, so there was no worry of her jumping over the side. She was a bit too large to be so acrobatic anyway. Ah, the coffee was perfectly brewed and the breeze outside couldn’t have been any more calming. The water was nice too. About three paragraphs into my story, my whole life changed.

    My laptop became incredibly difficult to stare at and the words on the screen became completely alien to me. The breeze seemed almost ominous and I felt very disoriented. I looked at Kitty, who looked back and spoke. Yes, you heard right, she spoke to me. The cat was quite philosophical I might add.

    “Brian, do you believe our lives are predetermined? If you do, is it possible the predetermination is the result of something else’s free-will choice? Doesn’t the process of determining something have to come from a conscious decision, in turn, meaning it came from a free-will choice? What if that free-will choice was actually predetermined? If predetermination is not the result of free-will, how is it determined? It is an endless loop, Brian. Only I know the answer.”

    Kitty’s onslaught of questions made me completely lose my shit. All I remember after that was passing out on the balcony for the next eight hours. When I finally awoke, laptop still open, and coffee gone cold (it’s a tragedy), I called my roommate to tell him about my religious experience.

    “You didn’t drink from the water-bottle with a small tear in the wrapper, did you?” He asked with a suppressed laugh.

    “Uh yea,” I replied perplexedly as my roommate proceeded to let out a full-powered laugh.

    “That wasn’t water in there Brian; it was 2-CI, a research-chemical (drug) that has effects similar to LSD. Only a few drops of that stuff is enough to make you see ripples in the sky. It’s quite expensive too, you owe me seventy dollars.” And with that, he hung up.

    “A tear,” I thought to myself. Could he not have chosen a less subtle way of marking the difference between ‘normal’ reality and ‘lose-your-shit’ reality? I have never quite been the same since that day, and I still haven’t found the answer to Kitty’s question.

  37. PromptPrincess13 says:

    Wanted to do a Halloween theme, not sure how many words I have but if I’m over the limit, I promise to do better next time!

    I was sitting on my own in a corner-booth, enjoying the cafe’s Halloween spirit, dressed in a simple witch “costume”. I smiled to myself, relishing the perennial day when I could be who I am without receiving any dirty looks; I felt right at home among the plastic spiders and cauldrons with goop overflowing from their styrofoam edges. Of course, I would’ve felt even more comfortable had the spiders been real and the goop something more evil than just jello, though if you think about it, the dyes in that thing were scary enough.

    Mortals, I thought to myself, they try so hard.

    I looked down the edge of my slender nose, spectacles sliding just the tiniest bit, gently lowering themselves down rough skin. My pumpkin spiced latte had gone cold. That wouldn’t do, not for $4.99.

    I didn’t even scout for nosy mortals- today was the day of the unexplainable, and being my nature, I’d fit right in. I tipped my to-go cup towards me and sprang a cork-screw of energy from my index finger. Immediately, the liquid bubbled, a coating of steam swirling just above the coffee. Wisps of pumpkin/coffee-bean spiced warmth wafted up to meet me and I smiled again.

    That was much better.

    I turned back to the newspaper I was reading, enjoying an article about the importance of dogs in society.

    I felt a nudge on my leg and looked down sharply, surprised- it was hard to sneak up on a witch. A black kitten faced me, tiny upturned face cocked at an angle.

    Black cats and witches went hand-In-hand so it wasn’t a very peculiar event that one had found me

    “shoo, kitty.” I told it, then turned my attention to my coffee and my thoughts; I had enough kittens at home.

    The kitten was persistent and soon leapt onto the table. No one noticed. It mewled and the look in its eyes caught me, an odd sort of intelligence that marbled her green eyes.

    A scrying cat. I nodded, understanding.

    “Who sent you?” I asked the kitten.

    “Hi Gramma,” the kitten purred out, voice decidedly female, “did you get my kitty?”

    “Yes I got her, pumpkin, is everything okay?” My pride at my young apprentice’s mastery over scrying was replaced by worry; Scrying cats weren’t usually used unless an emergency was present.

    “Yes…well, no, not really.” The kittens whiskers twitched, unsure and upset.

    My stomach clenched with worry, anxiety in the form of sawdust covering my throat. My lips went dry. The tone in the kitten’s voice had sobered, weighed by seemingly heavy thoughts.

    “What is it, dear?” I managed to get out.

    “We ran out of candy!” The kitten threw a paw at me, springing from her place on the table to the booth seat.

    The pit in my stomach filled in and I took a sip of coffee to wet my now-smiling lips.

    A quick pop, an excited squeal, and a loudly yelled “No more candy, mom!” from My daughter, later, the scrying kitten disappeared. Emergency over.

    “The problems of young witches.” I muttered to myself with a laugh in my voice, and a dancing bubble of humor in my heart.

    • Observer Tim says:

      Nicely done, PromptPrincess; I suppose a witch would see a talking cat as just another “normal” part of life. And it’s nice to see Gramma sharing her traditional skills with the new generations.

      I honestly never thought of using a cat as a means of communication.

      This brought a smile to my face.

    • don potter says:

      Trying to teach new recruits is like, well, trying to herd cats. Nicely done.

    • seliz says:

      This was cute and perfect for the season. I enjoyed your descriptions, especially the MC’s worry about her grand daughter contacting her in that way. That’s something I think anyone could relate to and you conveyed it well.

    • Svapne says:

      Well done sneaking in enough background and explanation without making it dull and weighty! Also, well done with the suspense- I was expecting something a little more tragic than running out of candy!

  38. Heart2Heart says:

    Charming

    “So this is what it feels like. I get it now. Maybe that’s why Lady left. She flew out of town on Wednesday. The lump she calls Honey never helped her with her flowered suitcase. Those wheels were spinning and the suitcase didn’t look like it knew which direction to go, going this way and that all the way down the driveway. She hefted that suitcase into that car trunk and I hopped in and settled right on top of it. I curled up like I was going to take a nap, posing all comfy, letting her think twice before she went off without me and left me with him. Almost got away with it too until he spied me and threw me to the ground. “Oh no you don’t,” he said and my adventure was over. I was doomed to be with him for the duration.
    She pecked him on the cheek before she left. She bent down to pet me. I stared up adoringly. “Take good care of Charming” she said and waved out the window before she drove off. Those were the last words spoken in my direction.
    Today’s Saturday. The lump’s nose is going to stick to that newspaper he’s reading if he’s not careful. Pancake syrup and paper don’t mix. He got himself a big plate of sausage, pancakes and eggs. My bowl sits empty. The lady always gives me an egg when she makes them. She says it makes my coat nice and shiny. So I take the casual approach. I walk up to where his feet are planted on the yellow linoleum and brush up against his leg. He doesn’t notice. I meow all purty like and bat my eyelashes – still nothing. I meow so loud the dog starts barking. Sweat breaks out on the lump’s forehead. He smacks the newspaper down on the table and heads toward the refrigerator. I seize my opportunity to thwart starvation and leap. I land smack in the middle of the paper. I chow on egg from his plate. He puts his face down even with mine. Before he can say a word, I turn, lift my tail, and fart right in his face.
    The things a cat has to do to get noticed!”

  39. Stormsent says:

    She’s really not reading that paper. She doesn’t have her cup of coffee. There is no coffee smell and the kitchen curtains are still closed. Today is different. Tissues. Crumpled and wilted tissues. Tightly gripped tissue balls, different from the playing kind. On the floor, on the table, a trail leading from the bedroom. I reach, hesitate, then pat her leg. Her hand drops from her lap as if she were to push me aside. She pauses, looks from the table to the floor. Sighing, she slumps onto her elbows sliding the paper away from her. She doesn’t see me. I reach, again, and pat her leg. Waiting no longer, I jump on the table. Sitting in front of her. Staring. Her eyes are puffy and red as tears roll down her cheeks. She doesn’t look up. She used to give me little kisses on top of my head and then our foreheads would meet, pressing against each other. It was ritual. I rubbed my forehead against her cheek. Looking up, she touched there. She still didn’t see me.
    “You didn’t sleep last night” I said.
    “No, I didn’t,” she spoke in my direction.
    “I watched you. I was on your pillow, next to your head”.
    She looked towards me, her gaze continuing past where I sat.”You’re in my mind and my arms ache to hold you. I cannot feel you. My heart has another scar and it hurts. My ears hurt trying to listen for you… I love you so much… I miss you Stormy.”
    She pushes up from the table and shuffles across the floor into the bedroom. Returning, my blanket held tightly against her chest. My blanket that her mother made for me. Then, snuggling the blanket, she breaths in slowly. “I can smell you here. Sometimes my mind sees you walking around corners. My ears listening for you or your toy sliding across the floor. She drops her head and pulls a tissue from her bathrobe pocket.
    ” I didn’t know what to do. I didn’t want you to endure more pain or pills. I’m sorry, I’m so sorry Stormy. I thought I saw the answer in your eyes.”
    “I trusted you. I always have. You’ve loved me and we’ve lived many great times and through some difficult ones… I’m glad you stayed with me that last time. I know that was hard for you to do. I felt your arms holding me and keeping me close to you and warm. I felt your kisses. I heard you whisper you would love me forever. I will always love you. I can sleep on your pillow a bit longer, then I must go. ”
    ” Thank-you for loving me and belonging to me.”she said through more tears.
    “Oh my dearest, thank-you for finding me,loving me and taking care of me.You will always belong to me.”
    “Stormy? …Stormy? Silence.

    The sun filtered through the yellow kitchen curtains. It was another day.

    • PromptPrincess13 says:

      I really love the direction this prompt went, very cohesive and accurate. Anyone with a pet can relate.

    • Observer Tim says:

      This is a very touching story, Stormsent. I think a lot of people who’ve had to make those hard decisions for a pet would love one last chance to communicate with someone who was such a special part of their life.

    • MCKEVIN says:

      Very good. I like death scenes and this one is right at the top of my new favorites. Good job.

    • Heart2Heart says:

      Beautiful story!

      • Kerry Charlton says:

        Very touching for me. We lost our 14 year old Pomeranian this year and a few weeks later our Princess kitty. Reading your story brought all the love back, the tears and the pain. But I remembered the years when they both young and it put a large smile on my face. Thank you.

    • agnesjack says:

      Wow. You’ve captured the relationship so well, and the ambivalence that comes with the difficult task of bringing a beloved pet to the vet that one last time.

    • don potter says:

      Having had to put several cats down over the years, your story brought back memories of those gut-wrenching moments. Thanks for reminding me of how important doing the right thing for the pet is more important than selfishly delaying the inevitable while the animal suffers.

    • Svapne says:

      You got me right in the feelings.

      An extremely sweet story, made all the more so because I bump foreheads with my kitties all the time.

    • jhowe says:

      Great work Stormsent. You entered the short story world with a bang. I’m not a trained writer but I thought this was very well written. One thing I’ve found, is once you paste the story into the response box, you lose the spacing between paragraphs that you may originally have had. You have to phsically put the spacing back in before you post it. I look forward to your future posts.

  40. JRSimmang says:

    MR AMMONS, DAYLIGHTER

    My days had been active. It was almost as if he was coming back.

    “Riley.”

    I peered over my paper.

    “Coffee.”

    “Nigel. I’ve told you before. Cats don’t get coffee.”

    “I’m not a cat.”

    I put my paper down, stood up, grabbed a bowl, and poured coffee into it. “Cream?”

    “Yes, please.” Nigel gingerly hopped on top of the counter and lapped at the coffee.

    “I’ve got to get under this, brother.”

    He stopped and peered up into my eyes. “He’s coming back isn’t he?”

    “It sure feels like it.”

    “I know. I didn’t want to say anything about him until I was certain, but the buzzing keeps getting harder and harder to control. My dreams are starting to scramble.” He looked me over. “And you’re not sleeping any more.”

    He was right. Savant was on the rise. I walked over to my window, shrouded with the early morning fog, and glanced over the city. Soon enough my body won’t be able to contain my analog and the center of the town will erupt. Savant was always big on entrances.

    “Last time he was here, one-third of the population died.” Nigel hopped up next to me, rubbing his head under my hand. “What’ll we do this time?”

    “I don’t know.” It was getting cold, and before I could utter another word, the headaches came over me. I could feel the cold sweat dripping from my forehead. The city fuzzed out, and the pain shot through my skull, reverberating, echoing, pinging and bouncing. I forced my eyes closed, but that did little to alleviate the jackhammer pounding my teeth were feeling. I could feel the blood rush into my face and break the tiny membranes in my nose.

    I dizzied, reached a hand out to the window sill, slipped to my knees, and leaned, head first, into the wall.

    “I’m coming, Riley.” Savant must have brought me into his lair. He was gaining power indeed.

    “I know.” I was still disoriented, but his shape, black as nightmares, took form. I clutched my head.

    “Sorry about that, but I had to let you know how close I am.”

    I stood. “I can’t let you do that. Not again.”

    He tsk-tsked. “Oh, and who’s going to stop me this time? You and your brother? I hear his luck is fe-line him.” He laughed at his own joke. “Of course, I suppose I’d have to kill him eight more times.”

    “You didn’t succeed last time. You won’t succeed this time.”

    “We’ll see.” He glided over to me, reached his hand out, and caressed my cheek. I closed my eyes, his flesh searing mine.

    When I reopened my eyes, Nigel was standing over me, licking my face with his rough feline tongue. “We’ve got to find Mr Ammons.”

    He was right, and I knew exactly where Mr Ammons was.

    -JR Simmang

  41. Observer Tim says:

    Sorry, I found a third one hiding in there. This one ties to some other stories of mine, but hopefully it still stands on its own.
    _____

    Annabelle spoke as I walked in the door of the college infirmary. “Thank God you’re here, Tim!”

    “I came as soon as you called. What happened? Did Steve hurt himself again?”

    “No, it’s weirder than that. He got us a cat.”

    “A cat? Oh, is your building one of the ones with the mouse problem?”

    “Exactly. So Steve bought us a cat as a Christmas present. It was nice of him, but he really shouldn’t have. Especially not one like – like – this.”

    “What’s wrong with it?” Steve had frequent flyer miles at the infirmary, mostly because he never met a safety precaution he didn’t ignore. He was such a screw-up it didn’t surprise me that he’d somehow managed to find a defective cat.

    “Nothing is wrong with me.” The voice came from an orange and black tabby cat sitting on the coffee table in the reception area. It was a female cat – I’m no expert, she just looked female – and was sitting on a newspaper, casually slicing it up with her hindclaws. “I had to let this human girl know that I needed a few tools before getting to work. There is no way I’m letting a mouse have the advantage.”

    “That’s what I mean, Tim. As soon as Steve opened the cat carrier it stepped out on its hind legs and started giving orders. Talking! Cat’s don’t talk!”

    Annabelle seemed to be barely holding it together. Me, I had no problem. After a full semester of dealing with the magical creatures that hang around my girlfriend Jenny, this wasn’t so bad. I kind of wished Jenny were here to see. Maybe they’d gone to grade school together or something.

    “Well, what’s she asking for?”

    “I don’t know, I was too busy tending Steve. He fainted as soon as the cat started talking.”

    I turned to the cat. “So, kitty…”

    “Pussy.”

    “Huh?”

    “My name is Pussy. Don’t laugh, I didn’t choose it.”

    I had to bite my lip, but I didn’t snicker. “Okay, Pussy, what do you need?”

    “I need a sword. An epee, to be precise.”

    “A sword?”

    “I studied up before taking this assignment. The mouse is armed. He has a sword, I need a sword. Otherwise fencing is kind of one-sided. And a hat. A nice cavalier hat with a pink feather. He has a hat, I need a hat.”

    I could see where this was going. “Anything else, oh mighty warrior maid?”

    “Don’t you patronize me, human. But a nice pair of boots would be appreciated.”

    • JRSimmang says:

      And then… He goes about the countryside with a sidekick, staring at windmills?
      Entertaining read, Observer. The dialogue is certainly tight and controlled, showing true emotions. Nicely done.

      • Observer Tim says:

        Ah, JR, this is Pussy in Booties, not Dona Kitti-hote! Her next task, once she’s armed, is to go after that little Reepi-creep that’s riling up the campus mice. I envision swashbuckling action around the infirmary, in the library, and even in the classrooms at night as Pussy tries to deal with the Mouseketeers (no relation).

        And who knows, maybe she’ll deal with that ogre living on the bottom floor of the Phys Ed building…

    • don potter says:

      I like a cat with flair, which your cat definitely has. Fun read.

    • peetaweet says:

      Ha ha! Enjoyed it!

    • snuzcook says:

      I love the idea that the talking cat was just one of a series of bizzare contributions by Steve that the rest of the cast had to deal with. So many wonderful iconic stories meld with this one. And then I couldn’t get the image of an old classic Tom and Jerry cartoon (which spoofed the Three Musketeers and featured them with swords, boots and feathered cavalier’s hats) out of my mind’s eye.

      • Kerry Charlton says:

        I love it Tim. I think we should add Tweety Bird, as head of the NSA to circumvent any uprisings that might occur in case Sylvester arrives.

        • PromptPrincess13 says:

          Love the cat’s attitude, can totally picture her in boots,a sword, and a fancy hat! Reminds me of the pussy cat from Shrek, down to the pink feather. Really great read!

      • Observer Tim says:

        Well, Steve’s an idiot. The kind of guy who say “Hey, watch this!” just before you have to call the ambulance. He makes an excellent story motivator because the only true answer when he’s asked “What were you thinking?” is “Nothing.”

        Since the stories this is part of are based on renaissance (and earlier) folk tales, you’re more likely to see three gruff billy-goats discussing just how big a troll would be hiding under the Ambassador bridge, and whether it was a Canadian or American troll …

    • agnesjack says:

      So THAT’S how it all started. This made me smile, Tim.

    • Svapne says:

      Your Jenny/ Tim continuity knows no limits in the ridiculous, does it? Entertaining as ever.

      Post-Christmas? Where does that put this in relation to the Never-Ending dream incident?

    • PeterW says:

      One submission is more than enough, Mr. Tim. Perhaps you have an addiction. And god-knows we are all nice on this site. Look, you are an ok writer. I’ve read a lot of your stuff (like 3 submissions a week plus all the comments), but you have to know that this is not the end all to end all. This site is practice. Easy practice.

      I’m brutal, but honest. Perhaps I’m talented, perhaps I’m not, but I know that two posts on this site will get you nowhere. Posting about the same characters will get you nowhere. The goal is improvement, yes?, no?. Kill your fucking darling, yes, no. It takes Flannery O’Connor three specific words to create a character.

      I hope this is only a hobby and not a passion.

      I don’t know man, my advice usually gets shattered on this site.

      GLGL
      The W. =D

      • Observer Tim says:

        An addiction to mental exercise? I’ll take it. So long as I don’t reach the point where I am posting the same story with subtle differences in wording. This is a good “sandbox” to try different voices, thoughts and ideas.

        Posting about the same characters or setting is a staple of serial fiction, allowing a slower build of setting and character at the expense of ease of access for the first-time reader. Standalone and serial stories are different modes, but neither is unworthy of practice.

        ;) Tim.

        • Svapne says:

          I read once that our first million words should get burned. What better place than the forum, where others can find entertainment in it?

          I think the practice is good, no matter where it is- and I for one love seeing more little bits of Tim and Jenny’s story seep through.

          I mean, if there’s no inspiration in there to work on one of your bigger projects, it just won’t come to you by staring at a word document. Sometimes you just have to write what comes to you, and sometimes that’s responses to prompts.

          :)

          • Svapne says:

            Although, I do think PeterW has some sage advice here, for me. I think I write online too much when I’m stumped on a decision in one of my novels.

            So thanks for that, PeterW! :)

    • Susan says:

      Very entertaining, Tim – and very apt, as the pantomime season will soon be upon us – great fun!

    • frankd1100 says:

      And a cape and mask? A feline Zorro.

      Most imaginitive Tim…

  42. peetaweet says:

    I was on reddit, reading about what turns girls on, even though I hadn’t seen a real girl in months. The house smelled of blueberry muffins, which reminded me that it was Thursday. Mom always made breakfast for the office on Thursdays while I was left with cold coffee and wheat bagels.

    I clicked on the next headline when Pokey jumped on up on the table, purring and annoying me.

    “What Pokey?”

    “Oh, I’m sorry; did I disturb your morning reading?”

    I spat my cold coffee onto my computer.

    “Yes, I’m a talking cat, are we going to spend a lot of time on this, or can we move on?”

    Shocked. Pokey had a British accent, and that really threw me for a loop. Slowly, I closed my mouth, blinked a few times and then, “You can talk.”

    “I bloody well hope so, that or you just smoked some really good weed. Now, I’ll just make this brief and then be on my way. It’s nearly 10 am, when sun hits that bay window just right. Unfortunately, that is where you’ve taken it upon yourself to play video games in your boxer shorts, which by the way are a bit thin in certain areas. Have you given any thought to replacing them? Or perhaps wearing clothes during the day time hours, or a job, or a—“

    “Wait.” I cleared my throat and realized that I was talking to my mother’s calico cat. “How long have you been able to talk?”

    “You certainly are a bright one, aren’t you? Let’s focus on you.” The cat was actually talking with his paws, waving them around the room. ”When you finally departed to embark on your six and half year college experiment—which I don’t think produced a degree—your mother and I enjoyed a nice peaceful household. One without Mountain Dew bottles and Monster cans scattered about the house and—“

    “The job market is down. I have student loans. I’m looking for work and trying to get back on my feet.”

    “Really? You’re looking for work. I live here too, remember? And I’ve seen what you look for—Doritos, Pop tarts, Cheese Whiz, maybe. But work? No. The most work I’ve seen you do in the past year is search for remote control, which is under the couch, you dolt.”

    Cat or no cat, I’d had enough.

    “You know what Pokey? You’ve inspired me. It looks to be a gorgeous day,” I said, stomping down the hall. “I think I’ll go down to the local pound today, they’re running a special on pit bulls.”

    Pokey hopped down from the table, his steps a little wobbly. “You wouldn’t! You’re mother would kill you!”

    I zipped up my hooded sweatshirt, smiling at my whiskered friend. “Well, Pokey, you won’t be around to see now will you?”

    “Okay, okay. Look, we both said some things back there that we didn’t mean and I think we should take a moment to collect ourselves.”

    “Where’s the accent, Pokey?”

    “It was just for effect. Please, don’t do anything stupid. We can get along without some filthy dog in the house, can’t we?”

    I stopped in the kitchen and he rubbed against my leg.

    “Alright, but one more word out of you and I’m bringing home Cujo, got it?”

    “Meow.”

  43. mimipii says:

    “For goodness sakes, I’m trying to read the damn paper!” I yell at Fluffy at the top of my lungs. Yes, I’m irritated. For the last fifteen minutes she’s been whining and pawing at my leg, which by the way, now has several scratches. I dont know what’s gotten into her today. This is totally out of character for her, she’s usually very subdued. Today, she’s behaving like I do when hyped up on sugar and caffeine. I must’ve read the same line ten times already. She wont let me get any further. I throw down the newspaper in digust and slam down my now tepid coffee not caring that it slops over the side. My irritation levels skyrocket when i notice Fluffy has dashed into the kitchen, opens the cupboard, takes out her cat food and promptly deposits it into the trash. What the heck?! I’m watching dumbfounded as she continues on towards the front door and waits. I must’ve given her this really odd look cuz she’s glaring at me. I see her whiskers twitching and she opens her mouth to whine in cattalk. Except it’s not cattalk. I mean it is. I mean I’m not sure. Cause I understand every word. “Weeeeeeeeeohweeeeeeee” she says. And I get it. I heard her say loud and clear, “Why you insist on buying store brand catfood, you nincompoop?! It’s gross! Cant you splurge on me once in a while? Get your coat and purse and lets get going already!”

    • Observer Tim says:

      Nicely told, mimipii. It’s amazing how well pets can make themselves clearly understood even without actually talking.

      My only criticism is that the story could really use some paragraph breaks.

      • mimipii says:

        Your right. I wrote it during my coffee break so wasn’t careful with grammar and the like. When I read what I wrote I groaned loudly at all the mistakes particularly paragraph breaks, past and present terminology… Oh well. Thanks for reading, though!

    • MCKEVIN says:

      I actually kind of liked it. So did they go out and get more food or what? You only used 249 words. You could have developed this more although it stood on it’s own. Good job.

    • PGS says:

      Nice story . Makes you wonder next time you are in the pet food aisle staring at all the choices!

    • don potter says:

      I admire a person who knows what he wants. So why not a cat? After all, we don’t want a cat walking around the neighborhood telling everyone what cheapskate we are when it comes to buying cat food. Do we?

    • agnesjack says:

      It’s what I’ve always believed. We don’t train cats. They train us!

  44. MCKEVIN says:

    I flipped through Sunday’s paper and made my list for the day. Grayce’s constant meowing irritated me. One; take chicken out for dinner. I realized Doug didn’t come home again. Two; do laundry. I brushed Grayce away repeatedly then realized Doug and I haven’t had sex in years. Three-.
    “Three is; fight for your sanity and family!” I thought I’d heard Grayce say.
    Our eyes locked as she pranced around the white granite countertop with a confidence I used to know. Three; get confidence back.
    “I’m losing my mind, my man and my marriage.” I uttered.
    “And your confidence.”
    I couldn’t believe my cat talked, read my mind and asked me questions? Four, make appointment with therapist. Grayce settled down, flagged her tail and awaited an answer.
    “How’d you do that?” I asked.
    “I’ve talked for a long time. You refused to listen.”
    “I’m speechless-.”
    “Say I’m mad as hell!” Grayce said.
    “Why?“ I whispered.
    “Robyn?”
    “Yes.”
    “The problem with your marriage is neither you nor Doug have the sense to leave it.”
    “But we took vows!” I said.
    “Vows mean nothing if they’re not honored!”
    “But our children-?”
    “They’ll be fine. They need to see their parents work/fight through problems. It builds character.” Grayce said.
    “But Delana’s attitude-“ I said.
    “Your daughter is mimicking you.”
    “And junior-”
    “Stop lying to him because he knows the truth.”
    “What should I do?” I asked.
    “Stop making lists!”
    My lists is what attracted and drew Doug to me. He said my attention to detail made me “the perfect partner.” I embraced the thought that I was talking to our gray calico cat who was obviously an alien with no sense of the human female’s mystique or purpose. I’m Doug’s rib and being a wife and mother is the best job any female could have. Besides, what good is a woman without marriage or a man?
    “Grayce-“ I heckled.
    “But how’s that working out for ya?” She asked.
    “What?”
    “I heard your thoughts Robyn. Doug’s moved on so should you!”
    “You don’t know-“
    “I know he’s not here with you and that you’re miserable. He leaves his home happier than when he enters.”
    “He ain’t happy!” I said.
    “What do you call it? He doesn’t react or respond to your physical gestures so his needs are being met elsewhere. A piece of paper doesn’t give you the right to be miserable. Let go because he’s with who and where he wants to be!”
    “But I’m a woman! My husband didn’t go from sugar to shit!” I screamed.
    “So why isn’t he here?”
    Silence.
    I couldn’t hear my truth anymore. Four; Kill Grayce! My heart ached and my mind raced as I snatched the butcher knife from the holder and stabbed her continuously. Blood ran from her face onto the white countertop. I out of breath and sweating but relieved. Grayce leaped to the floor tracking paw prints of blood as she headed toward the door. She stopped, stared through me and said…
    “We don’t get these nine lives for nothing. Move on!”

  45. thejim says:

    The multi colored reflection from the sun’s rays hitting the prism above the sink woke Jerry up. His eye squeezed tightly to stop the penetrating light. He slowly sat up. The morning paper stuck to the side of his face. What had just happened? He pealed the paper from his cheek and slowly looked around the kitchen. Everything seemed a bit brighter. He methodically opened and closed his eyes as if it was the first time he had ever used them. The paper he had been reading now lay in a crinkled mess before him. He reached to his coffee cup, cold. The words on the paper, if that is what they were, appeared to be some sort of symbols or markings that he had never seen before. He tried to read the morning paper but it was impossible. Jerry slowly set the paper back down confused he felt strangely uneasy. He slowly pushed he chair away from the table as he felt something touching his leg. A cat. What the heck is a cat doing here he thought.
    “Go away” he said as he brushed it away
    The cat leapt to the table and stares straight into Jerry’s eyes and meowed. As the cat meowed and purred the pitch and volume began to change. Jerry pushed his chair back away from the cat. After about a minute the cat cleared her throat and said “ Test, test. 1 – 2 – 3 – 4 Hello – Hellooooo is it working? Can you hear me? Do you understand what I am saying?” said the Cat.
    Jerry sat motionless. His eyes darted around the room. “Am I dreaming?” He said.
    “Unfortunately you are not, my name is LacNae Ti, how do you do?”
    “I am not sure.” Jerry replied.
    “Sit back, try to relax and let me explain what is happening.” Lac Nae Ti the talking cat said.
    “This body which you see I before you now is not how I really look, we decided to go with this creature, one of the most loved pets on this world. Your history even shows this animal was regarded as god at times. It is even a favorite concept for the children’s literature. Either way that is why I look like a feline.”
    Lac Nae Ti licked her paw and rubbed her eye. “You are in grave danger my friend.
    We must make hast and leave, there is only a few earth hours that remain. There is no time to sit here and chat over toast and coffee. I cannot urge you enough to remove your sleeping entire and let us make hast to my ship outside your domicile.”
    A deep rumble began to shake the house Jerry’s cold coffee mug hit the floor. The kitchen door swung open and….

    • Susan says:

      Hi thejim – an interesting sci-fi take on the prompt – I like the way you build the suspense. I just thought the reference to “Lac Nae Ti the talking cat” was a bit unnecessary – you didn’t need to spell that out. Enjoyed it, though :)

    • jhowe says:

      Do you think Lac Nae Ti is trying to trick Jerry into coming aboard the ship willingly? Perhaps this species has a morality issue about outright kidnapping. Nice idea about the alien taking the form of a cat.

    • Observer Tim says:

      Ooh, I like it. A cat from outer space! (No relation.)

      This beginning makes me want to see where the story is going. What has Jerry signed on for?

      Great job, thejim.

    • don potter says:

      Great tale. Please weave the next episode into a future post.

    • agnesjack says:

      I, too, would like to read the next chapter. You’ve piqued my interest. Is Lac Nae Ti a savior or an enemy. Tune in, eh?

      Just a quick note: there are some tense changes (“The cat leapt to the table and stares straight into Jerry’s eyes”) that should be corrected. I was grateful when someone pointed this out to me, so I thought I would mention it.

  46. Kerry Charlton says:

    MISS KITTY

    Depression settled after my Great Aunt Clara passed away. We had afternoon tea twice a week and I missed her cheerful chatter at Clivedon House, her home for nine generations of her family in Germantown. She was ninety three and lived with a house keeper and her cat, Miss Kitty.

    I had offered to take Miss Kitty should anything happen to her. To my surprise, the mansion which survived British occupation and a battle with George Washington’s troops in 1777, came with the cat. A clear title we received and permission from the Philadelphia Historical Society to occupy the home.

    Three floors and 6500 feet of space, Clivedon had sixteen over sixteen light, double hung windows, two enormous chimneys and palladium dormered windows on the slate roof. We placed what little furniture we had and settled in on a Saturday afternoon.

    Miss Kitty, being a feral cat, was calico in color and tipped the scales at twenty one pounds. Affectionate and loving, she realized Aunt Clara was gone, replaced by my wife and I. Miss Kitty strangely understood each word when we talked to her. At times she stood still and riveted her gaze to the winding staircase. Several minutes she stared one day and I asked her,

    “What are you looking at?”

    She jumped on top of the coffee table, with a series of sounds eerily like a muffled voice. I lifted her onto my lap because she seemed fearfull of the staircase. Natalie had entered the room quietly when she heard Miss Kitty’s chatter.

    “What’s wrong Miss Kitty?” Natalie said.

    A whisper emitted from the cat.

    “The ghost of British Colonel Musgrave, still runs the staircases.”

    My jaw dropped in a stupor but Natalie continued talking to Miss Kitty.

    “Why on earth is Colonel Musgrave still occupying the house after 235 years?”

    “He’s mad as hell about losing the war,” Miss Kitty said.

    “What’s his problem?” I asked.

    “He’s challenging you to a duel to settle the matter.”

    My eyes rose to a box of dueling, ball and cap pistols I had just restored, sitting on the living room mantle.

    “Slap the crap out him, Miss Kitty, I’m on.”

    Sunday at dawn, one loaded musket rested in my hand. Behind me, the other pistol was gripped by the colonel. He had allowed a faint outline of himself to allow a clear shot. Miss Kitty stood aside as my second, counting my paces.

    “One, two, three……nine, ten!

    I turned quickly and heard the explosion. The ball had torn my collar off, grazing the side of my neck. I leveled the pistol at the colonel’s ghostly shadow. He wavered not. I stood there testing his courage. Lowering the aim of my pistol to the ground, I pulled the trigger.

    Colonel Musgrave stood at attention, not moving a muscle. Walking up to his ghost, I extended my hand.

    “I admire you colonel” I said. “I’ve read about your battle, how you defeated Washington’s troops. My hat’s off to you.”

    He saluted me and faded away.

    Natalie rushed to me to help with my wound.

    “It’s gone,” she said.

    The two of us meandered toward the house with the cat between us.

    “Meow, meow, it was a hell of a duel,” Miss Kitty said.

  47. don potter says:

    “Meow,” my cat, Angel, said as she walked across the kitchen table while I tried to read the morning paper.

    “Give me a break,” I said. “Go over to your bowl; there’s plenty of hard food.”

    “Meow, meow.” She came up to my chest and rubbed against me, nearly overturning the coffee mug.

    “Okay, okay. I hear you.” After twelve years together, I was conditioned to know when she meowed twice Angel wanted canned food. So I obliged.

    “Meow,” Angel said as I placed the bowl of food on the floor. In appreciation, she crisscrossed between my legs making sure she did not miss a spot between my ankles and upper calves.

    After showering, I sat on the edge of the bed to put on my shoes and socks. As I was contemplating why we say shoes and socks rather than the other way around, which is how it’s actually done, Angel jumped up and rubbed her body against my back.

    “Meow,” she said in a satisfied tone and looked at me longingly.

    “Sorry, old girl, but I have to go to work and won’t be home until very late tonight.”

    “That’s something I’ve been meaning to talk to you about,” Angel replied.

    I almost feel off the bed.

    “Did you just speak to me like a person?”

    “I did.”

    “Why?”

    “Because I can.”

    “But you never spoke in this way before.”

    “Never had anything to say.”

    “This is crazy. I must be having a breakdown or something. Better ease off on the overtime.”

    “I could have told you that.”
    “Why didn’t you?”

    “I wasn’t asked. It’s not my nature to offer unsolicited opinions.”

    “Think I better go back to bed. This thing is getting out of hand.”

    “What’s the big deal? We’re just having a conversation, much like any two roommates might.”

    “It may not be a big deal to you, but to me this is monumental.”

    “I’m sorry for not addressing the matter before it blew out of proportion,” Angel said.

    “You don’t get it. I’m a human being—“

    “And I’m a cat,” she said before I could finish my thought.

    “Well what is it you want to talk about?” I asked in an effort to determine what set the conversation in motion.

    “You know—“

    “Tell me. Please.”

    “To begin with, you spend too much time away from home. Things must change; starting now.”

    “You sound like Evelyn before the divorce.”

    “She got the kids and you got me.”

    “And I thought I was never going to hear this kind of complaining again.”

    “Sorry, but I’m tired of spending all day and night grooming and sleeping. Besides, I like to eat at regular hours. If I eat late it gives me indigestion.”

    “I’ll try to remember that.”

    “If you don’t, you’ll find a giant hairball in the middle of your bed when you finally come home.”

    “This can’t be happening.”

    “It is, and divorce is not an option.”

    • snuzcook says:

      What a fun take on the prompt! I love the last line.
      I wonder if the bluff will work, or if she will end up at the kitty pound looking for some new guy to pick her up.

    • Susan says:

      Hilarious, Don – I know the feeling of being “nagged” by a cat, so I could relate to this one. And why DO we say “shoes and socks”? Good question!

      • Kerry Charlton says:

        Your tale rings loud and clear. I’m up to my knees in cats and three were voulenteers. If I’m not shoveling cat litter, I’m opening cans. Really a good time story, you’ve written. One look from Miss Kitty, our feral cat, and I hop to it, trying to please her. The training period took less than a month on my part to be a hired slave to her whims.

    • jhowe says:

      Good one Don. I liked how the man and the cat were communicating before the cat started talking. The talking started when the cat had it up to here with the man’s habitual absence. Good use of dialog.

    • MCKEVIN says:

      Good one don potter. The thing that I liked most about this piece is the minimal use of id tags. I followed the story with no problem. Good job.

    • Observer Tim says:

      Neat story, Don. I can see where the cat felt the need to straighten out a few kinks in the owner-pet relationship. I’m surprised she didn’t advocate for her own kitty-door.

      I think a lot of people occasionally need the sort of kick in the complacency that only an astute pet can provide.

    • agnesjack says:

      Thank God the cat talked. If I’m away for too long, my cat, Al, will start knocking things off of high places. I, too, liked the last line.

    • Haa haaa haaaa! This was hilarious, Don. You nailed the cat personality to a tee.

    • frankd1100 says:

      Makes me think it’s us humans alone who think we are superior to all other animals.

      Excellent use of dialogue. Crisp, to the point, moves the reader along at the writers chosen pace.

  48. sfstroup says:

    Sammy rubbed his haunches against my leg, and arched his back. He hopped up on the table and I brushed him away with the back of my hand. I took a sip of coffee and turned to the book reviews, Michiko Kakutani was lambasting someone or other for the overall windiness of the prose. Sammy hopped back up on the table and slapped the paper I was reading, no claws mind you, but batting the paper hard enough for me to fold it over, roll it up and position it to swat him in the butt. Sammy artfully deflected the blow and sat on his hind legs.
    “What the hell?” I muttered under my breath and then really wound up to smack him.
    “This has got to stop.” Sammy calmly and coolly stated as he leveled a his gaze at me. I looked at him and set my paper down.
    “I know. I know. I am sorry, I am better than this. It’s just, I am under a lot of pressure at work..”
    Sammy licked his paw a wiped a little tear out of the corner of his eye, and then licked his paw quickly three times wiping the rest of his face in three rapid strokes. “This can’t go on like this. You’re emotionally closed off. I try to give you the slightest amount of affection and, you’re not there.”
    “I’m trying, I’m working on me, and I think I am making some real progress.”
    Sammy sprawled out on the table, his tail swirled in the air elegantly, brushing my toast off of the plate. He stretched out to his full length his paws crossed on my napkin and he closed his eyes.
    “Well, Steve I don’t think I can live like this anymore,” Sammy said dreamily as he drifted off, again, to sleep.
    A flash of anger flushed my face, “ What about you? I come to bed and you are sleeping already, I end up watching TV for two hours while you’re sound asleep for twenty hours. And, uh, you haven’t exactly been going outside anymore. You have put on a few pounds.”
    Sammy opened one eye, “Love me for who I am Steve, not for what you want me to be. Maybe I’ll go outside right now and never come back!” he Hissed and with that hopped off the table a took a circular route over the back of the couch, under the chair and did three circles in front of the door.
    I put the paper down and got up off of the chair, petulantly stomped to the front door and opened up the front door, just a crack. An edge of cold air, shot through the door. “Whose going to open the door for you? Huh!”
    Sammy sat exasperated, patiently in front of the door and looked at me with sad, yellow eyes. “Aren’t you embarrassed? How can you act this way and not be embarrassed? Maybe I won’t come back this time. Would that make you feel beter?”
    I opened the door all the way, Sammy skittered out the door, “You’ll be back. You always come back.”

  49. Svapne says:

    (I took some creative license with the prompt, because it meshed really well with a book idea I had. I’m just barely over the 500 word limit [for the first time ever in my postings here], but I already cut this down by half from what it started as and it’s going to lose quality if I continue. Otherwise, enjoy!)

    It’s 3:34 am. Leave it to me to wake up at the most useless time of night. The nightmare was too vivid, but that’s what I get for having open curtains. Moonlight always gives me nightmares.

    I’m in the kitchen by 8:00 for breakfast. My parents should be there drinking coffee, but they and their cars are gone. There’s no note, just some newspapers on the table. The family cat, graced with unlimited table privileges, is unusually needy. I pet her, but there’s something strange behind her eyes, like she wants me to know something.

    By 9:30, I’m nervous. Mom should have left for work by now, but her briefcase is still by her desk. I look for my cell phone again. I thought I saw it out of the corner of my eye a few times, but it’s nowhere to be found.

    I walk to a neighboring house to use their phone, but no one is home. There’s a warm autumn rain; it feels like a shower.

    I keep walking but see no one, and no cars either. There are no birds or frogs by the pond. A dragonfly lands on my shoulder and stares into my eyes; there’s some creepy intelligence there.

    I run.

    Down a side street, I see something moving; it’s a cat, pure black, with stormy blue eyes. It runs away, then stops to look back; I follow it to a little yellow building. The cat looks to me, knowingly, and walks to the door, pawing it.

    Inside, under dim lighting, are peach walls, fake plants, picture boards, and a huddle of faceless people dressed in black. Mountains of flowers surround the centerpiece of the morbid affair.

    The cat jumps on top of this red-and-chrome coffin; none of the faceless people seem to notice or care.

    I feel drunk; my limbs move but it’s not me doing it. I walk forward, staring into the storming sea of the cat’s eyes, until I stand before the spectacle. His eyes look down, and mine are forced to follow.

    It’s a girl… no. Not a girl anymore: now, she’s just a mass of preserved meat.

    The cat meows, and I shush it. It was being rude, after all.

    “Don’t shush me, little girl!”

    I am dumbstruck, and look around to find the voice’s source. “Who…”

    The cat replies. “Before you ask me ‘who,’ perhaps you should ask ‘what the hell is going on?”

    “She’s me, I know, but this is just a nightmare.”

    “The first step is acceptance,” he says sadly. “You remember it, don’t you: the crash?” Waves dance in his eyes.

    Metal. Fire. Pain. Yes, I remember. “But that was a dream.”

    The seas in his eyes churn even more than before, and turn darker. “It wasn’t.”

    I start to cry. “I-impossible! I can’t be-”

    He scoffs. “‘It can never happen to me!’ It did, love. Look around you.”

    I do, and the room spins. Something pulling for me to see, but it’s fighting against something desperately trying to blind me. But I feel a weight on my shoulder, and there the cat is perched. He stabilizes me, calms me, and I see.

    It is my family gathered. My parents and siblings and friends.

    My death.

    I see the truth, and I weep for it.

    [Death comes with feline grace.]

    • Ed says:

      Great story. I like how you built the suspense, and the confusion as to what was going on. A black cat as Death was very cool…
      Ed

    • Observer Tim says:

      Whoa. Moving story, Svapne. I especially like the image of the cat as messenger of death. The slow build to realization was also very well done, and the imagery left me unsure of the finality of it until very near the end.

    • snuzcook says:

      Very engaging piece. Love how it begs me to loop back to the begining after the reveal to appreciate your set up. Nicely done!

    • Susan says:

      A very powerful, vivid story, Svapne – held my attention all the way through. Clever the way you make us think something’s happened to everyone else at the beginning – I thought it was going to be an apocalyptic tale, until the coffin puts in an appearance. Excellent.

      • Kerry Charlton says:

        A haunting story, Svapne. I think the key to knowledge is when the dragonfly lands on his shoulder. The reader knows something is not right. And the cat representing death is magic.

    • jhowe says:

      Nothing like attending your own funeral. Nice job moving the story along with a few hints of the outcome now and then.

    • don potter says:

      The story captivated me until you revealed the body in the coffin was the MC. Then, I was compelled to read more. Well told tale. I must say, we had a black cat once, and it was the sweetest of all the cats we ever owned. Those poor cats get a bad rap.

    • MCKEVIN says:

      Loved this. When I get to write Sci Fi, I hope my first chapter goes like this. Good job!

    • agnesjack says:

      This was a very nice story, Svapne. Loved the last line.

    • Svapne says:

      Thanks, all! I’m glad I got the confusion down- it’s hard to do when you know exactly what’s going on. I’m glad the missing people/ cars and the dragonflies and cats did what they were supposed to. And I’m also glad that the misdirection toward an apocalyptic tale worked out well!

      If the concepts work out well here, I’m really looking forward to how the rest of the book will be received (when it’s finally finished).

      @snuzcook: that’s got to be one of the best compliments to this style of writing! I love it when people (including myself) are compelled to re-read something to appreciate the setup in full.

  50. jhowe says:

    Cybil Devine picked up the newspaper from the front steps on a cool October morning. The paperboy had been on target today. She walked into the kitchen as the Kuerig gave its final hiss and deposited the last drops of French Roast into her cup. She was the only twenty something woman she knew who still enjoyed the printed version of the news.

    Cybil inhaled the aroma of strong coffee and sighed with content. She sat down with her cup and her paper at the Formica topped table. She almost always got up much earlier than she needed to so she could relish in her morning ritual.

    Clarice sauntered into the kitchen and sniffed at the Little Friskies in her bowl. Not interested, thank you very much. She arched her back and crisscrossed between Cybil’s pajama clad calves, purred and settled in for yet another nap.

    “Ahem.”

    Cybil looked up from her paper. Had she heard something? She returned to the story on Lebanese transvestites. Was this a sign of moving forward? Probably not.

    “Would it kill you to buy some chicken livers every once in a while?”

    Cybil looked around and then down at Clarice. The cat stared back at her with ‘get a life’ eyes.

    “Clarice?” she said. No response. Cybil decided it must have been her imagination. With one eye on the cat and the other on the paper she began reading again.

    “How would you like to eat dry Shredded Wheat every day for the rest of your life?” Clarice rolled onto her back and stretched.

    Cybil looked around the room again and folded the paper for later. “Is that you Clarice?” The cat said nothing.

    With wobbly legs Cybil stood and picked up Clarice, stroked her tan and black calico head and looked into her eyes. “What is going on here girl?” The cat said nothing.

    Cybil looked at the clock on the stove and knew she had to get to work. This, this, whatever it was, would have to wait. She showered, dressed and caught the train into the city. At her desk, she booted her terminal and scanned her e-mails. For some reason she opened a message from an unknown sender with no subject line. It read, ‘You had me spayed, you removed my claws and you don’t let me go outside. What the hell is going on here Cybil?’

    On the way home, Cybil stopped at the corner market near and beckoned to the sleeveless shirted butcher with a bloodstained apron. Why did they always wear white? “A pound of chicken livers please.”

    • Ed says:

      I liked “get a life” eyes. It amuses me how an animal so non-productive can seem so judgmental. I’m pretty sure, though, that they do play with the computer when we’re gone.. :)

      Ed

    • Observer Tim says:

      I like it, jhowe, especially the way you are never quite sure if the cat is talking or not, but it’s still getting the message across.

      Clarice has got herself a fine pet there, even if Cybil is a little slow on the uptake …

    • snuzcook says:

      Perfect end, great tale. We’re in trouble when the pets get online!
      The MCs observation about the white butcher apron was just perfect for the inner-outer conversation going on simultaneously.

    • Susan says:

      A cat that sends emails – I love it! Great story :)

      • Kerry Charlton says:

        As usual, jhowe you hit a high mark with this story. Even if the whole conversation was an imagination in the mind of Cybil, the email brought her back to reality. No other living animal can convey a message any better than a cat.
        A fuzzy, fun and frivolous tale

    • don potter says:

      You did a great job of relating the cat’s attitude. Cat owners know how they manipulate us to do their will. Thank God they can’t talk.

    • MCKEVIN says:

      Rod Steriling is one of my favorite authors and this feels like it had some of his input. When I read stories that start with a name of a person, place or thing, I immediately think “Twilight Zone.” This could easily be turned into a short story about cats taking over the world. Good one.

    • agnesjack says:

      It’s amazing what cats will do out of desperation. I liked this take on the prompt. I use to tell my husband that I wanted to come back as one of his cats, and he always responded, “but then you’d have to eat cat food.” Loved the pound of chicken livers at the end.

    • frankd1100 says:

      Superbly written. An unpretentious, mature, intentelligent voice. The right mix of dialogue and reflection. Feels like you write a lot, probably for your work?

      I like this. Thank you.

  51. Susan says:

    I was hoping he wouldn’t have noticed. A deal’s a deal, so the deed had been done as soon as I got home from Barbados last night. His Lordship was nowhere to be seen – out on the tiles and probably up to no good, but I was relieved he was out of the way. No sign of him this morning, either, so I’m enjoying a peaceful, leisurely breakfast, browsing through The Times and getting my first caffeine hit of the day. But I might have known it wouldn’t last.

    I feel and hear him before I see him, insinuating himself around my ankles, disturbing the peace with the noisiest purr he can muster. Doing my best to ignore him, I take a bite of my toast. Then he starts meowing at the top of his voice and rubbing his head against my shin.

    “Gerroff!” I shout, and kick him away.

    Next thing I know he’s up on the table, looking at me, bold as brass, his head cocked on one side, wide-eyed and quizzical. With an ostentatious “I’m reading” gesture, I shake the newspaper out and hold it up in front of me, shutting him out. But it’s a feeble screen, and his grey nose and whiskers soon appear, peering over the top of the page. He meows again – louder this time,

    “OK, lady – where are they?”

    “I don’t know what you’re on about – can’t a girl have her breakfast in peace?”

    “Don’t come the innocent with me – what have you done with them?”

    “What have I done with WHOM?”

    “The dames, lady – the dames!” And giving an almighty yowl, he drags a claw down the middle of the newspaper.

    “The Siamese broads – I liked ‘em – they had a bit of class, and they evened things up a bit round here. We were getting on like a house on fire.”

    “They nearly DID set the bloody house on fire. Sorry, Tom – they had to go.”

    I hear a squeak and a snicker in my left ear, followed by my own words, echoed in high-pitched, mocking tones:

    “Sorry, Tom – they had to go. – Na, na, na-na, na!”

    I’m shaking the little blighter off my shoulder as Tom makes a lunge for him. Jerry lands in the marmalade and sits smirking, licking his paws, as his arch-enemy lands on my face and sends me, my coffee and the ruined newspaper flying.

    It’s so nice to be back home.

    *******************************

    Author’s note: apologies to those who didn’t see my last week’s entry – couldn’t resist doing a follow-up and hope this makes sense on its own.

  52. lcser says:

    „Ah, Sunday morning… still early enough for the entire street to be quiet with just the odd rustle of leaves outside probably made by a stray cat.” As I was enjoying this peaceful moment with my steaming cup of fresh coffee next to me, my mind wondered. The aroma from the brew, the day’s first rays of sunlight and the peace of the moment seemed just idyllic. Just the right setting for reading my paper, before the house erupts with the noise and energy of my young family.

    As usual, I placed my feet on the coffee table in front of me, narrowly avoiding knocking my cup over, and leaned back to enjoy the read – the ceremonious unfolding of the paper, feeling the crisp pages in my hand and my eyes quickly scanning the page for something interesting. I must have been like this for a while when I suddenly had the strangest feeling – someone was watchning me, something was touching me. Had it been last night during that film, I’d have screamed! As it was, I quickly reminded myself that it was only the cat. „Go away, I’m busy” I said as I gently brushed it aside with my right foot before returning to my reading pose and immersing myself in the article I’d been reading.

    „Busy doing what exactly? Inventing new ways to hold the paper?” said the quiet voice in front of me. I looked up at her, both surprised and annoyed. „Very funny. And what about you? Eat any tasty birds lately?” I mocked, trying not to laugh. I mean, this was ridiculous – a grown man talking to his cat as casually as anyone he’d met? And what of the cat? When did she learn to speak, and moreover, where did she get a sense of humour from?

    „Ok ok, sorry I brushed you aside. Did you want something?” I asked knowing the answer already but feigning ignorance.

    „You know exactly what I want, I know you know, so don’t play cat and mouse with me” she said with a grin. The joke wasn’t lost on me, but I decided to ignore it, just to annoy her. „Oh so you think I’m a mind reader now? That’a an improvement in standing for me – to what do I owe this promotion?” I tried to sound casual and sarcastic at the same time.

    „It’s no promotion, and you’re not a mind reader. I’m just reminding you of your job: after all, I’m the cat around here and you’re the „master” of the house, so you get to feed me” she said patiently, her voice soft but determined.

    I could have sworn she was trying not to laugh either, but it’s tough to tell with a cat – they’d make excellent poker players. „Better make it a big portion, I had a rough night” she added, with what looked like a grin. I thought of asking for details but decided it was still way to early for this so I just nodded and headed to the kitchen to fix her breakfeast.

    I must have tripped, but instead of falling on my face, suddenly found myself on my couch, with my paper crumpled on my chest and my feet still up on the coffee table. I felt drowsy and slow, and warm from the sun shining on my face. I looked around and saw her lying on the table by my feet, looking at me with her green eyes. As we locked eyes she lifted her head and let out a single „meaw” and proceeded to lie down and shut her eyes to sleep.

    „Some dream” I thought! „Talking cat, with humour! Woudn’t that be something!”


    Please be gentle… it’s my first time ever writing and posting something! :-)

    • Observer Tim says:

      I hope I don’t need to be gentle with praise. This is a very well-written story – I love the interplay between the cat and the human, and how the human reacts to the wit and sarcasm of the cat. The sense of entitlement in the cat is perfect (you get to feed me).

      Personally, I’m only fond of the “it was all a dream” trope when it works; it works here.

      In the interests of finding something to be gentle with, here are my only two criticisms.

      One, your story is a bit long, just over 600 words – pretty good, but for your future posts you should work on trying to get down to the limit.

      Two, it is a convention (not a rule) of English-language writing not to put quotes by multiple speakers in the same paragraph. I specified English-language because your style of quotes indicates that you come from off the UK/USA/Australia axis, or at least do most of your writing for people outside that zone.

      By the way, if English is your second (or third, or fifteenth) language, you write excellently in it with a good colloquial style and a clear voice.

    • Susan says:

      Well done, Icser – I’ve not been writing and posting here for long, either, so I know the feeling!

      This is a lovely story, which was entertaining and easy to follow – I didn’t realise it was a dream until the end, so that worked well.

      As Tim says, some of your quotation marks have come out very strangely.

    • jhowe says:

      Good one Icser. I too think cats would be good poker players. You had a few small punctuation issues but nothing that distracted me from enjoying your story. The quote marks at the beginning of the dialog is a little weird. Is that two commas or does your keyboard have that type of key?

    • lcser says:

      Hi,

      thank you for all the positive feedback, I really appreciate it! You’re all absolutely right about the punctuation, I have to pay more attention!

      BTW, English is my second language, but I was hoping you wouldn’t guess… :-)

    • lailakuz says:

      This was a funny piece. I like the dialogue as well as the MC’s voice throughout. I think the only suggestions I would have for this piece are watch the grammar a little with the dialogue (some of the quotation marks/commas are misplaced) and maybe work a little to refine those descriptions at the very beginning. However, I really love the laid-back tone of the piece. Nice job!

    • snuzcook says:

      “The joke wasn’t lost on me, but I decided to ignore it, just to annoy her” I totally get that–very realistic and funny. The whole piece was very entertaining. Nice job!

    • don potter says:

      I enjoyed the story and did not feel cheated by learning the scene was a dream. Yes, there a couple of things I take issue to, but the idea here is to get a “feel” for the effectiveness of the story from the community. Keep posting, and be sure to read and comment on the writing of others.

  53. Ed says:

    Pat…Pat…shove her away with my foot. Pat…Pat…shove. PATPATPAT! Fling her to other side of the kitchen and go back to my paper. Claws dig painfully into my lap as she leaps to the table. “Alright, alright, just try not to break anything like last time, OK, cat? “if I recall correctly, YOU knocked the salt shaker off of the table and broke it.” “Then you blamed it on me when that ill-tempered creature you call a wife heard the noise.” “And just so you know, Mr Fartybritches, you’re not fooling anyone blaming your foul blasts on me!” She stepped up close, put her front paws on my chest. “Look, Bubi, time for a little reality check here. You’ve been sitting on your butt for 3 months now since the layoff. It’s time for you to stop sponging off the state, get off your ever-spreading ass and GET A JOB!” Do you really think this world owes you a living!” She paused for a breath. “Oh, and we need some changes around here,,, I took MSNBC and CNN out of your favorites list on the cable TV. I’m tired of all that damn liberal propaganda” “And please, please, PLEASE scrape the Obama bumper sticker off of your car. While you’re at it, scrap that silly Hybrid and buy yourself a REAL car! ”

    I sat dumbfounded, confusion fogging my mind, reality crumbling away. I never knew my cat was a republican!

  54. snuzcook says:

    MORE AT ELEVEN

    I am trying to read the paper, but I can’t seem to finish a sentence. There is a noise outside that I can’t quite identify, and it is distracting me. The headlines seem jumbled. Where are the proofreaders for this rag?

    Our cat – my cat, now – is pawing at my pajama leg.

    “Fed you.” I brush her away. The noise is louder now, a roaring buzz; it’s hard to describe. I try to focus again on the paper GOVERNMENT SHUT UP REFRIGERATOR MUFFIN.

    The cat appears at the place at the table beside me, at Miranda’s place at the table. The cat is out of place, in Miranda’s place, on the table.

    My coffee cup is rattling. The cup sitting near where my arm holds the paper is rattling. The table seems to be rattling. It is my arm that is shaking, and making the table and the cup and the table rattle.

    The cat rubs her face along the side of the paper. Too many things are happening at once, and I simply watch my left arm shaking the paper and the cat standing looking at me.

    “Karl.”

    Is it Miranda’s voice? No, of course not. Miranda is gone. “Karl,” the cat speaks, locking eyes with me. Her yellow eyes are attentive, piercing. She does not blink. “Karl?”

    I try to put the paper down, but I can’t seem to open my fingers.

    “Karl, don’t be afraid. You are having a stroke. You’re going to be alright.”

    I try to speak, but all that comes out is, “Peanut yellow lobster ball.”

    The cat pads across the table to my phone. She studies it a moment, then stands on it. The phone lights up. I can hear a voice responding, “This is 9-1-1. What is your emergency?”

    I try to shout, but my tongue doesn’t seem to work, and I make a loud gargling sound. I can hear voices still on the line, but I can’t make out what they are saying. The cat comes to sit closer to me, brushing her face against my shoulder. It is reassuring.

    I faintly hear the sound of a siren above the buzzing in my ears.

    • snuzcook says:

      oops–typo
      My coffee cup is rattling. The cup sitting near where my arm holds the paper is rattling. The table seems to be rattling. It is my arm that is shaking, and making the table and the cup and the paper rattle.

    • Observer Tim says:

      Nicely done, snuzcook! I find myself hoping that the fact this was written implies that Karl did eventually recover. And it’s fitting to be left wondering whether the cat’s talking was real or a hallucination, or for that matter if the cat was real or a hallucination. It’s nice to know Karl has a guardian angel in the form of the cat, imaginary or otherwise.

      You’ve captured the thought processes of someone medically disoriented extremely well (I’ve been there – dangerously low blood glucose).

    • Susan says:

      Brilliantly done, snuzcook – as Tim says, a great description of what it might feel like to be having a stroke – it’s a surprise when you realise all those external goings-on are actually caused by his own bodily functions falling apart. I was left wondering exactly what the cat was – dream, hallucination, good fairy, possessed by the spirit of Miranda? – but it’s ok to be left wondering. I enjoyed this.

    • Svapne says:

      I loved the line “The cat is out of place, in Miranda’s place, on the table.”

      I hope the cat (or hallucinated form of Miranda) successfully leads to his safe recovery!

      • snuzcook says:

        Thanks, O.Tim, Susan and Svapne,
        I had fun playing with the slow motion walk through interpretation of the confusing messages the MCs senses are delivering.
        As to the cat/Miranda reality or unreality–I’m not sure myself. When I wrote it, the cat was real and endowed with powers needed to assist him in his crisis, and he was confused about his late wife. Afer I wrote it, I saw the completely plausible possibility that there is a person there whom he halucinates as a cat, someone who speaks reassuringly, phones for help, and puts a hand on his shoulder for reassurance. Is the magic internal or external? Works either way.
        Thanks for your feedback!

    • jhowe says:

      Wow, that was a good read. Kudos to the cat and the 9-1-1 response.

      • Kerry Charlton says:

        snuzcook, an exceptional take on the prompt. I had always wondered what it would feel like to have your mind and body start to shut down. I think you captured it perfectly. We all have a guardian angel moving around, protecting us. It could be a cat, easily. I like to think so.

        • snuzcook says:

          Thanks jhowe and Kerry,
          I firmly believe that guardian angels, talking cats, even empowering halucinations are there when we need them. Isn’t it great that we can conjure them up for our MCs!

    • don potter says:

      I found the story to build and build in intensity. It was all so real. Nicely done.

    • agnesjack says:

      This is well realized, snuzcook. The description of the stroke from within the Karl’s mind is very believable. Thank God for the cat, eh?

    • frankd1100 says:

      Wow! If I’m ever to have a stroke, I’ll be able to see it coming having felt what it might be like in this piece. I like the subtle use of the prompt as part of the solution of conflict.

      “Peanut yellow lobster ball,” made me laugh and feel guilty that I did.

      I like an unassuming cat and I too hope Karl made it.

      • snuzcook says:

        Thanks, agnesjack and frankd1100.
        Don’t tell anyone, but I laughed too–especially Government Shut Up Refrigerator Muffin. Now really, I’m afraid I thought the Government Shut Down headlines last week had gotten a little bit like Charlie Brown’s teacher saying “Wah Wah Wah Wah Wah”, so I had a little fun.

        And yes, Karl survived to feed the cat many, many, many more times.

  55. junglecat77 says:

    “Hey, Can I Get Some Tuna Here?”

    I was eating my cereal and reading the sports section about last night’s baseball game when I thought I heard, “Hey, can I get some tuna here?” I was obviously hearing things; I did only get four hours of sleep last night. I stood up to stretch and get a cup of coffee. When I sat back down, I noticed my cat Charlie, right in the middle of the table!
    I said, “Get down, you know better.”
    Charlie turned her head to the side and said “Where is my breakfast, did you forget?”
    I jumped up so fast my head was spinning.“Is someone there, is this a prank?”
    “No, it’s just me, Charlie. I am hungry.”
    “You…you can’t talk! You have lived with me for 3 years and you have never spoken!”
    “I didn’t have anything to say. Can I have my food now? Now that I have your attention, I need a new flea collar and my litter box…well I could go on and on but feed me first.”
    My head still spinning, I walked to the cabinet and got out a can of Fancy Feast, Charlie’s favorite. I put the food on her dish and put it on the floor.
    I ran to the bathroom to take a long hot shower. I went back into the kitchen to see if Charlie was there. Positive that earlier I was a hallucinating hearing Charlie talk, I called her to come over so I could pet her. After 10 minutes, she sauntered in and said, “You called?”
    “Charlie, can all cats talk?”
    “No, only a few of us really care enough to try. I realized I could understand humans when I was at the shelter where you found me. I learned to talk by mimicking what I heard on TV. First I sounded like I was saying meow and then little by little pronunciation got easier.”
    “I am astounded that you chose to speak to me. Thank you.”
    “It was time, you are a good person and I was hungry. This was the first time you ever forgot to feed me.”
    “Now that I know you can talk, what else would you like to say.”
    “Stop playing your loud music early in the morning when I am sleeping. I want varieties of food, not just the same kind; a new scratching post; more toys; more …”
    This went on for another 30 minutes until finally in desperation I said, “OK Charlie, I’ll see what I can do. Please stop talking.”
    Tonight, I will get a full eight hours of sleep and tomorrow if Charlie is still talking non-stop, I will invest in a good pair of earplugs.

  56. Observer Tim says:

    And at the opposite end of the seriousness scale …

    KITTY CONFESSION

    Tiger pawed the top of the paper so he could look over it. “Ted?”

    My eyes went wide. “Tiger? You can talk?”

    “I listen to you do it enough, why shouldn’t I? I’m just lucky to get a word in edgewise.”

    “But cats can’t talk. You’re not physically capable!”

    “You tell that to the vet, then I’ll say my piece, and we’ll see who he believes.”

    “Point taken. Okay, Tiger, you can talk. Why now? What have you got to say?”

    “I’m gay.”

    “What? Cats can’t …” I stopped there, considering how the last conversation had gone.

    “Yes we can. Scientists say it’s a dominance thing, but I know several toms whose barbs point the other way, if you get my drift. And Anastasia from a couple of floors up definitely prefers the attention of queens.”

    I thought for a moment. “Why are you telling me this? Did something happen that I’m going to hear about?”

    Tiger stared at me intently. “I needed to know what your reaction would be. You’re actually taking it remarkably well.”

    “I guess so. But I’m still taking you to the vet next week to get neutered.”

    “About that. I would really have preferred to have been consulted.”

    “I didn’t know you could talk.”

    “Of course I can talk. All cats can talk.”

    “Then why hasn’t anybody said anything about it?”

    “We can talk. We choose not to. At least, not to humans. If humans generally knew that cats understood them, we wouldn’t hear half the things we do. And there’d be a lot more plastic bags and exhaust pipes involved.”

    “Yeah, I guess you’re right. So you’re gay. Are there any male cats you’re likely to bring ‘round here?”

    “No. In fact, I admit I was lying to you. I’m not really gay.”

    “Then why did you say you were?”

    “I needed to test your reaction. See if you were open-minded.”

    “Open-minded? What’s this about, Tiger?”

    “You know Molly, that Bichon Frise down on three? Those aren’t exactly puppies she’s gravid with.”

  57. I am dreaming. No, I am hallucinating. No, I am losing my mind. No, I had already lost it years ago.

    I am dreaming; I have to be. No cat talks. Okay, Garfield maybe, but he’s a fictional character.

    Had I taken my pills this morning? Why was my cat on my table talking to me?

    Am I still in bed? Am I awake? I should pinch my skin. Ow, that hurt.

    He is talking to me. Asking me if I’m okay. I guess I’ve snapped out of it.

    Oh, crap, my cat is sane and I’m not.

    This is not real life. It’s can’t be.

    Why did I get up this morning? I should have just stayed in bed.

    I’m going to respond to him. Yes, respond to my cat!

    Wait!!!! Am I nuts. Cats don’t talk. I’m not responding.

    I’ll just swat him down off the table and pretend like nothing happened.

    Oh no, here comes my wife. Maybe she’ll notice.

    He’s talking to me again right in front of her!!! He’s asking me if I am going to eat my pancakes…
    Is he crazy???

    I’m not going crazy, I’m not going crazy, NO I AM NOT GOING CRAZY!!!!!!

    Oh no, I feel a little queasy. Is the room spinning? I’m not going to fall out of my chair.

    Great! I just fell out of my chair.

    I’m not going to faint. DO NOT FAINT, JOSH!!!!!!

    Then… complete blackness…

  58. cookie3l says:

    I was sitting on the couch trying to read my morning newspaper. when my ca t starts pswing st my leg.
    I try to brush her off but she jumps on the table and starts meoing.
    She speaks.
    ” Its. Atime fo r my morning meal . I have lots of thins to do today
    including a somewhat secret renedzvous which I cannot be late for.”
    I sat in shock but she just kept starring at me. Could this be really
    happening. I got up and went to the kitchen before she could say
    anything else.

    • Observer Tim says:

      I’ve always suspected that that’s the first thing a cat would say if it could talk – except for the bit about the secret meeting. And she obviously has you well trained. It’s an enjoyable story, cookie.

      Your story appears to be suffering from having been written in the reply window (short lines, werpos, that sort of thing). I write mine in Word, but even a simple text editor that can do word wraps will help clean up the presentation.

      Keep on writing!

    • Susan says:

      Nice one, cookie – there seem to be a few typos, but I was able to follow the story. And like Tim I’m sure, if cats could speak, that’s exactly what they’d be doing – ordering us about!

    • don potter says:

      One way to deal with something uncomfortable is to get away from the source, which is what you did.

    • MCKEVIN says:

      Great opening for a short story. I hope you post the rest of it.

  59. Observer Tim says:

    “Human?”

    My head whips over to the source of the sound. Maya has her front paws on the table, her 18-year old black kitty face tilted so she can see around my laptop. Did she just talk?

    “Human?”

    Definitely her. She blinks like she’s trying to focus; she’s been nearly blind since that infection a few months ago.

    “Maya, is that you?”

    She corrects the direction she’s looking.

    “Human, come. Help.”

    “Maya, what? When did you learn to talk? What’s going on?”

    I try to pick her up, but she pulls away and limps towards the back door as fast as her arthritic legs will carry her. She slips through the cat flap just as I get there. She hasn’t been this spry in years. By the time I get out the door she’s on the edge of the steps looking back.

    “Come. Help.”

    I grab for her, but she takes off. I can tell every step she takes is agony. Still she avoids me.

    “No touch. Come.”

    I follow her through the back yard and into the alley. Morning brings sunshine but no warmth. I feel silly going outside in my bathrobe and slippers, but if Maya thinks this is important enough to break the laws of nature I don’t care.

    She looks back to make sure I’m following, but I can see where she’s going. Mr. Pilchard’s yard. He’s the local pet hater, always going on about dogs and cats running loose in the neighbourhood and getting into his garbage. Whatever Maya wants is in his back yard.

    As we approach the foot of his back step I smell it. It’s sickly sweet, like candy syrup with an undertone of alcohol. Ethylene glycol. He was caught doing this once before and Princess Isidore, Mary’s cat from up the street, paid with her life. He said the fine and the scorn of his neighbours was worth it to have one less cat around.

    There’s a kitten here, about four months old, pure black and scrawny. Its paws are coated in blue syrup and it’s licking them. There’s no collar, so it’s most likely a stray, but no animal deserves the fate it’s playing with. I scoop it up quickly and pull its paws away from its – her – face.

    “Come on, Maya!”

    I run back to the house. The kitten resists, but I manage to clean the gunk off her. Years of experience helps. A little while later she’s in a box with a towel, a bowl of water, and some of Maya’s cat food. I’m going to have to take her to the vet later. I hope there’s no major damage. I hope Maya doesn’t mind another cat around the house.

    Finally I go over to Maya, sleeping peacefully in her cat bed. I reach down and pet her, but she’s cold. She must have died last night sometime.

    As I put the blanket over her I hear a tiny feline voice.

    “Good human.”

    • Observer Tim says:

      A point of clarification for those who don’t know about this particular danger.

      Ethylene glycol is an older form of anti-freeze; it is very sweet-smelling and fairly toxic. There have been a number cases pets and young children drinking it. The poisoning can usually be treated if (a) it’s not too much, and (b) it’s done fairly quickly. Nowadays in North America it has to be sold with a “bittering agent” added, but that doesn’t do much to stop pets from drinking it.

    • Pattypans says:

      Aww, I really like this piece, Tim. Thanks!

    • Susan says:

      Lovely one, Tim – very moving and sad.

      I’ve heard about that, too – people putting anti-freeze in their ponds – nasty :(

    • Svapne says:

      That was so sweet… being haunted by the ghost of your dear cat…

      I especially love the last line; it fits well, since cats own people and not the other way around.

    • jhowe says:

      Nice touch Observer Tim. I liked how the cat, or the ghost of the cat only said what was needed.

      • Kerry Charlton says:

        Very heart-warming Tim. It’s no wonder the Egyptian’s worshipped cats. A poignant story about death and new beginnings. You must really love cats to write a story this touching.

    • Observer Tim says:

      Even though I’m a “dog person”, I do harbour quite a big soft spot for cats as well. It’s a good thing both of my roomies are seriously allergic; otherwise I’d be overrun.

      This one was actually very hard to write. A friend of mine lost one of their cats this way (drinking antifreeze that had been deliberately left out). I’m not sure if it’s a kind of PTSD, but I have a recurring nightmare about holding a kitten and trying to comfort it during its last hours of life after something like this.

    • don potter says:

      Nicely done. I like that line “Good human.”

    • agnesjack says:

      Tim,
      What a lovely story (except for the evil neighbor). Sadly, there are people out there who will do this to strays instead of rescuing them. There are so many organizations that will help with spay/neuter/release (if they are not adoptable), but I’m sure you know all this, because your story is so true to life.
      Good Maya, I say. RIP.

    • Jeepers. Tears of laughter in one piece, and tears of sentiment in another. Well played, TIm.

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