Continuing Conversations With a Cat (3)

Never argue with a cat. You can't win.
Never argue with a cat. You can’t win.

I heard a noise coming from my kitchen. In a small apartment with three cats, I knew this was probably the harbinger of something I really didn’t want to see. None the less, I ventured into the kitchen to investigate. A paper bag was on the floor and I spied a long black tail poking out of it.

“Autumn, what are you doing?” I asked, raising an eyebrow.

The tail disappeared and out popped a small black fuzzy head with pointy ears. “What?” she asked.

“I said, what are you doing?”

“I’m playing space cat, of course!” she replied.

“I see,” I said. “And how do you play ‘space cat’?”

Her head turned and she dove back into the bag. I heard her say “Vroom!” as the bag slipped forward on the kitchen floor. I guess that was my answer.

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Continuing Conversations With a Cat (2)

Never argue with a cat. You can't win.
Never argue with a cat. You can’t win.

Autumn came running into my office and jumped up on my desk.

“Hey!” I yelled. “Get off the desk.”

“I’m sorry, can’t hear you,” she said looking around. “Speak up.”

“Ha ha, very funny,” I replied. “Now get down.”

“Wha? You’re breaking up. Are you driving next to a mountain? I can’t… huh, what?”

“Oh, you’re hilarious. Seriously, get down,” I said, getting slightly annoyed.

Autumn gingerly danced over my desktop accoutrements and hid behind my laptop screen. All I could see was a long black tail and two black ears poking out from beyond the screen.

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Continuing Conversations With a Cat

Never argue with a cat. You can't win.
Never argue with a cat. You can’t win.

Autumn walked into my office.

“Hey!” she said loudly.

“Hey!” she said again.

“Hey, I noticed that there was no wet food in my bowl so… yeah. Maybe you could make that happen?” she asked me.

“There’s no food in your bowl because you don’t get wet food for another four hours,” I replied, not looking away from my laptop. “6 p.m. every night. You know that.”

“So does that mean now?” she asked. “Cats aren’t really good with time.”

I sighed heavily. “So I’ve noticed,” I replied looking down at her. “No, that does not mean now. It means later than now.”

“Why do you always speak in riddles?” she asked, looking annoyed.

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Still More Conversations With a Cat

Never argue with a cat. You can't win.
Never argue with a cat. You can’t win.

I was sitting on my sofa watching TV. Autumn came into the living room and jumped onto my lap.

“Oh, well hello there,” I said to her.

“You can start petting me now,” she said with a tone that made it clear this was not a request.

“Is that so?” I asked with a slight smirk on my face. “I’ve been given permission to pet you, huh?”

“Yes, and please follow the instructions this time. First, start by scratching behind my ears and then the top of my head. Follow that by stroking me down my back. Once you get to my tail, scratch me at the base for no more than 30 seconds. You may then stroke my tail. Once that’s done, repeat several times.”

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Even More Conversations With a Cat

Never argue with a cat. You can't win.
Never argue with a cat. You can’t win.

I needed to go to the grocery store, so I grabbed my socks and shoes and sat down on my sofa. Autumn walked in.

“Yay! It’s playtime!” she yelled and bounded over to me.

“What?” I asked.

She grabbed my left foot and started gently gnawing on it. “You’re covering your feet. That means it’s playtime,” she said happily.

“Ow!” I yanked my foot away from her. “No, it’s not playtime. I’m going out for a bit.”

“Don’t be silly,” she said. “We always play when you cover your feet.”

“No, you always come and attack my feet whenever I try to put my shoes on,” I said, feeling irritated. “There’s a difference.”

“Die!” she yelled as she pounced on my shoe.

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Spilled Milk

Baseball-image

It was the summer of ’76. The Bicentennial. Jared remembered it well. He could still picture the explosions of the fireworks and all of the red, white and blue that covered the small town. Banners, posters, flags, American patriotism was all the rage that summer. It should have brought back happy memories for him, but instead it left him with a cold chill. It was the summer of ’76. The summer that his best friend Darrin disappeared.

School was out and back in those days that meant spending all day outdoors. Kids today just don’t understand the value of playing outside. Off came the button down shirts and long pants and on went the ragged T-shirts and cutoff jean shorts. Baseball caps and sneakers completed the ensemble and the only thing to do was waste the hours away.

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More Conversations With a Cat

Never argue with a cat. You can't win.
Never argue with a cat. You can’t win.

I was working on my laptop when Autumn walked in. “Why do you sit there staring at that window?” she asked.

“I’m working on some things,” I replied.

“But you’re just sitting there,” she said. “How are you working?”

“I’m writing,” I said, not really wanting to explain.

“Are you staring at birds?” she asked. “I stare at birds out of my window thing. It’s a lot bigger than your window thing. Are you staring at birds?”

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Fall From Grace

City

Henry looked out at the city sprawled before him. From the rooftop where he stood, the bright city lights twinkled and the stars above mirrored them. A cool breeze blew and kissed his skin. He could hear the faint sounds from the street, which was many stories below. Henry couldn’t remember such a lovely night. He’d visited his apartment rooftop many times over the past few years but tonight was special and wonderful. He stood on the edge of the building and closed his eyes. Stretching out his arms, he leaned forward, allowing gravity to take over. Henry felt the rush of the wind as his body hurtled towards the concrete. He passed his apartment window on the eighth floor; his suicide letter lay on his kitchen table. It was his legacy to a world that had rejected him; a world that in another second would no longer exist for Henry.

The city lights and stars kept twinkling.

~V

[Author’s note: I’m trying to write a short story under 100 words and keep missing the mark. This one got me closer though. I’ll keep trying.]

Four Leaf Clover

four-leaf-clover1

The warm sunshine beamed down on the little girl in the pretty dress. She knelt on the ground at the edge of a small hill in her backyard. Her hands deftly moved through the long grasses as she plucked bits of green up with her fingers. She examined her find and then discarded it with a simple “Nope” coming from her mouth. She kept repeating this process.

“Caitlin, time for lunch!” her mother called to her from the doorway of her house. The little girl looked down and her eye spotted the object of her search.

“Coming mommy!” she yelled back over her shoulder.

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The Tragedy of Battle Creek

cereal

It had been a busy week, starting with the Frog. He felt no remorse, but neither did it bring him joy. It was, he reasoned, a task that needed to be completed and he was the man to do it. No one saw him enter the home and no one saw him leave. He’d spent years practicing and preparing for that moment. Countless bowls had been consumed and gallons of milk emptied. He’d collected the prizes that sat inside the boxes and played all the games and puzzles that the manufacturers had printed on the backs of those boxes. He was ready. He’d taken out that stupid red hat wearing Frog in one blow and left only a body in a pool of blood. There was no joy, but there was exhilaration. He knew he’d do it again.

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Conversations With a Cat

Never argue with a cat. You can't win.
Never argue with a cat. You can’t win.

Autumn came running into my room. She was her usual excited self. “We’re under attack!” she cried frantically. I should expect these kinds of comments from her considering what a vivid imagination she has. Her comprehension of the world is very restricted, which is understandable considering she’s only seen small glimpses of it through the windows of my apartment. Granted, she wandered outside for the first few months of her life before finding me, but she was too young to really process much. Did I mention that Autumn is a cat?

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The Girl Who Wasn’t There (Part 7)

[Continued from Part 6]

Part 7

Casey drifted in and out of sleep. Her IV kept her hydrated. The medications kept her calm and drowsy. She no longer cared about remaining conscious. At one point she awoke to find that both legs were gone and her left arm was missing as well. She was in another room now. Room 432 it said on the plaque by the door. She expected this must be somewhere in the “psych ward” of the hospital. Nurses buzzed in and out like bees. She ate but did not taste food. Her consciousness seemed to blur and time melted into something unrecognizable. What woke her was the sound of music. A nurse was standing next to her changing her IV bag. From across the room Casey heard a familiar tune.

“Ding dong the Witch is dead, the wicked old Witch is dead…”

It took Casey a moment to realize through the fog in her mind what it was. Suddenly she was awake. Her mind was clear. That song was the ringtone she had for her mother. It meant that her mother was calling her. She looked at the nurse and almost shouted “My phone! Can you grab my phone please?”

The nurse looked at Casey for a moment and then turned and walked to a small upright closet. She opened the door and the music got louder. She reached down into the closet and hauled out a phone that was blaring the popular song from “The Wizard of Oz”. The nurse slid her finger across the bottom of the screen and put the phone to her ear.

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The Girl Who Wasn’t There (Part 6)

[Continued from Part 5]

Part 6

Casey could feel the chemicals in her body doing their job. She felt light and cozy and there was a tug in her mind that pulled her towards the sweet embrace of sleep. She needed a distraction, something to keep her mind engaged. Turning to the nurse in the room, she asked politely, “May I have my purse, please?”

“Why do you want your purse?” the nurse asked, raising her eyebrow just a bit.

“Oh, I want to make a phone call. My brother is flying in to see me this morning and I wanted to see if he’s boarded his plane yet,” answered Casey.

“Yeah, I guess that’s ok,” said the nurse as she reached for the purse that lay on the counter across from Casey. Rather than handing her the entire purse, the nurse rummaged through the inside and pulled out Casey’s phone.

“Here you go,” she said with a touch of softness in her voice.

“Thanks,” said Casey smiling at her.

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The Girl Who Wasn’t There (Part 5)

[Continued from Part 4]

Part 5

Casey was still irritated with Megan. She hadn’t heard from her friend and Casey was tempted to call her and ask her why she never showed up. If Megan had hooked up with a guy, she was probably dead to the world at this point and would never hear her phone, so Casey decided to wait a few hours.

Her eyelids fluttered. She felt drowsy. There was a sleepiness that was slowly overtaking her, which she attempted to resist. It was silly of course, but every time she had slept in the past twelve hours or so she had awakened to find another piece of herself missing. She had a hard time shaking the idea that she must not fall asleep. Fighting sleep however, proved to be difficult and eventually she succumbed and her eyelids closed. It seemed like only moments had passed when a nurse was gently shaking her.

“Casey. Casey wake up. The doctor is here to see you,” a nurse whose name Casey had forgotten said as she shook Casey’s shoulder.

Casey looked up and a man in his late 40’s with dark hair streaked with gray and a chin covered in stubble smiled at her. He reached out and extended his hand. Casey took it and it felt warm.

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The Girl Who Wasn’t There (Part 4)

[Continued from Part 3]

Part 4

Casey awoke feeling the need to urinate. She sat up feeling groggy. Grabbing her phone on the coffee table she saw the time was 3:21 a.m.

“What the…?” Casey thought still trying to chase the cobwebs from her mind. Megan should have been here hours ago. She checked her text messages to see if Megan had contacted her since she fell asleep. There was nothing new nor did she have any missed calls.

“Why are people getting so flaky with me all of a sudden?” she wondered. She texted Megan and asked her where she was. “Knowing Megan,” Casey thought, “she may have gone home with Mr. Dark Hair”. Casey hated to think that, but Megan was not always the most reliable person she new.

Casey felt pressure from her bladder and recalled that she never peed earlier and now she had to really go. She grabbed the comforter with her right hand and flung it off of her so she could stand and hop to the bathroom. Once free of the comforter, she leaned forward to grab the coffee table to use as leverage to help her stand. As she shifted her body forward, she once again felt that unusual feeling of a loss of balance. As before, she felt even more off balance than the last time she attempted to stand. She looked down at her left leg in the dim light emanating from the kitchen. It took her a moment to realize with horror that her entire left leg was gone. She pressed both hands down where her thigh should have been and it met only the resistance from the sofa cushion.

Continue reading “The Girl Who Wasn’t There (Part 4)”