2014 Flash Fiction Challenge: The Purloined Gato


 

Robin was frantic. Mama Kitty was missing and had been missing for more than a week. All the other cats were lost without Mama Kitty. She was their leader. They weren’t eating. Neither was Robin for that matter.

Robin’s daily routine had been reduced to worry, drinking vodka from a water glass, worry, and chain smoking; followed by another bout of worrying – worrying if Mama Kitty was stuck in a tree or dead on the highway. Frequent phone calls to the animal shelter broke up the monotony but, the shelter had no news on poor Mama Kitty’s fate so Robin continued to worry. She worried and put food in the cat’s dishes.

The other five cats seemed to have lost their will to live, so upset were they. Priscilla did nothing more than bathe herself, and lie in the sun, all day long. Skiddy and Albert scarcely moved from the back of the couch and, the kittens? Well the kittens were so broken up that they were unable to spend the day doing anything other than chasing dust mites floating in the sunbeams that shone through the front windows with the afternoon light.

On the tenth day, Robin’s maudlin reverie was interrupted by a tap on the front door. Stumbling to the entrance she opened it to find the mail man with a handful of envelopes and packages. “Ms. Ribena,” he said, “I can’t fit any more mail in your box so I thought I would bring it all up and see if everything was all right with you.”

“It’s horrible, Mr. Winslow.” Robin sobbed, “Mama Kitty has been missing for ten days. I’m sick with worry.”

“Funny you should mention that,” said the mailman, “I put this letter in your box a week ago yesterday. It looks like there’s a picture of your cat on the envelope.” He handed the letter to her and she ripped it open in dread.

Inside was a note composed of words and letters cut from newspapers and magazines then glued to a sheet of 20# erasable bond. It read:

“If u waNna C mama kiTTy alive PUT beeR by the GungLE Jim at 12th st PArK.
signed KAtnaPp3rs”.

Mama Kitty’s severed ear was stapled to the paper. Robin fainted dead away but she woke to the pungent aroma of smelling salts.

Mr. Winslow proffered her another envelope, “Here’s another one.” He said. “Good thing I got a first aid kit on the truck.”

She ripped the new letter open and read:

“U Don’t Luv hEr, WE don’t eiTHer. We LeT hER go. FukIN KaT.”

Robin gasped and put her hand over her mouth. She looked down to see a one eared Mama Kitty purring and rubbing against her legs. Thank God, Mama Kitty was home again!

Robin fainted again and Mr. Winslow reached for another ampoule of smelling salts.


Rising to the gauntlet thrown down by the 2014 Flash Fiction Challenge
(That I only recently discovered).

A woman’s cat goes missing. Two days later she receives a ransom note.

 flash-fiction-badge1

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Daily Prompt: Back to Life

Daily Prompt: Back to Life

 After an especially long and exhausting drive or flight, a grueling week at work, or a mind-numbing exam period — what’s the one thing you do to feel human again?


Fourteen hours, I drove fourteen hours straight to get home to Calgary.

Fourteen hours straight in a rented “Smart Car”.

Life sucks.

A smart car is designed for a 20 minute drive, tops.

I tell you right now that I will ride across the Andes in a prison bus before I drive fourteen hours in a smart car again.

In all fairness though I did get home, and that is a good thing.

My wife was waiting up for me and that is a good thing too.

She probably waited up for me because I called her three hours before I got home. I think she was feeling sorry for me. I think “pity” is the operative word here.

God I love her.

She had gone to the package store to get me a drink.

Something I could have when I got home to help me decompress.

Due to the holiday weekend, the package store was pretty picked over.

There wasn’t much left on the shelves.

She got me two bottles of Cognac.

Airplane sized bottles.

“Moose Butt” brand.

God I love her.

When I got in, she kissed me and told me she had missed me.

The kids were in bed.

“Come on in for a Cognac” she said.

I looked at the bottles. “I’m not sure I can drink this. Do we have any needles?”

She smiled and poured one of the bottles into an old fashioned glass, handed it to me. The other she poured into a coffee cup and kept for herself.

She took my hand and led me upstairs. “The kids are in bed.” She said.

God I love her.


 

Sugar-coating Since ’91 Art
From Balderdash To Epiphany. Rest From Vacation
tuckedintoacorner The Collapse
gut honest faith Lounge sluggard
Pints Of… Back to Life
lifelessons – a blog by Judy Dykstra-Brown Away
The Wandering Poet Daily post – Back to life
One Man Versus the World Relax and Unwind
Muddy River Muse I go walking: Day’s end
Living, Breathing, and Surviving, and Coping with Mental Illness Daily Post – I Wanted To Feel Human, I wanted to Feel Alive. I Thought Suicide Could Do This
The WordPress C(h)ronicle Back to Life
More Action Research Called back into being
That’s My Philosophy Humane Association
seikaiha’s blah-blah-blah Back to Life
Rideo, Ergo Supero Life Unplugged
musingsofawarmheart Somewhere over the rainbow…
FlippyZipFlop (DP) Hmmmm what would I do? risingrave28
Kosher Adobo Taking Off My Shoes
Mama Bear Musings Back to Life
Hot cup of Kaapi Back to Life after Work
Bob’s Blog-O-Rama Daily Prompt : Back to Life
Prairie Views Desolate Drives
A Little Fluff Back to Life
the masculine pen The Daily Post – Back to Life – Read or go ‘flying’
The Undaunted Blue Madness Of My Life UNWINDING WITH MUSIC
Hope* the happy hugger Life to back
Life’s Journeys Unfolding Back to Life – From Dismemberment to Re-Embodiment in Two Easy Steps
My Simple Life The Rhythm of Life
A Slice of Life Music is the Key
Sweat, Tears and Digital Ink Quick Tips for Winding Down as a Freelance Writer
Business over coffee To Feel Human I….
Chronicles of an Anglo Swiss Back to Life – did I die??
Find Your Passion Tired All the Time
Keyboard Pizza Worked Hard? Game Harder
I’m a Writer, Yes I Am Hell on Wings, Part Two, Parigi
Here I am !! Back to Life
cognitive reflection Back to Life
Delicate How to be Human 101
practicallyserious 5 Ways to Unwind After a Stressful Plane Flight
Pippakin Talks Cats, Dogs, Teeth and Claws Daily Post – Back to Life
Traversing Lines Wake Me Up
SERENDIPITY TIME WHORES AND THEIR DAMNED GAMES
Ivy Mosquito Zzzzzzzzzzzz….
Writing Prompts for Rookie Writers The Daily Post’s prompt: “Back to Life”
Shes Rambling About Stuff How to feel human 7 Steps with photos
Completely Disappear Back to Life
Barryjack’s Place Resetting
life as sirli Lazy day
KindlingWord Ode to Joy
no1jenn Back to Life
Life is great Dolce far niente
Walk With Me Feeling Human
Moondustwriter’s Blog Como se dice? #dpchallenge #poetry #children
The DailyJunior DogBlog “Back to Life”: What Would The Therapy Dog Do?
This Blog Needs A Title Watching Some Comedy
Musing Off the Mat Back to Life
Flowers and Breezes First Thing
Basically Beyond Basic Back to Life
ALIEN AURA’S BLOG: IT’LL BLOW YOUR MIND! Back to life
The Quirky Life of P Synergy and Energy…
psychologistmimi Force myself to relax and then hit the ongoing fast-paced merry-go-round
The Daily Blabber Please Pass the Potatoes
oneseventwentyfourteen Go to my happy place. Aha. Thanks Tom.
In My Ruins, There is Treasure Revive, rejuvenate, or, how I relax (writing prompt)
I FOLLOW ISLANDS Flight from hell
Thoughts from the Front What a day…
Emotional Fitness Pray for Relief
The Sunny Narrative. Revitalisation.
Emotional Fitness Pray for relief, act with hope
All Things Cute and Beautiful Being Human Again!
MillyMollyMandy Back to Life
Emovere Got my life back
Understanding and Embracing Diversity Back to Life through Exercise
nanashirl Back to Life
The Wandering Poet Write with your heart..
soulfoood The taboo of being too human
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(A Day in the Life) Un Giorno Nella Vita Back to Life
Willow’s Corner Bring me to Life
Precious Marks Upon the World Coming Undone
Daily Prompt Coming Undone
This, On Purpose The Profession That Makes One Batty.
Impressions…  Back To Life: Pet Therapy
This Thread Sucks Resurrection by Chords
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joatmon14 Get Over Yourself. . . and Live
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A lot from Lydia After Work
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Storyline Refresh
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A place to be In my own head
The Daily 400 Wring Me Out Like a Wash Cloth
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99 Problems And Done Back to Life, Back to Reality
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Daily Prompt: Sudden Downpour

Daily Prompt: Sudden Downpour

 It was sunny when you left home, so you didn’t take an umbrella. An hour later, you’re caught in a torrential downpour. You run into the first store you can find — it happens to be a dark, slightly shabby antique store, full of old artifacts, books, and dust. The shop’s ancient proprietor walks out of the back room to greet you. Tell us what happens next!


 

“Hey there, young man. Welcome to Walmart. Can I help you find something?”

“Walmart, huh?” I ask. “My Grandpa used to tell me about Walmart stores. I thought they were all gone though. Do you mind if I look around some?”

“Help yourself boy but take this.” He pressed a flare gun into my hand, “It’s a big store, we’re a little short staffed, I’m not sure what all’s here anymore so, if you get lost or you need any help, just signal. I’ll come a runnin’.” He turned to shuffle back towards the customer service counter.

“Uhm, sir? I am gonna need an umbrella. Where would I find those?”

Without turning he pointed into the store, “Aisle 17, ‘bout halfway back.”

I looked in the direction indicated. It was dark back there and the aisles of merchandise seemed to go on forever as they receded into the gloom. I could faintly make out a flickering amber light in the distance. It looked far away. This must be a huge store.

I glanced up at the closest end cap, Aisle 3, I think he said 17, “Sir?” I turned back but he was gone. I couldn’t see the customer service counter anymore in the gloom and there seemed to be tendrils of fog creeping towards me from that direction. I shrugged and turned, I started moving in the direction that I hoped Aisle 17 lay.

After only a few steps, it got hot, humid, muggy, and I was surrounded by trees. Must be the garden department. Birds called in the distance from what was most likely the pet section. A light rain began to fall, I sensed movement to my right. Golden eyes glowed down at me from the boughs of a tall, tropical tree. What the hell kind of store is this? I bolted and ran.

I was gasping for breath and the rain was getting harder when I got to the river. I could hear monkeys howling in the distance. That flickering amber light I had seen before was just inside the trees on the other side of the river. Thinking it might be a campfire, I headed that direction.

The river was easy to ford, only about three inches deep with a firm sandy bed. I scooped up a few handfuls to quench my thirst; it tasted sweet, clean, fresh. Lightning flashed in the distance and out of habit I counted 1 one thousand, 2 one thousand, 3 one thousand, then the crack and rumble sounded loud.

The glow from the campfire was not far now, I estimated about 500 yards inside the trees. Some instinct made me approach with caution. I peered out from the trees into a small clearing where the campfire was burning. It looked like a young family huddled around the glow. There was a mom, a dad, and a girl who looked maybe 10 – 12 years old. “Hello,” I called and the dad was on his feet immediately. He had a rifle in his hands leveled in my direction.

“Who are you? What do you want?”

“I’m looking for aisle 17, I need an umbrella. I think I got lost.”

“Did the greeter send you to aisle 17?”

“He did.”

“Yeah, he sent us to 17 as well. We stopped for snacks. We’re on our way to Buffalo.”

“Buffalo? Really? This is Austin.” I said.

“No, it’s upstate.” Mom chimed in. “Come on over and warm yourself. I’m Eunice, this is Paul, and our girl here is Sandy. We got separated from our boy, Andy, a couple days ago. Maybe you saw him? I’m sick with worry.”

“How long have you been here?” I asked.


gut honest faith winning ticket
Pints Of… Sudden Downpour
The Wandering Poet True as autumn rain..
tuckedintoacorner To Appease the Faux Landlords
lifelessons – a blog by Judy Dykstra-Brown Unsoggy in Jalisco y i drill down on our
The WordPress C(h)ronicle Sudden Downpour
A Little Fluff Sudden Downpour
olivia in la la land The sudden downpour led me to what I was looking for…
The Ambitious Drifter The Old Peculiarity Shoppe.
Living, Breathing, and Surviving, and Coping with Mental Illness Daily Post – Bringing Me Back to Childhood
A mom’s blog The Vase
Shes Rambling About Stuff Grandma said

Fiction – Should I Stay or Should I Go?

 


 

“We have to let you go Kenneth. Clear out your desk immediately. You can stop by HR and pick up your final check.”

My jaw dropped. I was not expecting this. “But, Mr. Dithers I, we’re, just getting rolling on the Bumstead project. As project manager I am confident that we can bring this one in, on time and under budget.”

“The Bumstead project has been cancelled Kenneth. Please go down to HR now. I don’t want to have to call security.”

“Can you at least tell me why, Mr. Dithers?”

He picked up his phone and spoke, “Gladys, can you ask Security to come up here right away?”

“That won’t be necessary, sir.” I spun and walked out of his office with as much dignity as I could muster. Gladys was ignoring me, feigning intense concentration and staring at her monitor, when I went past her desk on my way to the elevator.

A security representative fell in step and rode down the two floors with me to the cube farm I had called home for the last year and a half. As I threaded the aisles towards my desk the people who I had considered friends averted their gaze, or picked up their phones and pretended to be having conversations. I was, apparently quite the pariah. How had I not seen this coming? How could I have been so blind?

I packed up my desk, and went to HR with my new friend from Security. I got my check, signed some termination papers and left. In the ground floor lobby my escort peeled off and went to jaw, snicker, and point with the others of his kind. The ones we had always called ‘the gatekeepers’. With my meager box of belongings tucked under my arm I reached to push the door open.

“Kenneth?” I turned and saw Lois hurrying my way. She stopped short and said, “Kenneth, I just heard. I’m so sorry, this is so unfair.”

I wanted to put my arms around Lois and cry on her shoulder but instead I pulled her aside and asked, “Do you know why? No one will tell me why?”

Lois nodded. “You should have stayed on your meds Kenneth. There were complaints, and you were scaring some of the girls on the third floor.”

“Thanks for being honest with me Lois.” I said and angrily stormed out of the building.

It was Friday afternoon so I had the entire weekend to stew and I certainly started out that way. Got good and drunk Friday night but on Saturday morning I got busy. I poured out what little bourbon was left in the bottle and started taking my meds again. I shaved and went out to find a salon. A pear shaped girl gave me extensions, and snapped her gum while she dyed my hair and eyebrows blonde. Downtown I found a sale and scored a whole new business casual wardrobe, khaki trousers and long sleeved dress shirts. Beige, white and light pastels are the new me. I spent Sunday teaching myself to talk like an educated surfer.

Monday morning found me checking my reflection in the bathroom mirror, I nodded and spoke to my reflection, “lookin’ good, dude.” I approved the transformation, my mother wouldn’t recognize me. I went back to work prepared to tackle the Bumstead project, and see it through. I just had to make sure that my cover remained intact. There would be no paychecks for a while but I had enough savings to last. This could work.

I snagged a visitors badge from the gatekeepers: traded up for an employee badge that S. Smith had left on his shirt in the locker room and took the lift to Marketing. An empty cube was easy to find there. Marketing had been short-staffed since ’08. I requested copies of my Bumstead work from filing and while waiting for them to come up, carefully cut S. Smith’s photo from the badge and replaced it with one of mine. I re-laminated and was suddenly in possession of a legitimate looking, albeit forged, employee ID. I needed them to see what I saw. They should have let me stay. They should not have made me go. I needed them to realize their mistake. They would beg me to come back. I reached into my pocket, found a pill and swallowed it without water. I couldn’t afford to be erratic. I had to maintain.


 

Summer Grid #172

Too cool – Top row – Thanks guys

Meetin’ at the Crossroads

Bob stepped from the garage into the utility room. Marie was in the kitchen.

“Jesus Bobby, you finally made it home? Do you know what time it is? Ya coulda called. Fuckin’ dinner is ruined.”

Bob grabbed her around the waist, dipped her and kissed her. Corny as hell and he knew it but, Marie was a romantic, “Sorry baby, I lost track of time. Whaddaya got to eat? I got one more meetin’ tonight but it shouldn’t take too long.”

Marie melted, “The roast is beyond hope but, I can rustle up a scramble. Potatoes, eggs and bacon pretty quick honey. Will that work?”

“Sounds great babe, you get started and I’ll get my stuff for the next meeting.” He turned her loose and headed to his office. He opened the safe and pulled out the contract proposal. Put it into his briefcase. Then he rifled through the file but, there was nothing here he didn’t know. He decided to take it with him anyway and placed it into the case as well. The file fit neatly below the contract proposal.

Back to the kitchen Marie was finishing up his bacon and egg scramble.

He scarfed, “That was awesome baby. Can you wait up for me? My meetin’s at midnight. I should be back by half twelve.”

“I’ll be up Bobby. I’ll be waitin’ for ya.”

He kissed her again and went back into the garage, pressed the button on the key fob popping the trunk open. The briefcase dropped neatly into the back of his black Cadillac Coupe De Ville and he gently closed the trunk. The remote opened the garage door, so he started the car and backed out into the street. Accelerating quickly away from the house he grinned at the smell of brimstone permeating the dark, narcotic night air and grinned.

***

The crossroad was dark when Bob arrived. What the hell was he doing setting up meetings here in the middle of the night? That kid was never gonna show. I’ll give him 15 minutes Bob thought to himself and then I’m outta here. Ten minutes later he was thinking that the kid wasn’t gonna show and he shoulda stayed at home with Marie. Two minutes after that, he saw headlights comin’ in from the east. As it drew near Bob saw a Mustang, convertible with the top down.

“OK” he thought “the kid’s got class,” and he got out of his caddy.

The lone occupant of the mustang got out of his car and they walked together to meet at the center of the crossroads.

The mustang driver was just a kid and he nodded at Bob.

Bob nodded back, “So ya wanna be a writer kid?” he asked.

“Yes sir,” said the kid.

Bob set his briefcase on the hood of the Coupe De Ville, opened it and took out the contract. He turned to the back page and said, “sign here.”

 

 

 

26 July 2014 – Writer’s Guild: Sally the Stripper

26 July 2014

victoriansansalpha 760x100

Today’s adventure with the Book Bandits.

Depicts Adult Situations

The prompts are:

  1. A color I’ve never seen before
  2. dandelion dreams
  3. Stiff ole bones

 

Begin Writing
Sally the Stripper beckoned
The old man to the stage.
He shook his head
“I got stiff ole bones, on account of my old age.”

Sally was insistent,
“I’ve seen stiff old bones before,
It’s what I do. It’s who I am
It’s what I’m up here for.”

Two topless girls came over
And helped him climb the stair.
He clutched his chest, fell to his knees
Gave everyone a scare.

Sally dropped on top of him
She started CPR.
A call was made to 911
By the girl behind the bar.

When the paramedics got there
He waved them all away.
“Come back in just a minute please,
She’s about to make my day.”
Time is up. Put down your writing implements and step away from the paper.

 

I thought I wold post this to the MoonShine Grid.  It came out of my Book Bandits meeting this morning and it just sorta wrote itself while I watched.