Thursday, March 14, 2013

Still Life with Cats (short story)

A chorus of perpetually joyous birds broke the dark silence of the night, heralding the new day. Ragna drifted from dream to reality. The choir cast a spell on her and she was filled with joy. For a split second, she considered rising but dreamland called.
            “Meow,” Rochester cried.

            “Rochester shut up and let me sleep. It’s not time to wake up,” Ragna protested.
            “MEOW,” Rochester replied.
            Ragna had moved to Mayne Island catless. Someone had warned her that this would soon change. “Everyone who moves to this island is assigned a certain number of cats. Some people have more—some less, but cats are everywhere. Yours are on their way.”
            Ragna laughed until the cats began to claim her too.

            First came Josey, followed soon after by her brother.  Josey ran the household—keeping Rochester in line with a swipe of her paw and a snarl.   
            No one could ask for better companions, Ragna thought. And two is the perfect number. But there were more to come.
One of Ragna’s neighbours was a lady in her early eighties. When Sarah fell, her son insisted that she move off the island and live with his f in Coquitlam.
            “I have no choice; I have to leave the island,” Sarah told Ragna. “But what will happen to Mr. Foo? My daughter-in-law is allergic to cats. And besides, I know he wouldn’t be happy in the city. He likes to come and go as he pleases. I’ve asked everyone and no one wants him.” Ragna wasn’t surprised. Everyone knew Mr. Foo loved to fight with other cats.  “Would you take him?” Sarah pleaded. “I don’t want to put him down… I can’t put him down… but if no one will take him…” Large tears began to slide down her cheeks.

            Having no choice, Ragna said, “Yes.” Though she did worry. Will the cats get along? Will Mr. Foo bully the others? Will I come home to clumps of fur and walls stained with blood?

            Thankfully, as it turned out, the two males soon became fast friends. And to Ragna’s surprise, Josey’s reign, over the household, continued  

            Ragna heard Rochester gallop up and down the halls, howling as he ran. “Meow, meow, meow, meow, meow, meow.”  He sounds like a siren, she thought pulling the blanket over her head.
Thud! She felt the bed shake as Rochester leapt on top of her—his front paws landing on her chest, his back paws on her stomach.
            Oh, sure, I guess it’s morning. She pushed him off, stretched, sat up and swung her legs to the floor. As her feet came to rest on the carpet, her big toe brushed something furry. Ragna braced herself, looked down and saw it –a dead mouse. This one was headless but otherwise intact.
“Thank you for the gift,” Ragna said as, purring, Joey brushed her leg.
This week I completed and have begun submitting a short story collection titled Her, She, I. This is a labour of love that has been completed over a number of years. Actually, when I began this project I wasn't even aware that I was working on it. I was simply writing stories. Developing my craft. What I did this week was weed through all the short stories I've written to date. I found gold--flash fiction, short stories and two novellas. 
Here's the two sentence blurb:  A collection of women's fiction. All stories have an air of mystery.
I love and am very proud of this writing project. I wish for it big things. Oh, like a publishing house, for one. : )
Annie Laurie has shared a link to a helpful article on how to encourage your child to share 4 Tips to Foster An Attitude of Sharing Thank you for sharing this link with us, Annie.
Next post:  Please welcome Author Micki Peluso                 


Laurie Buchanan said...

Love the combination of VERBIAGE and VISUALS!

Leanne Dyck said...

: ) Thanks, Laurie. It's a pleasure sharing this story with you.