The following story also appears in my short story collection, An Optimist’s Journal of the End of Days and Other Stories, published via Venetian Spider Press.
“Is it not strange that cat guts should hail souls out of men’s bodies?” mused the red-bearded Benedict, eying the musician and his companions with disdain. Despite this odd-seeming praise for the violinist’s musical prowess, Benedict hid in the bushes studiously avoiding the man, though the other humans strained closer as he sang and played. They were evidently pleased with his performance.
However, sitting quietly behind the bearded Benedict, Edgar the cat was not pleased. Violinists may hail souls from men’s bodies with their melodies, but the melody of Edgar’s fellow felines must have been less than pleasing when their own souls were ripped to make the strings that Balthasar now played. He may not have gutted the cats themselves, yet he harvested the fruits of their slaughter with his lonely, lovely notes. He represented all of cat-kind’s dearest foes. The cat’s yellow eyes narrowed, he unsheathed his claws, readying himself to avenge his fellows.
The song ended, and as the other humans gathered round, the musician clothed himself in false modesty by feebly fending off their praise. However, the red-bearded fellow before Edgar mumbled to himself, “Or was that sheep’s guts? I can never remember.”
Disgusted with himself for falling for this fool’s idiotic chatter, an unholy hissing erupted from Edgar’s disparaged soul as he leapt into the air, landing on the back of the unsuspecting Benedict. The man batted wildly at the maddened feline, raving about hanging dogs that howled too much or some such nonsense, but – although insulting dogs never hurt – it was too late. Edgar would have none of it. He sank teeth and claws into the cowering Italian, making an altogether more pleasing music to his own furry ears.
*inspired by a photo prompt at the six minute story site, but completed on my own. The text prompt was about a cat and a violinist, so I couldn’t help spoofing a scene (link) from Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing. Particular inspiration goes to Kenneth’s Branagh’s portrayal of Benedict. I hope you enjoyed it!