Friday Flash: Holiday Pains

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Pain surged up his arms, and he wished to Hades he’d listened to the healer and not adopted those damned pets. But the holidays were a time for generosity to all lifeforms as well as celebration. Rather than see the homeless creatures euthanized, he took them in, and now those infernal humans would be the death of him. He popped a few more katha-berries, moaned as he felt the rash rapidly spread across his back, then called for the male and female. “Braaaad! Jannnnet!!” Her and her blasted mate had caused this misery; the least they could do was scratch his back.

 

*Image courtesy of BigFoto.com.

Friday Flash: Cat Guts

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.

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“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.

*image courtesy of BigFoto.com

*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!

Friday Flash: Gummies

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.

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So innocent looking, yet so deadly.

That was Karen’s last thought as she looked at the small, colorful gummies sitting on the counter. She had lined them up for tea, thinking they might melt and make nice sweeteners for the steaming brew. Who knew? She wasn’t posh. She wasn’t cultured. She liked her sweet tooth, and if the candy didn’t dissolve she’d still have a treat when she reached the bottom of her china cup.

However, how was she to know that the assorted soft candies left on her doorstep the night before were not from a secret admirer but rather the abandoned children of a lost traveller among the stars? That the traveller’s race, though tiny, was deadly when crossed and not prone to forgiving transgressions? So when Karen unsealed the little plastic package of rainbow colored gummies, she simply released them from their airlocked space. That was no matter; they were adaptable. But they could not, apparently, adapt to scalding liquid.

So as Karen poured the freshly brewed tea into her clean, white china cup, she was ill-prepared for the screams of agony emitted by the little orange gummy resting in its bottom. She gasped and nearly dropped the pot. Then chastising herself for her foolishness, she realized there must have been an air-pocket or something in the candy that caused the squealing noise. Oh well, it’d still taste fine.

She popped the little orange gummy, now flattened and mushy, onto her waiting tongue, bit down, and swallowed. The squealing stopped.

But Orangie’s brothers and sisters started, and soon she lay bleeding on the floor from a thousand small bites. They were insanely fast. As she watched the rainbow assortment of gummies advance on her prone figure, she realized that Orangie was the lucky one.

He had been consumed in a single bite.

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*image courtesy of BigFoto.com

*inspired by a photo prompt at the six minute story site. Again, I ran out of time! But the story was too good to just stop, so I’m posting it here. I hope you enjoyed it!