Archive for June 17th, 2011

17th June
written by amber

Ship Cat II

Was it her imagination? No, there it was again. Just the merest flicker of something out of the corner of her eye. From pure instinct, she dashed in pursuit, ears forward, heart racing. There never was anything to chase on this ship unless Colleen or, more rarely, Brad threw one of her toys for her.

The thing was insubstantial – it made no sound and had no smell. Its shape was merely a flickering mistiness as it moved quickly down the corridor. Cutie followed as fast as she could, clawless paws skidding on the metal floor. It whisked into the kitchen and she hurled herself into the room, colliding with a pair of very solid legs.

“Damn it, Cutie! Watch where you’re going!”

The thing ran under the table, Cutie right on its tail. Colleen rose from her chair, saying, “Brad. Don’t you kick her again. She’s just being lively.”

“How many times do I have to apologise for that?  I was having a bad day, that’s all. Now what’s wrong with her?”

Cutie had backed away from the table, tail pointing at the ceiling and fatter than it had ever been, a low growl rumbling out of her, eyes enormous. She wasn’t frightened of the small ephemeral shape crouched against the wall but of the larger misty form seated casually in the chair Colleen had just vacated.

Cutie dashed from the room.

“I have no idea,” Colleen said.

A week later, Colleen brought Cutie’s kibble from the kitchen dispenser to a box in the storeroom closet where the cat was hiding. Brad leaned against the doorframe and asked, “So what the hell do you think is the matter with her?”

“She’s seeing things. She starts down the corridor, sees something, it scares her and she runs back here.”

“Yeah, and she’s using this closet as her litter box now. This can’t go on, Colleen. She’s starting to spook me too.”

“Are you seeing things, Brad?”

“No! She’s just got me all nervous. It’s bad enough that we had to navigate around that magnetic cloud, without worrying about a paranoid cat.”

“Brad, I’m serious. The other morning I thought I saw something too. Someone.”

“Oh yeah? Who?”

“I’d rather not say until I do some testing.”

Later, Colleen brought Cutie’s litter box into the storage closet, as well as a sleeping mat and some blankets. They’d settled comfortably together, Colleen listening to music and reading on her scroll. Brad appeared in the doorway.

“What now?”

“I enhanced the hallway images, Brad. It’s us – what Cutie sees, what we’re starting to see – it’s us.”

The Story 365 project is a year-long marathon of short story writing, with a new story posted every day on this website from May 1, 2011 – April 30, 2012. Stories must be a minimum of 200 words. Please help me by adding first line suggestions in the Comment section.

This story was inspired by a first line suggestion sent to me by Jennifer Warren.  Thanks, Jennifer!

The first Ship Cat story was Story 38.