Archive for September 12th, 2011

12th September
written by amber

Ship Cat V

Cutie crouches beneath Colleen’s bunk as the woman has her kittens. The birth isn’t going as easily for her as it did for Cutie, but – mercifully – she’s not awake enough to be very aware of her pain. Cutie’s kittens hover around her, pink and insubstantial, bestowing a merciful sleepiness.

Brad, their shipmate, is in the kitchen eating salty snacks and watching something loud on his tablet, completely unaware of the drama occuring in Colleen’s cubicle.  He’s been in a terrible mood ever since Colleen ate all the remaining bacon.

When Colleen’s pain began, she’d retreated to her private space, urging Cutie, “Come cuddle with me, kitty, I’m feeling really crappy.” Cutie had meowed reassuringly and licked Colleen’s nose. She knew the kittens wouldn’t let anything bad happen.

Now Colleen’s kittens begin to emerge and dart to the ceiling as they shake themselves free from the wetness of her body.  They are larger than Cutie’s kittens but otherwise identical. The birthing finished, Colleen wakes and seems alarmed by the blood between her legs. She goes into the cleansing room, and later emerges in clean clothing, still looking pale and shaken.

Cutie at her heels, the two litters of kittens forming a rose-coloured cloud above her, Colleen goes to the kitchen. Brad is singing along with his tablet and drinking from a tall plastic glass.

“Hey, Colleen!” he greets her, far too loudly for the small room. “Since you decided to eat all the bacon, I decided to drink your share of the wine. Oh, and don’t go on about it not being our fancy dinner night. I didn’t want to wait for fancy dinner night. I decided tonight would be party night.”

“Brad,” she moans, clinging to the doorway, “something’s wrong-”

“Nothing’s wrong, babe, except for the ambiance around here. Too much mooning around, too much fighting. We were supposed to be friends, we were supposed to be psycho…psychologically matched. And why do you think they sent a girl and a guy, Colleen? Isn’t it about time you did something to help me cope with the stresses of the long voyage?”

He stands up quickly and strides across the kitchen toward her. “No, Brad,” Colleen pleads, but he doesn’t stop. He reaches out and grabs her arm. She tries to yank herself free, uttering a weak cry.

The pink cloud descends and Brad disappears.

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 is the first story of Cat Week. It’s a continuation of the Ship Cat stories, #38, 48, 67 and 84.