Posts Tagged ‘ship cat’

6th December
2011
written by amber

Ship Cat VII

Cutie’s kittens are gone, so are Colleen’s kittens. In their place is a new Brad, but Colleen’s shipmate is nothing like he was before.

Cutie likes him better now. She can tell he isn’t going to kick her any more. There’s a sense of niceness and power around him that certainly wasn’t there before.

At the moment, even if Brad was inclined to kick her, he’d be too busy. When he reappeared after being gone for several days, an alarm was sounding in the command room. He and Colleen are trying to deal with that now, as Cutie hovers anxiously in the doorway. Since the birth of her kittens, she’s known that outside this ship is a deadly lack of everything she needs to live. Possibly the kittens could live there – whatever brought the kittens to her had to travel through it – but, as a mother, she isn’t prepared to take that chance. After all, she did contribute something to their being.

“Crap!” Colleen cries. “No way can we make it to Kepler-II now. Half our fuel bled away. I’m sorry. I went into a funk after you disappeared; I should have been paying more attention.”

“Don’t worry about it,” says the man who looks like Brad. Cutie isn’t sure he should be called Brad any longer. “Let’s see where we can go. There’s got to be an inhabitable planet around here somewhere.”

But Colleen is curled up on the floor, shaking. “Don’t bother. If there was something nearer, that’s where they would have sent us. There’s nothing.”

“Yes, there is – come look at this. And we have just enough fuel to get there.”

As he says this, Cutie sees a pink halo, a nimbus of kitten-essence, above his head. She enters the room and rubs against his legs, purring loudly.

The Story 365 project is a year-long marathon of short story writing, with a new story for every day of the year and posted 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 of any story.

To see all the Ship Cat stories, click on the tag “Ship Cat,” below.

25th September
2011
written by amber

Ship Cat VI

Ever since Colleen had her kittens, she’s done nothing but cry, although Cutie isn’t sure the crying has much to do with the kittens. The woman barely seems aware of her litter of pink ghostlike babies who flit around the ship with Cutie’s kittens who are smaller, but otherwise identical. As she cries, Colleen carries on a conversation with her ship-mate, Brad.

But Brad isn’t on the ship any longer. The day Colleen gave birth, he’d grabbed her by the arm in a threatening manner. The kittens had descended on him, then he wasn’t there any more. Cutie doesn’t miss him. He used to kick her when he got annoyed, and he rarely had anything nice to say to Colleen but, still, it seems that Colleen misses him.

“Brad, come back. Who will I talk to if you’re not here?” she mutters through her tears.

Cutie paces back and forth in the corridor. An alarm has been beeping in the command room for several hours but Colleen stays in her cubicle and ignores it. If something goes wrong with the ship, what will happen to Cutie and the happy flock of floating babies that she and Colleen have produced?

“Meow,” Cutie says, meaning – you have to help her.

The kittens whirl around each other and suddenly are no longer there. Instead, Brad stands in the doorway. “Wow, that was weird,” he says.

Colleen’s face swivels up from her pillow to stare at Brad. “Where did you go?”

“I don’t know. I was in the kitchen and now I’m here. And I feel…good.”

“You were drunk,” she tells him.

“I guess I was. I guess I’ve been acting like a jerk.” He reaches down and pets Cutie, who is still looking around for the kittens. “Things will be different around here from now on, I promise.”

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.

12th September
2011
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.

23rd July
2011
written by amber

Ship Cat IV

Cutie loves her kittens. They’re pink and they float around. Most of the time they’re invisible, but she can see them sometimes, when they want her to. She expected to have to feed them, but after they were born, the tingling and swelling in her teats went away. All they seem to need is to snuggle with her and push up against the light bars for a while every day.

Brad and Colleen have no idea that the kittens are there. The kittens never reveal their pink translucent selves when the humans are in the room. Cutie knows that Colleen will soon have kittens of her own, but she doesn’t know if they also will be pink and insubstantial.

Brad is very angry with Colleen these days. He accuses her of eating all the bacon.

“There were two whole boxes the last time I looked!”

“Even if there were, it wasn’t enough to last all the way to Kepler-11.”

“So what? When I finished eating it, it’d be gone and I’d know it, but now you’ve eaten it all without even warning me. You said you didn’t like bacon!”

“Maybe I didn’t eat it. Maybe I hid it.”

And now Brad’s been looking all over for the bacon. He even found the nest Cutie made out of shredded bits of paper and ripped pieces of cloth. That made him even more angry, because some of the fabric had come from the stuffed toy he uses to comfort himself when he feels lonely and too far from home.

Cutie’s sure he would have hurt her if he’d been able to find her, but the kittens helped her float up to the light, invisibly.

“When I find that damn cat, I’m going to punt her out the airlock,” Brad had threatened. Cutie didn’t feel safe enough to come down until Colleen found him some bits of bacon she’d saved in the back of the freezer.

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 is a continuation of Stories 38, 48 and 67.

6th July
2011
written by amber

Ship Cat III

“That cat is going weird on us,” Brad says, watching Cutie from the table where he’s eating bacon.

Colleen lounges in a hammock, reading her tablet. She scowls at her shipmate. “Brad, do you know we’re down to less than 10 percent of our bacon, and we’re not even half way there?”

“I don’t want to talk about bacon. I want to talk about the cat. Do you think she’s getting fat? She eats all the time.”

Colleen pulls herself out of the hammock, slams her tablet onto the table. Cutie winces but does not move away from her kibble dispenser. “You’re just trying to draw attention from your own gluttony, Brad. Leave the poor cat alone. That doppelganger field was harder on her than it was on us.  At least we could understand what was going on.”

“We saw our future – or maybe our past – selves. But we still don’t know why. Or if there were any harmful side effects.”

“We scan as perfectly healthy. What other tests can we do?”

“I don’t know. Something’s different. You’re moody as hell and you’re eating too much, just like the cat. If you hadn’t had that operation before the mission started, I’d swear you were on the rag.”

“Very sensitive, Brad. Didn’t you take some EQ training before the mission? Geez, you make me sick.” Colleen rushes out of the room, looking truly ill, leaving Brad scratching his head as he heads for the freezer and grabs more bacon.

He glares at Cutie, so she dashes down the hall, back to the storage room where she’s gathered shredded bits of paper and ripped pieces of cloth. Both Brad and Colleen will be angry with her for this destruction of their property, but she needs to make a nest for the little ones soon to arrive.

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 is a continuation of Stories 38 and 48.

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