So after typing up Saturday’s flash fiction effort I discovered another one tucked in a pocket from a few meetings back that I hadn’t gotten around to typing up yet. The prompt was “The cat walked through the long grass.”
Feel free to read, enjoy, and as always, any feedback is more than welcome.
The Unexpected Guest
The Cat walked through the long grass, with stealthy purpose. It stalked, head low slung, tail twisting as if tasting the air, spying out the scene like a fur covered periscope. It caused barely a stir as it wound slinkily through the tall green blades. It paused, one ragged ear twitching as if decoding a secret feline signal from the air. It sniffed at my outstretched hand and the sliver of chicken tikka dangling from my fingers, regarding the offering with the mixture of curiosity and disdain that only cats seemed able to master. I tossed the morsel just slightly in front of him and he pounced, paws swiftly trapping the meat. Its mouth opened showing its needle sharp teeth as if he was daring me to try and take his prize away.
‘Where did he come from?’ Susan asked
‘I don’t know. Might be a stray – can’t see a collar or anything on him. He must’ve smelled the barbecue and decided to come and investigate.’ I returned my attention to turning the sausages. They hissed and spat as their juices ran onto the coals. When I looked around again the chicken was gone and our unexpected guest was sat on his haunches flicking his tail, regarding us coolly with his brilliant green eyes.
He was lean, not paunchy like a lot of house cats you saw. The ragged ears and scarred nose showed he was used to looking out for himself.
‘Yeah, but you should see the other guy,’ he seemed to say. I tossed over another piece of chicken. This time he sauntered over with the cocksure swagger of a seasoned wide-boy.
‘Cheers Old Sport. Don’t mind if I do.’
I couldn’t help but smile. I wasn’t much of an animal person but I had a bit of a soft spot for cats. They didn’t suffer fools gladly or shamelessly pander to you for affection the way a dog would. They had a healthy streak of misanthrope about them that marked them out from other pets. I thought that it was no coincidence that all those evil geniuses liked to keep cats in their underground lairs.
‘Make yourself at home Chief,’ I told him. ‘There’s plenty more where that came from.’ I wasn’t kidding either. As usual, Susan had emptied the chiller cabinet in the supermarket when getting stuff for the grill. We probably wouldn’t even cook half of it. The cat held the chicken down with one paw while he tore a piece off with those sharp little teeth. When he was done he walked round the barbecue, apparently decided that nothing else took his fancy and then sidled back into the long grass, his tail resuming its crooked ‘S’ shape as he disappeared back into the swaying blades.
‘See you around,’ I said.
‘Not if I see you first Sport.’
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