Illustration by Chris Garbutt
Right. So I've been waiting till July to post this as I didn't win the whole Hemingway writing contest thingy (Denyse Woods won in with her wonderful story Wallpaper), but then I forgot about it, and then I came across my notes and remembered! Here you go then. A short quick piece that will sorta kinda maybe get written into MARQUIS AND PLATO, my book about the cat and the pigeon. Or maybe not. In any case, it was an exercise and something to do for fun. I think I wrote it in about 30 minutes and my lovely editor Sarah touched up a bit, and voila!
A short (silly) story by Ksenia Anske
They were sprinting down a narrow road. The thing that chased them was nowhere in sight, but they could hear its distant footfalls.
"How much farther?"
They turned and rushed under the arch and through the door and down the steps and along a hallway to the dark ahead, and in the room in the dark they collapsed.
"That was close."
"I know. I'm sorry."
They sat for some time without talking.
"Where to now?"
"You're asking me? You're the expert."
"Since tonight! You said you know how it works! You got us in this mess! You get us out."
"I was only trying to help."
"Yeah, right. Big help that was."
The room was quiet. In the dark and the cold the water dripped and somewhere far ahead the rush of the water echoed.
"If you ever do this again, I’ll scratch your eyes out. I'm dead serious."
"Then I’ll bite you.”
“Shhh! Did you hear that?”
"We can't stay here for long. It’ll find us. Let's go."
They scrambled to their feet and slunk into the dark, and the sounds of water got louder, and the air got colder. They came upon a large stream of water that was churning and gurgling and rushing ahead, and the shapes on its surface bobbed and twirled and, deeper still, across the stream, many eyes were watching them without blinking. They started moving and the eyes disappeared, and there was only the scurrying of the feet and the scratching of the skin on the ground.
"We could have chased them, you know. Eat some."
"No thanks. I've had enough chasing for tonight. My head is hurting and my back is cut. If I won't stop bleeding I'll die by morning."
"So what do you suggest?"
"We could try that house."
"Why not? It has a hole in the door."
It took them the rest of the night to find their way out and, slinking in the shadows and crossings streets at the run, they came upon the house and stopped and peered inside.
They squeezed through the hole in the door and crept up the steps, and in the living room they plumped on the sofa, stretched their paws, curled their tails and slept, unaware of a pair of eyes glowing green in the darkness.
"Young fools. I'll have to explain dogs to them in the morning."
The fat housecat curled in his fluffy bed and slept, and in his dream he saw his own first encounter with a dog, and in that dream he was victorious.
P.S.: And that promised blog post about Scrivener? Complete with my Scrivener novel template? And screenshots and everything? It's coming. Hopefully next post. This whole plotting of Janna melted down my brain too much and it's taking me a while. Stay tuned.