Through the rain-splattered glass I see myself taking my husband by the hand, leading him away from our guests. While no one hears my screams, the window shatters, drawing everyone’s attention my way, including the smiling one wearing my body.
Emma, I’m trying to picture the scene in your house at present. Here are two scenarios …
Welcome Home, Version 1, by Gordon Lawrie
He knew as soon as she’d opened the front door.
Friends had warned him that she couldn’t be trusted, that her eyes would wander while his back was turned. She’d sworn that her love for him would be everlasting, but now he understood that she couldn’t help herself. They were playing out the roles of Butterfly and the faithless Pinkerton in reverse.
He turned away, unable to bring himself to look.
“Hi there! I’m home. Look what I’ve got for you – a new friend!”
He tried to look welcoming. It wasn’t the new cat’s fault that Alice was so promiscuous.
Personally, my story this week was inspired by my computer’s desktop background, which has a person looking forward above a prompt to write, ironically. My story also falls into the “I wish” category of life.
The Perfect Moment, by Russell Conover
I’m Blake, and I enjoy a good meal out now and then. Today I’m sitting in my favorite restaurant, eating and minding my own business, when I notice a woman staring at me. I ignore her, but when I return my gaze several times, she’s still gazing. Sighing, I stand up.
“Excuse me, ma’am. May I help you?”
She blinks. “Oh, I’m sorry. I was just waiting for the perfect moment to tell you.”
“Tell me what?”
“You’ve won the million-dollar lottery, and your check’s in the mail. Wanted to tell you A.S.A.P., before you arrive home!”
I’ve reincarnated two old favourites for a bit of wishful thinking on my part this week.
One IS Fun, by Emma Baird
“If one is fun, two must be amazing!” Alice trilled to The Cat.
The Cat regarded her balefully. Typical human. Imposing its wants on another species. Anthromo… Anthromorphos…
What was that darn word, anyway?
The new companion arrived. Alice opened the carrier and he emerged, blinking.
The Cat sighed. Humans needed company. He didn’t. Who wanted more competition for food, water and places to sleep?
The little one sidled up. “Hey I know you are worried, but I promise it’s all going to be fine!”
Oh this was worse! If there was anything The Cat hated, it was a sook.
(I’ve used a Scottish word – sook, which means someone who sucks up to you, possibly in an insincere way. It was also the ultimate insult at school, as sucking up to the teacher was viewed as the act of wimps, wussies and scaredy-cats.)
Kathleen turned her gaze from the fire to the window. The feral cats were doing well – they had come out from under the porch. The kittens bounced around in the sunshine while Mama Cat padded along the window sill, miaowing to be let in. “Not so feral anymore, are you Mama?” said Kathleen as she opened the window. Just a few inches. She loved watching Mama Cat shimmy through the gap, trying vainly to balance on her paws before slipping to the floor with a thud. Kathleen knew she was being mean, but an old woman needed her small pleasures.
Bright light everywhere. Hard to see. Confused, he slowly became aware that he was lying in a bed somewhere, not alone. Two people seated by his bed. He couldn’t make out if they – his parents? – were crying or smiling. Another figure appeared, uniformed, leaned close to him.
“David? Can you hear me?” A nurse, he thought.
“Yes.” A struggle, though. “Where am I?”
“In hospital. What do you remember?”
Vaguely, a car while crossing the road. Nothing more.
“I can’t move.”
No one seemed surprised. The smiles became more tearful.
The sheriff was in dismal shape. She clutched an unfiltered cigarette between her nicotine-stained knuckles, coughing relentlessly, phlegm rattling. She contracted pneumonia every winter—the kind that guaranteed a hospital stay. She tried switching to snuff but continued smoking—two bad habits now instead of one, unless you counted coffee. She kept three mugs on her desk, one each for coffee, cigarette butts, and spit. She began worrying about both lung and mouth cancer. She always skipped breakfast, chain-drinking coffee with creamer until her daily lunch of steak and eggs. She skipped dinner—except for diet coke and beef jerky.