Mathew: The folks who manage the Belvedere have a saying that there’re two types of people who stay here. Stray cats, and lost dogs.
Joseline: Oh is that so. Why not a third like a homely Kangaroo?
Mathew: Hear me out.
Mathew: The stray cats are a flighty bunch who can’t settle in any one place for long. Their daemon is an ever-rising tide that follows them. Boredom is the trigger but I believe it to be dread. What’s on the other side of the tide, they refuse to see much less willing to dip their paws into. And so, they must keep scurrying from one ledge to the next till none remain.
Joseline: Ha! must be why existential cat loathes the tub. But how do they end up at the Belvedere then?
Mathew: Well that is because of the lost dogs.
Joseline: Let me guess, orphans who are looking for a home?
Mathew: Yes in a way but more sad. Lost dogs are sniffing for a master that they have never known. It’s an instinct that should have never evolved had they stayed wolves instead of submitting to the other. Because of this, they carry an aura of loneliness of the most repellant sort and will follow the slightest affection to the ends of the Earth.
Joseline: Is Belvedere at the ends of the Earth?
Mathew: Almost. When stray cats and lost dogs meet, a terrible misunderstanding happens. The former confuses attention for a perch. The latter mistakes charm for love. The Belvedere is the prison from which the cats can’t leave and the dogs can’t enter. It is hell on Earth!
Joseline: Who are you?
Mathew: Why the exterminator of course. How else to keep the numbers down?
The old witch had enough of the kids who pranked her house last Halloween. This time, she’d offer them some special sweets inspired from her apprenticeship in Haiti decades ago. A simple voodoo spell she cast on the confections, normally used to link sensations between patients and healers once consumed. Only fools would bite at the same apple twice and more so if tempted she smirked. Laying out the fancy bowl of delectables by the door, she inscribed in fine print on a placard “Please take only one”. Those kids should be feeling a bit wobbly by night’s end!
Entry to this week’s FFFC!
Dane’s sins cast a long shadow. In public, the press scrutinized his record. Four counts of murder, three counts of rape, two counts of assault, one count of fraud. In private, his conscience was pure rage, having channeled a lifetime of neglect and abuse into a hatred of all things good. The court sentenced him to be hanged but this did not faze him. On his last day, a priest asked if he would repent for his crimes under God. Dane demanded that God repent for the crimes committed against him. Pitying the man, the priest prayed for salvation and left. The guards arrived and led Dane to the execution grounds. Tying the rope around his own neck, he made no remarks and simply leapt. Upon waking up at the gates of hell, the devil doled out his punishment. Dane would be reincarnated as all the lives that he sinned against until he forgave his own crimes.
The separatists drew lines in the sand after the cold-blooded assassination of their leader. Once a prosperous colony, Damos was on the verge of fracturing in two after an early winter wiped out the harvest and unyielding blizzards decimated the population. Late spring trickled in but arguments for abandoning the settlement started long before. Southward raged the young separatists who dreamt of green pastures and wild game roaming the countryside. Nay voiced the old majority who recalled nothing but desolation over those grounds from whence they traversed long ago. Two shots were fired at the pulpit and mayhem ensued. By next spring, there were no survivors.
Toad and Frog once met at a local pub by the brewery ducts. Toad, being a regular to the local marshes had sampled every wine and beer the establishment had to offer. Set in his ways, he knew exactly what he liked for any mood and occasion. Frog on the other was a dabbler who traveled far-and-wide, never sleeping under the same drainpipe twice. Mercurial was his temperament for he sampled with sips, never finishing one drink before the next. Eyed from afar, Toad approached Frog and asked why he drank, even offering to pay. Frog responded that he sought the world’s finest drink wherever it may lay. With a chuckle, Toad remarked that such a drink doesn’t exist. Frog disagreed and the two parted soon afterwards. Years later, the two found themselves on the same autopsy table. Toad suffered a lifetime of ammonia poisoning. Frog from a bloated liver.
Entry to Crimson’s Creative challenge
We used to joke that the boogeyman would hide under the bed and raising havoc in our dreams whenever things were going too well. A little bit of paranoia curbed inflated expectations, derailing our fantastical brain train and so preventing a full-on collision with the mountain that is reality. Of course, the boogeyman’s true quarters weren’t below our old dusty mattresses. Such conditions would’ve insulted his dignity and the role he played. We found him instead at the back of the caboose during one of our nightly excursions into la-la land. Peering through the single slit that had been carved into petrified wood, we saw a young man humming to the tune of Michael Jackson’s Thriller whilst chopping garlic against re-runs of the classic Dracula film. Oh the irony and embarrassment we felt, having been so utterly fooled. The next night on our commute home, an old smelly man entered the train with knife in hand and foaming at the mouth. He took a young woman hostage and demanded that we return his spirit of which we stole. The lights went out and a massive jolt shattered the recollection. We woke to the sound of electric grinders.
Entry to this week’s Flash Fiction for the Purposeful Practitioner!
Mobius woke up to the blaring horn of a runaway cab and the shriek of the dying. Dying so he thought as a women’s pleads for help would only reverberate through empty gallows in this 2 am ghetto. The night did not stir as innocence dare not intervene lest they wish to follow suite along the string of misfortune.
The woman had starting sobbing before a hard knock on reinforced doors interrupted the dirge. A metallic voice rasped through the cracks. “Mobius, I know you’re in there. Where my money? You owe me twice for that last hit”. Mobius knew very well that his proceeds had long dried up. A clandestine retreat down the fire escape was in order. Lifting up the broken windowsill and climbing onto the thin railings, he descended with cat-like precision as the distant wails would provide his cover. A lucky break he thought before landing on the ground when a heavy thud struck his lungs, expunging the air for either breath or thought. Stars and darkness overtook him as he lay face up starring into the night’s sky. Last he heard was the woman’s voice from above. “Is that our Ace?” to which the metallic rasp chuckled “Nearly turned him inside out”.