Thursday, March 13, 2014

3/13/14

No Talking Cat Stories
By Ian D Smith


'Guidelines:
Don’t submit your talking cat stories.
They have been done to death.
Time travellers and boy wizards are a hard sell too.'

Unfair, I think, on time-travelling talking cats, especially those with a tale to tell. Not that all cats can talk in a desirable way, but by closing the door on talking cat stories you are missing out on one of the finer aspects of the universe. Don’t go shooting the messenger. Cats are communicable.
I have a story to tell.

For example, I live beneath a rank of shopping trolleys, large ones with child seats that are, how you people say, fit-for-purpose. I might use the steel, align myself east / west (you need not know the precise angle), head slightly elevated, all four legs and tail tucked beneath (essential for maximum declavity (don’t ask).

I form a congregation of one. The trolleys roll a little. The lights falter. You might see my fur turn upwards. I might close my eyes, tune in, and converse. I might strobe a little.

So that was it. The tale. Except that the ending has been savaged by an editor who insists on no talking cat stories, and the minimalist beast is lacking on the word count.

As I’m paid by the word, I consider this a personal disaster, so please reconsider talking cat stories, but stick to your guns on talking swords. There is no future for talking swords. Swords go out with sexy vampires, lusty pirates and boy wizards. If only you knew. If only you weren’t so talk-to-the-hand on talking cat stories. There’s so much you could learn from us about the future.

For your information, I notice a short bio is required, although not compulsory. I won’t go on, but I am a strobe-effect, millionth-generation tabby, and I am not alone. Dotted around your carnival of parking lots there are gingers, black and whites, cats of no particular colour, and we are plotting. We gather near steel fences, floodlights, cell phone aerials, listening, and we are conversing.

You haven’t seen us yet?

Keep looking.


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Ian D Smith was born in Manchester in the UK and lives in Wiltshire. Stories in Weirdyear, Smoking Poet, The Front View and others.

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