Sunday, October 7, 2012

FLASH FICTION - Smokey

So this was a really rough weekend. My cat Smokey passed away very suddenly Friday night, a week before her 8th birthday. She's been with me through some of the hardest times in my life so far, and I'm pretty devastated over the loss of her. I'm dedicating this week's flash fiction to her, and am disregarding any words left for me so that I can write strictly from the heart. Here is my tribute to my beloved pet. It's what I imagine her thoughts to have been, and what I hope life is like for her now.

*****

My name is Smokey. I’m a gray shorthair cat and I live a pretty awesome life, despite the inability to see that I’ve dealt with for the last year or two. I snuggle with Momma every morning and periodically throughout the day between naps, and I nap with Daddy every other day or so and every weekend. I used to sleep with them at night, but then they brought the cretin home and now they lock us out, but it’s ok as I’ve learned to live with that. I leave them toys at their door, and sometimes manage to slip one under it, every night so they know I was a good girl while they slept.

Right now, I just heard Momma sit down and kick her feet up, so I’m on my way over to get some cuddles. Daddy pets me and lets me settle down on him so we can both nap in peace, but while Momma usually fidgets as she reads a book, she also nuzzles me and pets me between the ears and scratches under my chin just like I love.

I don’t make it over to her though. I’m walking along, and I get this pain throughout my torso, and my legs are locked up tight, causing me to fall over. I can’t see what I’ve fallen on or what’s going on, but something is terribly wrong. Frightened, I growl and moan, trying to let her know that, and then she’s there. She’s petting me softly and whispering something that I don’t understand, but take to mean that it’s okay, and I believe her. I try to suck down air into the heavy void that now feels like my chest, and I try again, but nothing happens.

Then there’s nothing. No pain, no lack of air, no Momma, nothing. Light dawns before my eyes. It’s been so long since I’ve seen light! Oooo, it’s warm, like sunlight. I inventory my surroundings and it appears I’m in a room with lots of surfaces to climb on, and lots of big windows letting light in. They’re open too, so there’s a fresh breeze always cycling through.

There’s also a small door at ground level, and now there’s a pure white face peeking into it. “Hi, Smokey.” The newcomer says to me in our musical language. “Welcome to your new home!” She says this cheerily, but while everything seems peaceful, I have to wonder why I have a new home and where my humans are.

“My name is snowball, and I won’t bother you long. I just wanted to give you a friendly face and let you know some stuff.” She sits near the door, not venturing forth, seemingly out of respect if her words are any indication. “Uh, hi. Thanks.” I’m wary, but confused enough to hear her out.

“I know you don’t like to share your space, so I’ll try to make this quick. You’ll have a few rooms in your home, all with windows to let in sunlight to nap in that remain open to let in lots of air which is especially nice while you play at night. There’s plenty of toys of all kinds in every room. Feel free to use the door to explore outside, but there are litter boxes inside and out that automatically clean themselves after every time you do your business and they refresh entirely every morning, so you don’t need to if you’re not so inclined. No one will bother you or intrude on your territory, but you’re welcome to go forth and meet others outside, there’s nothing anywhere that will ever hurt or scare you. Whatever food you want, just imagine it and it’ll appear wherever you want. Water will appear wherever you want as well at nothing but a thought. Any questions?”

I’m stunned. Completely speechless. It’s paradise! I get my sight, toys, food, fresh litter…the only thing missing is my humans. “Where’s Momma and Daddy?” “I’m sorry, they can’t join you here, but as a mere thought, you can remember their voices anytime as if they were standing before you, and there are a few pictures on the walls of each room that contain your favorites faces.” Ok, so maybe Snowball isn’t so bad.

“I’ll leave you to get situated, but I won’t be far for a while until you feel more comfortable.” With that, she takes her leave and heads out the small swinging door. I explore my new little world and love everything I see. She’s right, I hear Momma’s soothing voice at just a thought, not in the least diminished from her absence. Food appears in the blink of an eye, and the litter box doesn’t smell the least bit stale or vile.

I’ve never been fond of the outdoors, beyond the smell from the windows, but I poke my head out the door cautiously anyway. I have one final question for Snowball. I spy her walking back my way so I step out and sit to wait, not interested in going another step. “Everything ok?”

“Yes, thank you. This place is incredible, and I can’t even find it in myself to miss my humans too much. What is this place?” If nothing else, I just want to put a name to my new, and hopefully final home. She tells me, we part ways, and I meander inside to purr myself into a nap on a windowsill to the sound of my humans’ voices until the light fades and I’ll go play. The name of this place is very fitting, for it sounds as peaceful and happy as the atmosphere feels. Heaven she called it. Well helloooo Heaven. I’m here to stay.


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