Literary Mashup: A Furry Little Love Triangle

in fiction •  last year  (edited)

I was asked if I'd extend the Farmpunk Flash Fiction Contest by a day, and I agreed. Originally, the deadline was going to be at payout of that post, which was this morning. But I extended the deadline for 24 hours, so readers still have until tomorrow to post their stories. If you haven't entered and you want to, read the post (linked to above) and write your own farmpunk story. Don't worry about upvoting or resteeming the post since it is past payout (you can upvote and resteem this one instead). Tomorrow, probably later in the day, I'll read all the entries and announce the winner.

cat ready to pounce.jpg
Image from Pixabay.

blockurator

Meanwhile, @raj808 issued a rather interesting literary mashup challenge. Readers were asked to pull a sentence out of a specified page of any book and post in the comments on his post. Then, after payout on that post, those who played along were to write a story using each of the sentences with as little editing as possible. Like a fool, I played along.

Before I post my story, here are the sentences and Steemians who left them as comments on our host's blog, in the order in which they appear in my story:

-From "Hunger" by Knut Hamsun. Suggested by @agmoore:

No, there was no longer any limit to the low things I might be tempted to do.

-From "The Distant Land of My Father" by Bo Caldwell. Suggested by @olaivart:

Papers were scattered about, and a pile of newspapers in the corner looked as though it had been flattened into a bed, which was fine by him.

- From "Raaven and Eddie" by Kiran Nagarkar. Suggested by @manouche:

When Eddie rose from underneath the stampede, he was devoid of a shoe along with its sock, the collar of his shirt, two buttons of his fly and Crystal's ticket.

-From "Hard-Boiled Wonderland and The End of the World" by Haruki Murakami. Suggested @raj808:

The moss appeared unnaturally green, inexplicable for these depths beyond the reach of photosynthesis.

-From "Feeding Your Demons" by Tsultrim Allione. Suggested by @mountainjewel:

Unfortunately this meant she could never invite any friends home to play, and she lived in fear that her secret would be discovered.

-From "Washer Mouth" by Kevin L. Donihe. Suggested by yours truly:

What if he had a brain freeze and ditched all his lines, or farted, or, worse yet, sucked up Helen's clothes?

Below is my story. As is my nature, I went for the unusual, slightly weird. But here ya go.

blockurator

No, there was no longer any limit to the low things I might be tempted to do. It was almost as if I had no choice. I mean, things happen. Shit happens. You know, whatever that saying is.

So, me and Helen, we were a thing once. Not a low thing, but a thing. And Helen had this friend named Eddie, who was a real humdinger of a thing in and of himself.

Now, what you should know beyond my dislike of Eddie is this. He and Helen once were a thing too. And I could tell he wanted to get with Helen again. And Helen wanted to get with Eddie. But Eddie also wanted to get with me, and I've never liked Eddie. Nor have I ever swung for the visiting team. But Helen wanted to see what might happen if Eddie had his chance, so she arranged this "chance" meeting with the three of us at this bar called Peccadillo Mall.

Now, you have to understand, its not really a mall. It's a bar. And you know what kind of low things can happen at bars.

So, I showed up at this bar and it was nearly empty. Neither Helen nor Eddie had arrived yet. Papers were scattered about, and a pile of newspapers in the corner looked as though it had been flattened into a bed, which was fine by me. I needed a nap.

The bartender watched me closely as I strolled over to the corner and stretched myself out on these newspapers. I don't know what he expected a stray cat like me to do, but, heh, it was comfortable, and I was sure they were laid out there for napping.

I must have dozed off fast. I don't remember a thing after opening one eye and seeing this huge mastiff behind the bar snarling at me as if I'd pissed on his sleeping mat. Actually, I did piss on the newspapers, but I figured I was sleeping on them, and that gave me the right to make them my own. After all, that is the feline rule. Is it not?

Well, anyways, if the bartender mastiff didn't want me pissing on his papers, he should have put a litter box in there somewhere.

But as it were, when I woke up, there was Eddie lying beside me with his arm thrown over my neck and his smooth underbelly pressed up against my furry back. Spooning, some species call it. I call it bullshit. I mean, that's not a natural position for us cats.

So I opened up my eyes and looked around. That's when I saw Helen at the bar chatting it up with the mastiff. I slipped out from under Eddie and moved in on the guy hoping he wouldn't mind pouring me a glass of milk. He did. In fact, the moment I opened my mouth to ask for one, he shoved a sock in it and I choked, coughed, and spit it back out for fear I might never breathe again. Helen chuckled.

Now, we cats have our pride. And ain't no mastiff going to treat me like that in front of no lady. So I did what any self-respecting black siamese kitty would do. I jumped the bar and began to claw that puppy's eyes out.

The mastiff's bark was worse than his bite. His eyes full of my claws, he couldn't see me and I knew it. But he lunged. And my quickfootedness saw it coming. Dodging left, then right, and up, I bounced off that dog's mighty head as he galloped across the bar right into Helen's face and trampled her. By then, the bar was full of every known four-legged creature in existence, and they all scattered every direction possible.

When Eddie rose from underneath the stampede, he was devoid of sock, his prissy little Burmese collar, two buttons of his sweater, and Crystal's ticket.

"What the hell is going on in here?" I could hear him yell clear across the bar. And he spent the rest of the evening scampering about here and there looking for Crystal's ticket, whoever the hell Crystal is. I didn't care then and don't care now. But something told me that it wasn't Eddie's night and he was destined not to get what he really wanted that night, whether it was me or Helen.

I looked at Helen lying on the floor, face bleeding, ears folded over on themselves, hair matted in several places, and tears streaming from her pretty little eyes.

That mastiff had gone too far. I leaped over Helen and sunk my teeth into the mastiff's neck. I had spent an hour a day for the past month chiseling my eyeteeth into fangs just in case I had such an opportunity. I learned a long time ago one must never pass up opportunities. That mastiff howled so loud I swear he could have woke the dead, and probably did.

When he finally mustered the strength to attack back, he pushed. Hard. And drove me over the bar, grabbed me by the nape of the neck, and shoved my face into a fish tank on a little table near the several brands of vodka. I held my breath for as long as I could, which was way longer than it should have been, but I noticed something inside that fish tank that cats normally don't pay no attention to. The moss appeared unnaturally green, inexplicable for these depths beyond the reach of photosynthesis.

I had no clue how I was going to get out of that predicament. I mean, that mastiff was huge. He was much stronger than I was. And I could feel my face turning blue from lack of oxygen when, suddenly, I was no longer being forced under water by a will much stronger than my own. A flash of relief hit me in the head and I came up for air.

When I managed to pull myself together, I turned around to see where the mastiff had gone. Helen had him trapped under a barstool, tied fast with a leather strap from what looked like a horse saddle. But I could see no horses. The mastiff was yelling obscenities at Helen, telling her what he was going to do to her when he got himself unstrapped. And I could sense he meant it. I certainly didn't want to find out.

I grabbed Helen by the hand and pulled her out of the bar. leaving Eddie searching for Crystal's ticket and at the mercy of the mastiff should he ever get himself free. Helen followed like a good girl until we made it to the street corner, then she pulled her paw away from mine.

"What's the matter?" I asked. I could see a sadness well up in her eyes, a sadness I had never seen before.

"My face hurts," she cried. And as tears began to form within her eyes, I could see she hurt in other places, as well. For a female feline like Helen, beauty counts, and that mastiff had ruined it. It's possible those scars, on both face and body, would remain forever. Upon closer scrutiny, I could see she had patches of fur uprooted from her skin. It was less than attractive, but I wouldn't tell her so. Unfortunately, this meant she could never invite any friends home to play. Or so that was my thought.

It surprised me when she did invite me home with her. "I could use the company," she said through sloppery sobs. "I need someone to hold me tonight, make me feel loved again. Make me feel like the kitten I used to be."

There was nothing I wanted more than to hold Helen in my arms again. Nothing I wanted more than to see her happy--except to see that mastiff dead.

I found myself agreeing to her wish. But in the back of my mind, I was kicking myself. What if I had a brain freeze, or farted, or, worse yet, sucked up Helen's clothes like a vacuum cleaner eating dust? I mean, I lived in fear that my secret would be discovered. I truly love the taste of well-worn fabric and seldom go a day without sniffing or licking or chewing on some.

I wrapped my arms around Helen to comfort her. "I'll take you home," I said. "I'll protect you from that mean old mastiff and his nasty dog paws. I'll make you feel loved again."

That was the night I ditched all my pick up lines. Helen and I lived happily ever after. But neither of us were the same again. And I'm wondering what might happen if I ever see that mastiff, or that damned Eddie, again.

blockurator


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  ·  last year (edited)

This post is an excellent entry to The Literary Mash-up challenge @blockurator You weave the sentences into the action of the story seamlessly. The twist of the anthropomorphism only became apparent to me 5 paragraphs in which surprised me and I thought was a clever literary device. Ha ha, maybe I should have read the title properly but I'm glad I didn't as it turned out to be a fun surprise for me :-)

Your description of the action/movement of the fight is well executed and the narration is strong. I could really hear a kind of accented narration coming through, perhaps becasue I was imagining an american bar and the only place I've visited is North carolina. Ha ha, so in my mind your cat narrator had a NC accent ;-) I thought it had a wonderful sence of the absurd also and overall was excellent, with the added difficulty of incorporating the 6 sentences from the books the other contestants had submitted... Bravo

  ·  last year (edited)

5 cred stars I love this icon!! And I'm trying to get it to show up under Raj's comment.... hmmmmm. Ok, it did, just not FIRST under it. (Yes. I'm slow.)

There ya go!

Well, dang, I hope it doesn't look like I was asking for an upvote. Just trying to come through with the awesome 5-star icon I found via your "Review Me" emoji. You're the maistro of icons!

Thanks, man. Means something coming from you. And this is no easy challenge.

Thanks, man. Means something
Coming from you. And this is
No easy challenge.

                 - blockurator


I'm a bot. I detect haiku.

5 cred stars

All right, I intended this to show up under @blockurator's post, but others have beat me to it. ;)

Just a little boost.

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Nice of you to extend the contest, my friend @mudcat36 may want to try, i don't know for sure. Sometimes I wish that the story contest rand for 10 days instead of just the normal 7, it can be hard to think that fast for me sometimes.

lol

I know the feel. I'm contemplating a monthly contest. If that happens, you could have a whole month.

lol that was a roller coaster from start to finish, loved it <3 I'll have to finish that farm punk story I started now that I know there's an extension :D

Yeah, I'd love to see you give it a try!

Congratulations! This post has been upvoted from the communal account, @minnowsupport, by blockurator from the Minnow Support Project. It's a witness project run by aggroed, ausbitbank, teamsteem, someguy123, neoxian, followbtcnews, and netuoso. The goal is to help Steemit grow by supporting Minnows. Please find us at the Peace, Abundance, and Liberty Network (PALnet) Discord Channel. It's a completely public and open space to all members of the Steemit community who voluntarily choose to be there.

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I can only say, that is a very strange story--nimble narrative had me laughing out loud at one point ("I needed a nap"). You sure know how to spin a 'tail' :)

ha ha thank you.

Mashup or freewrite up...but glad to see such amazing thinking out of the boxes..i was impressed with so much innovative way of doing things on steem blockchain...and you put up a great story...👍

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Thanks! Glad you liked it.

Hi blockurator,

This post has been upvoted by the Curie community curation project and associated vote trail as exceptional content (human curated and reviewed). Have a great day :)

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Another great one done I see, well done...

Thanks.

I have a good read here @blockurator!
Thanks for being so creative!

You're welcome. And thanks.

Great mind food here...

Namaste, JaiChai

Tanx!

bellissimo gatto, thanks

That was flippin awesome when I saw the title I was expecting a catastrophe. Then you start reading and it's all good, it's a people story until he decides to take a nap... That was good and smooth, almost so smooth you are left thinking What? and then your brain catches up...

Thanks. Glad you liked it. Feel free to check out this longer read. More of the same whacked out stuff.

I may do that finding the time is always my issue. I bookmarked it and will return. I wish I was a writer, but I did not get that gene. I will say that some of your work puts me in the mind of Piers Anthony, and some of his Xanth novels. You might think about the comedy open mic contest as well, this would place well in that contest.

Yeah, Piers Anthony may have been a small influence.

Funny story. My 11th grade English class was assigned to write a story and I used the word "xanthous" in it. My English teacher flipped out. "Taylor," he said, (he liked calling people by their last names) "keep your audience in mind." I laugh about it now, but at the time I thought he was being a jerk. It actually taught me something. When I got serious about being a writer, I'd remember that. I think about it all the time now. It keeps me on track. Whenever I write something, I always ask myself, who is my audience? And I write for that audience.

Ironic twist: My 11th grade English teacher's name was Ward English. And he ran his class like a ward--a prison ward. Or a lunatic ward. Either way, he taught people stuff. At that time, I didn't like him. A lot of other students did. He was a much better teacher than I gave him credit for, even if he didn't like the word "xanth."

Well, your audience just got a little larger. For some reason, Anthony has come up a couple times over the last couple of weeks. @improv likes him and has a punday Monday contest, that fit very well with Anthony's genre.
I sometimes wish I would have paid better attention in English, it was not my subject. I am horrid at fictional writing, but I rather excel at technical writing, but I do struggle with executive summaries. Probably for the reason you suggested, writing for my audience, I typically expect executives to be savvier than they are at times. It's sad really, I'm not a writer but I put out 30 to 60 thousand words a week, according to my Grammarly account.

Technical writing ain't easy, so if you're doing it, you must have something going for you. I guess that makes you a writer. We come with different stripes.