The Strays - Prelude - Episode 1

in PowerHouseCreativeslast year (edited)

Original Episodic Fiction Series

Episode 1: Prelude

The moon escaped her hiding place and rose steadily, stretching her brightness to define the city. She was happy tonight; her cool light caressing the shadows to make dark as if day.

If you were wandering in the twilight you’d likely pass him right by, with only a tingly dance up your spine to belie your belief that you were alone on the street. And he would watch you, enjoying that moment when your instincts would signal his presence, that instant which wiped the song from your head and changed your chipper mood into an acute outward awareness which made your feet step a little quicker.

He stood motionless, a sentry in the night. Eyes passed him over having no movement to latch onto. He liked it that way. He was the everyman, common in appearance, blending with the generic starkness that made up any city. He sometimes thought of himself as a gargoyle except not as ugly- he’d long practiced the art of stillness.

This was his favorite time, when everyone had closed their shops and gone home, leaving only the cleaners of the buildings and offices. The people who make up a city are responsible for its vitality. Their collective energy is its lifeforce; generating positive or negative outcomes depending on the overwhelming majority of emotions, attitudes, and passion. If the majority of residents are positive and happy, then the city thrives and grows, but if the residents are negatively inclined, or angry from financial despair and harsh existence, the city mirrors this and becomes stagnant, whithering into demise. Most people, even community leaders, exist ignorant of this fact.

But he knew.

His race accumulated the collective wisdom of thousands of years of ancestral knowledge and experience. He considered this acumen to be of the highest importance; greater than the need for food and oxygen even, and guarded it accordingly. One day he would have a child, and that child would be heir to incredible information- secrets long forgotten and mysteries made familiar- a universe of wonders essential and vital to existence. Only with ancestral, universal wisdom could one be strong. Only by respecting and utilizing this power learned could one be truly awakened. He often wondered why most humans placed such little importance on passing down wisdom. Even orphans could access much ancestral wisdom on their own due to DNA memory, yet few actually seemed to care. He sighed, annoyed that these thoughts had intruded on his meditation time, irate that most of those he shared this world with were naive and senseless. No matter, he told himself, they are irrelevant. And would soon be extinct.

He mentally stepped off that futile thought-path and cleared his mind. The streets were empty now and this part of the world was finally able to relax and breathe. He watched the moon rise, taking comfort in her loyal routine, his own breath nearly suspended as his twilight meditation resumed. He could feel the heartbeat of the city slow. Soon it would be time.

A dark shadow caught his attention. It crept unsteadily, hugging the brick and concrete storefronts, stopping at brief intervals before continuing its erratic journey. Even though he was perched high above the streets the Gods gifted him with a hint, carrying it on an almost imperceptible breeze. A tangy metallic hint of blood teased his nostrils, provoking his ancient senses to awaken. As the shadow neared his building the current brought stronger clues with the raw, festering odor of a large wound on the verge of rot. He waited, as still as if a part of the building itself, and watched the creature until it shuffled out of sight. It was time. He stretched, willing his blood to drive the languish from his muscles, then leaped soundlessly into an area the moon didn’t smile upon.

Episode 2 is out!

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I think quite an interesting story is in store for us, and what a great idea you have! This will be a very popular series, I think!

Thank you! It's been a while in the making and Steemit felt like the perfect place to unleash ;)

So cool to see you back here, writing again... not that you were completely gone, or anything!

Awe, thanks hun :)

The hiatus was necessary for my mental health, lol! The TBI made it infuriating to write- it would take me over 4 hours to write a paragraph which had taken mere minutes pre-accident.

I believe readers can feel the emotions from the author, so when I found myself constantly frustrated and angered from the difficulties I knew I had to step away because it wouldn't be fair to anyone.

I'm not 100% yet, they say that could take up to 3 more years, but I am better than I was :)

But more importantly: I love writing again :)

It feels good to be back 😃

And your warm welcome makes it that much better 💜

I'm just happy to see you here again!

I know what you mean about the writer's mental state shining through their words, even if there's no relationship between the words being written... and what's happening in our lives.

I hope the magic of neuroplasticity and our brains' amazing ability to rewire will bring you back to 100% sooner rather than later!


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Congratulations @arbitrarykitten! This post was selected by the Power House Creatives as today's Rally Upvote Post :)

You can find the community announcement on Discord :) and it has also been shared on our FB Page and Twitter feed.


Oh my! 😃 Thank you very much 💜

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Grazie amici 🐈💖🐞

Very well written short story :)

Much appreciated!

It's actually part of a whole- I'm releasing an episode per week, not unlike a television series. Related, and each episode gives you more of the story and brings you closer to the finale :)

You have a real talent with words. You mold them into something smooth and beautiful, like how a potter would work with clay. The perfect length to keep my attention too :-)

That really means a lot. Thank you

The perfect length to keep my attention ~ so glad to hear you say that! I was aiming for each episode to be just that!

I would have read it regardless. Just wanted to let you know that it was a nice length. Hard to figure out what’s perfect. Your always so good in that department ☺️

You made me blush ☺


 last year 

"He mentally stepped off that futile thought-path and cleared his mind". Unusual I know, but this explanation really grabbed me!
Looks like a great beginning here my friend!

Thank you sharing that- It's truly an honor for a writer to learn that their creations made an impact.

Much appreciation! And blessings right back to you!

 last year 

My pleasure and sorry for the late reply.
Struggling with power outages here!

Great story. Love the point of view.
I also liked this section. I have seen this happen.

if the residents are negatively inclined, or angry from financial despair and harsh existence, the city mirrors this and becomes stagnant, whithering into demise.

I find myself awestruck sometimes at how palpable the energy of a city can be, and it really does have it's residents to blame.

Thank you @hlezama :) I hope you enjoy every episode just as much!

Ohhhhh this is great @arbitrarykitten :) Please do tell us more!

So happy you enjoyed it!

Please do tell us more! ~ you got it, babe :)

Excellent story @arbitrarykitten. It’s good to know you are feeling better and getting back in action. 😊

Thank you, I hope to see you back each episode!

It feels really good to be back. I hadn't realized how much I missed you guys <3

I liked the story, I'd like to read some more.

Awesome! I'm so glad :)

Episode 2 coming this week!

 last year 

Oooooh! Yummy! Loaded with mystical powers, hints of magic to come. I have a sense of a wise but feral creature about to follow its destiny. I wonder how the animal with the festering wound triggers future events - was that the first victim of whatever is going to end human kind? Can't wait for the next episode. I'm so happy to have made your acquaintance.

I absolutely love your engagement! It truly means a lot :)

I can't wait for your thoughts on the next episode! (eegads, I am so not good with that whole patience thing)

Good to see you back on Steem and writing, @arbitrarykitten! Great voice, cadence and air of mystery in this piece!

Its good to see you @jayna :) And it feels good being back.

Your feedback means a lot, hun <3

 last year 

I think cats have an interesting social life when they are allowed to roam free.
Neat concept for a story and interested to see where this goes.
I've tried fiction around here. The last time, I think I had some people convinced the story was true (it was realistic to a point) and I felt kinda bad. But that feeling is gone now. Maybe it's time for part 2.

I think the stories that emanate truth are some of the best- it means you're doing something right! If you decide to publish part two I would love to read it!

 last year 

Cats have 9 lives, 1 tail with plenty of attitude in between, love being out at night!

Great to read your work again, good to now you have found your feet under the moonlight.


you have found your feet under the moonlight

~ beautifully said <3 And so accurate.

Thank you Joan!

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I am quite pleased that you enjoyed it!

Thank you :)

 last year 

Hé you are back, that’s great

I am back!

... a silly little thing like a traumatic brain injury couldn't keep me away for long ;)

It's good to see you!

 last year 

Nice! I do like your style of writing. Looking forward to more!

That makes my heart happy :) Thank you!

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Very nice @arbitrarykitten (I've always been a cat person)

Hehe! They sure are funny little furry souls :)

I've always been a cat person ~ then you've probably wondered at how they can have such distinct and big personalities, despite non-cat people casting a lot of shade!

I've been operating a home rescue for burned and severely abused cats and kittens for a few years, so The Strays is not only borne from observation and experiences, but it also has a powerful message.

And warning, for those who pay attention ;)

I can't wait to hear your thoughts as this progresses! Thank you <3

They CAN be a source of almost endless antics for our amusement, and the can be one of the most comforting animals to have in your life.
Dogs are great too, but they can't purr.
A cat, lying on or next to you, kneading you or your blanket as they purr is the most delightful thing to experience, in my opinion @arbitrarykitten

You must read the human healing power of the purr!

 last year 

Glad to see and hear that you are doing well. Love the story, waiting for the next episode!

Awe, thank you so much <3

I'm so glad :) And excited to finally be sending this out into the world!

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Thank you again Joan!

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easy :)