The kitten saved me, really.
The fighting ended, first time in days. Rations long gone, I emerged from hiding, seeking dead soldiers to loot.
I heard her mewling. Eyes reflected my flashlight ray from deep in a crumbling cafe.
Good eatin’ on a cat.
I crawled in, just before Hell broke loose. I caught her, cradled her. Shells enfiladed the street. She nuzzled my collarbone. We waited, two souls alone in the dark.
Quiet returned. She slept in my pocket. On the way home, in the grocer’s apron, I found two tins of sardines.
One for her, one for me.
I'm very thrilled to share this little piece of micro-fiction with you today, readers. It's been a long time coming.
This story first emerged, months ago, during a Writer's Workout at The Writer's Block. We were writing the openings of stories, using a limit of 50 to 75 words.
In its first iteration, it topped the scale at 75 words exactly. But it was also deemed to be a complete arc, rather than an opener. I tried pruning it, to try to get a 50-word tale, but at the time I just couldn't get it right. So it went on the digital shelf, as it were, and waited for the opportune moment.
Then, the #100words contest rolled around. Brush off that electron dust! This story easily adapted to fit the prompts.
And I had 25 more words to play with.
Edit, edit, edit. Change a bit, move this, take that out, put something else in. Leave for an hour, come back and do it all again. Ask for help if you're stuck. Nothing is right the first time, ever.
And my thanks to you, dear reader, for stopping by!
Cover image created with Canva, using an image from Pixabay.com. Divider image from Pixabay.com