The Kitten - TWB 100-Word Contest Entry

in twbwritingcontest •  10 months ago  (edited)

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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.

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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.

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.

My thanks to @caleblailmusik, @johnkingwriter, and @jayna for initial feedback months ago when it was first written. You gave me just the nudges I needed to find where I could improve it!

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

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Great story here, well done

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Thank you for reading 😁

nice work @tanglebranch... course you caught my attention with the kitty

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Haha! I knew you'd come along sooner or later, if there was a kitty involved

This is absolutely beautiful, @tanglebranch. I’m glad the #100words contest was the right fit for your story!

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Thanks @jayna! This was a lot of fun, to pull out something old and make it new.

This is really well done! 100 words seems like so many, but when creating the perfect scene the words get eaten up quickly. I love the darkness here, but also the wee bit of hope.

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Glad you liked it @negativer. The thing I liked about having extra words this time around was being able to add some depth to the MC. Originally, I had a person who was "rescued" by a cat and then returned the favor. This time, we have a guy/gal who has rather nefarious plans for the kitten, a hard-living survivor, who turns out to be a little softer by the end of their acquaintance.

It was definitely a challenge to cram all that into 100 words! But it was considerably easier to do than if I had attempted to shoehorn it into 50, hahaha.

such a cute story animals can really save us