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I once got paid to spend the summer telling lies to little kids. I ran a mountain man program at a district Boy Scout camp. I told my guests I was born in my log cabin and I traded for everything I had. Late evenings I shot muzzleloader rifles with campers and then told ghost stories around the fire. Oh, how I wish that would pay enough to be my career instead of just a one-time summer job.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

The Cat part 1

Some of my stories will be pretty long. They're broken up into smaller posts. The right border of the blog has a section called Story Groups. The blog posts that come together to make one story are combined into pages given the title of the story. This is the first chapter of a story I'm working on.

     "My last storm," the man thought. "Wish I could go outside and feel the rain on my face." He could see rain streaming down his window, but he couldn't hear the ferocity of the storm. The extra-thick panes of glass muted the sounds of the howling wind and the pounding rain, and all but the closest lightning strikes were completely hushed. He had been feeling this in his joints all day, and now the knowledge his joints would no longer forecast weather mingled bittersweetly with the knowledge that he would never sit in the lounge and watch thunderheads grow and roll in.

     He kept the thermostat for his rooms pretty high so he was always warm, but even under his thick afghan he suddenly felt a chill. "Meph? Is that you?" He sat a little straighter in bed and looked around. Out from the shadow under the window peered a pair of faded yellow eyes. "Meph, if you need to go, it's ok. I'll be along soon." The faded yellow eyes dimmed and then came back as the old cat blinked. He lived a very long life full of energy, almost as a kitten his whole life, but now even blinking seemed to take an enormous amount of energy. The faded yellow eyes dimmed and brightened again, then slowly sank as Meph rested his chin on his paws. Over the past several days his purring had changed from an almost silent, smooth hum to a loud, grating rasp. The rasp slowed down as the faded yellow eyes dimmed. Despite his age, the man could hear the rasp slow down and stop. The faded yellow eyes dimmed, and then disappeared for the last time. "Thanks for sticking with me this whole time, old friend. I'll see you soon."

     The man fumbled around on his head board until he brushed against his call button. He pushed it twice and then waited. Shortly thereafter a soft tapping came at the door. When it swung open, at first a harsh bright light from the hallway poured in. Then, a gigantic shadow blotted out most of the light. A voice full of respect and honor boomed through the rooms. No matter how quiet the orderly tried to be, his voice always filled the room. "May I help you, Mr. Garcia?" This wall of a man was always respectful of each resident, but it seemed he gave extra deference to Juan de Dios Garcia.

     "You can take Meph away now, Tiny. Please call my kids and tell them they've got two, maybe three days." The harsh light from the halls flooded the room again as the gigantic shadow moved to the window. Juan watched as the orderly stood there, looking down at the cat bed. This orderly, a six-foot, nine-inch, 376-pound wall of a man, stood there quietly with his back to his favorite resident for a moment. Knowing how much Meph meant to the orderly, Juan watched without surprise as the huge shoulders suddenly trembled quietly. Slowly, the orderly bent down and reverently scooped up the entire cat bed. Cradling it as if he were holding a sleeping infant, he turned and slowly moved to the door.

     "Yes sir, I'll call them right now."

To be continued in The Cat part 2

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If you read this story, please let me know what you think. Constructive criticism is always welcome.