Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Prompt: Riding the cat

Marya curled into Cat’s warm body surrounding her, burying her hands into his thick pelt. She smiled when his purr rumbled against her ear. The early morning light filtered down through the spring leaves, but the air was still chill and she didn’t want to get up yet. Her own stomach growled, and his purr took on a laughing tone. She punched his flank and rolled away, stretching as she stood.

“You’re hungry too, Cat. Don’t laugh at me, or I won’t catch any fish for you.”

Cat stood and leaned his head down to lick her cheek with his rough tongue. He lifted a paw and swatted her gently, bumping her forward.

“I know, I know, you have bigger paws than I do, but you don’t like the water. So if you want fish this morning, you better be nice to me!”

Cat wrapped his tail around her shoulders and hugged her close to his warm body. She laughed and climbed onto his back, leaning to wrap her arms around his neck. He padded over the dew-wet grass to the lake. His ears and nose twitched, and she knew he was on alert for any other people. They would have to hide if he sensed anyone, and she was anxious for fish.

They reached the lake and she slid down to the ground. She pulled her worn tunic over her head and dropped it next to him.

“Back in a flash, Cat. Sure you don’t want to come swimming with me?” she teased, running into the water without waiting for his answer. He really did hate to swim. She dove into the warm water, soaking her hair and combing her fingers through it underwater. She floated on her back and blew a jet of water overhead, like the whale picture she remembered from a book. His annoyed warning snarl coincided with another tummy rumble, so she got down to the business of fishing.

Crouching low in the water, she spread her arms in front of her and twitched her fingers one by one. Soon enough, a large silver fish swam into view, just out of reach. She trailed her fingers in the water, back and forth, slow, lazy swirls that drew the fish closer and closer. Finally, it was within reach. She grabbed its middle and threw it in a wide arc, up on the ground at Cat’s feet. He pounced and bit its neck in a swift blow, leaving the large body twitching.

She crouched down for another fish, slowly, patiently, and then another grab, toss, and there was plenty for both of them. She splashed up to Cat, shaking water on him as she pulled her tunic back on against the spring air. He shook off the water and crouched down, biting into each fish and pulling off chunks for her. She had a hard time breaking through the tough scales, but she could easily peel the tender flesh off the pieces he gave her. She settled back against his side and relaxed, chewing and feeling her belly grow full. Soon, she dozed again in the warm sun.

She woke with alarm at his warning snarl. Climbing onto his back, she lay flat and wrapped her arms and legs around him so he could run at full speed back into the safe cover of the trees. She didn’t see what alarmed him, but she trusted Cat to keep her safe. They avoided all other animals, including the people who tried to capture her and kill him. Marya was never lonely, never scared, while she was with Cat.

Dogs in house:
Houdini, Brindle

Classical radio (at the mechanic’s)

January word count:

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