Sunday, July 18, 2010

What you can do in 45 minutes..

Hi friends. Long time no blabby.

Uh. Michele said to post this, and she tends to be correct about many things.

I got to take part in a Flash Fiction event with Replacement Press last night. Holy crap. It was wonderful.

They've rented a store front (at the old Arise Bookstore space) to celebrate the publishing of John Jodzio's (an awesomely nice guy) If You Lived Here You’d Already Be Home.

They brought us four improvisers (Damian Johnson, Mike Fotis, Michele Campbell and me) in, introduced us, gave us a 'prompt' (a sentence from John's book) and then sent us off to write for 45 minutes. (While the lovely band "We Became Actors" played. Win.)

We then came back and read/almost-perform our stuff. Which like that. Neat.

And then they gave us beer and fancy cupcakes! I bought a book. It was lovely.

This is what came out. I haven't changed anything since last night except for one word. Meaning, you get all of my crap grammar.

Feel free to read or not read. I totally turned into a cat lady.

If you do read it, I hope you like it. Again, see above cat-lady-ness.

Hoping things are excellent!!!


"If Whiskers could talk, he would tell you that this was his dying wish."

- - Jen Scott, July 18, 2010

If Whiskers could talk, he would tell you that this was his dying wish.

Some people would assume that it would be a brand new sofa, untouched by any other cats' claws. That he would slide his folded paper claws into the upholstery, grip and slowly, happily, pull.

And the pull would be delicious. Satisfying. Impermanent.
A crunch
A pull of weight
A drop

But that wasn't it.


If Whiskers could talk, he would tell you that this was his dying wish.

Some people would assume that it would be in regards to the nameless baby. The soft strong loud pink thing that smelled both of antiseptic and moist plastic.

He watched his owners' pupils dilate every time this thing moved, breathed, stepped or howled. He would look into his owners' future and would watch how their worlds, now shiny and freshly purchased, would get gently bruised and busted up, fingerprinted, and any semblance of perfection disintegrated into comfort.

This thing was interesting to watch, but ultimately destructive.

Some would think that Whisker's dying wish would be to lead this shambling pink things into the street, where a kindly couple or old woman or pack of wolves would take care of it.

But this wasn't his dying wish either.


Whiskers contemplated his dying wish.

What they don't tell you is that you don't get just one.

You get as many as you'd like.

He thought seven would do (Nine would be expected, but Whiskers was contrary and a bit of a dick, as he was a cat.)

1) He'd wish the back back alive. It was sad when the terrier died.
2) Wet cat food.
3) Cheese. He loved cheese.
4) His owner's bed. All of it.
5) Air conditioning. He was a long hair and summer's were awful.
6) His mom. His mother was wonderful.
7) A chance to really sit down with his owners and have a one to one.

It might have gone something like this:

"Dave," Whiskers would say, sitting up properly and focusing his perfect patchwork eyes upon Dave.

"Yes, Whiskers." Dave was wearing Dockers. Cat hair stuck stubbornly to his red polo.

"Dave, you seem really.. unrelaxed. It was nice when you sat in the recliner. You rarely do that anymore."

"It's the baby, Whiskers - "

"I know, Dave. But just please keeping doing what makes you happy."

"I have no choice - - "

"I just want you to think about it. Now please let me head butt you."

And Whiskers would headbutt Dave, and Dave would scratch Whiskers under his chin and around his jawbones. Whiskers let his tail land lightly on Dave's shoulder, leaving seven long white hair.

"Gretchen," Whiskers would say.

Gretchen would be thrilled. This was every childhood dream. A talking cat. Flying ponies would be next. Anything was possible.

"Gretchen," Whiskers let his stomach relax onto the chair, "Firstly, stop wearing that perfume. Dave's allergic to it. But he bought it for you and he knows it makes you happy, but for both of your sakes, possibly for the sake of your union, please give it up."

And Gretchen would nod, and possibly offer Whiskers a small plate of canned tuna, as this was a special occasion. Dave nibbled on the 'Nilla wafers Gretchen bought for him.

"Gretchen - you're a mother now, and you're a good one. You gave me a good place to live, just as you should have. However, Gretchen, you'll need to tell your baby a very scary word. Your baby needs no."

"But Whiskers - "

"It's not like a cat, Gretchen. Cats don't know no. We know it exists, but honestly, it's a stupid word that has nothing to do with cats, but everything to do with humans and their babies."


Whiskers smiled at the ideas. These were a good seven wishes. Good seven ideas.

And back in the condo where Whiskers lived, he let his creaky old body relax into the recliner, stretching his haunches until they almost came off the cushion, stretching his back, his toes, every atom of his humming, quietly.

Whiskers closed his eyes, half-breathing, half-purring, until he fell asleep.


Voix said...

Gorgeous and lovely! Yay and thank you for posting this.

laser cowgirl said...

This got me a little sniffly. Keep writing, and keep sharing, please.

Jeff Urbanek said...

Sound of loud applause. I read this to my cat and she is weeping profusely. And throwing up the choice organic cat food that she forgot to chew. 2 paws up!

cricket said...

Michele told me to come read this....and she was right -- GREAT that you posted. I'm amazed with what one (who is able) is able to do with a mere 45 minutes! Excellent! Thanks for sharing!

Sam Jones said...

OMG, OMG, OMG, this is wonderful, awesome, fabulous, touching, smart, brilliant, insightful, poignant, funny and and and...OMG.

You, lady, should be a writer ..I mean like writing novels!!!! I would BUY your books and not just get them from the library like I usually do!

Jen said...

I'm so totally honored. You guys make my heart do jumping jacks!! THANK YOU SO MUCH!!! xoxo!

Anonymous said...

I thought this was so insightful. A real look into the mind of Whiskers. It changed my life.