Wednesday, 11 July 2012

Can't you write something nice...maybe with cats...

Is a question I get asked quite a lot. Well maybe not the cats bit, although I have been asked that too. I thought I'd try anyway. It might not be totally 100% nice but I promise it won't be utterly horrible. And its got cats in it. Well one cat anyway, more may join him, we'll just have to see how it goes. Incidentally, if anyone has any pictures of a cat they think looks like Marx I'd be very happy to see them*

*steal them to use on the cover.

Here's the opening:

Marx was his name. Not his real name obviously, just the name the humans used. He lived with two of them. Two female humans who brought him food and stroked him when he let them. They had their own names for each other but he called them the Walking and Sleeping. He called them that quite simply because one of them slept much of the time and the other ran around a lot. He wasn't sure why Sleeping did as much sleeping as she did. If it was because she was ill or if she just appreciated the benefit of sleep. Maybe she was part feline.
Marx had observed with interest the little humans who appeared on the moving picture screen that Walking and Sleeping had. The little ones didn't seem to sleep nearly as much as the one or walk quite as enthusiastically as the other so Marx suspected that the ladies he lived with might represent the extremes of human behavior. It didn't really matter. They just were what they were.
The screen intrigued him, although not as much as it seemed to fascinate them. It was a little like a pool of water that he could see himself in only he saw the little humans instead. Sometimes there were no little humans and the screen was just black. At those times Marx could see himself and in many ways he preferred that.
So the three of them lived together. Sleeping did a lot of sleeping and Walking did a lot of walking and Marx did a bit of both. Walking was the only one who ever went outside. Marx and Sleeping would both sit by the window, sometimes together and sometimes not, and watch the world go by. Neither of them ever ventured out though. Marx would have quite liked to but they kept the doors and windows shut so he couldn't. As for Sleeping, he suspected it just wasn't really her thing.
And then one day it all changed.
Marx smelled it first. He was dozing on the window sill in the front room, watching the birds in the garden through one half opened eye. The scent reached his sensitive nostrils and brought him fully alert. It wasn't a smell he knew, although it was like the smell that Walking sometimes made when she was preparing food. His ears pricked up and he heard a crackling sound. It seemed to be coming from the same direction as the smell.
Marx got up and lazily stretched and decided to investigate. He padded across the room to the hallway and poked his head out into it. It was all coming from the room at the end, the one with the cold floor where he went to eat. As he walked towards it he felt the heat. Not warmth. Heat. He stopped. The smell was stronger now. Overpowering, blotting out everything else. The noise was louder too and increasing in volume by the second. Marx didn't know why but something inside him told him to run. Much of the time he lived happily enough with the humans but every so often something clicked inside him. Something that reminded him that he wasn't supposed to live like this. Sometimes it happened when he was watching the birds in the garden, lazily watching them for want of anything better to do and then suddenly wondering what it would be like to feel their hot blood pumping into his mouth. This was different though, because now he wasn't feeling excited. He was feeling scared.

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