Monday, September 2, 2013

Flash Fiction - Catfight Club

My writer friend, Sherry, has recently been competing in Indies Unlimited flash fiction contests. Her writing is quite good, and I was a little--no, a lot--jealous because I'm mired in the miasma known as self-inflicted, perfection-seeking editing. In other words, I'm not having a lot of fun writing.

This week's flash fiction topic is Oscar, "the terror of the night, king of the alley cats. He’s sixteen pounds of fang and claw and fighting fury. He’s defeated everything from copperheads to Rottweilers. Everybody knows he’s the toughest cat around, but that wasn’t how life started out for him. Oscar wasn’t born on the mean streets. In fact, he had it pretty soft for a while…"

I'm not competing, per se, I just wanted to write something fun for a change.

Anyway, here's what I wrote:

Gather round my grand-babies; I’ll tell you the story of how I lost this eye. That always gets their attention. No matter how many times I recount it, they purr with contentment. These days, I’m old, forgotten. I can only relieve my celebrity by repeating stories.

I wasn’t always Oscar, I tell them. My first human couldn’t even ascertain I was male; the idiot named me Monica. At this the grand-babies hiss. My adopted mom changed my name to Tom which, at least, was masculine, but so generic. Tom didn’t have panache. And so, in despair, I floundered through my first few lives, just letting myself be coddled.

But all that pampering made me antsy. One night during a bout of insomnia, I ventured out. That’s when I met Tyler, a loner who lived in a dilapidated house in an abandoned part of town. Most nights we would play, you know, torturing mice and batting each other around, but the ruckus attracted other toms, wanting to fight.

At the sight of my shiny coat, one tom had the nerve to call me Oscar Mayer, a weenie. That night, I gained a name and lost an eye, but he lost several teeth and half an ear. And the match. He ran. Never saw him again. At least not with this eye, I tell them with a wink.

That’s the night the Catfight Club formed. And even though I started out pampered, I learned fast and reigned as champion for five lifetimes.

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