Skip to main content

C for Cats Do Not Make Good Pillows: #atozchallenge fiction

As a co-host, I begin with A to Z Challenge  reminders: 
1. Turn off your word verification. It helps no one. You may moderate comments for a while if you’re unsure.

2. In your comment id, link only to your AZ blog, NOT your profile which may have 5 other blogs. 

3. Leave a link to you when you comment.
4. Comment when you visit blogs. Start visiting with the blog below you on the linky list.
5. Make it easy for people to follow your blog and follow you on social media.

Today’s word prompt (the bolded beginning of the story) comes from Tom Olsen and the picture prompt from Rayna M Iyer. The prompts just clicked together, so I chose each for the other. Now for the flash fiction:

Cats do not make good pillows, but that was all the boy had– a cat he called Mau for a pillow, best friend, and family on the streets of Mumbai. 
A cat has skills, and the boy had learned quite a few from Mau– how to move and when, where to scrape a meal from, and what to leave well alone. He knew to pad across the road when it was choked with traffic, to curl up on high walls when threatened, to steal a nap in someone else’s ramshackle tent on the footpath— close enough to people to earn a pat or morsel, but far enough away to  bend into a run.
That evening when the earth shook with noise, window panes on the office buildings shattered, and the first sirens blared, the boy followed the other people of the street, to see what was up. But he came back to Mau, who licked him up, perhaps to warn him off the curiosity that killed cats.
That night, when people had run, holding each other, some bleeding, the others bent and wailing, when the sirens had dulled into a lulling song– the people in the tent behind which boy and cat shacked up for the night dwindled their chatter about bomb blasts, and fell asleep. 
Sometime at dawn, the earth shook again, startling them awake, and all was sound and pain and darkness for a while, from which Mau emerged unhurt. But the boy did not. It did not matter how much he had learned from the cat, how hard he tried.

 Mau had nine lives after all, the boy but one.

Damyanti Biswas

Damyanti Biswas is the author of You Beneath Your Skin and numerous short stories that have been published in magazines and anthologies in the US, the UK, and Asia. She has been shortlisted for Best Small Fictions and Bath Novel Awards and is co-editor of the Forge Literary Magazine. Her literary crime thriller series, the Blue Mumbai, is represented by Lucienne Diver from The Knight Agency. Both The Blue Bar and The Blue Monsoon were published in 2023.

I appreciate comments, and I always visit back. If you're having trouble commenting, let me know via the contact form, or tweet me up @damyantig !

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.