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Tales told - a.k.a free reads > Our One Year Anniversary June Short Story Picture Prompt!

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message 1: by Sammy Goode (new)

Sammy Goode | 5380 comments Happy Anniversary everyone!! As a special treat this month, the Moderators have put together the picture montage and are issuing an invitation to you to write a special anniversary short story!

The only stipulation is that all 3 images below must figure into your story!

So...a kitten...a stack of books...and the LGBT flag must figure into each story posted.

Obviously the flag indicates that this can be a Gay, Bi, Lesbian or Transgender story--the sky is the limit!

OK, the only other thing to say is--we ARE YA--YAY!!!

So keep it PG-13!!

message 5: by Sammy Goode (new)

Sammy Goode | 5380 comments *

message 6: by Sammy Goode (new)

Sammy Goode | 5380 comments bumpity bump bump

message 7: by K (new)

K (k-polipetl) | 4090 comments *grumble*
it's only the 4th June..... give us a chance......

message 8: by Lizzie (new)

Lizzie Hall | 560 comments I might do it this month :)

message 9: by Kaje (new)

Kaje Harper | 16521 comments The plot bunnies are battling for supremacy (mainly by sitting side by side and giving me big pleading eyes. But I'm only doing one. And that's final.)

message 10: by Penny (new)

Penny Wilder (pennywilder) | 13 comments Are there any deadlines or stipulations other than those above for this?? I haven't contributed a story to the YA group before.

message 11: by Kaje (last edited Jun 04, 2012 10:20AM) (new)

Kaje Harper | 16521 comments Penny wrote: "Are there any deadlines or stipulations other than those above for this?? I haven't contributed a story to the YA group before."

The only stipulation is that it be YA appropriate (not explicit sex, no major detailed gore, etc.)

No deadlines (if an old picture catches your fancy you can even write for that, although your story may not get seen much on an old thread.) We try to write within the month of the prompt, mostly.

You can write anything you like, any length; obviously in this group we encourage LGBTQI characters and YA ages but it's not required. If you want someone to beta read it, say so. You'll probably get volunteers. But I often post a draft without a beta - it's meant to be fun, not serious. Write, enjoy, post, share.

message 12: by Kaje (new)

Kaje Harper | 16521 comments When a story is done you can post it here - I recommend something like ***** next to your title to help people find the actual stories. Or if it's long and you hate to break it into comment boxes, you can put it elsewhere like your writing page and link to it. (Just try not to link to somewhere you have 18+ stuff posted.) Most of us put ours right here on the thread.

message 13: by Kaje (new)

Kaje Harper | 16521 comments Brad wrote: "That cat is scary looking."

Aw, he's not scary, he's plaintive and sad; (or faking it for food LOL) Although if you think scary, go for it - write that one for us.

message 14: by Sammy Goode (new)

Sammy Goode | 5380 comments Write people Write!!

message 15: by Sammy Goode (new)

Sammy Goode | 5380 comments Brad wrote: "That cat is scary looking."

ooh--write a story please!!!

message 16: by Sammy Goode (new)

Sammy Goode | 5380 comments K wrote: "*grumble*
it's only the 4th June..... give us a chance......"

No complaining!!! Sammy cracks whips and accidentally hits herself in the arse!

message 17: by Sammy Goode (new)

Sammy Goode | 5380 comments Lizzie wrote: "I might do it this month :)"


message 18: by Sammy Goode (new)

Sammy Goode | 5380 comments Penny wrote: "Are there any deadlines or stipulations other than those above for this?? I haven't contributed a story to the YA group before."

Heavens no--just write and we will read!!! Happily!

message 19: by K (new)

K (k-polipetl) | 4090 comments Sammy2006 wrote: "K wrote: "*grumble*
it's only the 4th June..... give us a chance......"

No complaining!!! Sammy cracks whips and accidentally hits herself in the arse!"


though that would explain, as I was quietly curled up on the sofa knitting away at a mystery sock why a blimmin bunny landed next to me and started muttering... it's all your fault :p

message 20: by Sammy Goode (new)

Sammy Goode | 5380 comments K wrote: "Sammy2006 wrote: "K wrote: "*grumble*
it's only the 4th June..... give us a chance......"

No complaining!!! Sammy cracks whips and accidentally hits herself in the arse!"


though that ..."

Are you knitting me socks?? How lovely!! But no sucking up to the mods!!! Get cracking girlie!

message 21: by K (new)

K (k-polipetl) | 4090 comments Sammy2006 wrote: "Are you knitting me socks?? How lovely!! But no sucking up to the mods!!! Get cracking girlie! "

I am indeed knitting socks.... though I have given up for now... and not to write thank you very much Mrs Bossy Mod... for some of us it's nearly bed time!

message 22: by Lizzie (new)

Lizzie Hall | 560 comments On winter nights
Those years ago
She sat by the fire
Though sat alone

In her chair
Curled up with a book
She sat alone
With no one to love

But then she met her
They started as friends
Met up after school
Sometimes on weekends

They grew closer and closer
Yet neither saw it coming
When they were together
Their heartbeats would be humming

She started to like her
Felt something inside
Had happy times together
And when sad, into her, she would confide

She never thought that it'd happen
But when she got the courage to tell
The girl she thought was just her friend
Said she liked her back as well

And after that things went so quick
She knew that telling was no mistake
She smiled at the cute things her crush did
Like the little purr sound she'd sometimes make

They started a relationship
Walking the street hand in hand
Ignoring any comments
Showing the street was anyone's land

Their love began to flourish
And still does to this day
She still curls up and reads her books
But not alone now anyway

Winter nights made so much happier
There in each other's arms
Watching the snow fall down together
Everything left so peaceful and calm

They have the perfect relationship
It really is something amazing
Never argue, fall out or fight
In each other's eyes they just carry on gazing

A couple so perfectly happy together
Their love is something so strong
Never letting gender get in the way
Being gay is not something wrong

They call each other "kitty"
A pet name that just stuck
I guess it's just part of them
Not going by the book

I'll tell you now they're so very happy
Fighting personal battles along the way
Nothing stops them loving each other
It just gets stronger day after day

message 23: by Kaje (new)

Kaje Harper | 16521 comments Wow, Lizzie - lovely, and what a creative way to get the "kitty" in.

message 24: by Lizzie (new)

Lizzie Hall | 560 comments Kaje wrote: "Wow, Lizzie - lovely, and what a creative way to get the "kitty" in."

Thanks :)

message 25: by Sammy Goode (new)

Sammy Goode | 5380 comments Lizzie wrote: "On winter nights
Those years ago
She sat by the fire
Though sat alone

In her chair
Curled up with a book
She sat alone
With no one to love

But then she met her
They started as friends
Met up afte..."

My god sweet girl--that is beautiful!!!!!!

message 26: by Lizzie (new)

Lizzie Hall | 560 comments Sammy2006 wrote: "Lizzie wrote: "On winter nights
Those years ago
She sat by the fire
Though sat alone

In her chair
Curled up with a book
She sat alone
With no one to love

But then she met her
They started as frie..."

Thank you :) the prompts reminded me so much of me and Louise, we call each other kitty all the time and she does this little purr thing, it's adorable :') It feels weird writing a happy poem....good, but strange XD

message 27: by Alya (new)

Alya  (alyaaaa) Lizzie wrote "On winter nights
Those years ago
She sat by the fire
Though sat alone

In her chair
Curled up with a book..."

That's amazingg!! aww it's brilliant!! Well done you!!

Are we supposed to write a poem like story or an actual short story??

message 28: by Lizzie (new)

Lizzie Hall | 560 comments Alya :) wrote: " Lizzie wrote "On winter nights
Those years ago
She sat by the fire
Though sat alone

In her chair
Curled up with a book..."

That's amazingg!! aww it's brilliant!! Well done you!!

Are we suppo..."

Awwh, thankyou :D

You can write anything as long as it includes the prompt and is YA friendly :D

message 29: by Alya (new)

Alya  (alyaaaa) ahhh right! that makes sense! dankeee :D i shall write something sooon

message 30: by Kaje (new)

Kaje Harper | 16521 comments My story will be up shortly - just proofing it. You are free to do whatever you like, as long as it's YA.

message 31: by Kaje (last edited Jun 10, 2012 01:05PM) (new)

Kaje Harper | 16521 comments *** Feline Pride ***

Kyrringurr opened one azure blue eye and blinked sleepily. There was a clock radio beside the bed but he didn't bother to glance at it – his time sense was as acute as any other cat's. He knew he had fifteen minutes or so before his human got home. Probably. The boy wasn't as punctual as he had been during the school year.

Ky stretched slowly and languidly, feeling the ripple of muscles along his compact body as he arched his back, extending one perfect paw and then the other. He opened his other eye, and stretched again for pure pleasure. Damn, that was good. He hooked his needle-sharp claws in the comforter, kneading them slowly. A thread caught, and he drew it out of the fabric until it hung in a loop. Rank hath its privileges and sometimes humans needed little reminders.

Ky hopped down off the bed and considered what to do with his quarter of an hour. He could knock a book of the shelf and read for a bit. Few cats bothered to learn to read. Really, it was work and so unnecessary to the chosen feline lifestyle. But Ky had been curious as a kitten, because it was all his human seemed to do for hours on end. So Ky had taught himself, and now he had to admit he was kind of addicted.

He felt restless though, and not really in a mood for a book. Anyway he'd done a ton of reading lately, curled up on the pillow beside his boy's head as the human read far into the night. His boy Neil had always read a lot, but lately it had been damned near obsessive, and all rereads of old stuff. Ky had seen the adventures of Vanyel go by so many times he could probably recite the whole trilogy.

He paced across the room, giving the strings of the area rug a desultory pat. After a moment he sat down and opened his mind to the neighborhood. “Anyone out there?”

He got a pretty quick response, a female mind, young and tinged with scorn. “Indoor slob, is that you?”

Ky stuck one hind leg out at an angle and bent to lick his butt, knowing the disdain would flavor his thoughts. “Sylvyss, just my luck. And that's King of the Household to you, Alley Rat.”

“I don't have to talk to you," Syl's mind-voice returned.

“But you love to pass on gossip. What's new, Syl?”

He could imagine the scrawny tabby settling under a bush for a chat. She said, “Have you heard about Trriss?”

“What about him?”

“Nose-and-four-paws got him.”
She sent an image of the neighborhood coyote.

“Damn, I thought Trriss was smarter than that.”

“There was a luscious trash can – full of white-and-red-guy chicken. You know Trriss, he was all stomach. Had his head in the remains and didn't see Nose coming. There were bits of Trriss all over the alley.”

Ky winced at the combination of glee and indifference in the female's mind voice. Some cats carried the walk-by-yourself thing way too far. Suddenly he didn't want to talk to her any more. "Nice image, Syl. That could be you someday. But not me."

He cut off contact to her return hiss of, "Parasite."

Ky bent over further and took his grooming from his butt to the elegant sweep of his tail, soothing himself with each swipe of his tongue. Slowly the elaborate process of ordering stray hairs began to calm him down. Trriss wasn't a friend, just an acquaintance, but Ky hated to hear any of his contacts with the bigger world had met that kind of end.

And being called parasite stung. Although not for the reasons Syl would assume. There was nothing wrong with being a parasite for an indoor cat. It was a reasonable career choice. In fact, Ky's mother had expected it of her offspring. He could still remember as a kitten, Mum's lessons in looking winsome and wrapping your human around your paw without giving up anything in return. Mum had been all about the independence and the free lunch. Never let the humans think they own you. Insist on being catered to but don't let them get too familiar with you. That's vulgar. Keep a proud distance.

Ky had tried that at first. He'd been picked out of his litter by a teen boy and his mother and brought back to this comfortable house. Initially he'd been aloof, playing with his vast array of toys only when he deigned to, allowing the boy to pet him only on his terms. But it had become boring. And then there was that moment two years ago. The boy had burst in the front door and run up to his room with such speed that Ky gave up his indifferent pose in mounting curiosity and followed him.

The door to the boy's room stood open just a crack. Ky had still been a youth himself, a lithe black slip of muscle and fur. He'd wound himself silently through the opening. Neil lay on his bed with his face pressed into the pillow. He wasn't crying. Ky had seen that before and it was noisy and he usually took himself elsewhere. But this didn't look good either.

Ky hesitated. His mother's advice would be to go do something else, since unhappy people rarely wanted to feed the cat. But in six months he'd become... interested in the boy. He hopped up on the bed and picked his way toward the pillows. The boy was so still, barely breathing. His hands fisted the pillowcase tightly. Ky sat and stared for a while. When nothing changed he reached out and tapped the boy's hand with one velvet paw.

Neil's head jerked as he turned to stare at Ky. Wet grey eyes met Ky's perfect blue ones. Neil let go of the pillowcase and reached out a tentative hand to Ky's head. That should have been Ky's cue to back away and maintain his reputation. Instead he rubbed his cheek against the reaching fingers. A tiny smile wobbled across Neil's face.

The boy rolled over and sat up. Softly, he stroked over Ky's head and down his back. That was better. Less sad. Ky should have jumped down. Instead he carefully and deliberately climbed into the boy's lap and curled up. The boy rocked back and forth a little as he stroked Ky's silky fur.

“I can't talk to them. Can't tell anyone. What do I do, Pippin?”

Ky stood up, arching and rubbing against Neil's chest. He purred softly, a rumble in the self-soothing frequencies, wondering if it would work on the boy.

Neil gathered him in, rubbing his cheek against Ky. “You're the only one I can tell. The only one I dare tell. I'm gay, Pippin. I'm sure of it now. No way to doubt it when I popped a boner with just one look at Luke getting ready for PE. I don't want to be, but...” The boy's face was damp on Ky's back and his arms tightened to the point of pinching. “I'm gay.”

At the time Ky'd had no idea what that meant - that was before he'd taught himself to read or cared much about the affairs of humans. But he'd purred harder and tolerated the tight grip for several minutes before wriggling free and jumping down. He'd liked the idea of being the boy's only confidant. He'd hung around more, allowing Neil's gentle fingers to find that place behind Ky's ears he had a hard time rubbing himself, and listening to the boy's voice.

So being called parasite mainly stung because after two years he figured he'd pretty much given up his mother's chosen title for something more like symbiosis. Although surely that was still respectable. He was no Puss - cat on the outside and dog on the inside. He had his healthy self-interest. But keeping the boy happy was for everyone's benefit.

And where was that boy? Ky paced toward the door of the room and stopped. His time sense might say the boy was late, but that was nothing new. Certainly not a reason to go downstairs and look out the window. Although he could go downstairs if it struck his fancy.

Somehow, Ky found himself padding silently down the hall, down the steps and into the front room. He hopped on the back of the couch, and settled down, paws tucked under. Watching the street was fun. There were birds and cars and things out there. He edged down the couch to where he had a better view of the front porch. After all, birds often nested in the lilac bush by the stair.

message 32: by Kaje (last edited Jun 10, 2012 01:13PM) (new)

Kaje Harper | 16521 comments It was getting dark by the time he saw Neil approaching. The boy came in the door and headed up the stairs without even glancing Ky's way. Ky huffed a little breath, tucked his chin in and stayed put, waiting to be missed. It was only a moment before Neil appeared at the top of the stairs. “Pippin? Hey, Pippin, where are you kitty?”

Kitty. Hah. Ky didn't move. Like a well-trained human, Neil came to him instead. The boy leaped down the steps three at a time and came into the front room.

“Oh, there you are.” Neil leaned over to stroke Ky, who accepted the caresses. “Were you bored, Pip? I was at the library.” Neil slid careful hands under Ky, who deigned to be picked up and draped around Neil's neck. Neil steadied him, rubbing Ky's ear with one finger as he climbed the stairs with Ky on his shoulders. When they reached the boy's room, Ky jumped down, stalked to the bed, jumped up and pointedly started licking his flank to show Neil all was not forgiven yet.

Neil laughed. For a moment Ky wondered whether it wasn't perhaps time to stalk out in a huff, but then Neil sobered and said, “I'm so damned confused.” Ky straightened and turned his gaze on his boy with hypnotic intensity. Neil dropped onto the bed, making Ky bounce lightly and tipping a stack of books that had been set on the pillow. Neil shoved the books further apart and pulled a sheet of paper out from between them. “This.” He tapped the page with one long finger. “I've been looking at this poster for a week, right? Every time I go to the library.”

Ky wandered a step closer across the bedspread to peer at the page. A blue swirl over a swath of rainbow colors was hard to make out. He walked around the corner of the paper and looked from the other side. Oh. The swirl was the figure of a gyrating human and the print said, “Boston Pride's Youth Dance.” It didn't mean much to Ky, and he butted against Neil's arm.

Neil freed a hand to stroke Ky, doing a proper job. At the same time, he ran his other hand over the paper. “I was going to go to this thing, Pip. I'm seventeen and I've never been kissed. Not once. How sad is that? I don't know any other gay guys. I figured I'd go to this thing and at least I'd meet someone there. It wouldn't be just me.” He sighed. “But I have another year of high school and I'm not out. So I'm scared to go. What if someone sees me? Someone who knows me, I mean?”

Neil suddenly dropped back on his pillow, staring at the ceiling, although his hand still rubbed down Ky's spine in that perfect way. Ky arched under it and then butted his head against Neil's neck. Neil sighed. “I'm such a coward. I didn't dare stand in front of the poster long enough to write the info down. I didn't even look it up on the Net in case someone walked behind me and saw where I was. And then as I was leaving I stole this.” His fingers crumpled the page into a ball.

“I figured the guilt at taking it would make me go, right? But it's not going to happen. It could be good. It probably would be. And I don't have the guts. Tomorrow night, while other gay guys my age are out dancing, I'll be in here reading a book and patting my damned cat.”

Ky set his teeth against Neil's hand lightly in reprimand.

Neil's laugh was bitter. “Sorry, Pip. You're a great cat. But you're not a boyfriend.”

True enough. Ky jumped down to the floor, thinking about it. Over two years, Ky had watched Neil explore his options but always alone, in books or on his laptop. Humans were monkeys, not cats - they were meant to be gregarious. A boy with no friends wasn't a good thing.

Ky ducked as a crumpled ball of paper flew over his head and dropped neatly in the waste paper basket. “What the hell,” Neil said. “Maybe next year.”

Neil reached for the stack of books and opened one. Usually that would have been Ky's cue to come stretch out across the boy's chest and either read or snooze, depending on the skill of the author. But tonight he stalked across the room and looked into the trash. He wasn't sure what the dance was about, but if Neil thought he might find friends there, he should go.

Ky dipped one skillful paw into the waste basket, avoiding the sticky icecream wrapper - ick - and the sharp edge of the mirror Neil had broken that morning. He extended a careful claw, snagged the relevant bit of paper, and hooked it out of the bin.

On the bed, Neil turned a page and chuckled slightly, his mood already improving in the grip of the story. Ky picked up the crumpled paper in his mouth, jumped up on the bed and dropped it on the pillow beside Neil's head. Done silently and with the skill of a hunter, it didn't make Neil look up from his book.

Even better. Ky took his usual spot on the boy's chest and peered at the book. It appeared to be an account of a boy, a dimensional exile, a changeling and a talking gem. At least no telepathic Companions this time. Ky followed along, attention caught, as Neil turned the pages.

It was a couple of chapters before Neil's motions on the pillow made the ball of crumpled paper roll down the linen and land against his cheek. Neil flinched, half sat up and grabbed at the roughness against his face. Ky held place, digging in a clawtip to remind his boy not to jerk like that while wearing the cat.

Neil yipped, unsnagged Ky's paw from his shirt, and stared perplexedly at the rainbow-colored paper in his hand. “How the hell...?” He looked down at Ky, cross-eyed with the closeness. “I threw that away. I know I threw that away. Didn't I?”

Ky stared at him with his best inscrutable look. Neil unfolded the paper, smoothing out the creases, and gazed at it for a minute. Then he gritted his teeth, crumpled it tighter, and winged it back across the room into the can. “No way.”

Ky bided his time. This was a good book anyway. He could feel the boy getting more cheerful as he read it. It had the fantasy Neil loved, with some funny bits and a gay hero. There was no rush. Let the boy read.

It was past midnight before Neil sighed, set the book aside and gently moved Ky off his chest. The boy stood, stretched, and grabbed his pj pants off the chair. As soon as Neil had stepped out the door, Ky jumped up from his nonchalant pose on the pillow. He trotted to the trash can and fished in again. Yuck. This time the paper ball had a smear of ice-cream on it, although... Ky took a tiny lick at it. Vanilla. It was clearly his duty to lick the thing clean before putting it on the clean bed. When that was done he grabbed it in his teeth, jumped up on the bed and set it back on Neil's pillow.

With the excellent memory of a cat, he assumed the exact nonchalant pose he'd been in when Neil left the room, and by the time the boy returned he was frankly snoozing. Neil pulled the sheets back carefully so as not to disturb Ky and then froze. “What the...?” He reached out and picked the paper ball off his pillow. Neil's gaze went blank and then he glared at Ky. “Pippin, did you do this?”

Ky blinked at him slowly, sleepily, and curled up more tightly. He closed his eyes, although he could feel Neil staring at him. After several long minutes, Neil said, “Shit. I don't know.” He tossed the paper ball a couple of times in his hand and then carried it over to the trash. Ky cracked an eye open to see the boy staring down at the trash as if to assure himself the poster had landed in the bin. Eventually Neil came slowly back to bed and slid under the sheets. Ky curled up on his three-quarters of the pillow and dozed.

In the morning the poster was back on the bed, on top of Neil's head. As he turned over, waking slowly, it scritched its way past his neck.

“Fuck!” Neil bolted upright, slapping at his shoulder.

Ky jumped down with a huff and sat on the floor, staring at him with disdain. Neil patted the back of his brown curly hair and his neck and then peered at the bed. The now-battered lump of paper sat on the wrinkled sheet. “Okay,” Neil said, glaring at a point halfway between Ky and empty space. “This isn't funny.”

Ky yawned contemptuously, to hide the fact that he thought it was. Humans were often comical. He paced over to his food dish in the corner of the room and pawed at it. When Neil didn't hop to it, Ky smacked the dish louder.

“What?” Neil was staring distractedly at the paper. “Oh, food, sure Pip.” He got up, leaving the poster where it was, and pulled out the Tupperware with the cat food. He poured some into Ky's dish. Ky aimed his usual head-bump at Neil's pouring arm. To his surprise he connected, knocking the boy's arm so the kibble spilled across the floor. Well now, his boy was distracted, wasn't he? Ky hadn't succeeded with that maneuver in two years. Ky entertained himself for a while, batting stray kibble under the bed and into the corners while Neil cursed and picked most of it up.

When the spill was gone, Neil grabbed his clothes and headed for the bathroom. Ky jumped up on the bed, eyed the paper for a moment and then picked it up.

Neil came back in the room dressed and very carefully not looking at the bed. You would have thought that paper was an explosive device or a severed head, the way Neil walked around the bed. Ky chuckled into his whiskers and followed the boy out of the room and down the stairs.

In the kitchen, Neil opened a cupboard, poured a bowl of cereal, got out a glass, and carried both to the table. He set them down, fetched the milk from the fridge, and pulled out his chair. A bit of round paper bounced off the seat of the chair and landed on his bare foot. Neil yelped.

The boy didn't know his own strength, Ky reflected, dodging aside as Neil's death grip on the milk carton sent an arc of liquid through the air. It splashed on the floor a foot from Ky. In the spirit of waste not, want not Ky settled in front of the little puddle, licking cheerfully at the milk. He wasn't objecting to the incidental bonuses from his plan, and he figured cat culture was smiling upon him. No onlooker would think he had any motives beyond plaguing his human and getting more food. He finished the spill, and ran a neat paw over his whiskers.

Neil still stood there, looking dumbfounded. Very slowly he set the milk on the table, bent and picked up the paper. This time he uncrumpled it, laying it flat on the table and smoothing it with his hand.

“Neil?” His mother's voice came from up the stairs. “Are you okay?” Her footsteps approached.

Neil swiftly scrunched the page back up and stuffed it down the disposal of the sink. “Yeah Mom, I'm fine.” He dumped his cereal after the paper, and ran the disposal in a long burst. Then he stood there leaning against the sink, staring out the window.

“I'm crazy,” he muttered to himself. “It's because today is... you know. I'm going crazy.”

Neil's mother came into the kitchen and smiled at him. “Now you'll have to get your own dinner tonight. It's my book club you know.”

“Yeah, I remember. Have fun, Mom.”

“I will.” She looked at him more closely. “Are you all right?”

“Yeah. I'm fine. Why?”

“I'm not sure, you look...quiet. Quieter.” She shrugged. “Well, I need to get going. I have a full day at work and I'm going straight to Elaine's from there. Do you have any plans? It's a beautiful Saturday.”

“Nothing special.”

“Okay. Don't sit around the house with your nose in a book all day, Neil. Promise me you'll get out at least for a bit.”

Neil's sigh was a little shaky. “I promise I'll do something.”

message 33: by Kaje (last edited Jun 10, 2012 01:24PM) (new)

Kaje Harper | 16521 comments His mother stared at him a moment longer, before hurrying out to her car. The garage door rumbled, and then she was gone. Neil stared at Ky. “Everyone and their ghost wants me to go out tonight. Jesus.” He gave an odd laugh. “I promised Mom I'd go do something. Maybe I should just go down to the Pride parade. Enjoy the beautiful day.”

Ky stropped himself around Neil's ankles in approval. Neil sighed again and bent to pick Ky up, pressing his face into Ky's fur. “Why is it so damned hard, Pip? Why can't I just tell her, 'Mom, I'm gay. I want to go to Pride today. I want to go to the dance tonight and meet a guy.' Why can't I just say that? She loves me. She might be fine with it.” He set Ky down and pounded on the counter with a fist. “Fuck. I am so chickenshit you could use me for fertilizer.” He whirled around and ran upstairs to his room.

Ky contemplated following, and then stopped. He jumped on the counter and stared down into the sink. There was no retrieving that poster. Not even for Neil was he sticking his paw in a disposal, even if it hadn't been run. Well, not for any human, of course. No cat would go out of their way for a human, really.

He jumped down and wandered into the screen porch. It was a beautiful day. He rarely got to go outside. He wasn't supposed to at all, but there was a loose corner on the screen here. Once in a while, Ky let himself out for a ramble. He usually saved it for a day when he knew both his humans were gone for the day. So far he'd never been caught. Doing this while Neil was home was risky, but he had a sudden yen for sunshine. Cleverly hooking a claw into the corner of the screen he pulled until the frame snapped out of its groove and wriggled through. The screen snapped back in place behind him.

It was a gorgeous day. He could go anywhere. For a moment he wondered if he could get to Quincy Market downtown by himself and find a replacement poster. Now that would be an adventure to brag about. But after a moment he had to discard the idea. He had only the vaguest idea of geography around the city, and he had the feeling that downtown was quite a ways from this green suburb.

Okay, another plan. Ky was brilliant, even by cat standards. He would come up with a plan.

For a while he wandered, letting his mind idle. The sun was warm and there were bugs to chase. After he tired of catching grasshoppers, though, he reached out his thoughts. ”Hey, anyone around?”

It took a couple of tries, before he heard a low female mind-voice. “Hello, young male, who are you?”

“Kyrringurr, mistress,”
he said politely, because he could feel the wisdom of age in the voice. It was several minutes before a big calico came around the corner of the neighbor's house toward him.

“So, Kyrringurr, what brings an indoorsy cat out here on this fine day?”

“I'm in search of something, mistress.”

“Call me Mrrowera. What do you seek?”

“I'm looking for a paper,”
Ky said, aware of how odd it sounded. “With a rainbow on it and words.”

The mature female came and stared at him for a moment, then offered her cheek for a ritual rub. ”Why would you want such a thing?”

Ky wriggled a little with discomfort. He didn't really want to explain. “I'm playing a sort of trick on my human.”

“Must it be a paper?”

“Um, you know of such a thing?”

“Not a paper rainbow, but a flag one. There is a house one block over that has hung a flag with rainbow stripes from their porch roof just this morning. Would that do?”

Ky thought about it. What he really wanted to do was replace the poster, make Neil so spooked and confused he would take the hint and go to the dance. But realistically, what were the chances he would find the same poster just hanging about in the neighborhood? And time was short. ”Needs must.”

“What will you give me in exchange for the directions?”

Ky figured once he knew what to look for, he could find the place on his own. But he'd asked for help, and there was protocol to maintain. “I can bring you a treat from the human table. Although not today. My word for the future though.”

“Good enough.”
She rubbed against his flank, her substantial size a testament to the fact that she did like food. “Four days hence, I will be here again.”

“I will fulfill my bargain then, Mrrowera.”

“That way.”
She indicated direction with a flick of her ear. “A low white house with a fine oak tree in front. About a block away.”

“Thank you for your help, mistress.”

“May your prank prosper and amuse you.”
The calico wandered away under the bushes.

Ky headed in the designated direction. There was one street to cross. He waited patiently for a good long break in the traffic. It was a young and foolish cat's game to think even feline agility was a match for those stinking behemoths with their lumbering speed. Ky might only be three years old, but he wasn't stupid.

The house he was looking for was halfway down the block. The rainbow flag hung from the corner of the front porch, conveniently above the railing. Ky made a covert approach, trying to figure out how the flag was suspended. It looked like two simple loops of string held to the wood trim by metal staples. It might be straightforward to get it down, although it could be cumbersome to drag home. So was it worth the effort?

Ky sat and looked at the flag for a while. It wasn't exactly like the poster. But maybe similar enough to be a reminder. And if he didn't do this, then he had no other ideas left. He would have to go home with his tail between his legs, and no self-respecting cat would do that.

As he sat under the lilac bush, the door of the house opened and a teenage boy came out. He looked a little older than Neil and taller, with blond hair. The boy ran a hand over his head and then rubbed at his eyes as if he'd just woken up. He smiled at the sunshine, gave the edge of the rainbow banner a little valedictory flick with his fingers and then went back inside.

Ky crouched and then made his move. A quick rush, silent and smooth as silk, from the bush to the rail. A leap into the air, carefully judged to get his paws hooked into the upper edge of the banner, and a bite aimed at the first string. And that was where his plan fell apart. The staples were apparently not designed to hold the weight of banner plus cat. They both gave way, dumping Ky onto the porch floor with an ungainly thump, the banner landing on top of him.

Rats, that wasn't very smooth. Fortunately, he was a cat; a mistake hadn't happened unless someone witnessed it. Ky gave himself just time for one soothing lick to his shoulder and then grabbed the banner in his teeth and leaped off the porch.

As he ran across the yard he heard the door of the house open behind him. Enveloped in billowing rainbow fabric, he couldn't see anything but a voice behind him shouted, “Hey! Come back here!”

Ky sprinted for home. There were human footsteps coming fast behind him. Normally that wouldn't have been a problem. He could have led any human a merry chase and then gone home another way. But the banner was bigger and more cumbersome than he had expected, and it was hard to see around it. He paused at the curb, hoped desperately that the quiet meant no cars were coming, and plunged across the road. Even hampered as he was, he was faster than any dumb biped, and the footsteps behind him were fading. Still, he was glad to sense his home ahead.

Going up the steps of the porch, the damned fabric wrapped around his feet. Ky fell awkwardly right into the front door, thumping the wood with his head. Youch! He was about to get a better grip on the flag to drag it back to the loose screen when he heard the other human rapidly approaching. And through the door he could hear Neil's footsteps thumping down the stairs. Abandoning the flag, Ky sprinted for the loose screen, pushed his head against the corner and squeezed through. He was just able to get up on the wicker love-seat and sit, looking all calm and sleepy, before Neil appeared in the doorway.

Neil gave Ky a glance as he strode to the door and opened it. The blond boy from down the street was standing there, bent over to pick up his banner. He straightened quickly and said, “I think your dog stole this from my house.”

Neil frowned. “I don't have a dog.”

The boy looked startled. “I'd swear... Something grabbed this off my porch, ran here with it, and dropped it at your door. Do you have a ferret? A cat?”

“Just Pippin,” Neil said, gesturing at Ky who jumped off the love-seat and wandered over to stand at Ky's side, blinking innocently. “But he's an indoor cat. He never goes outside.”

“Pippin? From Lord of the Rings?”

“Yeah.” Neil's face flushed a little red.

“That's cool. That's a great choice.” The blond grinned. “I'm Stuart.”


“So.” Stuart looked at the swath of rainbow in his hand. “This is so weird. I mean, my Pride flag didn't just decide to jump off the porch and run down here to you on its own.”

Neil choked a laugh. “Don't see why not. My Pride dance poster has been following me around all day.”


“Long story.”

“You had a Pride poster?” The two boys eyed each other in a new assessment. From where he sat, nonchalantly patting at dust motes in the sunbeam, Ky could hear Neil's breath speed up just a little.

“Um, yeah,” Neil said. “For the youth dance thing tonight.”

“Are you going to that? I thought about it, but I hate going to stuff by myself, and my brother and his boyfriend are too old to want to go there.”

“I was thinking about it,” Neil said slowly.

“That's cool. Have you been to one before?” Stuart leaned against the porch rail casually. “I haven't. We just moved into town a couple of months ago. But I swore when I moved out of the boonies I would actually take advantage of a great city like Boston. Just so far I haven't.”

“Me neither,” Neil said softly.

Ky licked his lips. His mouth was a little dry from chomping down on fabric. Not something he'd want to do every day. He headed for his water dish in the kitchen. The water in it was nice and clean, and cool enough he wondered if Neil had put an ice cube in it when he refilled it. His boy was very well trained. Ky crouched by the bowl, taking neat, dainty laps of the soothing liquid.

From the direction of the porch he heard the rise and fall of the two boys' voices. Stuart didn't seem to be in any hurry to get his flag home. Neil sounded happier than Ky could remember for a while. Ky heard the words “dance” and “together” and ran a tidy paw across his face.

The bed upstairs was soft, and the pillows, which were his by right, were even softer. He was about due for his morning nap. To get to the stairs he passed back behind the boys. As he padded across the floor, he heard Neil say, “I really have no clue. I thought maybe Pippin was playing with the poster. Cats will play with wadded up paper sometimes. But there's no way he could have brought your flag here. Maybe I have a ghost.”

“A romantic ghost that wants to get you out to Pride,” Stuart said. “I approve.”

message 34: by Kaje (last edited Jun 10, 2012 01:26PM) (new)

Kaje Harper | 16521 comments Ky smiled into his whiskers as he climbed the stairs. Neil would come up with his own explanations, which would never give Ky full credit. Ky didn't mind though. That was the cat prime directive – always be sure the humans underestimate feline-kind.

As long as nothing was expected from cats, they would be cared-for free of demands. The opposite of parasite was working for a living. Ky shuddered delicately. He might have a little more affection for his human than was healthy, but even Ky wasn't so depraved as to want to do actual work. In fact a nice, long nap was definitely in order.

As he kneaded the pillows into just the right softness, and curled up in the middle, a light breeze came in the window. It carried with it the scents of summer, and the easy cheerful tones of two boys, deep in conversation. Ky closed his eyes and took his well-earned nap.


message 35: by Sammy Goode (new)

Sammy Goode | 5380 comments How fun this is!!! Thanks Kaje!!

message 36: by Kaje (new)

Kaje Harper | 16521 comments :)

message 37: by Kaje (new)

Kaje Harper | 16521 comments Thorny wrote: "That was really great, Kaje :) I loved that it's from Ky's point of view. {{{hugs}}}"

Thanks Thorny. ((hugs back))

message 38: by [deleted user] (new)

Kaje, what a great story! I suspect that you didn't write it though. I think you just transcribed what your cat told you :)

message 39: by Kaje (new)

Kaje Harper | 16521 comments Cris wrote: "Kaje, what a great story! I suspect that you didn't write it though. I think you just transcribed what your cat told you :)"

Or the ghost of another well loved cat, since unfortunately my husband is deathly allergic to cats :(

message 40: by MiMi Rae (new)

MiMi Rae | 1 comments Kaje wrote: Or the ghost of another well loved cat, since unfortunat..."

GASP! How is that even allowed? There oughta be a law ...the "no one is allowed to be allergic to something that cute" law

message 41: by Patricia (last edited Jun 11, 2012 08:21PM) (new)

Patricia Lynne (patricialynne07) Okay, the pics convinced me to write something for the anniversary. Also, please excuse any typos. I was bad and didn't really proof it well. ^^;;

Princess Tali picked up the dagger, aiming it at the demon lord’s heart. “Your rein is at an end.”

The demon yowled in protest, but the magical chains kept its taloned hands at its side. Tali thrust the blade through the demon’s chest. Its body went stiff. Red eyes rolled back into the skull. Light gathered around the blade and the demon burst into a million sparkling pieces. Tali turned to her people chained below her. She lifted the blade high and shouted.

“We are free!”

The people chanted in reply, “Meow.”

The magical world of Iniria vanished at the sound. Marie looked up from the book in her lap. Large, feline eyes stared at her, unblinking. A black paw lifted to her knee as a purr rumbled in Arthur’s chest.

“I’m reading. Two more pages and I’m done. I’ll pet you then,” Marie sighed.

Arthur replied by climbing onto the book and settling. His purrs vibrated through her.

She sighed. “If it fits, you sit.”

Arthur’s eyes drifted shut in contentment as she rubbed his ears. Carefully, she pulled the book out from under the annoyingly cute feline. It went back on top of the pile of books next to her bed. She stared at the colorful spines that were creased with wear.

“Life is so much easier in a book,” she murmured.

Her little brother, Benny, briefly drew her attention. His excited voice echoed down the hallway. “Are we gonna go to the parade?”

Marie’s hand froze. A knot formed in her stomach and her mouth turned bone dry. The parade. She had managed to not think about it, to ignore conversation when it was discussed, and avoid her best friend Malcolm when he tried to corner her about it.

As if on cue, her phone buzzed. She unlocked the screen and repressed a groan. You can’t hide in the closet forever, Sweetie. This is your chance to show the world the real you. Be proud!

Marie punched in two letters: N.O. She turned the phone on silent.

Malcolm didn’t get it. Just because his parents knew he was gay didn’t mean hers needed to know. Her family was the exact opposite of his laid back, hippy-like parents. Hers were devout Baptists. Church twice on Sunday, once a month on Wednesday, and bible study sessions on Thursday. There was no way her parents were going to accept the fact she was bisexual or that she had the biggest crush on the head cheerleader. Marching in the Buffalo gay pride parade was asking to be kicked out.

Pain pulsed through her at just the thought of being homeless. There was no way she’d survive it actually happened. Not even if Malcolm’s parents took her in like he promised they would. Although, he swore up and down that her parents wouldn’t do that. He was deluded.

A rough tongue scratched her cheek. Arthur purred and rubbed his head against her. She weakly laughed and hugged the cat. “You’d never disown me, would you?”

message 42: by Patricia (last edited Jun 11, 2012 08:28PM) (new)

Patricia Lynne (patricialynne07) Arthur purred in response. He climbed off her lap and settled in a beam of sunlight that had slipped through her curtains. She picked her book back up and finished the last two pages.

Yes, life in a book was much easier than real life – even with evil demons to defeat.

A knock interrupted her a few pages into the next book. Malcolm’s blond head poked through her door. A lopsided grinned filled his face. “Hey Sweetie.”

“I’m not going.”

Malcolm held up his hands. “I’m not here to force you. I have a surprise.”

Marie watched him suspiciously. “What kind of surprise?”

Malcolm’s grin grew more lopsided. “What sort of surprise would it be if I told you?” He set himself on her bed with a bounce. When he produced a pink bandana, she gave him a skeptic look. He rolled his eyes. “I know, you hate pink. Bear with me.”

Against her better judgment, Marie allowed him to blindfold her. He led her through the house and out the door. The streets were silent. She strained to hear the sounds of the people gathered at the parade. News reported it was expecting record turnout. Recent marriage equality bills had caused support for the LGTB community to skyrocket. Family and friends supporting loved ones.

Not that it affected Marie. She wouldn’t find that support from her family.

The drone of voices rose in the air – a crowd gathered. Anxiety tensed Marie up as the voices grew louder. Where was Malcolm leading her?

Finally, the pink bandana was removed. Rainbow flags surrounded Marie and floats sat waiting for the parade to start. Horror rose up her throat and tears sprang to her eyes. She turned Malcolm, barely able to speak. “You said you weren’t going to force me!”

Guilt clouded Malcolm’s eyes. “I know, but sweetie–”

“I don’t want to hear it!” She whirled away and pushed through the crowds. She was never talking to him again!

The crowd started to flow with her. Floats started to move and music played. The people watched clapped and cheered.

The world became hard to see as the tears filled her eyes and started to fall. No, no, no! She tried to escape, pretend she had simply been caught while trying to cross the street. But she couldn’t break free and she was forced to move down the street.

Malcolm caught up with her. She expected him to try to defend his deception. But he remained quiet as they walked.

Marie didn’t give up trying to escape. Each time she saw a break, someone stepped in her way. The music blasting from the float behind her made her voice get lost. It felt a miracle when she caught a break and burst free.

Her feet stumbled when she noticed familiar faces. Her parents stood with Benny. The surge of panic and terror was quickly overcome by confusion. Her mom wore a rainbow shirt and her dad held up a sign that said, “Love is unconditional. We love you, Marie.”

More tears blurred her vision. Benny noticed her frozen in the street. He rushed up to her, holding out a candy filled bucket. “This is the best parade ever! I got a ring. See?” A rainbow ring was crooked on his index finger.

Malcolm joined her side. He grinned. “Surprise.”

message 43: by Kaje (new)

Kaje Harper | 16521 comments Aww, that's how it should be - she's lucky in her friends and family. Sweet story.

message 44: by Patricia (new)

Patricia Lynne (patricialynne07) Kaje wrote: "Aww, that's how it should be - she's lucky in her friends and family. Sweet story."

Thanks. Gonna let it sit ad see about fleshing it out a bit more for fun.

message 45: by Kaje (new)

Kaje Harper | 16521 comments Patricia wrote: "Kaje wrote: "Aww, that's how it should be - she's lucky in her friends and family. Sweet story."

Thanks. Gonna let it sit ad see about fleshing it out a bit more for fun."

I liked this, but any short story can be made longer...

message 46: by Sammy Goode (new)

Sammy Goode | 5380 comments Patricia wrote: "Arthur purred in response. He climbed off her lap and settled in a beam of sunlight that had slipped through her curtains. She picked her book back up and finished the last two pages.

Yes, life in..."

Ahh Patty--I really liked that one!!!!!

message 47: by Patricia (new)

Patricia Lynne (patricialynne07) Thanks Sammy. ^^

message 48: by Kaje (new)

Kaje Harper | 16521 comments Vladimir wrote: "Great Story Kaje! I soooo love Kyrringurr. Now where can I get a cat like that? lol

As always, your stories are such fun to read and your characters so memorable. (",)

Thanks (And Ky says there is no other cat like him ;) but there are some almost as cool. )

message 49: by Alexandra (new)

Alexandra (avs1998) | 340 comments The Owl and the Pussy-cat went to sea
In a beautiful LGBT rainbow boat,
They took some honey,and plenty of money,
Wrapped up in a five pound note.
The Owl looked up to the stars above,
And sang to a small guitar,
'O lovely Pussy! O Pussy my love,
What a beautiful Pussy you are,
You are, You are!
What a beautiful Pussy you are!'


Pussy said to the Owl, 'You elegant fowl!
How charmingly sweet you sing!
O let us be married! too long we have tarried:
But what shall we do; isn't gay marriage a sin?'
They sailed away, for a year and a day,
To the land where the Bong-tree grows
And there in a wood a punk stood
With a ring at the end of his nose,
His nose,
His nose,
With a ring at the end of his nose.


'Dear pig, are you willing to sell for one shilling
Your ring?' Said the Piggy, 'I will.'
So they took it away, and were married next day
By the Turkey who lives on the hill.
They recieved books, and were given disgusted looks;
Which they dispelled with a carefree, ott swoon;
And hand in hand, on the edge of the sand,
They danced by the light of the moon,
The moon,
The moon,
They danced by the light of the moon.

message 50: by Sammy Goode (new)

Sammy Goode | 5380 comments Alex wrote: "The Owl and the Pussy-cat went to sea
In a beautiful LGBT rainbow boat,
They took some honey,and plenty of money,
Wrapped up in a five pound note.
The Owl looked up to the stars above,
And sang to..."

Lots of fun Alex!!!

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