The tour group moved on. He glanced around as the display room emptied.
When he was certain that it was just him and a lit case of bones, he took a screwdriver from his coat pocket and cracked the lid of the case.
He slid his hand inside to stroke the little feline skeleton there, worn smooth by years of handling. It shuddered under his touch, the bolts and wires holding it together pinging free to bounce from the glass.
The skeleton yawned silently, then turned empty orbs toward him.
He smiled. ‘I knew I would find you again eventually.’
The cat braced its paws against the glass and he complied to its silent request, lifting it free of the case and letting it snuggle into his coat.… Read more
What the researchers discovered was that magic came not from humans, but from animals. Or rather, from the relationship with them.
Those who gave their cats warm affection developed magic of shadow and illusion.
Those who played and pranced with their dogs developed the ability to heal and energise.
Those who sat quietly with their snakes became powerful diviners, and those who were kind to their mice could teleport.
But, the studies showed, more animals didn’t necessarily mean more magic. What mattered was that you loved them, and spent time with them.
And to be cruel or neglectful for the sake of your magic would twist you in horrible ways.… Read more
A high-pitched howl woke her before dawn. She sat up, rubbing her eyes, as the desperate cries continued.
‘Mara, darling?’ she called.
The howls stopped. They were followed by short meow.
She sighed, and climbed out of bed. As she shuffled into the other room, she rubbed the sleep dust from her eyes.
There, bathed in silver light from the window, was a cat-like creature of enormous size, tabby fur, and an oddly human shape.
The creature turned wide eyes toward the human.
‘Did you see another cat, darling?’
Mara nodded, then looked back out the window.
The woman smiled tiredly and came to stand beside her.… Read more
The dragon lowered a rainbow-hued head to sniff the small, furry morsel. To her surprise, it hissed and puffed up, and swiped at her with surprising aggression.
Perhaps it was more dangerous than it looked. She withdrew, curling her tail around her pile of gold.
The small creature stared at her, yellow eyes wide and suspicious.
Later, she found it batting at a stray piece of gold. She tried to take it back, and was again met with a hiss and a swipe.
In the night, she woke to something rumbling on her back. The creature again, now asleep and curled up in complete, purring contentment.… Read more
Some loves transcend death, and so it was Lola.
Every day, she waited in the window for her human, her tail clacking against the windowsill.
When she heard a car pull up, she would clatter down from the sill, then run for the front door with a sound like a dull xylophone.
She would greet them by twining her ribcage around their legs.
And when she settled on their lap, she would knead a little too spikily, but in a different way than she had in life.
Image by isfara from Pixabay.… Read more
‘In the Mirrordeep, you will face your true self,’ the witch had said.
So she descended into that matte black lake, and not a ripple appeared at her passage. Down through the dark and cold that slicked her skin as she drifted ever lower.
Slowly, darkness gave way to light. At the bottom of the Mirrordeep, in glassy water on a bed of crystalline sand, she found a cat with fur in rainbow hues, curled and wet and alone.
She took it into her arms. It huddled against her chest and she kicked back up to the surface.
When she breached, the witch nodded.… Read more
They stretched and turned over in bed as sunlight streamed through the window. It was surprisingly luxuriant.
They opened their eyes and saw not hands but furry paws at the end of tabby-striped arms.
Startled, they rolled to their paws and took a quick inventory — their human body was gone, replaced by this unfamiliar feline form.
This should probably be cause for panic but … they were *extremely* comfortable. They circled twice, curled up, and went back to sleep.
Better than waking up a bug. Better than waking up a human!
This microfiction with thanks to Waldweg for supporting me on Ko-Fi!… Read more
The couple spotted the monstrously fluffy cat striding purposefully toward them across the moonlit street.
The first tapped his partner. ‘Cat!’
‘Yes, I see it.’ He sighed dramatically, but couldn’t quite hide his smile. He knelt down as the cat approached. ‘Here, kitty.’ He held out his hand.
At his movement, the cat veered away.
‘Uh … kitty?’
The cat stopped and flicked its tail. ‘Sorry,’ it yowled over its shoulder. ‘Thought you were somebody else.’
The couple looked at each other. ‘Full moon,’ said the first.
‘Must be new at it,’ said the second. ‘I haven’t shifted involuntarily in years now.’… Read more
Alice giggled as her girlfriend pulled her into a corner of the town gardens. ‘What’s the big secret?’
Her girlfriend smiled to one side, that irresistible quirk that had first drawn her to her. ‘It’s a big adventure.’
‘Yeah, but everything’s a secret with you,’ she said, a little breathlessly.
Her girlfriend’s smile widened. ‘Am I really so mysterious?’
She was. She was laughter on the wind and a smile in moonlight. She was perfume quickly whisked away.
But when Alice said everything was a secret with her girlfriend, it was only half-teasing. There was a shadow over her sometimes.… Read more
‘Ellie, nooo …’ She crouched to sweep up the shards of glass and soak the red wine splattered across her floor like a crime scene.
She narrowed her eyes at the watching cat. ‘You never used to push things off counters.’
The queen prrted hopefully, and boffed the human’s hand when she was done. Tension melted from the human.
The queen eyed the wine bottle. She had seen another human slip something into that bottle, and nobody would hurt HER human on her watch.
Another microfiction. Image by WenPhotos / Wendy Corniquet, used under Pixabay License.… Read more