Friday, 20 September 2013

Write-Edit-Publish Challenge for September - 'Moving On'

Welcome to WEP's Blogfest SEPTEMBER [=Write-Edit-Publish, formerly 'Romantic Friday Writers'] Challenge for Friday 20 September 2013 - 'Moving On...'

Here's my text:

Moving on...

Melissa Hart woke up one morning to find that her bed had grown during the night. It was huge. She walked around on the soft down coverlet that seemed to be three or fours times the size that it was the night before. Yes, the bed had grown in width, breadth and height. She looked down at her slippers on the floor beside the bed and tried to guess the distance. Then she noticed her hands: Instead of fingers, she had small appendages with retractable claws. Her arms were covered with hair! Fur! What had she become?

Looking out from the edge of the bed, Melissa searched for a mirror or a glass table with a cake that says "Eat me!" on it. She hopped off the bed with ease and landed on all fours. Then she found a full length mirror on the inside of an open closet door: There was a cat looking back at her from the other side of the glass. A small tortoise-shell cat or kitten, is what she had become!

How did this happen? Am I dreaming? wondered Melissa as she wandered about the room trying to discern where she was. She was not, as she first thought, at home in her own bedroom. But the room seemed familiar. Then she heard a voice: "Come Kitties! Time for breakfast!" 

Oh no! thought Melissa as she arched her back and her fur stood on end, It's Catrina, my former sister-in-law! Catrina has at least five cats! But I still don't understand, why I am a cat! Have I died during the night and returned as a cat? But how could I remember my life as a human being?

Melissa leaped up onto a chest of drawers, thinking there may be a purse or a wallet with some identification. Where's my handbag?! 

On the nightstand by the bed she spotted a leather shoulder bag. There it is! Melissa jumped up on the bed again and pulled the handbag to the middle of the bed. Using her front paws and face she found her cellphone in its own case with shoulder strap and her wallet with identification and credit cards. She removed her driver's license and debit-card from her wallet and squeezed them into her cellphone bag. Then she tied a knot on the strap to shorten it and put her head through the loop so that she could carry the bag as a cat-size shoulder bag. It hung in front of her like a bib.

Where do I go now? she wondered looking for an open door or window. The door to the hall was ajar, but she was ready to hop up and open a door if needed. Luckily, she was still in Europe. It would be harder to open a door with a spherical American door knob!

No one in the hall. But which way? Melissa followed the light from a room that had a washer and dryer. She leaped atop the dryer and escaped through an open window. She was outside now. Free at last! 

Stick to the woods, Melissa! said an inner voice. And she did. She ran until she was out of breath. I should be able to climb trees, she thought and climbed a medium sized birch that swayed in the wind at the top. But what a view! Now all she has to do is decide where to go. It was a rural area; there were fields and meadows and farm houses. It was autumn, too. She still had time to find order in her life before winter, if this was to be a permanent condition. Or maybe it was only temporary and she could return to her life as a human being. She had her driving license and bankcard with her, in case. But could she just walk into a bank and ask for help? Could she still talk? She could at least still think. And as long as you can think, there is hope.

Melissa looked hard at the landscape beneath her and spied a children's tree house built solidly up in an old oak. She scurried down the ever-swaying birch and ran toward the oak. Would there be children using it? She would have to take that chance. Maybe they were at school. When Melissa had climbed up to the tiny room built between ancient boughs, she felt safe. She could rest here and think about what to do next. She put down her cellphone bag and remembered with horror that she did not bring the battery-charger. She could perhaps make one or two phone calls. Try to speak, Melissa! But she could not form the words. She sounded like a cat! But she could send a text message! But to whom? Perhaps to Olof, her former friend and love?

Pressing the phone buttons was not easy. She ended up holding the cellphone between her hind-legs and pressing the buttons with the unsure digits of her forepaws:

Dear Olof,
Forgive me. Please help me. Could you rescue a kitten hiding up in a play house in an oak tree behind the Nilssons barn? I will explain everything if you do me this one favour. 

I still love you. 

Send a text message to my cell phone if you cannot do this.  I seem to have lost my voice and cannot speak on the phone.

Melissa waited.  Nothing happened right away, so she curled up beside the phone and lay her head on the bag as a pillow.

Finally, she heard a signal for an incoming text-message.

Dear Melissa,
I'll take care of the kitty. I'm on my way now! But when will I see you?  And I still love you!  

Melissa  punched the words: 'You'll see me soon', but she had no idea how she was going to explain all of this to Olof. She would just have to take one thing at a time. Melissa fell happily asleep.

Word count: 997 (NCCO)

Kitten Elsa held by my daughter, Elisabet

This story is completely fictional. Any similarity to events or persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental. But for those who follow my blog, it is clear that my cats have inspired me!

Copyright 2013 Anna Christina Wigren Nordeman

Best wishes,

First Commenter:
Yolanda Renée
Defending the Pen


Yolanda Renée said...

What a lovely story, very frightening to wake up as a cat, but to still be able to text and get help - priceless! This was fun and I do hope you plan to continue it. I want to know where you'll take it next. Does she stay a cat, or find herself a human again?
If you do make it larger story, maybe add some tension by making her escape from the house wrought with obstacles. From the other cats, from her sister-in-law, etc.
Truly magical!

Trisha said...

Your kitten is so adorable! I love cats :)

Nice story, I really enjoyed the read. :D

Denise Covey said...

Adorable read, Anna. Have you read Frank Kafka's Metamorphisis? The protagonist wakes up and he's turned into an insect. If you haven't read it, it's available as a free ebook online. You'd love it. Your story begins to look at the same premise. As Yolanda says, this could be the start of a longer story. There would be lots of ways to add tension being a kitty. Think of all the predators out there. Poor Melissa.

Thank you for posting for WEP Anna.


Anne said...

Interesting take on moving on. Quite unique too :)

Unknown said...

Dear Yolanda,
Thanks for the encouragement. I wrote this with the idea that it could be the beginning of a longer story, but having only 1000 words I included only the bare necessities: The basic premise of becoming a cat; discovering that she was in a place with a human being whom she dislikes; and the possibility of getting help or at least a place out of the cold if she is doomed to remain a cat.

There are ay least three implied characters in this story: The sister-in-law, the ex-husband and the boyfriend, Olof whom she chooses to contact. Right now, anything can happen with them!

I haven't planned the whole story, but I can see what the next scene might be like when Olof comes to rescue the kitty. I don't know whether or not she can return to her human form. I wrote the first opening on a scrap of paper several days ago and was not sure I would finish it in time. I really don't have time to write at all. My off-line-life is chaotic right now. But I liked the idea so much that I wanted to get it down on paper. This is what you might call writing 'with the seat of your pants', even though I am not usually a 'pantser'. (I'm more of a 'planner'.)

My sources of inspiration? I am inspired by my thirteen cats, and several cat-detective-stories, as well as Lewis Carroll's Alice in Wonderland. (A nod to Alice is the glass table with the cake with 'Eat me' written in icing on it. Melissa Hart knows her Lewis Carroll.)

You are right about extending the time in the house an increasing the tension and making it more difficult to get out of the house. But since I only had 1000 words, I let her out of the house sooner than if I were writing a longer novella or novel.

I'll e-mail the next scene to you!

Also, I have finished reading your novel Murder, Madness and Love! I could not put it down!!!!

Dear Trisha F.,
Thank you for you kind words. I'm glad you enjoyed reading it. I really want to write stories that are fun for others to read.
I love cats too. I spent the summer taking care of eleven cats. Now we are down to eight cats. I may sell another kitten this afternoon. It's sad to let them go, but we don't have enough room in our apartment.

Dear Denise,

When writing this story, I did not think of Kafka at all. I wanted to write a happy story with a happy ending. This will not be a Kafka-story.

Now that you mention Kafka, I do recall the title, Metamorphisis, but I have not read it. I have read his novel The Trial. I will take a look at Metamorphisis.

Thanks for the suggestion.

I can e-mail the next scene to you too. Yes, this text could be expandable. Too bad I don't have so much time to work on it.

Dear Anne,
Thanks for stopping by to comment. I'll be around to read yours and the other texts.

Thank you all for reading and commenting.

Best wishes,

Sally said...

A lovely story, slightly scary to be turned from a human into a cat. I do hope she can return to being a human being and resolve her love issues. Great fun to read.

Bevimus said...

What an amazingly creative story! I have to say, I think she handled that way too rationally- I would not be ok if I suddenly woke up as a cat!

Kelly Steel said...

Oh, no! Will she turn back to herself?

Very creative take on moving on!

Tony Laplume said...

I for one wouldn't mind being transformed into a cat. And this probably explains why it's far less traumatic for Melissa than it was for Gregor Samsa to have a sudden metamorphosis...

Adura Ojo said...

What an interesting idea, Anna. This story has endless possibilities and it would be interesting to see where you go with it. I can identify with the chaotic offline life. It's not easy but we soldier on, don't we?

Nice to be here again. Have a lovely weekend.

Nilanjana Bose said...

Hi Anna, and Wow! Your story drew me in from the first line. I thought of Metamorphoses too.

Your cat stories are all such fun and this one a completely unique take on the prompt.

Best always,

The Armchair Squid said...

I'd love to be a cat, if only for a little while. But I wouldn't want to be just anyone's cat. I'd want to be OUR cat. Our cats have a pretty cushy life.

Nice piece.

N. R. Williams said...

Hi Anna
Very cool. we are left to wonder if she is dreaming or if her former sister in law is a witch. Just the thing I love to read. I think you captured her confusion well and such a clever protagonist to think of sticking her I.D, and cc cards in the pack with her phone. well written.

My story is up.

dolorah said...

That was interesting! I liked how her perspective was changed as a cat, and the difficulties of still retaining human thinking. So cool she still carried her purse.

This was a fun read Anna.


Michael Di Gesu said...

HI, Anna,

Nicely written and what wonderfully unique point of view....

This can definitely continue into something more. Your writing is really coming along,

Hope all is well with you and your children...

Michelle Wallace said...

Such a magical and entertaining story!
If she cannot return to human form, then wouldn't it be perfect if Olof could also turn into a cat...
Writer In Transit

Lisa said...

I thought this was funny! I liked her nerve and thought process. I really liked thinking about what Olaf was going to think when he rescued that kitty!

Unknown said...

Dear Sally,
Yes, if you think about it, it is a very scary story. If I were Melissa, I would miss my hands with apposing thumbs. I agree with you. I hope she will be able to return to her human form and life.

Thanks for reading and commenting!


Dear Beverly,

Yes, Melissa may seem to handle it a bit too rationally. But as the story unfolds, we will soon learn the reason why she takes all of this in stride. She has been through a lot worse in her human life.

One possible and rational explanation to this story is that it is all just a bad dream. She is living a nightmare. There are other scenarios too: She could wake up and find out that she has had a stroke and lost her ability to speak. This is something that really happens to people, every day. But it is a fate almost too horrible to read about in fiction. Fiction should be too outrageous to be believable. It is enough that it happens in real life.

Thanks for your encouraging input!


Dear Kelly,
I hope she does too. I am not Franz Kafka. I will not let Melissa die as a cat! But she will probably have a a difficult time returning to her former self.

Thanks for the compliment!

Dear Tony,
You are so right. If I had the choice, I'd prefer to be a cat over a bug any day! Poor Gregor Samsa!

Thank you for reading and sharing your thoughts.


Dear Adura,

Long time no see!
Like your new photo! I can see your face! You have been this mysterious faceless writer for a long time. Where you looking down at a book?

Thanks for your encouragement!I am trying to add on to it. This could be a novella.

Thank you also for your thoughts on our offline-lives! I hope you are well and happy as you embrace chaos!

Hope to read something you have written for the Haunting!


Dear Nilanjana,
Thank you for your kind words!

Your cat story is also intriguing. I have some more thought about it that I will try to share in an email.

Hope you are well and happy!


Dear Armchair Squid,
Thank you for reading and commenting. Yes, If I were to turn into a cat, I would not mind being one of my own. But when I think about it like that, I want to be even kinder to my cats!


I'll take a break here!
Best wishes,

Unknown said...

Dear Nancy,
Yes, true, it could be a dream, a very bad dream. Thanks for the idea that her sister-in-law could be a witch! I have an other solution in mind. But it could work with her sister-in-law.
I'm glad you like the bit about her tiny cellphone-purse.
Sorry I am so late responding!
Thanks for your kind words! Your encouragement means a lot to me!
Dear Donna,
Glad you like the change of perspective. Much of the point of this story is to show everyday life and artifacts from an unusual point of view.
Glad you like her little purse! I said to you that I would take a photo of my cat with a phone-purse. But I just have not had the time.

Thanks for your encouragement!


I'll take another break now.


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