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A Cure For Immortality
March's Flashy Fiction Prompt
“The Great Substack Prompt Celebration” is hosted by the ‘fable-licious’ Fictionistas. Thank you to Heather Huffman and Nicole Rivera for creating this space and time for writers to write, read, and listen to first drafts of fiction from around the world.
Here’s how Substack writers are writing (and reading) together every month:
Check out March’s Flashy Fiction Prompt (using The Storymatic cards):
Write about a slacker who steals cats. Your story should include something beautiful but also useless and there should be something wrong with the water at some point.
Check out Brian Mooney’s The Storymatic! It’s just one of Nicole’s many writing prompt resources.
Enjoy reading or listening to the latest addition to my body of words as it leaps onto the page and then into the air.
A Cure For Immortality
Yes, yes, I confess, I confess. I’ll tell you everything. But first, a sip of water if you don’t mind.
Ah, perfect, thanks. Cheers to Security Guards around the world. Drink up!
Now where was I? Yes, yes, I confess, I confess. Cats always land on their feet because they are blessed with immortal lives. To have a cat is to own a god, and to own a god is the best, no, the only way to increase your luck, well, my luck. Which is why I free cats from the greedy clutches of rich people.
That’s what I’m in the process of doing right now.
Yeah, the rich don’t deserve cats. They got enough luck and enough money without the help of their gods.
The rich never like sharing. I was one of them once upon a time. Yeah, once upon a time I was a rich kid. I had every privilege a human being could ask for. My parents used to steal, I mean work, for Wall Street, and I was the product of a successful ‘stock exchange.’
But they lost everything in the NFT Crash of 2022. Ten years later, and I’m a fully grown orphaned adult with an unhealthy habit. I drink my milk straight from the bottle, and I’m 100% lactose tolerant.
Perhaps I was a cat in my previous life? Oh, the perfect irony of it all.
Yes, yes, more water, of course. Help yourself, buddy. I know it tastes funny because I cut my water with a bit of powdered milk to keep me going between bottles. I love the taste.
Where was I?
But now all I am compelled to do is to do what I was born to do.
You remember what I said before? No? I was reborn anew to free my feline brothers and sisters from the prison of comfort and wealth.
My hero name is “The Cat Burglar,” and all those fat cats who have so much to lose—they fear me like nothing else. There’s no fancy loophole or escape clause for the victims in my line of work.
Once a lucky cat is freed by me, the unfortunate victims find all their feline luck running out, while my luck runs in.
For a while at least.
My lucky rescued cats don’t last long in my care.
Curious as to why? Well, as I mentioned before, I live off milk… and fresh cat meat.
Yeah, the best way to get lucky is to put your money where your mouth is. This means I have to eat the cats I steal. If you think bottled milk is addictive, you haven’t tried a barbecued cat.
It’s a beautifully useless thing to see: a spit roast cat, turning and mewling its song of singed fur and sacrifice to the cat gods of old. You’ve never heard their sweet magic yowls as they go up, up, and away, to end in the silence of smoke and the muted applause of my hungry paws.
A monster? Oh, you think I’m the monster? Please, gimme a break. I rescued those cats, those immortal gods, from greed, from corruption, from a pampered life of luxury. That’s no way to treat a god! And gods demand sacrifices.
Why did the ancient pharaohs worship cats, huh? And why did they bury their gods and their cursed wealth with them? They know the ancient secrets to guaranteed luck depends on at least two things: (1) the way the smoke curls its tail against stone, and (2) the way the ash trail falls over the discarded bones.
Exactly! My point exactly!
Now, Mister Bently, can I get another sip of water? The only real thirst quencher that works for me is milk, but my water will do quite nicely. I’ve been talking the whiskers off a kitten and cat burglary is thirsty work.
Yes, yes, my bottle’s over there. It’s just water. Trust me, you can try some for yourself. Cat burglary is a thirsty line of work as I already mentioned. First, there’s the climb up the building. Then there’s the bypassing of security cameras and alarms before the breaking and the entering and the catnapping. Then I have to ensure everyone’s deep asleep—
What’s that? Water tastes funny? I told you, it’s the milk powder. Here, try some more. Granted, it is an acquired taste. Funny how you noticed the taste straight away. You have good Security Guard instincts, Mister Bently. Yes, yes, I give compliments when they’re due. You’re welcome. Well, you managed to catch me in the act of stealing a cat, didn’t you? You’re in luck tonight.
No, of course not. I don’t kill and eat the cats where I catch them. I poison the cats before I take them home, very much alive. Yeah, that’s exactly how I do it. I give them water laced with catnip and milk powder, and they fall asleep in no time.
Are you okay, Bently? Feeling ill?
Goodnight, Bently. Shhh. No need to call it in. Close your eyes. You deserve a nap. You’ve been working so hard guarding this house. Shhh. Here, I’ll just take these keys off you and be out of your hair in no time. When you wake up tomorrow afternoon with a massive headache, you won’t remember a thing that happened tonight.
I’ll let myself out the same way I came in—through the window. Oh, don’t worry, I always land on my feet.
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