"The Cat and the Thing" by Wafaa L.

A 2019 Young Writers Flash Fiction Contest Honorable Mention

The cat was on high alert. 

Ears pricked, eyes wide, body tense.

It watched suspiciously as the round, strange thing floated in the air a few feet in front of him. It was dangerous – he could smell it. It smelt strange. It looked strange. It was too confident, floating around idly like nothing ever mattered.

The large, strange thing floated closer. The cat’s ears flattened.

Closer it came, trailing a long, white string. He watched it, body trembling, as it advanced, looming ominously and brightly over him.

Over him.

With a warning hiss, the cat leaped away from it, retreating to the safety of a nearby bush. From under the leaves, he watched the thing float a little higher. There was no doubt about it.

Something had to be done.

That evening, the cat gathered a group of his mates. He was a senior, the oldest among them, so his words held weight. The cats, listening to his tales about this intruding thing, immediately agreed to get rid of it.

At nightfall, they slunk silently into position around where it bobbed, deceptively peaceful. Slowly, at their senior’s command, they prowled closer, paws silent, eyes focused, moving with uncanny grace.

The thing barely seemed to notice. It dropped a little lower. A breeze passed over them; it drifted a little to the right.

The circle of cats closed in.

Closer … closer … now!

The senior gave a high-pitched yowl. As one, the entire group cats pounced on the thing, the senior among them.

There was an enormous, shockingly painful bang as something exploded. Midair, the cats twisted around, scattering in all directions, their tails like extended pompoms.

From the quiet of the shadows, they stared at where the thing had once been. And quietly, ashamedly, they all slunk away.

author photoWafaa is going into her second year of high school. She is a bit too fond of cats, trees, stars, quotes, and fantasy. She also thinks too much and is terribly awkward and shy in social situations. A grand total of two friends and two cats inspire most, if not all, of her writing. Currently, she has completed one novel and has dozens of ideas lined up for later, as well as a world and a language she is working on.