Tuesday, May 24, 2011

New Beginning 858

I could not believe it. Strong hands had shoved me into a cage. Before I could do anything, the door clanged shut behind me. The nerve of some people!

“Hey!” I yelled, banging against the wire door. “Lemme out. You can’t do this. Come back or I’ll rip your ears off and scratch your eyes and –” But the footsteps faded away. Too chicken to take me on. I was trapped. The stench of bleach would have made a creature weaker than me heave, so it’s lucky I’m as strong as ten lions. Sure, I could have forced my way out, but I didn’t want to mess my fur. I yelled a few more times, in case the dog-brained person realized what a stupid mistake he’d made.

“Ah, stop your whining.”

The voice came from a Siamese in a cage next to mine. Beyond that was another cage, and another after that. More cages than I could count stretched out in a long row.

“Is this a jail? How dare that human–?” I started, but the voice cut me off.

“He’ll come back soon enough.”

I could see her face through the mesh. She was rolling her blue eyes. What a know-it-all. She was small enough to beat in a fight, but right now I needed information.

“What is this place?”

The Persian on my other side purred, “They call it the asylum.”

She was a sexy broad, too bad these bars were between us. Just then the human returned all decked out in white. He called himself Dr. Jones.

“You all know why you’re here, right?” Dr. Jones asked. I did my best to act like I wasn’t listening.

“Look,” the so-called Doctor said, “you guys had a good run, but Broadway isn’t as popular as it used to be. It’s time to take off the costumes, the show's been canceled.”

Opening: anon......Continuation: Bill


150 said...

*dies laughing*

Evil Editor said...

This sounds like it would be appealing to kids.

I might get rid of "I was trapped." This cat isn't the type to admit being trapped, as shown by "I could have forced my way out.

I would change "in case the dog-brained person realized" to "hoping the dog-brained person would realize."

Or you could throw in another rationalization:

Sure, I could have forced my way out, but I didn’t want to mess my fur. Besides, I needed time to figure out what the dog-brained human's game was.

Dave Fragments said...

It's a nice start for a talking cat story. It needs to get to something really interesting soon.

Anonymous said...

Author here
@Bill - that was a great continuation, I'm tempted to use it!

@Dave - the cat can only talk to other animals, he often complains that "anybody would think that human doesn't understand cat talk".

BuffySquirrel said...

I think I've lived with cats too long. This didn't convince me--sounded more like a dog, really. But eh. Could be fun.

BuffySquirrel said...

Hmm, well, much of cat communication is non-verbal. Cats that live with humans 'talk' much more than cats that only live with cats.

Anonymous said...

@ dave - I meant in my earlier comment that he doesn't talk, at least not to we inferior humans.

@Buffy - I really would really appreciate knowing what it was about the voice that made you thnk it was more dog-like than cat-like? I've been writing his voice for a while and would like to get it right. My vision is of a tough-guy cat who fluffs up and makes lots of noise when threatened, but would really prefer to avoid an altercation.

Anonymous said...

I would read on.

Zella said...

Good opening. You throw us right into the main character's confusion and rage.

I'd omit "I could see her face through the mesh." You've already established that your MC can see her ("a Siamese in a cage next to mine").

I was a bit thrown by "rolling her blue eyes." I envisioned a cat face with human eyeballs superimposed (which made Bill's continuation perfect!).

Bill said...

This could be a fun story. I like talking animal stories when they are done right (Watership Down, The Bear Went Over the Mountain, Warriors series).

My pet peeve with talking animals is when they are shoehorned into human stereotypes (Snow Buddies movie). Living with cats (and working with rescue groups) has shown me that each cat’s personality is as individual as humans.

Anyhow, back to the opening. The voice is fun and you defiantly open with a major problem for our hero. My take on the narrator is that he/she is young, scrappy, and probably feral cat. I would read on and so would my wife, who read this opening as I wrote the continuation. I think her exact words were: “Awww, I like this. I want to read more.”

BuffySquirrel said...

I think it was the bullish attitude that made me think dog rather than cat. When I hit 'dog-brained', I thought, why would this dog use that as an insult? So the idea was definitely there in my head at that point.

The banging against the door of the cage, frex. Dogs bang against barriers (dogs are dumb). Cats push and/or claw at them, and cry. After a while, if the barrier resists them successfully, they curl up and go to sleep. Cats are smart. Your cat does not come across as smart. Smart-mouthed, maybe :).