Chapter 20: The 'Cat And Fiddle'.

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Status: In Progress  |  Genre: Horror  |  House: Booksie Classic

Reads: 243
Comments: 5

Hey, diddle, diddle,

The cat and the fiddle,

The cow jumped over the moon.

The little dog laughed

To see such sport

And the dish ran away with the spoon.


The ‘Cat And Fiddle’.

‘What am I doing here?’ Gemma had to ask herself the question as she stood outside the door of the ‘Cat And Fiddle’ pub.

It was hardly the sort of place she was used to going to, with it’s blacked out windows and it’s black glossy door. Plenty of people were going in, only a very few coming out, and each time the door opened she was hit by a blast of music.

No, Gemma was more the coffee-shop or milkshake bar type of person. Clubs and pubs and discos had never held much attraction for her. Noisy, crowded, no chance of conversation. She felt there was something kind of unsavoury about them, threatening even.

Yet here she stood, outside the most notorious one in the city just because HE had asked her on a date.

Reservations had swamped her mind but how could she turn him down? Wasn’t he the dishiest guy in the entire college? She, along with plenty of other girls, had bided her time, waiting for him to notice her existence. The fact that he invited her to go ‘there’ with him could not be allowed to put her off. Besides, maybe it was all just exaggerated rumors, the things that could happen there.

Gemma did not like standing by the door waiting. It gave her too much time to make comparisons between herself and the others that were going in and out. She’d not got the look quite right, but in black trousers and a figure-hugging grey top she would not look too out of place. Wearing more make-up than she would usually, she was still going to look pretty under-stated, even compared to some of the guys.

Just as she was beginning to get cold feet, Gemma saw him, sauntering up the road towards her. She felt a rush of animal attraction which she sincerely hoped did not show on her face. No, looking ‘keen and eager’ was not the impression she wanted to give.

The Dish, or rather Nate, gave her a quick hug and led her inside.

The music thumped, the lights were dim but at the same time pulsating with the beat. Towards the back of the room was the bar, the one part of the room that was reasonably well lit, and it was towards this that he led her. As they made her way across the room, bodies bumped into her as the dancers ignored her presence. For a fleeting moment she worried that she might lose him, Nate, and find herself in a seething mass of indistinguishable bodies on the dance floor, unable to make her escape. She moved closer to him and clung on.

At the bar, Gemma found herself even more confused. She was not used to pubs, let alone the drinks they served, so when Nate asked what she’d like, she did not have a clue. He passed her over the drinks menu, but the ingredients meant nothing. The prices, however, were astronomical. She looked down the list and up again, trying to pick, until she saw it. “I’ll have a 'Cow Over The Moon’, please,” she said.

The barman came back with a tall glass of something yellow and smooth looking. Gemma sipped it through the straw provided. It was strong, very strong; but after the initial couple of sips she found she quite liked the taste. In no time her glass was empty only to be replaced by a fresh one. Even the first had gone to her head, not being used to drinking, and for a moment she thought she saw Nate spoon something in to her drink.

‘Just the lighting,’ she told herself, and smiled towards him before picking her glass back up.

In minutes everything began to get a little strange. She looked at the barman and for some reason he made her think of a terrier she once owned. She laughed, Nate laughed, and the little, the barman, laughed too.

The music thrummed through her body, the lights pulsated in her head. She could feel her body moving to the rhythm with no conscious thought of her own. Nate smiled, held her to him and began to dance with her, matching the rhythm perfectly.

The beat picked up, the lights flickered faster and suddenly Gemma felt sick. She had to get to the restrooms but where were they. She tried to ask Nate but her mouth wouldn’t work properly and she couldn’t get the words out. She couldn’t stay with him, she needed to go. The sign was there, across the other side of the room – straight across the dance floor.

Gemma pushed her way passed the first couple of dancers, dodging her way this way, that way. But faces loomed in the dim flashing lights, monstrous faces. Hands reached out for her, touched her, pushed her this way and that. All the while her head was spinning faster and faster. She was never going to make it!

And then she did! The cool tiled floor of the rest-room rose up to meet her face as she passed out.

Voices around her....whose? No one she knew. Her face, her hair, was covered in something sticky-- vomit? And the people, wearing uniforms, lifting her up, carrying her out to a waiting ambulance.

Of Nate, there was no sign. Her head still confused, muzzy and mixed up, Gemma found herself laughing. It all came together as a strange parody... the ‘Cat and Fiddle’, the ‘Cow Over The Moon’ drink, the laughing dog-like barman. It only seemed fitting that in the end, the Dish had run away with his spoon.


Submitted: April 18, 2018

© Copyright 2020 hullabaloo22. All rights reserved.


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Add Your Comments:



Jeff Bezaire

This is an interesting take on the rhyme. A clever piece. I have to say well done on this one, you threw a curve that still works not only with the rhyme, but with the theme of the book, and you put it together nicely. Awesome job!

Wed, April 18th, 2018 6:39pm


Thanks, Jeff. I had to come up with a different way of approaching this one; taking the lines singly was the only way I could make it work.

Wed, April 18th, 2018 11:41am


Mike S.

An excellent poem, Hull, that captures quite well a first date, or at least mine!

Wed, April 18th, 2018 7:29pm


Well, thanks for giving it a read, Mike.

Wed, April 18th, 2018 12:33pm


Sue Harris

Very, very clever, Hully and so imaginative! I salute you, Bravo!

Wed, April 18th, 2018 7:31pm


I'm so glad you enjoyed it, Sue. I couldn't think of any other way to use this than to break it down in to single lines and spread them out. Thanks so much for sticking with these stories.

Wed, April 18th, 2018 12:35pm


Miss Midnight

Hahahahaha, brilliant. Excellent use of the Poem. Super Piece!

Mon, April 30th, 2018 4:41am


Glad you liked it, Miss M. I had to think hard to come up with a story-line for this one.

Mon, April 30th, 2018 12:56am


Markie Bee

Love the word association with all of this. Love the name of the pub. I like that we are held in suspense with this towards the end. I feel they is more to tell, but as my art tutor used to say, its what you leave out that makes the picture. Well done.

Thu, May 31st, 2018 11:34am


Thanks, Markie Bee. This was one of my favorites.

Thu, May 31st, 2018 10:37am

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