"The Stray" (formerly published fairy tale/short story)

Reads: 1708  | Likes: 1  | Shelves: 1  | Comments: 7

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Fantasy  |  House: Booksie Classic

Scary stuff (so I hope) about an identity theft ....

The sound of the alarm bell awakes me, and slowly it dawns upon me that something isn't quite right: I wasn't lying on my bed, but on the chair. Something that should be impossible as the chair is small and only for sitting. However, I was lying, and what's more, I was coiled up upon myself in an almost uncanny way. Strange ...
While I was contemplating the wellknown room from the chair, I suddenly saw an arm reaching out from under the duvet to turn off the alarm. I vaguely recognized it as something I knew, but when I saw the bracelet on it I got a shock and yelled out loud, but without words: That's my arm, my bracelet in my bed, turning off my alarm clock, but I'm here. What's going on??? From what I can see of myself, still lying on the chair, something has really changed and not for the better.
Yes, that's for sure, because what I saw when I took a look down my frame was the fur of a black cat. This being such a crazy situation I refuse to accept it, but shrug it off as a nightmare. However, when I see myself - Rosie Kingston - sit up in my bed and smile upon me in my cat's shape I get mad as Hell. With a sound like 10 stray cats and at least one lion I pounch on the woman on the bed, who somehow has stolen my identity.
She screams, but she also fights back and at one point she gets a fierce blow in that sends me flying. "The sedative," she yells, "Rainier, she is awake ..."
While I'm trying to recuperate I see a pair of naked, hairy men's legs beside me on the floor and I recognize Rainier who actually is my husband although he behaves like he was married to my "identical twin" on the bed.
With a less than friendly smile he now produces a syringe and he empties it in my nice, black buttoms. Soon after I fall asleep once again, but at that moment I know that my last image of the two people and the blood on the bed sheets from my attack on the woman will stay with me forever. I know that for sure as I drop off into dreamland ...
When I awake the next time I soon see that now I'm confined to the cat's transport cage. Rainier is sitting on the chair where I awoke and he turns and returns, over and over again, a syringe he is holding in his hands.
"Hello," he says, "so you're with us once again? How nice ..." The last words are charged with irony and I know him well enough to see that he really feels like plunging the needle of the syringe into me once more.
"I know that this is confusing for you, my dear, but with a little patience you'll get through these weeks like the rest of us ..."
All I can do is purr, meow, scream and sort of splutter sounds out that scare even me. However, sitting in the cage I know that I have to be cooperative to get out. That's why I smile at him, but that only infuriates him and he yells: "What, are you threatening me too? Don't my dear, or off we march to the vet ... However, as I can see you understand me I shall tell you what's going on. Well, you and our former pet cat, Mitzi, have exchanged bodies, and I can assure you that Mitzi is a very, very successful "you". She knows exactly what I want from her, and she is quite bright - almost a genius - when it comes to computers."
I can't help myself, but let out a plaintive "meow" at this eulogy. So Mitzi, my pet cat, has replaced me in my home, has virtually stolen my life? Unbelievable, but the evidence can't be denied.
When the door opens and the former Mitzi, now Mrs. Kingston, steps into the room I utter a deep felt hiss. Oh, how I would love to scratch those long legs that in reality belong to me, but which she, the cat, has stolen from me.
"Hello cutie," she says, "oh, how it becomes you to sit in a cage. It goes so very well with your claws and fangs."
I could kill her over the irony of that remark. How dares she to taunt me? She is nothing but a stray picked off the road when she was starving and now she is lording it over me, her mistress! Too much, much too much ...........
She kicks the cage one big, brutal kick, and quite enough to frighten me as I sit there without any chances of escape. "All right," she says, "and now you're wondering at how I - well, we - did it. To know the internet is to know a lot of sites with special informations, also about magic, so that's what I've got, not being such a stupid cow - eh', cat - as you ...."
My head is spinning with surprise. The internet? Well, yes, she had always been very interested in games on the computer and that kind of things. When my computer was on she would sit in front of it and sometimes I did catch her sitting on the keyboard so, crazy as it sounded, still it did make some kind of sense.
"Also you would like to know when we shall take you to the vet to have you put down?"
I must admit that that was an urgent question with me so I stared at her, following each movement.
"Well, we can't yet as the transference of your body to me must be complete before we do anything about it and it takes some time. Besides, that part of it is Rainier's responsibility, not mine."
With that information she left as there was somebody at the door. Rainier came into the room and he took on from where she left: "Yes, that will be the day," he says, "at long last to get rid of you is my dream!" I wanted to ask him why he hated me that much, but already knew the answer: My recent affair with John Hansson had made him furious and he would never forgive me for it. "Mitzi is my dream girl."
"Yes," I said in cat's language, but are you hers?" That I simply didn't believe from the way she talked of him. As I said so, both of us heard a shuffle and a muffled shout at the door. Then a shot rung out, and Rainier looked terrified. When the door was flung open and a wild-eyed, young man stood there, ready to shoot again I was surprised. It was John and he was beyond himself with rage.
Behind him stood a bloodied and still bleeding Mitzi. She looked terrified, but she also begged John and Rainier to call the police and an ambulance. John's answer was to raise the gun and shoot her in the head. As she sank to the floor Rainier shot up, either to flee or to fight, I don't know which. John raised the gun and shot him too, then he even aimed at me, the cat, but relented and turned the weapon against himself. There I was, sitting in a cage, surrounded by three dead people.
Luckily enough for me the shootings had been heard and soon after the police came and with them also the ASPCA-people who took me in custody. I was with them less than a week then I was adopted by a pretty and even famous, young woman who leads a wonderful life as a model. As it is she always lets her computer run, doesn't ever turn it off, and what's more, she never-ever puts me in the cage. No, with her a cat can roam, even sit on the keyboard, googling whatever there is to google .....

Copyright 2009 All rights reserved

© EC

Submitted: July 01, 2009

© Copyright 2022 Else Cederborg. All rights reserved.

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Add Your Comments:



...And the cycle continues. Truly a unique piece with the whimsical dark humor. Every entertaining.

Fri, July 10th, 2009 4:14pm


I was very happy to see your comment as some readers haven't understood that aspect of the story which actually is very important.

Mon, July 13th, 2009 9:59pm



Most interesting and well written. Excellent choice and treatment of theme.

Gave it an "I Like It" vote. Well deserved.

Presentation Issue(s):

1. You need to skip a line between intended paragraphs.

2. There should be a separate paragraph each time a character may speak, in quotes"", in his/her turn.

Will read and vote for your other postings. At times, without commenting.

Thank you for becoming a fan. Most appreciative.

Happy trails,

Ed Bradley.

Tue, July 14th, 2009 3:14am


Thank you for your comment. It's nice to see that someone takes the time to point out issues like those you mention. I have much to learn about the presentation of my stories.

Mon, July 13th, 2009 9:52pm


Sad but mysterious ending...
I liked it!

Tue, July 14th, 2009 5:49am


Thank you - and I loved writing it ...

Mon, July 13th, 2009 10:52pm


A very interesting story. I like the way you have written it.

Tue, July 14th, 2009 7:31am


Thanks, and I've come to love writing these "Fantastic/Gothic stories". They are so much more than meets the eye at first glance and I'm glad to see that many others try their hand at this genre.

Tue, July 14th, 2009 8:50am


interesting and startling at times. the cycle continues I suppose.

Tue, July 14th, 2009 11:05am


Yep, but I wouldn't know how it started and for how long it has been alive ...

Tue, July 14th, 2009 8:48am


huh that is so weird! i love it!

Tue, July 14th, 2009 9:11pm


Glad to hear that.

Tue, July 14th, 2009 9:47pm

Helena Parris

I suppose I should be very strict and reread this, checking for errors as the grumpy Grammer-Lady, but I'm too bowled over! This is a great story that just kept shocking me! And I'm really glad my cat doesn't care about computers...

Tue, July 14th, 2009 11:58pm


Areyou sure? Cats are very sneaky and intelligent creatures ...

Tue, July 14th, 2009 9:46pm

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