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Status: In Progress  |  Genre: Other  |  House: Booksie Classic
This is going to be a short story, probably only four or five short chapters long. Tell me if you think it has potential so far! Thanks!

Submitted: April 07, 2016

A A A | A A A

Submitted: April 07, 2016

A A A

A A A


Chapter 1

My beginning

 

Cold dirt scraped against my tender, moist skin. I couldn’t see anything, I had only just escaped the crushing clutches of something very unknown to me. I hardly had the energy to move and my chest felt heavy and sodden. I slowly closed my eyes, giving way to the now warming earth. Suddenly, I was jerked away from the heat overwashing me and again my awareness of the bitter cold returned. A rough tongue lapped at my face and neck and chest, soft paws encircling me, creating a barrier between the harsh ground and myself. An easy thudding began in my ribcage and my bust became lighter. An unfamiliar thing flooded my nose and lungs and I whimpered, trying to escape it. I don’t remember much after that; I believe I soon fell asleep because I saw darkness again, but this time it was my mother’s fur keeping me toasty and not my ultimate acceptance.

 

Weeks passed and my plentiful siblings and I kept my mother busy. She would nurse us nearly on the hour for the first few days, then we grew little by little and were able to eat only every four hours or so. However, our minor maturing wasn’t a great break for my mother as there was seven of us. Usually, we would feed all at once, but sometimes she would be held down for what must’ve seemed like forever to her. Three or four of us would eat and about the time we were full, the others would come running, hungry for a meal themselves and clambering all over my mother cat until she would comply and flop on her side.

 

Our home was under a worn porch with weathered and graying boards that were supported by a dilapidated house, equally abused and degraded by the sun’s obtrusive rays. A bush of some type had grown up under it and with that, combined with an abandoned raccoon den right next to it, my mom had picked us a place she thought we would be safe and sheltered and for the most part she was right. Occasionally coyotes would come around to hunt the numerous rabbits, but we just hid quietly and none of them ever bothered us….usually anyway. One night, however, our safety was abruptly shattered. It is not a time I care to refer back to often, but the truth of what happened remains so I will tell you the details despite my displeasure.

 

We heard a snuffling near the entrance to our home then a sharp yipping lit up, signaling the smell of a tender treat. Immediately my mother shoved all eight of us to the back of the den, positioning herself in front of us as a guard. I could feel the tension radiating from her body and the hair covering her was stiff as porcupine quills. Soon several other voices joined in, and the porch was surrounded by sniffling, scuddling mutts, each nipping at each other and snarling delirious insults as they shuffled for the best position.


 

A low growl began in my mother’s throat, her claws visibly digging into the soil. I heard a snap as one of the beasts broke a few of the weakest boards. We could hear him frantically clawing his way through the hole, a string of distressed yips coming from him as splinters stabbed into his body yet he continued his onslaught. My mother, being the brave feline she was, took advantage of his vulnerability and charged out, her claws slicing into his face and prolonging his screams. His furious dig in quickly became panic-stricken, backward shoves. The question was silently posed to the other brutes….are kittens worth the scars?

 

Two of them decided yes and came at us with a new plan. Each one took their spot at either end of the porch and began digging wildly; I could feel my mother beginning to become even more alarmed, her bold front wasn’t scaring anyone. Now I don’t know if my mom had ever come into contact with these wretched creatures, but what she did next would stick with me forever. The hole which the first dog had broken through at was now unoccupied. My mother bolted towards it, making a loud, startling sound as she went. The coyotes ceased their digging and rushed after her as she disappeared into the immersing dark.

 

I never heard her die, but I assume she did because I never saw her again after that. At the time of her departure we were only six, short weeks old, our senses just coming to us, and we knew nothing of how to fend for ourselves. It is only by some unnatural grace that another animal came to our rescue.
 

As you can imagine, we had developed a healthy distaste for the look of the canine so we were in no hurry to befriend one, nor did we think any of them would ever have that interest for us. So when a small dog came by one day, I and my siblings hid again as our mother had taught us. We scrambled to the back of the den and stayed quiet, although we were desperately hungry and in need of attention. This one was much smaller than the dogs who attacked us. He didn’t approach with a primitive demeanor or crazy eyes. He simply, and slowly, rambled up the path toward our hideaway, sniffing as he went until he caught the scent of something alluring and followed it to us.

 

As he advanced, he looked up, obviously noticing the dig places left behind from the assault. He grew wary, now pacing back and forth and testing the air with deep, quizzical breaths.  Eventually, he must’ve decided danger had long since passed because he came toward our little place slowly as before, but more sure this time. Due to his modest size, he easily meandered through the hole in which my mother had run and continued sniffing until he came to the opening of our bed and protection.

 

I, the largest and first born, placed myself in front of my brothers and sisters as I had seen my mother do. I was a sight I’m sure. All half-pound of me puffed up and gurgling out some attempt at a growl. The first swat I sent his way sent me tumbling off balance and I landed nearly at his feet. I looked up with anger in my tiny heart, but as his soft brown eyes met mine, I felt a comfort wash over me. Something in the gentle casting of his gaze set me at ease, so I tensed only out of surprised when his pink tongue lapped out and tickled my whiskers. It was softer than what I was used to, but the simple gesture set a bond between the two of us that continued for many years, until the day of his passing. But that point is further along in my life and something I will outline at a later date.

 

The little dog stayed for only a hour, but while he was with us, he laid back and let all seven of us clamber over his body much as we had our mother. He let his tongue hang out most of the time and my brothers turned catching it into a game. Despite the trouble we must’ve caused him, he put up with us well, and when it came time for him to go, he left us each with a gentle nuzzle or kiss, then trotted off to wherever he came from. I didn’t know then if he would ever come back or not, but I remember upon my going to sleep that night, I hoped he would return the next day.

 

He did, and he brought along a horrible looking creature unlike any other thing I had seen up to that point. Something he called “his human”. He could have it. The tall, gangly created huffed behind his little, trotting dog, breathlessly calling out to him to slow down. The dog, however, continued trotting until he reached us. I wanted to run out to him, but the tall thing kept my reservations up.

After a while he joined his mutt, stroking his head as he tried to regain his breath. The small dog again slipped gracefully through the hole, coming to rest beside us. His person called him, then knelt down and peeked inside.

 

Ooh, this is why you’ve drug me out here. I thought you might have had a good reason,” he said, his long arm stretching out towards me. I threw my claws at him and hissed a warning, spit flying from my uncustomed lips. He pulled his hand back, startled at my reluctance. He didn’t try again to capture me that night, or the for the following week, but every day, he and his little dog would come visit us. He always left behind some water and food, nothing like what I had ever tasted, but it kept us all alive. Because of this, we all began to trust him more and more and one day, he arrived with a large box. He fed us our usual treats, bits of chicken and the broth he had boiled it in, and as we each came out to eat, he scooped us up and placed us in the box.

 

Some were more reluctant than others, I being one as the sensation of being lifted was one I didn’t care for. Soon, however, we were all in the box and began a bumpy, dark journey to somewhere unknown.


© Copyright 2018 Quinnlynn. All rights reserved.

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