A couple of Fridays ago I participated in Fantasy’s “Blog for a Beer” again — and I found out today that I won…again! (I’m a little worried that no one will want me to blog there anymore if I keep on being a brat and winning.)
If you haven’t checked out Fantasy’s website, you should! They have Fabulous Free Fiction almost every day of the week. If the link doesn’t work, copy and paste: http://www.darkfantasy.org/fantasy
Here’s my entry — 99% of it is true. I’ll let you guess which 99.
I’ve spent this week cat sitting at my friend Sherri’s cabin in the hills of Tennessee. She called last night to check up on me, starting with the Inquisition.
“Hey, girl. You doing okay? How’s the cat? Did they put in the new gate? What does it look like?”
“Kitchka’s fine; I think we’ve reached a mutual understanding. I cleaned house today so you wouldn’t come home to a mess. And the gate’s…well, it’s a gate,” I yawned. “It’s not like it’s covered in fairy dust or anything.”
Sherri yawned in reply. “Stop that! I still have a ton of work left to do tonight!”
“Sorry,” I said. “I’m ridiculously tired. I know now why you don’t like staying out here by yourself.”
“Creepy, isn’t it? I think it has ghosts.”
“It’s not creepy,” I said, “just loud. It’s been crazy windy here the past few nights. I was up at 3am on Tuesday taking the wind chimes on the porch down because they were driving me mad. And you know how the tin roof creaks like footsteps when it’s sunny? Well, in a wind storm, it sounds like bodies being dragged across the ceiling.”
Sherri laughed. “You familiar with that particular noise?”
“I grew up with evil siblings, same as you,” I said. “You know what else I discovered? My bedroom door is right next to the air return vent. So when the heat goes on and off, my door slams, even if it’s already closed.” Suddenly, my overtired body yearned to expel the list of complaints on its behalf. “The humidifier is right outside my door too. And then there’s wild kingdom on top of all that. If it’s not the mournful cows, it’s the stubborn woodpecker. Or the coyotes. Or the bobcat-in-heat convention. So much for the serene pastoral setting. I’d take a sleeping pill if I didn’t have to get up for work in the morning.”
“Oh, sweetie. Go have some cocoa. Take a shower. The storms have passed, and tomorrow’s Friday. I’ll be home, and you can catch up on all the sleep you need.”
We said our goodbyes. Yawning again, I decided to take some of her advice. A hot shower, at least, sounded relaxing. Leaning into the spray, I closed my eyes and prayed for just one decent night. One more day of eye-twitching semi-consciousness and I’d probably start hallucinating. I let myself indulge for far too long, and then stepped out into the misty room.
The dripping message on the fog-covered mirror read: WE LIKE YOU. SLEEP WELL.
I just cleaned that mirror.
But if it meant eight hours of blissful, uninterrupted sleep, I didn’t mind cleaning it again.
In the morning.