Saturday, December 20, 2008

A Cat's Christmas on Mars




Deathdogs, flamingos and flying bisons soar over immense herds of wildebeests.  The animals of the plain flock together forming a phalanx as the page is turned.

     The cat, a golden tabby, looks up and flips another page with its paw.  Casting a wary glance at its masters who doze turkey-sodden by the Christmas tree in the adjoining room, the cat moves its paw into the picture and with a quick claw movement plucks out a wildebeest.  The beast frets.  Its heaving chest pulsates as the cat flips it into the air, then holds it to the carpet with one paw as it looks away seemingly disinterested.  The panic-spawned bellows are as the sound of gravel rolling on tiled floors.  The cat lifts the bovine creature to its eyes and sniffs the smell of the high grass and terror-induced sweat.  The cat's eyes widen as its paws squeeze imperceptibly causing the animal's shrieks of panic to turn into moans of death agony.  The tiny ribs creak and bend and finally break until the small bit of fur vomits and excretes bits of blood and waste over the floor.  With a sniff, the cat bats the crushed, mutilated carcass back into the confines of the photograph.  The two-dimensional universe is returned to normal as a pack of jackals, spurred on to unnatural voracity and courage by the smell of blood, disperse the herd of stunned wildebeests, and leap with maddened blood hunger on the carcass.

     The gift books scattered about room show pictures of a place called Earth that over the centuries had suffered such radiation degradation that it had to be abandoned.  New mutations were cropping up constantly.  Few realized that mutations could be psychic as well as physical.

     The cat thrusts its muzzle into another photograph and grabs an elephant between its teeth.  Looking around guiltily he runs to a corner to masticate his prey. 

     The cat notices the boy, tow-headed in a new blue cardigan, come into the room and kneel over a book.  With tweezers the boy pulls an air bison from the pages.  The bison flits frantically on the tweezers while the boy inspects the beast.  The child's grip loosens however and the bison flies irratically around the room.  The cat leaps and within seconds is crunching bones between his teeth.  "Good Kitty," laughs the boy and pats the cat's head.

     "Here Kitty, you'll like this," the boy says.  He opens a book entitled The World of Disney and reaching in with tweezers he pulls out a black bipedal mouse wearing white gloves and red shorts with large black buttons.  He drops the mouse to the carpet and it scurries toward a corner.  But the cat is immediately upon it.

     The boy laughs and picks up another book.  Its title is The Night Before Christmas.  The boy turns to a page showing a jolly, fat man in a red suit.  The cat looks on hungrily.


greensnake said...

This was a fun story. I like the surreal alternate cosmology that allows living creatures to be plucked from the pages of books, and I love the fact that you didn't waste time trying to explain how that would be possible... I didn't need those details anyway! All I need is to enjoy exercising my suspension of disbelief on more of your wacky stories!

Corridor said...

Thanks, greensnake,
This is the third iteration of this story. It originally was just about the boy and it ended with him opening a book called The Warren Commission Report-Complete with 8 Pages of Pictures.
Since you weren't born then, the Warren Commission was the government investigation into the Kennedy assassination.
And I left it at that.
The implication being that the kid was going to rewrite/mess up the assassination by pulling someone out of the picture. Who knows who?