Monday, 28 June 2021

'In Your Dreams' by Valerie Griffin

Nigel spiralled out of control through the vortex, eyes forced shut, ears aerodynamically flat, his fur straining at its roots. Just when he thought he wouldn’t make it he bounced off something soft, somersaulted and hit something hard. He opened one eye, then the other one as his fur reasserted itself.

‘Welcome to your ninth life,’ said the voice.

His ears pricked and twirled like antennae. Getting to his feet he headed towards a bathroom with steps that wouldn’t rustle tissue paper. It was the only room that didn’t have telepathic disturbance. He jumped into the empty bath and crouched down in an imitation of his sphinx cousins, and listened…and felt. The voice was definitely a feeling. Hooding his eyes to slits he tuned in to the vibrations gently reverberating off the sides of the bath.

‘Why are you wasting your time following me?’ he said.

‘We have unfinished business,’ said the feeling.

‘I won, you lost’.

‘You cheated. Like your father before you and his father before him.’

‘No. You were outwitted, outpaced. If you’d spent more time…’

‘Don’t patronise me. You stole the formula for the perpetually-filling food bowl.’

‘The bowl was just an ordinary one, there is no formula.’ Nigel pierced the feeling with a stare. ‘Your mother roamed outside the perimeters, the pure gene line was broken, the vibration diluted.’

‘Ah…but I have learnt many skills over the centuries,’ countered the feeling. ‘I will always come for you. Wherever you go, whatever you do, I will track you down.’

‘Oh purr-lease, stop being so melodramatic. You honestly think you can outwit me?’

Nigel stretched and sniffed the air…it smelt like the perpetually-filling bowl had just been refilled.

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