It was a big day today, here at the Smith House. The last pair of kittens has followed my sister to her husband’s home (technically, they are still her cats, as opposed to his, so it’s less an adoption and more of a lateral slide), and the entire household has celebrated, in different ways, of course. My sister, for example, celebrated by transporting two yowling cats twenty miles down the road and then introducing them to their new roomies, a giant doofus of a dog named Baby and a smaller, even more doofier dog whose actual name escapes me because I pretty much just call it, “You doof.” I have literally seen these dogs get scared by their own shadows, so I think having scrappy Jack Septikitten around to protect them (from shadows) and sensitive little Danny Sexkitten to comfort them afterwards will be good for everyone.
I celebrated by spending the whole day in my writing room with the door wide open, because there were now no cats to flop down on the keyboard and purr at me. Sure, we still have cats, but my other sister’s cat prefers to do her flopping in the bay window beside me, my father’s cat has her own snoozing place in the closet, and my own cat, Waffles, is blind and doesn’t know where I am. Literally. He just now wandered into the room, bumped into two walls and a dinosaur and wandered out again.
Oh, and some of the neighborhood mice celebrated by moving in and are right this instant chewing on the inside of the walls directly behind my damn head. You ever read Stephen King’s The Langoliers?
The sound the time-eaters make, that rice krispies crackling sound…yeah, I get now why that one chick was covering her ears and screaming. It. Is. Maddening.
However, one good thing has come of it. Searching for the source of the sound led me to completely strip the room and give it the good spring cleaning I’ve been meaning to give it for a while now. Took the garbage out, cleared and organized the closet, found a fork and took it down to the kitchen where I ended up washing a load of dishes–the whole nine yards. Also, it turns out that constant exposure to a creepy crackling sound inside the walls of a dark room is no-end inspiring when one is writing a horror story, so I got some decent work done on my book. And I got the latest chapter of my FNAFiction, Everything Is All Right, Part III: Children of Mammon, uploaded on fanfiction.net and archiveofourown.org. So it’s been a productive day all around!
Still gonna kill the mice, though.
Yep, first thing tomorrow, it’s Trap-City all up in this bitch. And all three cats are going to hear about this when it’s time for their annual performance review. Well, two cats are going to hear about it. Waffles can’t find the conference room. I’ve emailed him very clear directions, but, well, he’s blind. Also, he’s a cat and can’t read. Also-also, he’s a cat and not an employee, so he doesn’t get performance reviews. Also-also-also, he’s a cat, so even if I reviewed his performance, he’d just lick himself during the entire interview, hork up a hairball and walk off (bumping into two walls and yet another dinosaur on the way out, because he’s blind. Also, I have a lot of dinosaurs).
But I digress. My new chapter is up and that means it’s time to post another excerpt for those reading along to enjoy and for those not reading along to roll their eyes at while they mutter about when I’m going to write a ‘real’ book. (The answer is Someday. Definitely someday.) But in the meantime:
At length, Ana gave up even pretending to sleep and let her eyes open. She stared into the darkness, listening to the faint tick and whirr of servos in the room beyond her curtained table—Bonnie, playing his guitar. After a moment, she rolled over and peeked beneath the curtain. The wispy clouds that had cut up the sky by day had thickened considerably, forming silver swirls across the night sky where a nearly full moon shone a spotlight on the stage of Freddy Fazbear’s Pizzeria. Bonnie, alone there, leaned up against the side wall with one foot on the floor, playing his stringless guitar, said with one picture what a thousand words could never say about the toys that are left behind when the kids grow up.
She was sure she didn’t make any noise and Bonnie never looked up from what his fingers were doing on the neck of the guitar, but he said, “Can’t sleep, huh?”
“How’d you know? You got cameras on the back of your head?”
“Nope, but I got-t-t ears.”
“You can hear me looking at you?”
“Nope.” He glanced at her long enough to give her a quick, playful smile. “I c-c-can hear you’re not snoring.”
Ana laughed. “Yeah, Rider says I go like a chainsaw.”
“Aww, it’s not that b-b-bad. It’s a cute little snore.” He stopped playing and shifted around on the stage to better face her. “Something-ing-ing on your mind?”
“Not really.” Ana boosted herself up on her hands to better slide off the air mattress and slither out from under the table. She sat up against the wall instead, drawing up her bare legs and pulling her t-shirt over her knees. “Just restless, I guess.”
“You cold?” he asked, tipping his ears forward.
“A little. It’s still a million degrees during the day, but it’s gotten…I wouldn’t say cold, but definitely nippy at night. Wind’s changed. New front moving in,” she said, tipping her head back and sniffing at the breeze that blew in past the ductwork. “Smells like it might rain.”
“Oh yeah?” He looked up, his ears shifting to an interested angle. “What d-d-does rain smell like?”
“After it’s done falling, it smells great. Like…clean pavement and pines. And the quarry. Everything smells like the quarry in this town. But right now, it just smells like a roof I don’t have on yet.”
“It might-t-t hold off, you never know.” His fingers began to move again. Tick-tick-whirr, tick-whirr. “What’ll you d-d-do if it rains?”
“Get wet. I mean, if it wants to go balls-out thunder and lightning, I’ll hole up, but otherwise, I’ll just keep working. I won’t melt.”
Ana watched him play for a while, comfortably hypnotized by the movements of his fingers on the stringless guitar. She didn’t know music well enough to ‘hear’ what she could see him do, but she wished she could. Bonnie’s pumped up versions were the nursery rhymes she knew best, even after all these years. She wanted to hear them again.
“Which one is that?” she asked at last.
Bonnie played on, but twitched an ear in her direction. “Mm?”
“What song is that?”
He shook his head, fingers slowing now, smoothing out a complicated melody only he could hear. “You d-d-don’t know it. It’s new.”
“New?” Ana thought that over and, smiling, asked, “What kind of pizza do you think I like?”
He stopped playing and looked at her. “Wow, you’re kind-d-d of full of yourself, aren’t you?”
“You know I’m not wrong.”
“I didn’t say you were wrong-ong-ong, I said you were full of yourself.”