I've been meaning to update for a few weeks ago, and today seems like the puurrfect opportunity to do so! (sorry, I just love puns).
Things here are good, if not a little busy. Work is as fun and crazy as ever, keeping me on my toes, and summer was very eventful. Oldest has just started secondary school and Youngest has just started primary, so needless to say, the holidays were spent getting new uniforms and making them most of their weeks of freedom.
I've had very little writing time, but now the kids are back in school, I hope to get back into the swing of things. To that ends, I'll be back next week with a proper update, and a link to the posts I've been writing over at CQ!
Kyra Lennon has set up a Charity Cat Anthology Blog Hop with the aim of putting together a book of short-stories, poems and real-life experiences featuring our feline friends, with the proceeds going to Cats Protection.
Here's the full details from Kyra's blog:
- The story MUST have a cat in it (obviously :p )
- You can write a story within your usual genre - even if it's a sci-fi cat, or a paranormal cat, or a love story that has a cat in it You can write a poem if you prefer
- The absolute maximum word count is 2500 words.
- All entries must be edited by the author prior to publication.
- You MUST write somewhere on your post that you allow permission for me to use your work in the book
- You must also attach a short bio and one link to a place people can find you online.
The deadline for your entries is September 5th 2014 - when there will be a bloghop to celebrate so you can show off your work on your blog before they go into the book AND all participants will be entered into a draw to win a $10 Amazon Gift Card!
And here is my entry, which I give Kyra full permission to use in the anthology, and my bio.
The Luck of the Cat
Taking care not to tread on any loose tiles, I creep along the rooftop of the manor house. My specially augmented ability allows me to see in the dark, and observe the estate while the owners sleep. Tonight, my mission is simple – break into the house and retrieve the security details for next week’s prestigious art exhibition to be hosted at the stately home. The contract states nothing else, but I know no one will mind if I enhance my fee by taking a few valuables to sell onto a fence.
Slipping down the drainpipe, I land with a soft thud, and make my way across the second storey ledge to the closest window. It leads to the office.
Perfect, no one will be in there at 2 a.m.
I press my middle and ring fingers to my palm, popping out the retractable claws that were implanted under my nails. Then spreading my fingers, I place them to the window, and carefully cut away a circle of glass.
The hairs on the back of my neck stand on end, as my supernatural ability warns me something is wrong, and a second later the alarms wails into life.
Damn, how could I have forgotten to deactivate it?
Spurred on by the sense of danger, that’s when my secondary ability kicks in – the psionic power to alter probability, allowing me to change things in my favor. The intruder alarm stops nearly as quickly as it started, but I wait a few moments, pressed against the wall as I use my heightened senses to listen for the owners.
Thankfully, no one has woken.
With my night vision allowing me to see in the dark, I slip my hand through the hole I created in the window, and carefully unlock it. Then, pulling the frame up, I create an opening to slip through.
Treading softly, I sneak around the office. Using my retractable claws as lock picks now, I open filing cabinets and desk drawers, looking for the security details, but they’re not here.
I glance at the clock on the office wall – 2:33. I still have a little time, though to be safe I should leave no later than 3 a.m.
Deciding the best cause of action is to look elsewhere, I creep down the stairs, light on my feet, making no sound at all.
I pad softly into the kitchen, and see the carton of milk has been left on the counter. I can’t resist, and I take a swig as I open the closest drawer to me. Just cutlery, and not even the expensive kind, not worth taking.
I slink through the open plan area and into the dining room, where a laptop sits on the table, surrounded by papers. I hope the security details are there.
Quickly sorting through them, I find nothing useful and the illuminated clock on the cooker tells me it’s almost 2:45. I need to be leaving soon, but can’t without the security details. I won’t get another chance like this, and there’s no way I’m missing out on the retrieval fee. I’ll have to keep looking.
Knowing I’ll need to leave through the window I entered by, I head back upstairs and search the rooms there. I prowl in the dark, my black bodysuit blending with the shadows, making me almost invisible.
I find nothing in the guest bedrooms or bathrooms. The only place left to search is the master suite, and I’ll have to do so without waking the owners. Opening the door carefully, so not to make a sound, I slip inside. That’s when my eyes lock onto my target. On the bedside table, next to the man, is the security details I require. But it’s what’s on the dressing table that draws my attention. Elegantly hanging on a marble display bust is a glittering diamond necklace, with a large teardrop sapphire in the center. I know this will make a nice profit if sold on.
I walk across the thick carpet and pick up the security details security details, slipping them into my utility belt, just as the beside clock changes to 3 a.m. The man in the bed lets out a snore, and rolls over, as I carefully move back to the dresser, and slowly lift the necklace from its stand. Once that’s secured in a pouch on my belt, I creep backward out of the room, closing the door with a small click.
In the morning, they’ll discover there’s been a break-in, but I will be untraceable. My custom designed outfit ensures I’ll have left no trace of ever being in the house. The technologically advanced glue I always carry with me will make sure the hole in the window can be replaced, leaving no signs of a break in. The perfect crime. I haven’t gotten the reputation of being the country’s best cat burglar for nothing.
Moving quickly but quietly, I make my way back into the office, and crawl through the open window, onto the ledge. From there, I slide the pane down, and slip my arm through the hole to replace the latch. Then I run a little of the glue around the edge of circle of glass, and slip it into the hole.
Within moments I've claimed back up onto the roof, and I’m scampering across the tiles once more. Jumping down onto the garage, I close the distance between myself and the outer fence, then vault over, landing on my hands and feet on the outside. I stop for a moment as a car turns the corner at the top of the road, then straighten and slip away into the night.
Tomorrow, the security details will be sold onto the group that hired me to steal them, for a reasonable fee, and I will visit my fence Toni, to sell on the necklace, confident I’ll get a good price for it. But first, I need to eat then sleep. Doing a job always makes me starving.
I return to my modest third storey apartment in the heart of the city, and unlock the door. As soon as my feet are over the threshold, my cat Dinah is there to greet me.
“Hello baby,” I coo, removing my gloves to tickle behind her ear. She meows at me in response. From years of living alone together, it’s a sound I've come to recognize as her being hungry. “Do you want some food?”
At the mention of the word, Dinah pads across the open plan apartment to the tiny kitchenette, and stands beside the fridge, her tail swishing backwards and forwards.
I take out the can of cat food I opened for her this morning, and spoon the remaining half into her food bowl, then fill her water dish with a fresh drink. With Dinah happily eating, I remove my boots and make my way into the bedroom, where I change into my pyjamas. My instinct is to go to sleep, but my rumbling stomach has other ideas.
Instead, I make my way back into the kitchenette, where Dinah is licking the meat juices from her food bowl, and pour myself a glass of milk. Then, opening the cupboard, I take out a tin of tuna. After opening it and draining away the brine, I eat the fish straight from the can with a folk.
Smelling my post-work snack, Dinah jumps up onto the counter and begins meowing at me. I offer her some food from my folk, and pet her soft fur.
Letting out a sigh of contentment, I look around my apartment and smile. Fresh milk, tinned tuna and a steady supply of money. The life of a cat isn't so bad.
Clare Dugmore is a thirty-something married mother of two from the West Midlands of England. She's an aspiring author, working on her first novel; a new-adult urban-fantasy - which she hopes to query later this year - centered around an organization of supernatural creature hunters.
Clare can be found at her blog: http://claredugmorewrites.blogspot.co.uk