Saturday, July 24, 2010

bitter milk, pt. 7 & 8

If there was a soundtrack for Nicole's existence it would be a guitar, broody and apocalyptic - but only partly by design. Nicole had learned, thus far in her kitten existence, to not care. She was very good at not caring. Rosalind acted oddly, but Nicole only really cared about two things - her food and herself. She told this to Rosalind a lot, every chance she got, especially at the wrong times. Yes, broody; yes, apocalyptic. She barely even tried.

In truth she was happy Rosalind was gone. She liked to be alone in dark places, and the thing is you really can't be alone with someone else there. Nicole snuggled into something soft and fell asleep. She slept right through the earthquake until the bookshelf came crashing down. She burrowed herself deep into some sheets with the world shaking around her, hoping it might make everything all right.

Very briefly she wondered if Rosalind might make it home. Very, very briefly.


Rosalind ran after the woman. She heard her footsteps, heard them plunk against stable ground. The catwalk fell to the theatre floor with a loud crash and the tinkling of glass, landing where Rosalind had just been. She went to where the footsteps should've been, but the woman was mysteriously gone and the shaking got more intense and everything was falling around her and the only option was to wait it out for the time being.

When everything was still once again, she sprinted outside into the street. It was too dark to see if the woman was around. Yes, yes, she should be thinking about getting home, but she had more important things on her mind. She yelped out for the woman, for anyone, yelped out for attention and care.

She was scared, so scared, and nobody would answer her calls. So she ran instead.

There were fires and damaged buildings along her path, and off in the distance, the sound of sirens. She kept running, clearing her mind of anything except the rhythm of her footsteps and her breathing, vaulting fences and cutting through back alleys to shave off distance. She fell once, tripping on a milk crate in an alley, opening that scrape on her forepaw back up, but the time saved was worth it.

 She got home safely and found Nicole, who looked up sleepily at Rosalind before turning away and falling back to sleep. 

The ground rumbled again and the lights flickered out, and soon Rosalind too found herself falling asleep to the endless sound of sirens in the distance.

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