Roswell and the Tunafish (with apologies to Eoin Colfer, but I can't imagine a cat would call its human by any other name)
Roswell Cat was an ordinary cat--with ordinary expectations in her life: that food would arrive when she was hungry, the box would be clean whenever she wanted to "make a deposit", and toilet paper tubes, bits or nori, toy mice (and sometimes real ones) would materialize when she was bored and wanted to play. It might have been magic, it might not have been. It didn’t matter. Butler served her well.
But there was one door in the house that Roswell could not go through. It was the door from which the tuna, odiferous and delicious, in neat and tidy cans, came out of. From kittenhood, Roswell imagined endless rows of tuna cans, opened and waiting, just behind that wooden panel. Butler was careful, though. He never left the door open, and in this one respect he was respectably quick in preventing her from sneaking through.
Still, Butler had one weakness. The ring-thing. Whenever it made a noise, Butler would stop whatever he was doing, and pick it up. And one day, just as Butler was leaving the closet, the ring-thing in the kitchen went off, and Roswell went through the door.
But there was no tuna. There was just a lot of sand, and a lot of water—and there was the sun. It took Roswell a moment to realize that she was outside, another place she had never been before. She tried to turn around, but there was no door. There was no house. There was no Butler.
There was, however, a small boat, sitting on the beach. It was just beyond the water, so although her paws would get wet, at least they wouldn’t be soaked. Roswell went up to the boat. Much to her surprise, there was a large, one-eyed grimalkin sitting there, with one paw on the oar.
“Please, sir, which way is home?” Roswell asked.
The grimalkin pointed to a spot Roswell could not see on the horizon.
“That’s very far away,” Roswell observed.
The grimalkin nodded. “Tuna?” he asked.
“Home,” Roswell said, jumping into the boat.
“Home.” The grimalkin pushed off.
2012-05-19 10:52 pm (UTC)
FanFic Contest Entry
The long journey through the fetid salt marsh was taking its toll. The rain had filled the bilge of the open boat, soaked through the men’s fine velvet tricornes, and put everyone in a foul humor. Men whined. Bellies growled. Black legged Ahab and One-eyed Seamus bickered over the last piece of chocolate.
From his seat in the bow, the captain eyed the boat full of soggy buccaneers with dismay. Their slumped shoulders and sagging hats made them look like a bunch of wilted toadstools. His men were tough, vicious bastards, accustomed to foul weather, hand to hand fighting and brutal discipline. Every man Jack of them had been keel hauled more than once. What had turned this bunch of hard cases into a boat full of broken, whining sissies?
They were worried about the cat, of course. Where the hell was she?
His question was answered when a faint “Meow” was heard off the starboard bow. The men cheered.
“We found ‘er! That’s our Roswell!, “ shouted Mad Dog Will. The boat rocked as the men waved hats oars and cutlasses in celebration.
“Quiet!, ” barked the captain. The men grew quiet.
A black and white cat with a fetching black nose emerged from the fog, swimming hard with two alligators on her tail. She was carrying something in her mouth. The lead gator went in for the kill, but Roswell spring-boarded off its nose. She executed a somersault and landed in the captain’s lap.
A roar went up from the men. The gators swam away.
Roswell, soggy, but otherwise none the worse for her adventures dropped the pouch in the captains lap and began to purr. The bag contained small candle, a dead mouse, and a diamond the size of a plum.
Roswell rolled over, presenting her belly to be scratched. The captain noted that a section of her white belly had been shaved and tattooed. On the pink bare patch there was a a heart and the inscription “Kyle 4Ever”.
“Where do you go when you take your little jaunts?” He asked.
“Meow”, said Roswell.
2012-05-19 11:07 pm (UTC)
Re: FanFic Contest Entry
I think I accidentally posted this twice - once as Anonymous.
Sorry - LiveJournal newbie.
Love it! Roswell would be the best spy- people would tell her anything.
Annabelle couldn't remember if this was the seventy-first or seventy-second drawing room. Drawing rooms were never her favorite anyway. Really, she had never given any thought to drawing rooms one way or the other, but after a week (a week?) in the villa her opinions on the subject had solidified quite a bit. A bit of stray light caught her eye. At first she thought it might be sunlight, but it was simply lamplight glinting off one of the cat's four glittering cowboy boots. Eight tiny snake's eyes regarded her blandly from the tips of the toes.
"Roswell." said the cat.
"Yes, I know. Roswell." Annabelle replied.
Irritated, Annabelle stalked back out into the hall with the vague intention of finding a dining room and perhaps some chocolate cake for lunch. (dinner?) The cat trotted along beside her, wobbling a bit as its stomach seemed more inclined to move side to side than forward. The hologram who called himself "Ranger Rick" faded patronizingly into view ahead of her.
"Ready to talk about your assignment?"
"Pound sand, you creepy asshole. I don't want anything to do with whatever it is my father's gotten into." She stalked right through Rick and on down the hall.
"Roswell?" said the cat.
Rick appeared again, still wearing that ridiculous baggy 21st century US Army uniform printed with boxy "camoflague" that Annabelle imagined would only ever blend in to some of the more unfortunately patterned overstuffed sofas she had seen in the older parts of the villa
"Your dad," Rick said brightly, "has nothing to do with this. To tell the truth, he's actually not your dad- I am."
Annabelle stopped, annoyed. "Sure he's not my sperm donor, but you're an AI and the only AIs who were partly human-" she stopped. The US Army's experiments in 2012. The special schools her parents sent her to. Her memory loss. The trips to the villa that lasted weeks in her mind and seconds in her life. Rick's face.
"You need to go somewhere, and we can make all this right." Rick said quietly.
"Roswell," said the cat.
(high fives to whoever gets the reference in the first paragraph!)
I like it! You packed them all in there! (I think I only managed four)
“Chocolate,” Roswell sniffed, her whiskers brushing across a frosted cake as she sighed and hopped down from the counter. “I fail to understand the draw to it.”
As she approached the door, the butler came whooshing by, barely noticing her.
“Disruption detected, must repair,” uttered the butler, as he grabbed a spatula and quickly smoothed the frosting where Roswell’s whiskers had disturbed it. Roswell sighed, and flopped down, idly pawing at some snake-head adorned sparkly red cowboy boots. She waited for the butler finished his task.
When he finished, he lifted the cake and sped toward the kitchen door, running over Roswell’s tail. “YEOOWW!!” yelped Roswell. The Butler screeched to a halt, nearly dropping the cake.
“Apologies, feline, the party is about to begin. Would you care to follow?” the butler said, as he created a glowing rift in the doorway.
“Of course, that’s why I was waiting. You know I can’t go anywhere without your help.” Roswell sighed. While the butler made navigating the house possible, he was insensitive to the needs of a cat.
“Right away,” said the butler, keying in a series of numbers on a small keypad. The rift in the doorway changed colors, and the butler ushered Roswell through.
After passing through the rift, Roswell and the butler stood at a pier where a large boat was docked. It was decorated, and there was a large banner that read “Happy Birthday Ranger One.” A child wearing a bright neon orange tricorne and carrying a plastic sword greeted them at the dock. “Arrr, ye almost didn’t make it! Come in quickly!” He stepped aside for Roswell and the butler to board.
Once aboard, the boat shuddered and departed, sailing through a sea of golden doubloons. “I suspect nobody saw you arrive,” whispered a voice from behind the butler. “I wouldn’t want anybody to discover our location.”
“Of course not sir, your secret is safe,” said the butler, handing him the cake.
Roswell snorted, “It would be hard to find nowhere, wouldn’t it?” and trotted off to see if anybody had some nori to feed her.
It's not easy being Roswell
2012-05-21 03:49 am (UTC)
The Story of Roswell the Cat Butler and her Magicakal House of Wonders.
The house on Pickerton Street was always dark save for a large black and white cat that appeared as the daily seaweed shipment arrived and disappeared through a window or a door short after. Roswell as she was known to the towns people was a bit of an enigma. You see she never went back in through the same window or door. The door never even appeared at the same place. For the door did appear at random, and at times did disappear. The house itself seemed to morph bigger and smaller at different times of the day with strange tea and sitting rooms opening their windows to the residents entranced eyes.
The towns people had long held beliefs about that house that included it's strange cat butler and it's ever changing size. The most common were that Roswell was the result of a magic experiment gone wrong, her creator an unknown witch for whom she was bound as a butler. Others held that she was in and of herself a magickal being and had created the house from only her thoughts. This one seemed the most true as no-one remembered where it had come from.
One thing was certain, the house was endlessly enticing to all who saw it. Many a young child dreamed of being the first to map the house or gain entrance to it. Others dreamed of touching Roswell and petting her as a normal cat. Few had tried and succeeded and it seemed Roswell was quite friendly if not puzzled by the towns people. For Roswell always quirked her head to the side when asked about herself, as if all should know who she was. Then she would be gone with a twitch of her tail.
Thus ends The Story of Roswell the Cat Butler and her Magicakal House of Wonders.
2012-05-21 03:50 am (UTC)
Re: The Story of Roswell the Cat Butler and her Magicakal House of Wonders.
Looking at all the other entries it seems to be a lot shorter. >.< Oops!
Darren Provine also couldn't get his to post:
Roswell watched the boy fight back tears. He was doing a good job.
He'd learned not to show weakness. But the tormentors had left,
so there was nobody to hide tears from. And Roswell didn't like
what she was seeing in him.
They were halfway through a month-long voyage. Roswell lived on
the ship, catching mice and watching people, and exploring the world
to experience its sights and smells and sounds and tastes. Though
as it turned out, mice tasted pretty much the same no matter where
they were from.
The boy was sailing alone, and while it was obvious that his family
had money, he'd made the mistake of letting the others know he
thought himself better than they. His fancy red boots had been
stomped dozens of times in the first week, and had "fallen" overboard
the second. He'd cried then, and suffered for doing so, and hadn't
He'd had the sense to hide his chocolate, but someone had decided
to go stealing, and when they found the chocolate there was shouting,
and others came to see. "He had this the whole time! Wouldn't
share!" They took the chocolate and left, not pounding him too
badly, so eager they were to enjoy the candy.
Roswell could see the boy's sadness turning to anger the way sadness
does when it's bottled up too long. He wasn't even thinking of how
this could have worked out: if the thief had kept his mouth shut,
he'd have got the watch and the compass and not been found out.
The boy got to keep the things that were valuable, but couldn't see
it. Roswell knew that anger wasn't going to help. The boy would
not show weakness to those who would hurt him. But he had to
remember that not everybody wanted to hurt him, or his heart would
Roswell knew that while no meanness would unclog the dam holding
his tears, it could be done with kindness. She jumped into the
boy's lap and nuzzled him and purred. He began to cry.
2012-06-14 04:36 am (UTC)
"I'll be judge and I'll be jury, said Cunning Old Fury..."
I'm here to Judge and although being judgmental comes very easily to me (!!), I'm finding this very hard. All the entries are so good; however, I have rallied to the task and made my choice. I shall clear it with Kyle and then post here.
Thanks to all who spent their time and cleverness on the contest, and thanks so much to Kyle for hosting.
And, of course, thanks to Roswell for being the true inspiration between everything.
2012-06-22 12:52 am (UTC)
Re: Being Judgmental
Will you be posting the winner soon?
2012-07-03 04:19 am (UTC)
And the Winner is...
"Madama Wilce, you are so fiking lame," says Nini Mo, and I have to say I agree with her. I AM so freaking lame, to have let this contest hang for so long without a winner.
I grovel before you all, so humbly, and with no expectation of any sort of forgiveness, for surely I deserve none. In my defense, I will say that May 20th seems like only two days ago--how the fike did it get to be July?
That question will never be settled properly, but what question I will settle right now today is who won the fanfic contest? I conferred with Roswell, but Roswell doth keep quiet counsel, and so I was forced to make the decision upon my own. Which I did finally, after much sweaty cogitation for it was a difficult decision to make.
In fact, so difficult indeed that when I realized I was struggling between two entries I could not decide between them but instead must decide them both.
So I hereby declare that the WINNERS of the Roswell fanfic contest are (drum roll please, Ghost of Bonzo):
Lois2037 and Patbrad1
Now Lois2037 had clearly not only read the other Flora books, but digested them so thoroughly that the taste of them shone through every word of the fanfic.
But Patbrad1 had pirates and gators.
So it's a tie!
If both would kindly contact me privately via email at crackpothall(at)gmail.com, I shall make delivery arrangements of the prizes!
And to everyone else who played, many thanks!
And most especially to Sieur Cassidy & Roswell for giving mineself, and Flora a platform.