Mated souls

in The Ink Well2 years ago (edited)

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Photo by Gökhan Ayar on Unsplash


All her life Sara had been alone, but never lonely. She could take a picnic at the park by herself and never feel alienated. Lunch for one at the cafe was quite nice. Couples paired around her, two by two. If requiring a mate had been necessary to save herself from destruction, she would have watched Noah's Ark depart while finding a solitary spot to enjoy the coming rains.

But there was something about this house.

Once she entered, a grip tightened on her soul. Perhaps it began with her aunt's failing health? But why? Imminent death had never affected her. When her aunt passed, the grip strengthened. Sara would leave as soon as possible, but first - the cats.

How many cats were too many? One. One was too many. Aunt Meg had owned four. Three of them would scurry and hide, but one hovered. The shiny black male.

Humans noted that Sara preferred her space. Animals also gave a wide berth, but this cat? Always peering, always purring.

After her aunt's ashes were spread, she'd relocate the cats, sell the house, and resume her reclusive reality.

The doorbell rang on Monday. The fluffy cat was first. White fur under the couch signaled her hiding spot.

“Sorry to disturb, Madame. But time to be scooting,” Sara pulled gently at the gorgeous Persian. The cat allowed herself to be picked up and delivered to its new owner, patiently waiting at the door.

“How gorgeous! She's even more beautiful in person! What's her name?”

“Name?” Oh. Right. Cats had names. She had been calling for mealtime saying, “Cats, come!” and they'd responded. It never occurred to her to name them. “She is -” a momentary pause. “The White Queen.”

“Quite regal! Thanks!”

Thursday morning, another claimed the short-haired Tortie. Again, they requested a name.

Sara deliberated, “That one is- Tortoise.”

“Not very clever, is it? Ha! But it'll do the trick!”

Shutting the door, Sara scanned the room. The black cat was spying again, always. What did the other cat look like again? Damn. She would have to create a name on the fly.

That afternoon, the little girl held the ball of fur in pudgy arms and asked. Of course, she asked. “Wasshiss name, Missuss?” Due to her missing front tooth, it actually sounded like, “Whathith name, Mithuth?” Normal, social adults probably found that cute and endearing.

“Three.” Sara answered curtly.

“Like the number?” she scrunched up her nose in a way that was probably adorable to most normal human beings.

“Yep.”

Her mother tugged the girl and hurried towards the car, aware of Sara's frostiness. “Thanks so much. We'll care well for him!”

With three gone, Sara leaned against the door, cracking her neck. The pops and crackles released tension held throughout her upper shoulders. Pressure against her leg drew her attention. Black fur was snaking through her legs, marking her.

“Sorry, cat. I guarantee you'll have a better life with whoever shows up for you.”

After rinsing the dinner dishes, she dried her hands on the rough dishtowel. Looking around the kitchen, she moaned with contentment. Walking outside to the porch swing, she sat under the silvery-blue glow of the full moon.

She should have heard him approaching, but he stalked like a panther. She should have been startled, and yet – she wasn't. Something about this dark-haired man seemed familiar, soothing, and safe.

They spoke through the night and she felt compelled to bare her soul to him. She invited him in for tea at midnight, and moved to the couch to kiss until 2. His eyes were the most radiant green she had ever seen. The left one had a small gray patch striping his emerald iris. At 4, they moved to the bedroom, but talked only- until she drifted to sleep.

At 9 am. she roused to the sound of knocking at the front door. Purring beside her, the black cat opened its eyes lazily, revealing a very unusual striped left eye. Pulling on her robe, she ran to the door.

“Sorry. I forgot to cancel the ad. But that cat -well,” she felt her eyes drawn to him, and remembered the feel of the silky black strands of hair beneath her fingers. “I belong to him.”

“Belong to him?” the man chuckled. “True cat lover, are ya? Well, he's a looker! That's for sure. What's his name?”

“His name.” She paused a moment. “His name is


750 words. Thank you for reading :-)
This fiction was submitted for @theinkwell and the Prompt #15: Cats - 750 Words where we were challenged to limit our story about cats to 750 words. I thought it would be fun to leave it abruptly like that to emphasize the 750 word limit, and also to leave the reader to fill in the blank with their own name. I hope you enjoyed reading as much as I enjoyed writing! :-)

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I got to the end of the story, and i smiled. Then i wondered if it was because you ran out of your 750 word limit or you just wanted to leave us on the edge of the cliff.
Either way, it's genius😁
I like how Sara is so easily converted from someone who doesn't care about cats, to one who admits she belongs to one.
Your story has magic , love and mystery... Always a perfect blend😋
You did a good job @stormcharmer, i love it🤗

Well, I ran out of course 😅 - on purpose! ha ha!
I thought the design would work well, and also leave the reader to fill in the blank with whatever name they thought would be best.

Sara's conversion. Love does miraculous things, my friend! 😅 Not sure if she can actually say she "loves" him yet, but she definitely wants the chance to find out.

I always smile when your comments come. Thank you @bruno-kema !

Like i said my dear, it was genius.
I'll be putting mine up later on. Hope i hit the mark😉
See you later🤗
P.S. : And I'm glad for the smile i put on your face, hope you know it goes both ways😌

This is how cat stories should be, not about sinister or evil cats. Hahahaha I'm a cat lover and I fell in love with your story, I like the ending, it leaves a suspense for one to give the mysterious cat any name he wants.

ha ha! That's exactly what I hoped you would say.
So Ricardo? What is his name? 😅

This is so delightful, and it had me laughing out loud, @stormcharmer. There are so many humorous bits.

That afternoon, the little girl held the ball of fur in pudgy arms and asked. Of course, she asked. “Wasshiss name, Missuss?” Due to her missing front tooth, it actually sounded like, “Whathith name, Mithuth?” Normal, social adults probably found that cute and endearing.

Those kinds of details really bring a story to life and involve the reader. Beautifully done.

But... by my count you have 140 words here, and could easily give us the name of that black cat.

140? ha ha!
No - it is 750 exactly. I checked many many times. 😅

Odd.
I checked 4 times before posting. Now it is showing as 754 words. I have no idea how that happened? Maybe I copied part of the unsplash text? ha ha! I don't know. I know that I was methodical about making sure it was exactly 750, and now it will drive me mad wondering how it happened!

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@jayna - you see?
750 on the dot. However, when I copy and paste the words from this post, it says 754. ha ha! I'm confuddled! 😅

So funny. I am befuddled as well. Not that it matters, as it's just a fun exercise, but I have tried two different word counting methods, and I get 740 (Google Docs) and 741 (Microsoft Word). What are you using, @stormcharmer?

Google Docs:
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Word:

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Ordinarily, unfinished stories and unexplained mysteries are unsatisfying to the reader. But, in this story, you leave enough clues (the strangely striped eye) for the readers to guess that there is a mystical link between this cat/man and the narrator. As for leaving the name for readers to guess--that also works, especially with the 750 word gimmick.

You draw your character well. The plot line is believable, even down to the magic. Magic can be woven into stories if the author does this skillfully. You do.

Thank you for posting this story in the Ink Well community. Please be sure to read the work of other writers in the community and share comments with them. We are urging everyone who posts in The Ink Well to take this step, going forward, to ensure our community members are supporting one another. (We also have this in The Ink Well community rules on our home page and in our weekly writing prompts.) Thank you!

I agree! And the name can be customized to each reader. 😅 I wonder what name each reader came up with? Did you choose one? ha ha!

Thank you for appreciating the magic!

They say you don't adopt cats but they adopt you. This black cat made his choice. The moments and words you've picked to represent the main character made her feel real, which made me stay and see what she'd do next. Besides, I laughed a lot at the end. Liked this one a lot. Thanks for a good read, @stormcharmer :)

Yes, he chose her from the very start!
What a surprise he had for her on the full moon. Now she will have to wait for another full moon to get to know the man behind the whiskers.

You have a lovely cat in your profile pic, I see you are already claimed! ha ha

Haha, great ending - nice twist with a good lack of closure. And I like the "I belong to him" bit - I read a book once about how some animals and plants have actually domesticated humans into looking after them and not the other way around. Really nice piece. Enjoyed it.

Thank you @almightymelon! When I thought of cats today, I really could not fathom what I would be writing! I ran through several ideas for about 20 minutes and then pieces of this popped into my head. It's always surprising when the story is finished and you sit back and think - ha! I was not even contemplating this today! But, I suppose that's what happens when you get lovely prompts! Things begin to churn! :-)

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I'm enchanted! What a lovely, romantic-gothic story. I like how the story started - all focus was on Sara and getting rid of the cats. I did not expect a romance would be woved in somewhere...

Hmm, so the black cat is the dark-haired man Sara made out with in the night. Seems like a curse. A cat by day, a person by night. Nicely done! Though, I wished to know the name of the cat. Uff, this 750-word challenge is restrictive. 😄

Yes and he came to her on the full moon. Perhaps, the reverse of a werewolf. 😅 You probably already do know the name of the cat. You just don't know that you know. 😅

I do know the name of the cat? Lol! What a twist.

I knew it was inside you all along. ha ha!😅

Great twist at the ending, and the whole story is knitted by delicate details. Nice one :)

Delicate details - lovely alliteration! 😅 Thank you for the visit. I'm very glad you enjoyed!


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This was really cute and well written!

Thank you @riottales. I appreciate your visit! :-)

Your comment made me bust a gut! 😅 Throwing them to the streets! Shhh - I do believe there are many cat lovers around here who will have your head! ha ha!