Flash Fiction Challenge: Friend or Foe

Photo by K.S. Brooks

Being a guardian isn’t easy. My people are remarkably unaware. I honestly don’t know how they ever got along without me. I rarely see them sniff anything—not even each other.

And here is another situation. There comes a stranger and what do my people do? They make goo-goo sounds at it. Really? That is the first impression you want to make?

Cats are notoriously psychotic. There is no telling what this character is up to. I guess I’ll have to check this out myself.

In 250 words or less, tell me a story incorporating the elements in the picture. The 250 word limit will be strictly enforced.

Please keep language and subject matter to a PG-13 level.

Use the comment section below to submit your entry. Entries will be accepted until 5:00 PM Pacific Time on Tuesday, September 11th 2012.

On Wednesday morning, we will open voting to the public with an online poll for the best writing entry accompanying the photo. Voting will be open until 5:00 PM Thursday.

On Friday morning, the winner will be recognized as we post the winning entry along with the picture as a feature. Best of luck to you all in your writing!

Entries only in the comment section. Other comments will be deleted.

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7 thoughts on “Flash Fiction Challenge: Friend or Foe”

  1. “Hello Mr. Dog, or rather, Ms. Dog?” the black cat called vaingloriously, green eyes twinkling.

    It’s been two weeks since that awful surgery my people put me through. It was for the best; how could I be vigilant with my attention constantly drawn to that cute puggle always strutting down the sidewalk, or the vivacious Pomeranian with the sparkly collar? I haven’t even thought about humping my favorite chew toy in days!

    “Come a little closer and say that, tuna-breath,” I retorted with a growl, taking a couple steps back. If I could lure the cat closer, I could be on him faster than the mailman who thinks he can step in my yard. The trick is leaving enough slack in my leash. I understand my people cherish my safety, but tethering me to a post is a little extreme.

    “Ah, the little girl has fangs,” the cat purred smugly, rubbing its scent on the shed. I’m going to have to pee on that later.

    “Just try something,” I dared, baring my teeth.

    “Already did,” the cat chuckled, nodding towards my house.

    I spun to see a slender calico laughing as it bounded away from my food dish. Instinct took hold and I gave chase, the leash pulling taut after a dozen feet. I snarled and barked as the black cat joined the calico in escape. Eventually, I gave up and dropped to the ground. I sure hope my people fill my food dish again soon.

  2. They call me “Spooky.” It’s a stupid name, although I guess it does fit. I do like to slink around corners and sneak up on people, dogs, birds, mice and anything else that moves. I can fit through narrow openings, become practically invisible in the shadows and steal a piece of chicken off the neighbor’s grill without being noticed. I know all the dogs in the neighborhood, which ones are fenced in, which ones are tied up and which ones will get an electric shock if I can entice them to give chase.

    Right now, the object of my intention, is this little white fur ball. Every week, it’s the same thing. You’d think he’d learn by now. Every Sunday, he gets a special treat – a meaty bone, some kind of juicy gravy stuff on his food, or table scraps from his people’s big fancy dinner. Every Sunday, I wait until his dish is full and glide along the edge of the cement, leaving my scent to remind him later of what I’ve done. He virtually strangles himself, trying to get to me with his incessant barking that irritates his owners and everyone else within earshot. If he gets tired, I get a little closer and he starts all over again. We keep this up until his people get tired of it and take him inside.

    That’s when I sit down to a tasty meal. Mmmm, then to check out the doberman and see what’s for dessert.

  3. I think freedom is the difference between them and us. I’ve never seen a cat with a rope around her neck. What would life be like if my people always tied me up? I think I would be as angry as this dog. Not able to go where I want, do what I feel like, when I like, explore, allow people to rub on me so they give me wonderful treats instead of that horrible stuff my people try to feed me – I think life would not be worth living.

    Each day I come around to see if maybe he’s free. Some days he’s gone, and I think he’s broken the rope and run away. Then he’s back, still making lots of noise. If only I could help him. I creep closer thinking of ways I might, but he gets hysterical. So much so that the dog’s people come outside.

    I’m a good judge of people. Unlike dogs that are unbelievably solicitous around people, we have a keen sense of awareness where people are concerned. I can tell that even though they are unkind to their dog, these are not mean people. It’s time for the act.

    I roll on my back and do the squirming thing, but they can’t hear me purring for the barking. Still, it works. One of them is rubbing my tummy, and the other feeds me treats. Oh, my, how delicious. Life is good. I do wish I could help the dog though.

  4. Sebastian advanced, creeping slowly as to not waken the guard. He hoped there was no miscalculation in the length the guard’s chain would reach. This was his only path to reach his beloved feline princess, Ambrosia. Today is the day they were planning to running a way together. He only needed to get past this flee infested guard.
    Sebastian made his move. As he came around the corner, the guard stuck his nose in the air. The smell of cat brought him quickly to his feet. Running to the length of the chain that held him, the guard growled, exposing his canines.
    Sebastian stood as tall as he could, hissing a warning. As he slipped by, the guard viciously snapped at him. Remembering what his father had taught him, Sebastian raised up on his back legs, exposing his claws, striking at the nose of the guard. His strike was dead on, laying the nose of the guard wide open. The guard quickly retreated, trying to lick the wound he had just received. Sebastian took the opportunity and quickly darted past, getting out of the guards reach. “No dog can keep a cat from his mate.” Sebastian meowed as he headed off to get his princess.
    Ambrosia was eagerly awaiting Sebastian’s arrival. She looked down from her open window to see her knight waiting. Sebastian serenaded her with a sweet feline love song, as she leaped down to greet him. They both ran past the whimpering guard, together at last.

  5. “I have returned, my furry friend.” Claremont meowed quietly. “The troops have been rounded up; they should be arriving shortly.”
    Letting out a light growl, Scruffy walked to end of his leash. “They had better be. I don’t know how much more I can take,” Scruffy whimpered. “I have taken the fall for you guys for the last time. You don’t realize the limitations of “the leash” until you’ve been sentenced,” he barked in a low almost whispering tone.
    Claremont walked up, rubbing against Scruffy. “I know, my furry friend, for that the gang is very grateful,” he said with a purr. “When the gang arrives, we will get you out of here for good.”
    They showed up one by one. Bruno was the first to arrive, followed by Felix, Wilson, Ringo and lastly, Abby. Once the gang had united, they sprang into action. Claremont was the lookout and Abby was the distraction. Wilson and Ringo started working on Scruffy’s collar, it was their specialty. Meanwhile, Bruno quickly went to work on the escape route, he had to work quick. The two legged beasts that ran the yard would only fall for Abby’s distraction for a few moments.
    Right as Ringo and Felix got Scruffy’s collar off, Claremont sounded the alarm. “Two legs, two legs!” He meowed as everyone took off running.
    Scruffy dove for the hole Bruno had dug, escaping under the fence. “Finally, I am free,” he barked joyfully as he ran to catch up with the cats.

  6. “You came back,” she gasped, standing motionless as he approached.

    “I told you I would,” he said. “Nothing in this world could stop me.”

    She uttered a low sigh, almost a growl, and looked away.

    “You shouldn’t be here,” she said. “I told you I never wanted to see you again.”

    “And we both know you didn’t mean it,” he replied, drawing nearer. The breeze brought his smell to her – that repulsive, yet somehow irresistible odor – and the memories flooded back, overwhelming her.

    His tail wagged with restrained joy; hers made a slow arc across her back, a warning he pretended not to understand.

    “Why?” she asked with a whimper. “Why won’t you just let my heart break only once, instead of over and over again? It will never work – our love. You know that as well as I do.”

    “Who cares what the others say?” he said. “I know I don’t. And things are different these days. Our love wouldn’t seem so strange.”

    “No!” she cried, turning away.

    “Why? Because I’m white?”

    She shook her head.

    “Because I’m a dog and you’re a cat?”

    She shook her head again. “You still don’t get it, do you?”

    “Please, my darling, tell me!” he cried.

    “Because you’re a Republican and I’m a Democrat!” she hissed.

    And in a flash she climbed clear to the top of the old oak tree, where she stayed for a full three nights, until he finally left, broken hearted, and went home to his calico wife.

  7. Perhaps a black cat was not the wisest form to have chosen for this mission. I was small and flexible enough to squeeze through the fence around the offending transformer, and I could jump great distances in proportion to my body size. Not to mention reliably landing on my feet regardless of how I started out. But I didn’t take into account the white fluffy dog that belonged to the household.
    Although that pesky creature can’t physically reach me, it is making an inconvenient amount of noise. And my host body is reacting in ways I did not expect. My back is arching and I find myself hissing. It is hard to focus on my mission: tweaking the transformer to stop the harmonic frequencies it was emitting. Those emissions were disrupting my species’ dimensional travel in this sector.
    All I have to do is squeeze inside the gray metal enclosure and place the small magnetic device I carry in my teeth in the proper place. Not all that complicated, but that absurd yapping beast is triggering hormones that overwhelm any thoughts of my mission. I want to jump on his back and dig my claws into his flesh. And I have a ridiculous craving for fish. I hate fish.
    Another small furry creature darts across my path and all is lost. I drop the device and give chase. The stupid little dog laughs at me. Mission failure.

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