Effing Feline Diagnoses Insanity

Space cat-wewriwa

Fart-Fueled Flying Feline, Effing for short, writes the Weekend Writing Warrior / Sunday Snippet posts on Mr. V’s behalf

I, Effing Feline, got a question on last week’s post. Aurora Springer asked, “Why can’t Effing use his paws to paint? My cat uses his paw to drink water.”

  1. I can get a longer, more free-flowing line with my tail.
  2. Your cat gets its paws wet? On purpose? Insanity!

Today’s snippet is from a short story, Thimbleriggers, contained in Future Love, my pet human’s upcoming collection of short stories. The crook, Aldous, give his aged subject an injection that puts her into a light sleep and intensifies her recall of the memories he wants to buy. The first is a voyeuristic episode involving her babysitter.

Like the snap of a three-vee turning on, he was immersed in a memory of crystalline clarity.

“I’m not sleepy,” thirteen-year-old Kathy complained in a whisper so alive it made Aldous’s vocal cords vibrate in sympathy. She was in bed, staring at cracks in her bedroom ceiling. Her favorite crack looked like Rhett Butler’s profile; she could always find it, even though other shapes seemed to change from night to night.

Aldous sucked in his breath. His previous experiences with the breadbox hadn’t prepared him for the crisp lucidity of the old woman’s memories. He felt everything she felt, from the mosquito bites on her ankles to a sense of monumental unfairness about her parents hiring a babysitter. Part of him had become her — yet he was still himself, using the headset to watch the scene as though her eyes and ears were camera and microphone.

“Great job, old lady,” he said.

She didn’t respond, of course.

Effing etching 2Effing Feline again. Here’s another of my etchings. Remember, framed, paw-printed copies are available for $97.62 each, payable in unmarked bills.

Be sure to visit the other Weekend Writing Warriors and Snippet Sundays posts.

Effing Feline divider

 As some of you may have noticed, my SFRom Alien Contact for Idiots recently completed a ‘review-only’ virtual book tour. I thought some writers might be interested in my impressions, so I wrote about my impression of the tour.

… an entirely unique read.

The side characters are a great addition.
Every single one of them, including the President
of the United States are characters that I started to really adore

All in all a fab easy read.

… refreshingly fun at times with a really interesting set of characters



  1. Very cool descriptions Ed. Your technology became, not only believable, but also incredibly ‘wantable’. Nicely done!

    1. It’s a way to really get inside someone’s head.

  2. Love the details in this. Everything from the cracks in the ceiling to the mosquito bites.

    1. Considering that whole point is to establish how vivid her memories are, this scene cried out for some of those perfect little details.

  3. Nice, Ed! I love the inclusion of tech with the details of the “past” making two very different scenarios blend perfectly.

    1. Yeah, this is kind of a dual POV scene.

  4. Author Jessica E. Subject · · Reply

    Such an intense scene, but it seems the memory caught Aldous by surprise.

    1. Yes, he’s surprised — and pleased — by the scene’s intensity.

  5. You are one special writer, unique and delightful as a story teller. Thanks. Hope all is well at the home front.

    1. Very kind words, Charmaine. Thanks!

  6. Vivid memory, but will it become what he wants?

    PS – Effing could splatter paint all over the house by waving his wet tail!

    1. Aurora, I’ll thank you NOT to give him ideas!

  7. Daryl Devore · · Reply

    Now that would be annoying – feeling someone else’s mosquito bites. Tweeted.

    1. You take the good with the bad, I guess.

  8. What stood out to me most, and made me understand that this woman was older, was the fact that the 13 year-old her knew who Rhett Butler was! A classic reference from another era. Absolutely loved that detail. Can’t wait for more of this memory!

    1. True, true. Thinking the crack was Justin Bieber wouldn’t have had the same effect.

  9. Great scene. The little details like Rhett Butler – and mosquito bites. Fascinating.


    1. Thanks for the tweet, Victoria!

  10. Very interesting snippet! I really liked it! Wonder what will happen next. Also, Effing, you are quite skilled. 😉

    1. Effing has artistic, as well as literary, talent. But then, he’s a cat.

  11. Those ceiling cracks nearly did me in. Loved everything about this snippet!

    Effing, my cats get their paws wet every day because they won’t leave the freaking water bowl where I put it!

    1. More insane cats? There must be something psychotropic in that water!

  12. Wonderfully vivid description of the memory- but I don’t think people are going to pay to feel someone else’s mosquito bites! Bet she’s got some juicy ones stored up in the old memory attic.

    1. I’m indulging in some authorial license here. Instead of cutting right to the juicy stuff — which comes within a few paragraphs — I’m establishing Kathy’s character.

  13. I love the skillfully blended imagery.

    1. Thanks very much.

  14. One, I loved the reference to Rhett Butler. Two, that was a wonderful snippet. I felt like I was right there with them and I desired one of those ‘machines’.

    1. So, what sexy memories would you share, Elyzabeth?

  15. Oh, I can’t wait to see where this memory leads! And I love that he calls the machine a ‘breadbox’.

    1. Breadbox is, I agree, a better nickname than ‘mind raper’.

      1. Although the second is certainly more descriptive, and sent a shudder down my spine….

  16. Late with my comments today – been out for the day. The idea of someone inventing a way of extracting the memories from my brain is quite horrifying! I prefer that my reputation is not completely trashed by the tales of my youthful misdeeds. Great imagery from you, even to the detail about the cracks in the ceiling. Good sketch by Offing too – probably best described as Naive Feline style. Save them, they might be worth something one day!

    1. Interesting that you find the idea of the machine horrifying, because some people say they’d love to have such a machine. I’m sure that says something profound about you and those others, though I don’t know what.

  17. Vivid recall. Great scene. The vivid imagery made the memory extraction process seem plausible.

    1. And of course that’s exactly why the scene had to be written with vivid little details.

  18. This is great stuff. I need to buy the book when it comes out just for this story.

    1. I am awestruck at your superb good taste, Cara!

  19. I have a feeling Aldous might get more than he’s bargained for. Like everyone else, I love how vivid the scene is.

    1. It’s true, Aldous gets what he deserves … or at least what he needs to learn.

  20. So much detail! I’m still doubtful of the wisdom of this technology, but so far, so good…

    1. Good. You’re supposed to have doubts.

  21. You know, it’s such an interesting story told in such an engaging way that creepiness of the device doesn’t even bother me. Is that weird? LOL!

    Effing, you are a natural artist–or is that artiste?


    1. I’m glad you see the story’s creepiness that way.

  22. elainecsc2013 · · Reply

    The mosquito bites and the Rhett Butler comment are perfect in this excerpt.

    1. Hmm. I wonder if Rhett Butler ever had mosquito bites?

  23. This is great–love the description of the crack in the ceiling that looked like Rhett Butler.

  24. If he had a choice, I think it’s odd he picks an older woman’s memories. Great description. Reminds me of the movie Brainstorm.

    1. She was the one of the first who responded to his ad, although it’s mentioned in the story that he’d tried it unsuccessfully on some hookers. Of course, being a cheapskate, Aldous, didn’t advertise widely.

      But the more important reason is that I wanted to have a story with an old heroine. Let’s face it, ninety-year-olds are underrepresented in the romance genre. I saw it as my duty to redress the imbalance. 😉

  25. Wow, I wonder if I could ever remember the feeling of a mosquito bite when I was thirteen.

    1. If you’d been injected with the memory enhancing drug that Kathleen got, you could.

  26. It’s been mentioned here before but I’m really impressed with how real your make your tech feel.

    1. Coming from you, that’s a real compliment, Jeff!

  27. A crack that looked like Rhett Butler ?? …. nice snippet, ed. Liked it.

    1. Hey, Iris, no crack about my descriptions, eh?

  28. Great details and descriptions! I love the scene and sense it paints with his reaction to it. Nicely done!

    1. Thanks so much, Daelyn!

  29. Great snippet full of description I felt as though I was there watching what was going on.

    1. That is exactly the sort of feeling I was trying to evoke, so thanks, Cecilia!

  30. Fantastic descriptions right down to the mosquito bites on her ankle.

    1. When I was a child, mosquito bites were a HUGE deal and loomed large in my awareness. That’s why I decided young Kathy should have mosquito bites.

  31. chellecordero · · Reply

    You took the words right out of my mouth when you mentioned getting into someone’s head, wow. I imagine though that the intensity in which he can relive memories with his subject could also backfire if the memory is excruciating. What an interesting story.

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