Effing Feline has a job to do

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, have little time. I have an important job to do–curling on Mr V’s lap and purring. He’s a little down, you see, because his oldest son moved to Amsterdam this week, and that’s so very far away. I’m stealing a moment to write this, but I have to get back to his lap chop chop.

Today’s snippet continues from the short story, Thimbleriggers, contained in Future Love (which is now available for pre-order!) The book is 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 13-year-old Kathy’s voyeuristic episode involving a babysitter.

Kathy glared at the closed bedroom door. “I’m not sleepy,” she repeated in a stage whisper.

Surely Sharon, the grouchy college babysitter, wouldn’t yell at her for getting a drink of water? When Kathy opened the bedroom door, she heard Sharon giggling; must be a funny show on TV.

A different voice groaned. It was a man—and not on TV, either, even though Sharon was not supposed to let a guy into the apartment.

“Getting to the good stuff,” Aldous cackled. Wanting still more of the memory’s extreme vividness, he turned the breadbox’s volume dial all the way up with his toe.

Kathy crept down the hall, pausing at the bathroom to fill a plastic cup with alibi water. When the giggling and moaning continued, Kathy tiptoed slowly, avoiding the floorboard that squeaked.

Effing Feline divider

Effing Feline again. Poor Mr V’s four children are scattered across three countries and two continents, as shown below. If you want to know a secret, though, I think he’s also a bit proud of having raised independent, adventurous children. He just wishes it was easier to see them.

Family diaspora

Finally, be sure to visit the other Weekend Writing Warriors and Snippet Sundays posts.

Now back to Mr V’s lap.



  1. Karen Michelle Nutt · · Reply

    She may not want to go any farther. lol Great imagery.

    1. She’s 13 and curious, so yes, she wants to go farther!

  2. chellecordero · · Reply

    Turning up the volume, I have a feeling he will soon regret that.

    Yes Effing, raising such independent children is more blessing than curse but truly both. Keep his lap warm. Hopefully Mr V is able to SKYPE, while it isn’t a substitute for actually being together, it does remove some of the sting.

    1. I’m currently multitasking, listening to the wife talk with son #2 in Vancouver.

  3. I really like this story! Such a great idea. Can’t wait until the book comes out.

    Congrats on having such successful children!

    1. Thanks. The son who’s now in Amsterdam is a successful programmer, but perhaps more (profitably) successful in his personal life. His wife is the only daughter of a Hong Kong CEO, got her PhD at 24, and is an executive for a multi-national that values her enough to pay for transplanting her from Canada to the Netherlands!

  4. Author Jessica E. Subject · · Reply

    And we pause from the story… I’m not sure if I want to see what’s going on or not. I can guess, but you’ve piqued my curiosity with this excerpt. 🙂

    It’s a good thing Mr.V has you. You know just what he needs.

    1. The nature of the story requires more explicitness that I’m usually comfortable with. Nothing horrible, though.

  5. Oh dear! She is about to get an eyeful, for sure!

    My sympathies, Ed. I know just how you feel. My 18 year old daughter will be leaving Africa to go to the University of Texas Dallas. I am going to miss her lije crazy.

  6. Oh dear! She is about to get an eyeful, for sure!

    My sympathies, Ed. I know just how you feel. My 18 year old daughter will be leaving Africa to go to the University of Texas Dallas. I am going to miss her like crazy.

    1. From South Africa to Texas? Talk about culture shock. When we lived in Canada I ran into South Africans from time to time, but here in the States, never.

      1. We are a bit like ants or termites. Ed. We hang out together 😉

  7. I hope Kathy can get back unscathed, but I think she should do something about the babysitter’s unwelcome guest. Good snippet, Ed!

    1. Rest assured that Kathy will get back unscathed. The story’s about her sexual awakening, not her childhood traumas.

  8. daezarkian · · Reply

    Fantastic snippet! I absolutely love the “alibi water”. ;D

    1. Yep. The important thing about it was that it was an alibi, not that it was wet.

  9. Interesting story you’re spinning here.

    1. Thanks, Veronica.

  10. I don’t think she’ll be ready for what she sees. :S And thanks for being there for him, Effing. I’m sure it means a lot. 🙂

    1. She has trouble believing what she sees!

  11. I suspect that the 13 year old Kathy is about to be introduced to ‘games’ played by adults. She is not the only voyeur, however, for Aldous is too, living vicariously through the aged Kathy’s memories, and I am sure that his motives are far more sinister than those of an innocent child.
    Sympathies about your children being so scattered. My sister’s three are on three different continents, and my brother’s youngest has been away for a year travelling, post university. It seems to be the way it is now. The world has shrunk greatly.

    1. You’ve hit upon dichotomy between the innocent voyeur and the sinister one. The dichotomy will have an effect on him.
      I hear what you’re saying about the world shrinking. Although Judi and I were adventurous when young and delighted in sampling place to live, we never even considered crossing an ocean. I’m sure some people did, even back then, but no one in our socio-economic bracket.

  12. Love the double voyeurism here. Poor, unsuspecting babysitter! 🙂

    Hope Effing provides sufficient comfort. On the bright side, you now have an excellent excuse to visit Amsterdam! (not that anybody needs one)

    1. Great minds think alike, Christina. Judi and I hope to visit Amsterdam in the fall.

  13. Well, technically, we’re all voyeurs in this case because I want to know what she’s gonna see even though I have a pretty good idea! Great snippet.

    My daughter’s in the Air Force and will be going to Japan after her language training, so I sympathize with you.

    1. The voyeurism here is almost like looking in a barbershop mirror, with recursive images stretching to the vanishing point.

  14. Interesting concept to purchase undiluted memories straight out of the noggin’. Personally, I wouldn’t want anyone rummaging around up there. That’s why I’m a writer, I get to edit the product before anyone sees it!

    1. I agree completely, Alexis!

  15. Neat way to allude to other incomprehensible adult activities.

    1. Yes, she finds it incomprehensible … yet strangely fascinating.

  16. I can’t wait to see her reaction to what she sees.

    1. That’s a great reaction from a reader, PT.

  17. Yes, Kathy’s going to get a quick education–an Aldous could get a surprise if she’s completely blocked the sight from her memory. So many ways this could turn out! Fun stuff.

    I too sympathize with Mr. V and his children. My youngest went out of state to college last year, which is bad enough but both children are in theatre, so will leave the nest and likely fly far and away when school is over in a couple of years. And yes, Skype is a wonderful invention!

    1. An education and an incomprehensible awakening.

  18. Whoa, she’s too young to check out the sights and you sir, are naughty for thinking them. Effing , that is.

    1. At 13, I wouldn’t have been too young, at least in my own opinion.

  19. That explains why the sitter was so determined to get her charge to go to sleep–and she’s certainly not doing her job well, inviting someone over!

    1. Agreed — not a great babysitter.

  20. We’re still waiting for our kids to take flight!

    1. Blink your eyes twice and they’ll be gone, Aurora.

  21. I wonder if she is going to want to change the channel once she sees what’s really playing on the TV… Good snippet. Tweeted.

    1. On the TV … or on the couch?

  22. I love that “alibi water!” I wonder if she might “accidentally” spill it if she’s discovered.

    Mr V is right to be proud about his kids. Curiosity about the world is a very good thing. And hey, extended feline lap time is pretty good, too!


    1. LOL about the water. Check back next week, Marcia.

  23. elainecsc2013 · · Reply

    When I read ‘alibi water’ i laughed.

    1. The responses to the snippets sometimes points out something I’ve done right. “Alibi water” seems to be one such.

  24. I can understand Mr V’s wish … I have the same wish with my family 😉 ….. and nice snippet, too this week.

    1. Some families stay put, some don’t. Both my wife’s family and mine, going back several generations, don’t — but now, with Scott in Amsterdam after my dad started out near Bruges, the family is coming full circle.

      1. My family stayed close …. except me 😕

      2. As in … I moved to the other side of the world …. pushed enter to early. … sorry

  25. Ah yes, when our birds fly so far from the nest…It’s tough.

    Great snippet. Now, what I want to know is, what the heck is alibi water? Do you use it as an excuse when someone asks? “Where were you the night of the 10th?” “OH, I was at the water cooler.” LOL

    1. No, no, no. You see, alibi water is willing to testify that you are innocent even if you aren’t. Unfortunately, it’s lies are transparent. ;-(

  26. Good stuff. I’m especially liking your use of sound in the narrative.

  27. So it’s not only her personal stuff but also what she saw other do, interesting. I’m not sure Sharon would like it if she knew.

  28. Uh oh. Great snippet.

    1. Thanks, Cecilia!

  29. Oh man this is going to be a great scene coming up when she walks in on that little bit of naughtiness. I love her curiosity to it though, like any child would do to hear laughing and other noises, knowing which floorboard squeaks even. Even her thoughts of the babysitter not allowed to have any guys over, it’s such a young teen reaction at her age. Great snippet! And I can’t wait to see where this leads.

    1. I’m delighted that you’re anticipating what’s coming up, Daelyn. Tune in next week, as they used to say, same time, same station.

  30. Ooh, I think l know a girl who’s about to get quite an education…

    I’m glad Effing is there to curl up on your lap and ease the pangs of faraway offspring. That may be my story in a few years. My eldest has already, at 14, expressed an interest in living overseas.

    1. Three of my four have left the country…although two of them merely returned to the country of their birth. Man oh man, my kids are willing to go to great lengths to get away from me!

      1. Sounds like the distance may be long, but the bonds of love are just fine. ❤

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