Effing Feline thanks a dog

Photos: DepositPhotos

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

I, Effing Feline, got in trouble AGAIN. Not fair; I was just trying to make up for scratching the couch when I put the prickly pear pads under my pet humans’ pillows. Now I have to make up for the prickles, too. Poor me!

Twiggles the Dog apologized, because she’s the one who suggested the prickly pears.  She feels so bad that she suggested a gift Mr V is bound to love: a furball in each of his shoes. I was skeptical at first, but Twiggles says Bucky Katt (of Get Fuzzy fame) does this all the time. If it’s good enough for my hero, it’s good enough for me!

Today, another selection from The Trial of Tompa Lee. Tompa is being turned over for trial to the Shons, intelligent herd creatures. She is led down a busy street from the landing strip to the courtroom.

Tompa’s two burly Navy escorts propelled her into the street. The Shons stopped all at once, then gave the humans a wide berth. The air seemed to change, filling with . . . something. It wasn’t a smell or a sound, but it was there nonetheless; a sudden, almost palpable sense of shared malice aimed squarely at her. Every last one of the Shons stared at her, murmuring, then shouting. What had been a crowd of individuals was, suddenly, a single entity. A herd.

A Shon spat at her, whistling. Another Shon spat, then another and another in a rhythm as precise as the spitting of a machine gun. They pinched their supple mouths into a funnel shape, leaned their heads back and jumped as they spat, like kids taking jump shots on one of the glass-strewn basketball courts back home; and they all whistled as they spat.

Thick, mucousy spittle hit Tompa’s cheek.

Effing Feline here again. Coughing up two furballs at once was hard work — harder even than spitting like a basketball player — but Ed is worth it.

And Twiggles … I hate to admit this, but that dog is a pretty darned good friend, don’t you think?

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

Effing Feline divider

Trial of Tompa Lee

Tompa Lee thinks joining the Space Navy is a dream come true, but it turns into a nightmare when she’s framed for murder on an alien planet. To prove her innocence, she’ll have to trust the policeman who betrayed her to cruel alien justice—and defeat 300 aliens who want to slaughter her.

Edward Hoornaert’s science fiction saga begins The Trilogy of Tompa Lee, though each book in the series stands alone.  If you enjoy seeing lowly underdogs overcoming awe-inspiring odds, you’ll love The Trial of Tompa Lee.



  1. Ah, gross alien mucus. Things have to get better. Right?

    Also, someone should telling Effing Feline, dogs usually have ulterior motives if they are making friends with cats. Sorry, but true story.

    1. This is just the beginning of Tompa’s stay on this planet … and her trial hasn’t even begun yet.

  2. Oh, yuck!

    Good job showing how unfriendly this crowd is, Ed!

    1. Unfriendly is putting it mildly.

  3. Effing, you may want to ask a human and not a dog. I suspect Twiggles motives

    Ed, once again, you create an excellent sense of the scene. Menace with a hefty dose of ugliness. Good job.

    1. When herd creatures hate you, they hate you en masse.

      1. Oh yes, massed ugly. Ick!

  4. Nasty! Poor Tompa Lee. Clever lead in to the post…having Effing hack up a hairball as an intro to the Shons spitting on Tompa.

    1. Would you believe, Cara, that I didn’t consciously make the connection between the expectoration in the intro and the snippet? My subconscious was working overtime, it appears.

  5. nancygideon · · Reply

    Now Twiggles has a smile that says it all. Ewww! Spit. The one icky thing I never ever let my two boys do in my presence . . . that and show their food when they’re eating. But boys will be boys and apparently spitting is universal. Nice (gross) scene, Ed.

    1. I don’t know about spitting being universal, but this scene indicates it’s at least ‘galactic.’

  6. You paint a vivid scene of hostility. It’s time for the heroine to spit back. . .or something.

    1. She hasn’t nearly reached rock bottom yet.

  7. Author Jessica E. Subject · · Reply

    Oh, Effing, don’t believe a thing Twiggles tells you.

    A great scene that displays a true group mentality. I’m sure Tompa wants to get inside quickly.

    1. Thanks, Jessica. Herd creatures are a relative rarity in science fiction, so one of the main purposes of this scene is to give a feel for their group-think.

  8. This is pretty gross, but your description of it is wonderfully vivid. Great job (although the visual I have is making me feel really bad for Tompa). I hope she gets out of the “spit-storm” quickly! And Effing–get those furballs out of Ed’s shoes before he finds them. The dog is NOT your friend!

    1. This scene illustratesmy mindset when I wrote this book. It was my first work after a few years of writing contemporary romances for Silhouette, and I busted loose with things (like ick) that had been verboten. It was my way of proclaiming “this is NOT a category romance,” even though romance plays a big part.

  9. Ewwww – Spon spit. I am so — ick – ugh. Great job grossing me out 🙂

    Spon spit is grosser than cat hair ball presents in shoes.

    1. Dear me. I hope I haven’t driven too many readers away!

  10. There’s always Bill D Cat.

    1. I had to look this up, because I didn’t know him by name. As soon as I saw a picture, though, I knew who you meant — and the poor cat looks sort of like a furball.

  11. Ewww…. spittle. I loved the imagery of how the singular turned into a ‘herd’. Vivid and apt description.

  12. Poor Tompa. It seems as though she is facing quite an ordeal. I love your description of the change in the air. (The air seemed to change, filling with . . . something.) I was once in a protest march that turned into a riot, and I had exactly that same sense of a change, that something unpleasant was about to happen. Great writing.

    1. I know exactly what you experienced at your protest march.

  13. Quite the menacing scene!

    1. I’m glad you got the sense of menace, and not just ick.

  14. Yuck!
    And that twister, Twiggles! Lol

    1. Never trust a Greek bearing gifts, nor a dog bearing advice.

  15. kimmydonn · · Reply

    Eww, how awful, and frightening! What else are they going to do to her?

    1. They’re going to put her on try for mass murder … which is even worse than what they’re doing here.

  16. My kitty got in trouble this morning, too, wreaking havoc with some of my stuff. Sometimes dogs can be good friends.

    Gross on the mucus, but great job describing it.

    1. Sic the dog on the cat. That should take care of the problem, right?

  17. Diane Burton · · Reply

    You did a great job, Ed, of grossing us out. Are you taking lessons from Effing or Twiggles?

    1. Actually, I think I could give them both lessons.

  18. julieevelynjoyce · · Reply

    Ick! There are few things more disgusting than getting spat on…especially when it’s thick, mucousy spittle. *shudder* Great visual, though! 😀

    1. Perhaps the ick factor is a bit stronger than if I wrote this scene today.

  19. Poor Tompa! This is just going from bad to worse. I think Effing needs to consider Twiggles’ motives before taking his advice.

    1. Tompa and Effing are kind of living in parallel universes in the way they’re innocent, yet keep getting dug into deeper and deeper holes.

  20. elainecsc2013 · · Reply

    Nasty and kind of scary too.

    1. Shons (the aliens) can be lovable, but if they’re against you, watch out!

  21. That’s a rather grotesque position to be in! I hope Tompa finds a quick exit from that mob.

    1. Since she’s on here way to be tried, this is sort of like Marie Antoinette riding in a trumbrel on her way to meet M. Guillotine.

  22. Ack … gross … very unfriendly mob. But why?

    1. Because she’s accused of tossing a powerful grenade into a crowded pub, killing over 100 Shons.

  23. Karen Michelle Nutt · · Reply

    Great yuck-filled imagery. lol

    1. Yuck does elicit strong emotions.

  24. Poor Tompa! First a severed hand, now spit. She seems to be a bull’s eye for gross projectiles.

    1. good imagery. She’ll have a bull’s eye on her forehead for the rest of the book.

  25. Eww. Gross and traumatizing.

    Good luck with those presents, Effing. You’ll need it!

    1. I agree about the presents, Caitlin. Personally, I’d prefer cash to a furball.

  26. Not a great place for Tompa to be, but she’s tough! I believe in her!

    1. She’s tough and a survivor, but her survival skills will be tested as never before.

  27. Andrea R Huelsenbeck · · Reply

    Love the adorable photo of Twiggles.
    Poor Tompa. Great scene.

    1. Goofy, goofy dog photo!

  28. Ewww – fantastic snippet. I feel disgusted and really sorry for Tompa.

    1. Tompa thanks you.

  29. Now that was just disgusting. I threw up a little. I hate spit. Great snippet.

    1. Hmm. Maybe it’s too disgusting.

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