I, Effing Feline, love Earth Day. I love to gaze out the window at our beautiful Earth. I love the birds and the lizards, especially, the birds, and I dream of getting outside so I can catch and scratch and maul Mother Earth’s lovely creatures!
Today, another selection from The Trial of Tompa Lee. Tompa’s trial by combat for mass murder begins. She’s supported only by one old Shon; Dante Roussel, who set off last week to help her, hasn’t arrived yet.
She’s given a head start in a cave, and finds a narrow, one-at-a-time exit where she can pick off accusers as they exit. She figures that after she bops a few of the Shons on the head with a thick branch, they’ll stop coming. But they don’t. They keep coming and she keeps bopping, until her arms ache and the exit is clogged solid with bodies.
Why didn’t they stop coming? Why?
As she rests beside the pile of bodies, her companion explains that the purpose of the trial is to show she’s guilty, as well as kill her. The dead and injured Shons sacrificed themselves, like obedient herd creatures, to attack her sense of self-worth. Note: gordos is Tompa’s slang for fat cats who don’t have to live on the streets.
“You mean,” Tompa said, “they were trying to make me feel and look like an animal, a killer?”
“That one displays quickly intelligence.”
“They succeeded,” she whispered.
Gordos acted as though everyone in Manhattan was a thug, murderer, or psychopath; in the shows, that was all you ever saw. Maybe that image soothed the gordo’s consciences about locking so many victims inside with the villains, but most street meat were decent people who acted out of desperation rather than twisted evil.
And she’d been one of the good guys, always. She didn’t hurt anyone unless they hurt her; she didn’t steal from anyone poorer than she was; she wasn’t a gang soldier, a whalie who slashed people while on drugs, or a doorman viciously punishing poor souls who wandered into a building controlled by a squatter’s union. All she wanted was to be left in peace to dream her fantasies that a better life was possible.
A good guy. Really … though now the stack of bodies said otherwise.
Effing Feline here again. Some of you probably have sympathy for the birds and lizards, just like Tompa empathizes with the Shons she’s injured or killed. But I’m a cat. What do you expect of me?
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.