Effing Feline celebrates earth day

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, 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?

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. ameliatreader · · Reply

    Have a happy earth day. The UK went all of Friday without using coal for power, so we might make it.

    1. Earth Day is also my wife’s birthday. That makes her an Earth Mother, right?

  2. I can see why Tompa is feeling demoralized. She needs to be more like Effing and embrace her nature!

    1. You really want my sweet leading lady to become more like EFFING?!

  3. Interesting social consciousness there, Ed. About as illogical and bizarre as a lot of human mentality.

    Happy earth day!

    1. Tompa’s moral ‘lines in the sand’ are different than ours, but appropriate for her upbringing.

  4. Author Jessica E. Subject · · Reply

    Oh, I can feel Tompa’s guilt and remorse. A powerful snippet!

    And my dog is a fan of squirrels, or as we now call them, “tree rats”. But, I’m not a fan of the smelly black and white creatures that are now awake in our neighborhood.

    1. Tompa wants to survive, but she wants to be a good guy at the same time, and in fiction we can’t let our characters have it that easy.

  5. Such a grim realization about herself now. She’s gone from thinking of herself as a good guy to thinking of herself as an animal and just because she wants to survive. I feel so bad for her! Great snippet!

    1. The scene before this, where she pounds dozens of Shons in a one-holed game of whack-a-mole, shocked my wife — she never knew I could harbor such violence. But to me the violence was much less important than the effect on Tompa of inflicting such pain.

  6. julieevelynjoyce · · Reply

    Love the self reflection here. Her emotions leap from the page. Happy Earth Day to you both! Maybe don’t maul the animals quite so brutally on this one day of the year, Effing. 😉

    1. Effing lacks Tompa’s sense of morality, so only a double pane of glass keeps the birds safe.

  7. Great snippet – the last line sums it up.


    By the way – I’m still snickering at your comment on my blog 🙂

    1. I’m glad about the snickering, Daryl. One never knows how people will react when you start making irreverent comments about their work!

  8. Interesting snippet and I do like her self reflection.

    1. Her actions show her to be something of a kick-ass heroine, but she feels bad about it, afterward.

  9. I started reading this book on holiday, although I haven’t reached this point yet. You have a wonderful imagination, and I love the character of Tompa Lee.

    1. Just curious … did you read the book in Portuguese?

  10. kimmydonn · · Reply

    Both you, feline, and Tompa make sense in my books and I don’t feel extraordinary remorse for either of your victims. Live goes on.

    1. But if you had personally hurt someone, might you feel remorse, even if you knew the violence was necessary?

  11. Karen Michelle Nutt · · Reply

    A powerful scene of self-reflection. I could feel Tompa’s guilt.

    1. This is an instance where the ‘sequel’ felt more important than the ‘scene’ that precedes it, for me at least.

  12. Her remorse shows her humanity, although I don’t think she needs to feel so guilty. Self defense!

    1. Well, speaking from personal experience, the self-defense plea works better intellectually than morally.

  13. A horrible kind of trial.
    My cat was watching a lizard the other day. Mostly it’s birds or chipmunks.

    1. Yep, and the horrible trial has just begun. This is merely the first skirmish in a 3-day window in which the accusers have to defeat Tompa.

  14. Andrea R Huelsenbeck · · Reply

    What a Catch-22 kind of legal system!?!

    1. I based it on medieval legal systems, some of which had even worse Catch-22’s. For example, in one part of Europe, if folks threw a tied-up suspected witch into water and she drowned, she was innocent. If, however, she survived she was clearly a witch.

  15. Diane Burton · · Reply

    What a horrible predicament she’s in. I just started reading this book. I’m fascinated by her opinion of herself and other’s opinions of her. Definitely at odds.

    1. Although it pre-dates any of the novels, I picture Tompa as thinking, back when she first escaped the streets, that people would appreciate the fact that she was a good guy and accept her as such. No such luck.

  16. elainecsc2013 · · Reply

    I like that last line. She did what she had to do, but she doesn’t like it.

    1. We’ve all been in situations like that, I think.

  17. Since her only other option is to let them kill her, she doesn’t have much choice, really.

    1. Absolutely right. And Tompa is the kind of woman who will do whatever it takes to survive — but that doesn’t mean she likes what she’s done.

  18. What Caitlin ^ said. She didn’t have much choice, and it really is self defense.

    1. I think that if she’d bashed the skulls of one or two Shons, she might look at it that way. But they kept coming and coming, two or three dozen of them, offering themselves up for her violence.

      I patterned this scene after the Salt Marsh moment in the movie “Ghandi”, where Indians marched peaceful into British cudgels, destroying British moral superiority with their relentless march into what turned into a barbaric day of cruelty for England.

  19. I really like the details here: “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”

    What a world/culture you’ve created!

    1. Why thank you. In many ways lines like this are what I call ‘throwaway details’ about the life she left behind. That life was a post-apocalyptic nightmare.

  20. Man, what a situation to be in. Reminds me a bit of gladiator tournaments with the odds clearly not stacked in her favour.

    1. The poor girl is definitely in trouble.

  21. I’m glad she’s striving to be better than others want her to be. Great snippet. 🙂

    1. She tries so hard, it’s true

  22. Poor Tompa 😦 How is she going to get out of this?

    1. To find out, you’ll have to read the book!

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