Effing Feline dislikes catastrophes

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, resent all the negative words that begin with CAT, like CATastrophe. How dare you humans conflate puddy tats with disaster!

I propose a long overdue change.  Henceforth, CATastrophe, shall be DOGtastrophe. I expect all of you to implement this change immediately, using search-and-replace to correct this word in all your manuscripts.

In previous snippets from Mr V’s Secrets of Love and War, we’ve seen the devastation of war from the POV of Cynthia O’Connor, a human resident of an alien world. Now we switch to the other side of war — the POV of a heroic pilot of a one-man bomber attacking the ancient city.

The planet loomed below Flight Colonel Norse Malstrom like the maw of a greedy alien god, eager to chew his meat and spit out his bones. He welcomed a shiver of fear — only crazies felt no fear before battle — because fear proved he was still alive.

He hoped against hope that fear wouldn’t addle any of his squad’s overeager recruits. Unlike them, he intended to survive this suicide mission. Unlike them, he might. Then all charges would be dropped, he’d be a free man again, and he could return to sniffing the flowers.

Down below, sixteen pinpricks of light marked Alpha Squad’s entry into the planet’s atmosphere. “Beta Squad, get ready,” Norse said into the microphone in his face mask. “Ten seconds.  Nine … eight … seven –”

Unfortunately, one of his ill-trained sacrificial lambs jumped the gun.

Effing Feline here again. Made those changes yet?

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

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59 comments

  1. What a cliff hanger, Ed. Good job.
    Lot’s of intriguing ideas here! Including ‘sniffing the flowers’.

    1. It’s a strong juxtaposition with him being a colonel leading a bombing run as one of the sacrificial lambs.

      1. Yes, I noted that phrase. It certainly set the mood!

  2. (Absolutely love your descriptions, Ed. And all the very clever metaphors)

    1. (Thanks, Kim. I do enjoy writing my descriptions.)

  3. Exciting stuff! Great hook.

    1. Thanks, Cara.

  4. Agree, nice hook … and so many teasers again. wonder about the charges and the “flower sniffing” 🙂

    1. Ah, good. Both of those touches were added after the first, quick draft because I felt I needed to make him more than just a generic bomber pilot.

  5. I’ll send him flowers, good man. Wonderful snippet, my friend and woe to the foolish ones who jump prematurely.

    1. Yeah, the dude who jumped the gun doesn’t last long, as it happens.

  6. Author Jessica E. Subject · · Reply

    I always love seeing things from the other side of the fence. Great character insight, and I’m anxious to read more! 🙂

    1. It can be a challenge in a short novel to present both sides of an event, but that duality is essential to this tale.

  7. Oh that last line does not bode well – I suspect a dogtrastophe in the near future.
    Tweeted.

    1. That last line is a presentiment of how this battle fares for his hastily trained sacrificial lambs.

  8. Enjoyed the excerpt, definitely makes me want to know more about this guy.

    1. Then this introduction to the hero has done its job.

  9. Oh damn! Dogtrastophe (or maybe lambtrastophe hehe) approaches.

    1. ‘Lambtrastophe?’ I love it!

  10. Karen Michelle Nutt · · Reply

    Great imagery. Great insight to the pilot leading the attack. I want to know more about him. And I want to know what happens next now that one of his ‘sacrificial lambs’ jumped the gun.

    1. His squad are like lambs to the slaughter.

  11. This certainly raises a lot of interesting questions; primarily, why are they attacking the planet? Why the suicide mission? Why is he being forced/bribed into it? Great stuff that makes me want to keep reading.

    1. Good, good, good. Creating what I call readerly questions is a key to keeping the audience interested.

  12. Oh no, not looking good for him! Really like the sniffing the flowers line, says a lot about him and his attitude.

    1. I like that line a lot, too. He’s in the military not so much because he’s a soldier/killer but because he loves flying, and the military has the flashiest toys.

  13. Norse Malstrom? Sounds like a dog-astropy in the making!

    1. That’s his current moniker, though that may change. I’ve been reading about the Faroe Islands and decided that’s where he’s from. ‘Malstrom’ means ‘maelstrom or whirlpool’ in Danish, which is the language of the islands, and it seems vaguely threatening. And Norse … well, I just like the masculine sound of it

  14. Looks like Norse is heading into a dogtastrophe. There. Now it’s in my spell-check library and will be used forever after. Hope that pleases Effing. 🙂

    1. Effing purrs.

  15. Loved this episode Ed – your descriptions are so full of wit and humour. Sorry Effing, everytime I tried to use the ‘search and destroy’ button my little dog Choccy jumped on my lap and knocked my hand away!

    1. Those darned dogs!

    2. And by the by — I hope you aren’t in London or affected in any way by the recent attacks.

  16. Andrea R Huelsenbeck · · Reply

    Terrific snippet! Great writing: “…like the maw of a greedy alien god, eager to chew his meat and spit out his bones.” A hint of backstory, and then a cliffhanger–yikes!

    1. Just as long as my descriptions don’t stray over the edge into purple prose. Let me know if that ever happens.

  17. nancygideon · · Reply

    What a great setup for a dynamite cliffhanger, even if a dogtastrophe is pending!

    1. You gotta watch out for those dogtastrophes.

  18. Loved the snippet. Stopping by as part of the #getsocial2017 event.

    1. Thanks for dropping by, Bambi.

  19. Diane Burton · · Reply

    The imagery of your 1st sentence is phenomenal. Pity the poor guy who jumped the gun. Was he wearing a red shirt? 😉

    1. Red shirt? LOL.

  20. So interesting to see the other side–they each see this battle in a very different way!

    1. The different points of view are a key element of the story.

  21. Very interesting snippet! I loved it!

    1. There’s a bombing run, but none of your beloved fistfights. Sorry, Amy!

  22. Now I’m really curious as to what this is all about. What charges? And why are they being used for a suicide mission? I want to know the background!

    1. I know the answer to the suicide mission, but as to the charges … would you believe I haven’t decided all the details? I know it involves a superior officer, but aside from that…. Hey, it’s backstory. I’ll figure it out when the time comes.

  23. Oh! Oh! BabyG approves! She’s the youngest herd babe and she would be on board with this change. *nods*

    A quick heads up on the #GetSocial17 event– I had a blip with the sign up linky (it didn’t request email info from anyone so I couldn’t send yall the kick off post ) so stopping by with the link which has the official linky list everyone can use to visit all the blogs 🙂 Hope you meet some fun new friends during the event! Thanks so much for joining in!

    http://www.herdingcats-burningsoup.com/2017/06/get-social.html

    1. Thanks so much for setting up #GetSocial17!

  24. What charges? What charges? I like how you just threw that teaser in there. To me, it was a shiny object and I just can’t look away! LOL! It’s great to be back and it was also great to finally meet you in person, if only for a moment, at the TFOB!

    1. I’m glad you’re back, Elizabeth. I was beginning to worry that seeing me face to face at the Tucson Festival was so horrific, so traumatic, that your hands shook and you couldn’t bring yourself to post on WeWriWa for fear of encountering me again.

  25. Fun post! Stopping by from Romancing the Readers #GetSocial17

    1. Thanks so much for the visit, Ann!

  26. It sounds like making it out alive is not going to be that easy if they already start before it’s time.

    1. Forgetting military discipline on the verge of battle is never a good idea.

  27. Nice description. I especially love the first paragraph. It fits so well with his first and last name. Nice synergy.

    #getsocial17

    1. I’m especially glad to hear this, because I’ve wondered if the name Norse was over the top for a guy who hails from the Danish-owned Faeroe Islands.

  28. I hope the other “sacrificial lambs” listen rather than follow the first guy’s lead. But then, I’m wondering just what charges you’d need to have over you to be thrown into a suicide mission. And is being on it choice?

    1. Alas, this battle isn’t going to go well for the attackers.

  29. Well, that was intense 🙂 Great snippet!!

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