Effing Feline hates the neighbors

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, hate the neighbors.  They used to have a tomcat too old and fat to leap over the wall into MY yard.  The only thing I hated about him was that he was an outdoor cat, while I’m a house cat, too valuable to be allowed outside in a region populated by coyotes who eat cats, with or without ketchup.

But now the neighbors have a kitten. And he’s cute. Cuter than me!

Today, another snippet from Ed’s WIP, Secrets of Love and War. The captured human bomber pilot, Norse Malstrom, fought the alien doctors, thinking they were monsters. Cynthia O’Connor, a human living on the alien world, was able to calm the heavily drugged pilot.

But she is badly shaken by the encounter, which causes a flashback of being raped when she was 13.  When the doctor approaches her afterward, she is shaking.

“. . . no longer a park for you to work at, correct?”

She’d missed something the doctor had said, but she focused on the last part. “Yes, with Peace for All Species Park destroyed, I am bereft of social meaning until my next assignment.”

“Will you do it, then?”

Summoning her strength and dignity, she rose. “The pardons of all my ancestors—I didn’t catch what you want me to do.”

“Assist my humble team care for the human pilot. Your very presence has calmed him better than the best of our psychotropics, and the temporary assignment, a pair of month at most, will loan you social meaning until your familium chooses your next permanent job.”

Nurse that violent, naked man? Cynthia couldn’t help it; she laughed hysterically, which was unpardonable even if she’d laughed in a proper Riksid flutter rather than a disgusting human honk.

Effing Feline here again. I hate the *&%$ neighbors and I hate their #^*$, *&%$ kitten! And I’ll hate you, too, if you watch the cute kitten video Ed has added below, without my consent!

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




  1. This reminds me of the kind of culture clashes that happened when white settlers who’d lived much of their lives in Native American communities came back into contact with their own, and could no longer understand or relate to that world. Maybe she’ll come to feel this does give her social meaning as more time passes.

    1. Cynthia’s relationship with the pilot is complicated by this very issue you discuss. In the early days in North America, some whites lived as Indians and some Indians as whites. Back then the distinction wasn’t simply a matter of blood, but also (instead?) which culture a person adhered to. Compared to back then, we view things very simplistically. In the beginning of the book Cynthia is culturally Riksid but the war forces her to confront her biology.

      Thanks for this observation, Carrie-Ann. It is spectacularly appropriate!

  2. Don’t worry Effin, I haven’t watched the cute kitten video, I’m more of a puppy person :p I have however, read Ed’s snippet. Fantastic as always. She seems to want to be dignified but at the same is helplessly lost.

    1. Uh, Elyzabeth? Do you really thing being a puppy person is any better, from Effings POV, than being a kitten person?

  3. I’ll have to catch up on previous posts, but caring for the piolot wouldn’t be such a bad thing, would it?

    1. Her introduction to him was when he was wild from awakening to monsters (i.e. alien doctors) torturing him (i.e. working on his injuries) while being high on the drugs they’ve pumped into him. She’s had virtually no contact with fellow humans for 18 years. Put all these things together, and nursing him is a daunting prospect.

      1. Hey, thanks, Ed. That’s great and much appreciated.

  4. I love Effing. She can come to live with us, there are no other cats in the building. (At least I haven’t seen any…)

    1. Watch the cute kittens video three times in a row. Maybe that will cure this need for feline fur.

  5. Okay, I just watched the entire video and have forgotten what I read in your snippet. Cuteness counts. I learned that in show business.

    1. You’re saying that cute cats overwhelm my writing?

  6. I love the “alien” speech and how it highlights their differences.

    1. That’s one of the things I noticed, too, when I went back to this snippet. One problem: I didn’t always use such formality, so this is an inconsistency in the manuscript that I’ll need to iron out in Draft #2.

  7. julieevelynjoyce · · Reply

    *tries to ignore the kitten video* Ed, this is SO great! Omg, I love all the details, LOVE the dialogue and the bits of humour throughout. Can’t wait for more!! *gives up and watches the video*

    1. My favorite touch of humor (it’s okay to love our own writing, isn’t it?) is describing human laughter as a ‘honk’.

  8. I read your comments to Carrie-Anne and couldn’t help thinking of Dances With Wolves. The first time I saw it, I had no idea Stands With A Fist was white. She was so culturally Native American I was surprised to learn she was not of the People. But she too is asked to help communicate with one of her own culture and that brings about a change, as I’m sure it will with Cynthia. This is a wonderful story, Ed. I know it’s a WIP but how long until it’s ready for publication?

    1. Yesterday I typed ‘The End’ but I have a lot of changes to go back and make. My to-do doc is 7 pages long, which is longer than usual; I guess that’s what I get when I venture away from the familiar background of my two SFR series. Anyway, I may submit this to at least one traditional publisher (TOR Books) and if I do that the pub date is out of my control. If I don’t submit to TOR it’ll be out later this year. If you’re eager to read it, I’ll be looking for beta readers at some point (hint hint).

  9. Enjoyed the excerpt. Of COURSE they ask her to help with the guy! Fun stuff (in a serious situation of course), great snippet.

    1. Is this such an obvious set up, then?

  10. Author Jessica E. Subject · · Reply

    Don’t worry, Effing. That kitten will be a cat soon, and won’t be so cute when it’s getting into trouble.

    A great snippet! I’m very intrigued by this story.

    1. “when it’s getting into trouble” — you mean like Effing does?

  11. Oooo some mysterious goings-on, here… and I’m sorry Effing, I gave in! I couldn’t resist those big eyes!

    1. I feel guilty now. I should’ve picked a shorter video so I didn’t waste so much of everyone’s time.

  12. The cuteness of kittens is fleeting, but the awesome of Effing is forever. Great snippet, Ed. Not only did the pilot destroy her park, but he triggers her PTSD. They have a long road ahead of them.

    1. You pegged it, Alexis. The issues between them are real and hard-edged.

  13. I am sure you out-cute the kitten, Effing. I wonder what she’ll do with the proposal…

    1. An element of this alien society that hasn’t made it into these short snippets is that the large extended family that adopted her gets to choose her jobs. She has input, of course, but it isn’t up to her to say yea or nay.

  14. Must resist…the cuteness…okay, there went ten minutes of my life I can’t get back. Ah well. Enjoyed the snippet. This is quite the situation she’s being forced into. Interested to read more.

    1. As I said above, I feel guilty that I didn’t select a shorter video.

  15. Andrea R Huelsenbeck · · Reply

    I love this: “the temporary assignment, a pair of month at most, will loan you social meaning until your familium chooses your next permanent job.” It sounds like a bad translation.

    1. I like that description of their speech.

  16. Love the little tidbit you snuck in about the human honk. We humans do have some interesting laughs.

    I think Effing’s nose is out of joint – there is no way a silly kitten is cuter.


    1. Effing’s vanity is easily bruised.

  17. I love the way you portray the “alienness” by speech patterns. (You did it in Tompa Lee, too.)

    1. It’s my reaction to Star Wars and its ilk, in which aliens are never more than humans in funny makeup. Wookies excepted.

  18. Diane Burton · · Reply

    Kittens, like puppies, are cute when they’re young. Then they grow up. Tell Effing not to worry.

    Cynthia is in a bad place. The doc knows she has no job, so she can’t use that as an excuse. I see some interesting times ahead for her and the pilot. I, too, enjoy your use of language to portray their “alienness.” Nice job.

    1. In later chapters, Cynthia handles the situation well. She seizes the opportunity to confront her fears and phobias.

  19. Disgusting human honk – this is gold. A lot of conflicts happening here. Sometimes, broken people are what other broken people need, to heal.

    PS – tell Effing he’s the cutest cat in the universe.

    1. I like that honk too. Effing appreciated your thought, but believe me, he already knows he’s the cutest cat in the universe.

  20. elainecsc2013 · · Reply

    Two species thrown together always produces interesting results. Sorry about the cute kitten competition!

    1. You’re right about two species thrown together producing interesting results. Look at cats and dogs.

  21. Karen Michelle Nutt · · Reply

    Love how you highlighted the differences between the species. A honking kind of laugh- made me smile as I imagined the laugh. 🙂

    1. Speech is always a good way to distinguish between characters, let alone species. Although this passage is effective, I don’t think I’ve done enough distinguishing in this book.

  22. I’m rather lost about the premise, since I’m coming in in the middle, but I want to know more!

    And I not only looked at the video – I shared it with my 13 year old daughter, too!

    1. You and your daughter both are now officially twee.

  23. She’s far too stressed to deal with this guy, need for meaning or not.

    No kitten is cuter than you, Effing!

    1. Yes, but how can she relieve the stress?

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