Effing Feline celebrates Memorial Day #8Sunday

Photos: DepositPhotos

I, Effing Feline, know that tomorrow is Memorial Day, a patriot US holiday. In honor of said patriotism, I dug out my sun glasses honoring the US and the other nations in Mr V’s heritage. How many of these flags do you recognize?

The first two are easy — along with Great Britain’s Union Jack, they’re the most widely recognized flags in the world. The other two, though, separate the Effing Felines of the world from mere puddy tats.

Ed is working on rewrites of his near-future SFR tentatively titled Audra Fleeing Audra Finding. Audra Verhailey, a runaway young mother, flees with her baby from Oregon to Kwadra Island — a “duplicate” of Vancouver Island that its Native American rulers “hopped” here from an alternate Earth.

Penniless and desperate, twenty-something Audra lets a Kwadran construction worker guide her up a mountainside to a forbidden back entrance to Kwadra’s abandoned underground cities. He says they’ve reached their goal, but she sees nothing.

“Look again,” he said, “and this time, see what’s invisible.”

No matter how she stared, though, she saw no eight-foot oval ventilation shaft into the hillside, no entrance to a safe haven in the now-abandoned underworld where Kwadrans had holed up when the environment of their alternate Earth went bad.

“I see an overgrown cliff, a bunch of trees, half of them dying — your forest isn’t adapting well to this Earth — and bright red berries on some bushes.” Glancing at him through narrowed eyes, she added, “And a guy I don’t trust.”

His eyes twinkled; “Notice anything about the bushes?”

“They’re, you know . . . bushes, okay? I have no idea what kind they are, if that’s what you’re after.”

But after several seconds, she saw something — something invisible.

A hundred feet uphill, shrubs were bending to and fro as though in a breeze, yet she felt no wind on her face. Feeling like Lewis and Clark exploring the wilderness, she licked her forefinger and held it up in all different directions; no breeze.

“Wind from the ventilation shaft,” she said, inordinately pleased even though she told herself she didn’t care what this guy thought.

Effing Feline here again. In honor of Memorial Day, here are a couple of patriotic songs that Mr. V’s woodwind quintet recorded a number of years ago, in honor of the commissioning of the USS Tucson:

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



  1. Author Jessica E. Subject · · Reply

    A ventilation shaft is a good thing, meaning they really have reached their destination. But what is inside? I’m definitely intrigued. 🙂

    1. I think I need to build reader expectations a bit better about the shaft and the abandoned underground cities she’s head toward.

  2. Totally delightful in every phase of this snippet! Thanks, Ed.

    1. Thanks, Charmaine.

  3. Ah! The second she thinks she doesn’t care, she really does. There’s always a catch, tho.

    1. I’m glad you picked up on that. She can’t admit yet that she cares or trusts him.

  4. Happy Memorial Day to both Mr. V and Effing!

    1. And right back at you — happy whatever the Asian equivalent is.

  5. She does well in not trusting him but how does she know the people beyond will be trustworthy? Imagining her lifting her finger in the air made me smile 🙂

    On Sun, 27 May 2018 at 02:14, Ed Hoornaert (Mr. Valentine) wrote:

    > Ed Hoornaert posted: ” I, Effing Feline, know that tomorrow is Memorial > Day, a patriot US holiday. In honor of said patriotism, I dug out my sun > glasses honoring the US and the other nations in Mr V’s heritage. How many > of these flags do you recognize? The firs” >

    1. She’s starting to trust him, but at this point *he’s* the one who distrusts the people who live underground.

  6. A ventilation shaft..wonder what they’ll use that for. Happy Memorial Day.

    1. It’s a nice big tunnel, easily walkable, so it’s a’backdoor’ into the underground city.

  7. chrisgrover · · Reply

    Neat way of seeing something that’s invisible. Well done!

    1. Thanks, Chris. I like that passage, too.

  8. Ooh, cool. I’m glad she could calm down enough to engage her brain and see what was in front of her! Enjoyed the excerpt…

    1. No, no — she’s seeing what ISN’T in front of her face.

  9. Agreeing with Chris, great way of seeing the unseeable!

  10. Oh, I like this! Bright woman, observant. It reminds me of the “blow hole” at Waptaki national monument north of Flagstaff – native ancestors could predict the weather by whether the hole (connected to a vast natural underground tunnel system) blew a feather up into the air or sucked it down into the tunnel.

    1. I haven’t heard of Waptaki, even though I live in AZ. It’s an apt comparison, though, especially since my ‘aliens’ are Native Americans from the future.

  11. An abandoned underground alien city doesn’t sound like the most wonderful place to escape to. I’m really wondering what made her choose this path. Great snippet!

    1. Where’s your sense of adventure, Alexis?

  12. I can’t believe she still doesn’t trust him. Though who knows what’s inside? An abandoned underground city doesn’t sound so promising.

    1. You’ll notice the twinkle in his eyes. The distrust is starting to be a game between them.

  13. nancygideon · · Reply

    Slick! Love the way he makes her discover it herself. And loved the oboe!

    1. I played my oboe at an outdoor concert last night, while under the influence of a migraine. Very weird experience.

  14. julieevelynjoyce · · Reply

    I SO love the dialogue here, especially this bit: “And a guy I don’t trust.” Enjoy your Memorial Day! I’m pretty sure those other two flags are Belgium and the Netherlands. Thank you, Olympic flag ceremonies.

    1. You get the gold start for your knowledge of flags, Julie!

  15. This line is perfect! ” Glancing at him through narrowed eyes, she added, “And a guy I don’t trust.” lol

    I’m glad she figured out on her own what he was trying to show her. 🙂

    Thanks for sharing your music!

    1. He posed her a bit of a mental test, didn’t he? And she passed.

  16. I can’t imagine the ‘abandoned’ tunnels are all that empty… and I wonder what welcome she’ll get!

    1. Unless, of course, there’s some reason that they’re more empty than they should be.

  17. Karen Michelle Nutt · · Reply

    Oh, she cares. lol Love the banter.

    1. I’m glad you realize that. I’m trying to be subtle, you know, and that ain’t always easy.

  18. Oh … so she might be able to trust him after all …
    My guess on the flags are US, Canada, Belgium, and the Netherlands 🙂 Hope you’re having a special long weekend.

    1. You get a gold star for flag recognition, Iris!

      1. Yeah …… 🙂

  19. I loved that her observation of her surroundings included “A guy I don’t trust.” Although I think she really does, at lest a little bit. Very clever way to make something invisible that you can see!

    1. Several people have caught on that yes, she does trust him a little. It’ll be very hard for her to admit, even to herself, that she trusts him, though.

  20. Diane Burton · · Reply

    I guessed The Netherlands but not the other (Belgium). Now I know! I liked this excerpt with her finally figuring out the entry to the underground. And the fact that she didn’t care what he thought. Haha. She does.

    1. Even though I have a Belgian flag sticker on my Kindle (because that’s where my dad is from) I still have a hard time keeping it straight. A lot of countries use three colored stripes on their flags! It’s easy to see why Canada’s maple leaf is so distinctive that people around the world recognize it.

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