Effing Feline wants to walk #8sunday #wewriwa

Photos: DepositPhotos

I, Effing Feline, am twitching my tail on the window sill, watching Twiggles the dog go outside for a walk. I don’t see why I never get to go outside, too.

Forget the collar and leash, though. Undignified. We would need to go where I want to go, not down to the stupid park where dogs congregate. Since it’s hot out there, I’ll need Mrs. Valentine to go along to fan me and carry my water. And if the sidewalk is too hot, I might need someone to carry me while I get my exercise.

And most important of all: an armed police escort. There are coyotes out there, man!

In Alien Contact for Runaway Moms, Tal Pelletier has escorted Audra Verhailey and her baby to the abandoned underground city where he had lived  before his people hopped Kwadra Island to this Earth. Here is her first impression of the cavern.

Exhausted, Audra leaned against the smooth, rock wall of a house, or maybe it was a business, and closed her eyes, but a seagull’s squawk jerked her to attention.

A seagull underground?

She looked up. Before now she’d been afraid to even glimpse the cave’s dark, forbidding ceiling, gnarly with stalactites or stalagmites, whichever were the ones that hung down from above. Walking these somber streets, she could almost convince herself she was in a town—sinuous rather than straight, jammed with buildings, with streets too narrow for cars—but nonetheless a town, not a cave.

But to her surprise, the cave’s ceiling was a smooth dome. It looked like a sky at dusk, with a few fluffy clouds and yes, seagulls wheeling through the fake sky.

Her tight shoulder muscles relaxed. She could see living a place like this. This wasn’t merely a squalid hidey hole for a desperate fugitive, it was a town.

Effing Feline here again. The more I think about it, I really don’t understand why I never get to go for walks!

Check out the other writers in Weekend Writing Warriors and Snippet Sunday.

Alien Contact for Runaway Moms

She’s running from an abusive lover…but what is she running to?

When her abusive lover tries to take custody of her baby, Audra flees where even he can’t follow: the aliens’ forbidden cities underneath Kwadra Island.

But can the safety she wants for her daughter survive a search party, violent alien criminals—and the love of an emotionally damaged Kwadran?

Alien Contact for Runaway Moms is escaping into the wild on September 1. Better yet: It’s available now for pre-order from these fine retailers — and more to follow. Order your copy now!



  1. Effing, walking is over-rated.

    You should ask for a limo….

    1. Groan. Stop giving him ideas!

  2. Effing! Walks are for dogs, naps are for cats!

    I think I’m a little like Audra, worrying about how to live in a cave. I don’t think I could, even if it didn’t look exactly like a cave. I do want to hear more about this town.

    1. That’s good, because the first half of the middle section is set in this town. This being science fiction, touring an unusual environment is half the fun, so you’ll see quite a bit of it.

  3. Love the description in this.

    Why is it abandoned, though?

    1. You’ve missed the backstory that was in some old snippets. The Kwadrans are from an alternate Earth, where they lived underground because the environment had gone bad. Now that they’re on an Earth with a livable environment, they’re moving back to the surface.

  4. nancygideon · · Reply

    Great world developing, Ed (as always) but to me, a cave is still (shiver) claustrophobic. But better than they’re alternative! Tell Efffing in my old neighborhood, one of the neighbors was training their mastiff to pull a cart and they’d go round and round the block . . . with the family cat trotting along behind them. But of course, Effing could always opt for a cart ride (and yes, those coyotes would think him a tasty morsel!).

    1. We lost one cat to a coyote. My sister, who lives ~10 miles away and has had many, many cats (yeah, crazy cat lady), has lost several.

  5. Yep. Seagulls underground certainly aren’t an everyday occurrence.

    1. But not bats. You of all people must’ve noticed the lack of mention of bats.

  6. Author Jessica E. Subject · · Reply

    A seagull underground? I thought the same thing while reading that sentence. I love your description of the cave that’s not a cave!

    1. It’s not a real seagull, however.

  7. Fascinating glimpse inside at last! Enjoyed the excerpt 🙂 (And yeah, cats and leashes, not a good mix LOL!)

    1. When we moved from British Columbia to Arizona, a four-day drive, we brought our cat in the van. At rest stops, we walked poor Priscilla on a leash. She slunk around with her body no higher than half an inch above the ground.

  8. Years ago, the cat across the street always had a leash on and walked so nicely, her owner next to her. So I decided to put a leash on our small cat, kitten. He went ballistic. Fortunately, I managed to release the catch and he ran. What an awful moment! Never again. Fine snippet, Ed!

    1. That sounds hilarious. Too bad you don’t have a video of that to put on YouTube.

  9. I’m glad she approves since I assume she’ll be there for a while.
    We used to take our first cat for short walks on a leash. He was leashed after he fell off a tree and was lucky I caught him.

    1. I guess it can work, depending on the cat — but your experience is the opposite of Charmaine’s.

  10. It might be a town, but isn’t it a ghost town? With maybe actually ghosts? You’re not going to trick me into relaxing, Ed! Puffy clouds indeed.

    1. Sheesh — she’s trying to look on the bright side, so don’t rain on her parade.

  11. stalactites or stalagmites,-Two new words for me. Love the dome ceiling, very easy to picture.

    1. It seemed appropriate for young Audra not to know the difference between the two words.

  12. Great, descriptive snippet as always Ed – you could tell Audra, the way to tell the difference between stalagmites and stalagtites is stalagmites grow towards the ceiling with all their ‘might’, while stalagtites cling on ‘tight’!

    1. The mnemonic I learned is that stalaGmites grow from the Ground while stalaCtites grow from the Ceiling.

  13. Very nice snippet. The description transports you there looking at the cavern town with her.

    1. I’m delighted that the description works.

  14. This is exciting, looking forward to learning more about the town!

    I’m with Effing, I need someone to carry me while I get my exercise 😉

    1. I hope your personality isn’t like his, as well.

  15. This place sounds really fascinating! When I lived in a semi truck, I took one of my cats for walks on a harness and leash all the time. He loved it! Though it was really more sniffing and rolling in the dirt than actual walking …

    1. I hereby nominate you to take Effing for walks!

  16. Elaine Cantrell · · Reply

    Very nice world building.

    1. That’s one of the things I delight in doing.

  17. Diane Burton · · Reply

    I love how you juxtapose her expectations with reality. Cool. Tell Effing nobody should go out for a walk when it’s so hot.

    1. How boring would it be if everything she experienced was exactly what she expected.

  18. Interesting imagery of the underground town. You should take Effing for a walk down there. He’d probably love it..

    1. True. No coyotes.

  19. I love the description of the ceiling. I’m intrigued–wondering what else they have engineered in such a fascinating way.

    Ed, I really think you should write a romcom where a cat such as Effing is key to the couple getting together, falling aart, and then getting together again. Perhaps he could be the co-writer? 🙂

    1. I can see how Effing could cause a couple to fall apart, but I’m totally stymied about how he could get them together again.

  20. I love the detail of her forgetting which is which. Clearly no one ever taught her one of the many mnemonics. Like “stalaCtites grow on the Ceiling, stalaGmites from the Ground.”

    Effing, there are carriers on wheels so you can be pushed around in style. Never settle for less!

    1. I usually write heroines (heroes too) who are smart and academically successful, but that just wouldn’t fit Audra. She’s the former, but not the latter.

      1. It’s not terribly useful information, most of the time. But it’s still stuck in my brain!

  21. For once, seagulls are good for something!

    1. You don’t care for seagulls? Remembering my teaching days at a school ~100 feet from the Pacific, I’d say they’re good for a few other things:

      1) Stealing playground snacks from kids, thereby fighting obesity.

      2) Pooping on swings while waiting atop the swing set crossbar to perform #1, thereby providing job security for school janitors.

      3) Enticing bullies to throw pine cones at them rather than the little kids, thereby promoting harmony and world peace.

  22. Karen Michelle Nutt · · Reply

    Love the imagery of the place. Eerie and strangely beautiful at the same time.

    Take a look at this sentence again: She could see living a place like this. (I think you need ‘in’)

  23. Eerie and strangely beautiful — that sounds like what I was aiming for! As for the preposition, I’ve gotten caught before using few of them than Americans typically do.

  24. The description of this place is amazing. Great snippet!

    On Sun, 29 Jul 2018 at 06:01, Ed Hoornaert (Mr. Valentine) wrote:

    > Ed Hoornaert posted: ” I, Effing Feline, am twitching my tail on the > window sill, watching Twiggles the dog go outside for a walk. I don’t see > why I never get to go outside, too. Forget the collar and leash, though. > Undignified. We would need to go where I want to go” >

    1. I’m glad you feel that the description works.

  25. Interesting descriptions. Reminded me of Coober Pedy, a (semi-) underground town here in Australia.

    1. Thanks for pointing Coober Pedy, Iris. I hadn’t heard of it, but it sounds fascinating.

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