Effing Feline sighs #wewriwa

Photos: DepositPhotos

I, Effing Feline, have a shameful confession to make. I still haven’t caught a mouse.

I say “still” because I’ve confessed this shortcoming a couple years ago. Still no luck!

Mostly that’s because there’s never been even a single mouse in the house where I’m confined. The longer my mouseless streak goes on, though, the more I start to wonder if there’s something wrong with me. Maybe I’m deficient? Sub-normal? Maybe I lack the patience to slowly creep up on my prey, as a better cat could do?

Ember Dayle hadn’t cursed in twenty years — not since she caught her high school boyfriend in bed with her sister, Teegan. The horrible words she’d screamed at Teegan, some of which had shocked even her father, had appalled Ember so much she’d washed her own mouth out with soap.

It was just mouthwash, actually. Teegan had been the seducer, and thus wasn’t worth suffering the vile taste of real soap.

But now, as Ember realized this job wasn’t going to be the simple, straightforward task she desperately needed, twenty years of verbal virtue ended. She pounded the ground she was lying on and spat a string of foul words — but very quietly. Her youngest sister, who’d never slept with any of her boyfriends, was monitoring her via radio, and she didn’t want Rayna to hear.

It wasn’t that she worried about shocking Rayna, who was, after all, twenty-six. However, Ember was supposed to have recuperated from her accident, mentally as well as physically. To get returned to field work, she’d had to insist, loudly and often, that she was her old self.

But what did she do at the first sign of trouble? Break down and curse like a sister betrayed. Was she really ready for this job?

Effing Feline here again. You may notice that these twelve sentences have nothing to do with The Saint of Quarantine Island, which I’ve been quoting from. Blame my unfeline lack of patience. I’ve been itching and twitching and bitching to be switching to something different.

This snippet is the opening of one of the three WIPs Ed is currently juggling. It’s called The Seven Foot Cupid and it’s the first book in the Passion Island Trilogy that’ll come out whenever he’s done. There’s no cover yet, no blurb . . . and no mouse.


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



  1. Interesting start to the new story. I like it 🙂

    1. Thanks! I’m trying something different — I’m writing, or at least drafting all three books in the trilogy before I release anything. Teegan’s betrayal doesn’t factor into book one, but it foreshadows book three, which is Teegan’s book. I don’t know if that’s a good idea or not, but what they hey.

      1. I’d say it certainly isn’t a bad way to do things. You can go back and forth to amend according to new ideas.

  2. Intriguing start.

    1. Intriguing readers is a good thing, right?

  3. Ooh, a new series!

    Effing, if there’s no prey to catch, what can you do?
    You could sneak out of the house… but then you’d have to figure out how to get back in with your prize. We’d all be worried when you disappeared, too…

    1. If Effing snuck outside, he wouldn’t be able to write this weekly column, either.

  4. She only cursed at her sister, Teegan? I think if I had been in her situation things would have gotten much more violent. Very curious to read more about these characters. As for Effin, maybe he could hunt a bird instead of a mouse? My cat says it tastes the same and it’s much more challenging…

    On Sat, Oct 10, 2020 at 10:21 PM Ed Hoornaert (Mr. Valentine) wrote:

    > Ed Hoornaert posted: ” I, Effing Feline, have a shameful confession to > make. I still haven’t caught a mouse. I say “still” because I’ve confessed > this shortcoming before, a couple years ago. Still no luck! Mostly that’s > because there’s never been even a single m” >

    1. Our dining area has a wall of glass looking out at an olive tree bursting with life. As you can imagine, any cat would love it — BUT yesterday it was our dog, Twiggles, who came in with feathers sticking to the fur around her mouth.

  5. nancygideon · · Reply

    My cats are gloating, having had the chance to be mousers when I was in my apartment. The only mice here are outside and they see it stays that way,

    I LIKE this new story. Her anger and emotions are so vivid. As a sister, I so get this.

    1. Oh dear, Nancy. Did your sister mess around with your boyfriend, too?

  6. Cursing tends to be most effective when it’s done selectively and in response to situations like that, instead of constantly engaged in. I used to call my peers’ cursing habits in junior high and high school “swearing fluently,” using curse words so often they became like any other words to them. Though I would’ve cursed out the boyfriend as well as the sister!

    1. When I was young, cursing a lot was a working class trait — a fact I realized in university and to a lesser extent in H.S. So I learned to curb my tongue.

  7. Ember seems like a very interesting character! I’m eager to read the blurb for this one.

    My cats caught a mouse this past week, and rather than leaving it dead in the middle of the floor they hid it somewhere in my dining room, then pretended they had no idea what I was talking about when I asked them about it. You’re betting off without the mouse and all its drama, Effing.

    1. Don’t worry about finding the mouse. When it starts to rot, it’ll be easy.

  8. A vivid snippet and makes me thinks she’s not exactly recovered LOL.

    1. Your comments are always so incisive. You’re exactly right about her recovery.

  9. Wow, that snippet sure had a lot of interesting bits of information in it! So many questions!

    Catching mice is overrated, Effing. A modern mouse shouldn’t worry about such barbaric things.

    1. For Effing, it’s not so much the mouse. He’s probably too picky to actually eat it. It’s more that failing to catch a mouse is a blow to his macho self-image.

  10. Author Jessica E. Subject · · Reply

    I think cursing is definitely warranted in that situation. But as Veronica said, she doesn’t seem to have gotten past that situation.

    One of the cats we had growing up tried to play with a mouse outside, but the mouse died of shock, and our cat got upset because the mouse stopped moving.

    1. What good is a mouse if you can’t torture it?

  11. Great start to a new story. I like the bit of backstory with her sisters. I think she’s not quite over what happened in the past.

  12. In book 3 of the trilogy, which I’ve just started (I’m on chapter 3), one of the story problems Teegan faces is reconciling with her three sisters, including Ember, after years of estrangement.

  13. Has me curiuos about the accident. Must have been serious to inflict physical and mental damage.

    And Effing, you are welcome here. We just discovered yesterday that a mouse has wandered into our home. You can practice your skills here. Don’t know about the differences between Canadian mice and Texas mice, however. Yikes.

    1. I had no difficulty coming up with such an accident. I just had to think back to a girl I taught in grade 4 who got kicked in the face by a horse when she literally saved her baby brother’s life. She was never the same — which is a heck of a payback for her bravery.

    2. I almost forgot — a Canadian mouse would have to travel a long way to get here, because I now live in Arizona.

  14. Elaine Cantrell · · Reply

    That’s a good beginning.

    1. Thanks so much, Elaine!

  15. Great opening line. I think I said – oh, F**k when I read it. I can’t last 20 seconds!!!

    1. Thanks, Daryl, and have a great Thanksgiving.

  16. This is a great start to a new story. Theses characters have a lot to work on if their going to rekindle and have a healthy relationship. Good luck with writing!

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