If I could take a photograph of your thoughts,
I think they would appear behind a smokey filter
soften the roughness that I know you keep,
that intrigues me, keeps me looking.
A light would shine from your heart -
not like Ironman or E.T.,
just a glow, pulsing at me
making me reach, even when you don’t want me to.
I get lost sometimes, behind your smokey filter.
I could blow you away.
FLASH IAMP FIC: QUEBEC VS. THE CAT: Interlude
….I blame Lizardpie.
The first one was to wash down the fish and chips. The second to commiserate over the local team’s latest loss, the third when Jim McKinley loudly announced his wife was having a baby. The fourth happened when he realized it was snowing and he had left his boots at home.
Thus, with a good meal in his stomach, filled with a feeling of fellowship with the common man and fortified against the cold, Joel Mackenzie lined his pint glasses up in a row on the bar and waved off a fifth. It was December 23, and he had one last present to buy.
Marie’s instructions had been clear. “A little one. One that won’t be too much trouble. Sweet and gentle.”
“Sweet and gentle,” Joel had repeated dutifully, “a wee one.”
The bell over the pet shop door chimes merrily as Joel pushes his way through. The shop clerk, a young man with a bit of a nervous air about him, looks up at the noise, polite smile already in place.
Joel grins broadly at him. “Merry Christmas! I need a cat. Kitten! I need a kitten….a kitten that will turn into a cat.” The grin turns sheepish. “Please.”
For a fraction of a moment, the shop clerk’s shoulders drop, his smile becoming strained. An instant later, the professional smile is back and he leads Joel to the rear of the shop. Two cages sit side by side, both filled with toys. In one, a small group of black and white kittens tumble playfully, looking very much like they just fell out of a hallmark greeting card. In the other sits a ball of orange fuzz, quivering angrily.
“So,” the shop clerk begins, “is this for you?”
“Nope,” Joel says cheerfully, sticking his fingers in the black and white kittens’ cage and waggling them. “It’s for my….cousin. He’s a work-a-holic. We’re trying to make ‘im nicer and less….work-a-holic….y.”
“I see,” the clerk nods, “and is your…cousin a local, by any chance?”
“He lives in Toronto,” Joel says, scratching a white kitten on the head with one finger, unaware of the sudden gleam in the shop clerk’s eyes.
“Well then,” the clerk clears his throat pointedly. Reluctantly, Joel straightens up, the kittens mewling in protest. He makes kissy faces at them instead. “Might I suggest the Maine Coon?” the clerk gestures at the quivering fuzz one cage over.
Joel eyes it warily. “Marie said to get a wee one, sweet and gentle and all that. That doesn’t look very…” He slides a finger into the cage. The fuzz growls in response.
“It is sweet!” The clerk says quickly, “it’s just….lonely!” He slides closer to Joel, “between you and me, the other kittens aren’t very nice to it.”
Joel looks at the ball of fuzz alone in the cage, with only a few toys in various stages of destruction for company. He sniffs. Something twangs in his chest. “Poor lil’bloke. Can I hold’im?”
“Ah-“ The clerk pauses, “of course.” Tentatively he slides the deadbolt back, opening the door of the cage. Joel reaches an arm in.
There’s a yowl and a snap as the fuzz springs. Joel retracts his arm, the kitten dangling from it, claws firmly entrenched.
“…half off?” The clerk says hopefully.
“Joel,” Marie sighs later, as together they watch the kitten make short work of Joel’s curtains. “We’re supposed to be tugging gently on Oliver’s heartstrings, not shredding them completely.”
“In for a penny, in for a pound!” Joel replies, watching as the kitten perches on the top of his curtain rod, glaring balefully down at them with an imperious air. “Personally, I think it’s a match made in heaven.”
The morning after Christmas, Joel is nursing a coffee in Matthew’s kitchen when Jean stalks in.
“Bon matin!” Joel says cheerfully, as other man pours himself a cup. He blinks in surprise at the death glare he recieves over the pot. “….sleep well?”
“Je te deteste,” Jean grinds out, before turning and stalking back the way he’d come;
…revealing the perfect set of kitten sized scratches across his shoulders as he did so.