So I’ve been meaning to do this for a while, but I finally managed to finish up a short Dear Rabbit comic based on this minific by @taura-arts - just in time for @itsthegoldenlover‘s Birthday! - (Enjoy the trash ship friend)
(A surprising amount of you guys seemed to like the ship as well, so hopefully this’ll be - idk, something XD)
Being the best snowboarder in your hometown is one thing. Being the little fish in the huge pond that is the X Games is another. Emma’s finding out exactly how critical the sports world can be on her first visit to Aspen. Lucky for her, there’s a snowboarder competing for Great Britain who knows a kindred soul when he sees one.
Emma can’t see particularly well over the huddle of the other men and women on her team, but if the crowd’s excitement means anything, it’s that this guy has talent out the ass.She has to shove Ruby and Anna out of her way as she moves forward, fresh air and screams of elation hitting her in the face, just to see Killian Jones begin his jump.
She knows who he is — his face is plastered on a few of the posters in front of her hotel, and they kept replaying his pre-run interview on the hotel lobby television — but she’s never seen him snowboard before. People have been out on the slopes all day, but there’s a buzz around this time slot because of him, and rather than being smart and icing her aching muscles she’s chosen to watch him perform.
She’s refusing to watch the big screen’s version of his performance on principle, despite how much harder it is to see from the athlete’s seating, because she wants to see him move. She wants to know what all the fuss is about, besides that eloquent answer he gave ESPN’s on-site reporter. People wouldn’t be this excited about him if he couldn’t perform as well as he spoke.
It’s easy to understand, once she sees him in action. Emma makes a point of watching the way he bends low on his way down the sleek curve of the slope, how he shifts his weight forward just before hitting the air. He twists around, spitting snow in all directions off his board, and she’s sure he’s smiling when he finally lands on the ground, even though she can’t see that well from here. He continues on down the slope, cutting wide curves into the snow to build his momentum, and slides to a stop without so much as wavering on his board.
He has the kind of finesse she only dreams about, and rather than feeling impressed or jealous, Emma’s just annoyed. She’s still thinking about it hours later when her shoulder slams into his on her hasty exit out of the elevator and he stops her from tripping on the hotel rug.
“Easy there, love.”
Emma lets him steady her, but scowls the second their eyes meet. Reading Twitter and walking had never been her strong suit, but he didn’t need to know that.
“Do you call every stranger you meet love, or am I special?”
“Only the ones that run me down on my way upstairs,” he countered, not at all phased by her attitude. All she wanted was to run down to the dining hall and shove a couple of those bear claws from breakfast in her pockets, but fate clearly has other plans. “You’re Emma Swan, aren’t you?”
One by one, the rooms of your house disappear. One day, all that remains is your backyard. You don’t know why, but you know that if you put out certain objects and fill the cat bowl with food, the cats will come. This becomes your life. Filling the cat bowl. Buying the cat toys. Watching the cats.
A faint, peaceful tune is always playing. The sound of meows is ever-present, even when the food bowls are empty and the cat toys lie dormant, with no cat in sight. You do not know where the music or the meowing truly comes from.
No matter how much food you put out, they are never sated. They are always hungry.
Then you wonder if it’s actually the cats eating the food. Although the food continually depletes while they are present, you realize you have never even seen them eat it.
In fact, you never see any cats come or go. They are either present or they are not.
You begin to wonder if the cats are truly real. You realize they are all actually the same cat, with the same faces and the same movements. Only their colors, and occasionally costumes, differ.
And who puts them in costumes? Are these cats sentient? Why do some cats respond to the names of deceased historical figures?
The cats do seem to possess greater intelligence and resourcefulness. They leave behind fish to show their gratitude. Fish you can use in a strange market in exchange for goods for the cats. Who makes these goods? And why would they accept fish as any sort of currency? What does the owner of this market use the fish for?
You could save up 10 gold fish to trade for 250 silver fish. But gold fish is hard to come by, while silver fish accumulate fairly quickly, so this trade is useless to you. The only trade you are forced to make, in what must be a capitalist society more unforgiving and unfair than your own, is 500 silver fish for 10 gold. How this kind of exchange could exist in any kind of sensible or stable economic system in whatever society these cats must be part of, escapes you.
One day, everything goes completely black. You wonder if you are about to lose consciousness. Out of the abyss quietly walks one of the cats to the center of your vision. It sits there, quietly, silently, unmoving, waiting. When you finally approach it offers you something. A memento. This happens time and time again. The items they give you seem to have little if anything in common, most are useless, some are disgusting. They don’t seem to have any particular value, but the way each cat presents it to you, tells you it means a lot to the cat. You feel incredibly grateful with each memento, saving each one, and you don’t know why.
You save enough gold fish to buy what they call “an extension”–you are able to make one room for your house, but this room is for the cats only. You think you may be able to live here, reclaim your life again. But you cannot enter the room. As before, you are a but an observer. You realize there is a cat bowl in the room already. You fill it with food. You put toys in the room. The cats come again. You are happy.
Are they cats? Were they always cats? Are they lost souls in purrgatory, carrying lost items from their former short, brief human lives? Are you meant to watch them in this endless resting place, for the extension of eternity, a quiet, passive host, waiting for an end that will never come?