The slaves were not appreciative of the gift I retrieved for them at the park. It was important to keep up a piece treaty with them to ensure that they remained gullible enough to continue providing me with free food. That, and I felt that the gift of a bird also demonstrated my strength, showing that I was not one to be crossed. The female slave screamed and chased me away. I did not understand what she was reacting to. The bird was not going to come to life and attack her. I was not keeping the gift for myself. There was nothing threatening to have caused such a reaction, but out of the house I ran regardless, lest I had to defend myself in the face of the hysterical female slave.
I found a desirable sunny spot on the edge of some bushes to curl up and take a nap, when the blasted dog came up to me. How I despised that dog, who always insisted that the slaves were Gods and went out of his way to treat them as such. His twitchy nose sniffed mine and his curled up tail wiggled with enthusiasm. “Not now,” I said to the dog, who I easily outweighed by at least five pounds.
“But I'm booooored! The masters are busy cleaning something dead! Can we play with the ball? Or we could play chase! C'mooooon, Lexie, play with me!”
I told that dog hundreds of times that my name was Alex, but he insisted upon calling me the cutesie feminized nickname the slaves called me. The slaves weren't all bad, to be sure. When I was much younger and skinnier, they would leave out food in their yard, knowing fully I would not come for the food until they were well away from it, as I would never get within 10 feet of their tall gangly forms at the time.
“Dog, I will scratch you if you don't let me nap,” I told him in a low growl, my muscles tensed.
I watched the little yappy thing dance backwards a couple steps, then forwards a couple steps as if to taunt me. My back arched and the hairs on my neck stood on end, making my size look nearly doubled. I let out an intense hiss as a warning to scare him off—successfully.
There was an interesting relationship between myself and the dog. There were days when he went out early to get exercise, so when my favorite time to nap in the afternoon sun came around, he was more than happy to pass out next to me in order to provide me with his body heat to lay against. But intellectually we were from opposite ends of the spectrum, so our interactions have always been strained.
“Lexie!” called the slaves from the back door to the house. I was roused from my glorious slumber by the familiar sound. There was a specific tone that they used to indicate my evening food had arrived for me, as if pleading for my presence. I stretched lazily and padded over slowly to show that I was arriving to get food because I wanted to, not because they beckoned me to come. I now ate my food inside of the house rather than outside, having realized the slaves worshiped me rather than wished me harm. I slinked through the door, tail and head up to show my importance and demand for respect, then went over to the food bowl to gorge myself.
Fingers along my spine startled me for a second, but I was too enthralled with my meal to do anything about it. The nails scratched delicately through my fur coat and itched all the places it was too hard for me to reach while eating simultaneously. Despite my best efforts to ignore the attention, I found myself intoxicated by the rubs and scratches. My skin tingled and my vocal chords vibrated with a deep purr. I pushed my head deeper into a chin scratch that made my body paralyzed with pleasure. Somehow I forgot about my food momentarily and instead flopped onto my back to receive rubs along my belly, which the female slave happily did with a gentle touch. I knew they worshiped me. Only a creature that worshipped me like a God would bother to feed me and pet me while receiving nothing in return. Even the most vulnerable parts of my body they treated delicately instead of trying to take down such a worthy adversary as myself. They are dumb and easily manipulated creatures. Finally, I gave the slave's hand a quick bite to show that I was done receiving pets and continued to enjoy my feast.
I laid down that evening to rest on the large soft chair the slaves obviously bought as my throne and commended myself on a job well done on so easily taking over the household as my Kingdom. They even seemed happy to oblige me, as if they needed a Godly figure in their lives to give them direction, and I was happy to show them that to start, they needed to feed me and leave me alone, then to eat and sleep more themselves, for that is the key to existence. These reflections inspired more purring, and I lulled myself to sleep, in order to rejuvenate myself for a new day tomorrow.
This piece was inspired by a homework assignment in 2014 with a prompt that required me to use a random, yet predetermined list of different ways to depict time in narratives; these time depictions are called summary, scene, stretch, gap, and pause. Summary takes longer to occur than to read, scene takes an equal amount of time to occur and read, stretch takes longer to read than to occur, gap is where time has passed but is not put into the narrative (white space), and a pause is where the narrative stops to go somewhere completely different, then come back to where it left off as if nothing happened. I had to write these in order as they appeared on the given list, which I found to be both difficult and constricting. However, with the help of my significant other Ryan, we were actually able to produce a clever and fun little story.