..or maybe, right now, I’m the luckiest dude in the world
Sometimes I sit outside at night and I smoke and watch the stars go by in the sky. Windows open in the building and in my mind and fine breezes blow through both scattering dust. Smoke rings rise to greet those bunnies.
It’s a perfectly cool world to rule and nighttime is too. Sometimes things can be fixed with only the turn of a screw. Grass grows tall late into summer, so tall you wanna walk around with your bare feet so toes can feel things too and you do. Sometimes not so much matters at night.
A lot of places I’ve seen have cats. Not people cats but stray cats, which is a whole other animal for sure. Hadn’t seen any in this new place yet til I walked through that door for this smoke and he was in my peripheral. My sixth sense of shadow.
Black, says I to myself, cause I couldn’t see him after that. He snuck back into the night. So I sit down for that smoke. Click, spark, poof. Exhale.
The air is easy after rains cause you think you’re safe for a while. Smoke shoots off after wind as if eager to pollute. Spreads quick in my lungs and head for prolly the same reason. It burns fast while I buzz faster. Zig, zag go the lights in my mind.
It creeps back then, that cat I mean. Straight onto the sidewalk as if it was gonna stretch out and use the door. As if he, too, held the key. He doesn’t even look at me.
I’d been right, though. Black.
His walk could be characterized as a gait with purpose. He knows his place and places to be—where he had been and where he was going—past and present plans for the future and on. He better move quick—it’s now almost dawn.
Half a foot from my own bare foot he snaps his head up to face mine for the first time. Whether it’s first to see or first time to care I don’t know. Maybe sight falls low on his list of senses to use.
We stare for a moment, back and forth back and forth, neither friends nor enemies I suppose. Trading epiphanies I suppose. Click, clack go the lights in our minds.
And he decides against it. He turns. That little black cat—that great big enigma of misfortune—leaves my path alone and trots out back the way he came.
..maybe he hadn’t held so much knowing or purpose after all.
..maybe it’s to be my day, my week, month..
Maybe this is the year.
Or maybe the little dude was just blind...
BIO: DAN BRADLEY has a couple of cats. They don't interfere with his writing unless they are bored, hungry, playful, lonely, fighting, injured, hungry again, breaking into kitchen cabinets, running away, or sounding-- from the office-- like two fully-garbed knights having a sword fight to the death in the living room. Sigh... Dan wanted to grab a beer and run around with the laser pointer anyway.
When his cats allow it, Dan is a writer/editor at-large at the new arts and words mag: LiteraryFever.com. Visit him at MySpace.com/LucidLives
MOTIVATION: "I became very interested in the idea of flash fiction during grad school. That I could begin with any little thing that happened and see where it went (quickly) on paper. This is how I begin in every genre now. ..They say that reality can be zanier than fiction. Well yes.. because it's always much more startling to be swept off of what was once thought to be semi-solid ground.
The action in this story actually happened. It's quite often I find myself wandering outside, looking for motivation. I think part of the process of being a writer is being ready to accept a story when it happens. Don't JUST take it all in; remember even the "silly" stuff. Nature can do such funny things anytime you want to see it."