Saturday, 29 August 2009

MULTIPLY United Friends Challenge #174: Fate

Kittigory's Challenge

This challenge asks you to look within...yourself, or your imagination, and write a tale of anger. There are a few rules, to make the challenge more interesting and...well, challenging! Here are the rules...

1) There must be AT LEAST TWO characters. Characters may be human, animal, paranormal, or any combination of these.
2) There must be SOME CONFLICT resulting from the anger. The conflict may be physical or emotional, or a combination of both. The conflict may be violent.
3) AT LEAST ONE of the characters must pay a price for the anger. The price may be monetary, physical, emotional, or some combination of these.
4) There must be A POSITIVE END to the conflict. Feel free to define "positive" as broadly as you choose, as long as AT LEAST ONE character is satisfied at the end of the story, and the anger is resolved.
5) The story must be between 1500 - 2000 WORDS, including dialogue. However, you may choose NOT to include dialogue, if it helps you do a better job. Please state your word count at the bottom of your entry.
6) Please give your story a title.

Tabby cat was lazing in the garden. It was one of those hot sultry days, an overture day to a storm she sensed. She was looking for action and then, as if it was programmed, a butterfly flew past her nose.

“Let’s go” she thought and did a jump in the air, clapping her paws together surrounding the butterfly, but the butterfly escaped, regardless of the cat.

“You will have to be quicker than that to catch me” said the butterfly and settled on a flower high up on a bush.

“I will get you eventually” answered Tabby “you won’t be able to avoid me all the time and I have an afternoon to wait”.

“First of all I have my duties to attend to and then we will see how good you are at catching butterflies” and she fluttered to another flower.

“Just a matter of time” Tabby thought and she watched, concentrating her complete body on the butterfly. The butterfly took off in flight once again and Tabby jumped as high as she could, but again her paws just trapped an empty pocket of air.

“Cat, just watch me” and the butterfly perched on Tabby’s nose. Now Tabby was angry, so angry that she swiped at the butterfly that flew away, the swipe landing on Tabby’s own nose which hurt as she had her claws ready.

“Butterfly I will crush you in my paw, I will make minced butterfly out of you, I will savour every cell of your colourful wings, just wait.”

Now that was a threat that should make every butterfly shake with fright, but she just sat there, now on a flower studying Tabby from afar.

“Cat, what is so interesting in my shape. Why do you have to try and catch me?”

“Butterfly, you taste good. Better than a plate of fish on a Wednesday evening. I just love to chase you, catch you and then the reward afterwards. And now, butterfly, you have made me angry. Nothing, not even a fly, perches on my nose and gets away with it.”

“Well, I did cat. By the way does your nose still hurt? What a stupid cat swiping his own nose.”

“Just you wait you overgrown rainbow with wings, I will get you.”

The butterfly decided to leave the cat; she had other things to do. It was then that she settled under a leaf and laid a few dozen eggs. She knew what her duty was, keeping the family in existence, and no stupid cat was going to stop her. As she peered over the edge of the leaf she saw the cat again. He was trying to claw its way to the leaf where she was, but kept slipping down again as the branch was too thin. The butterfly just had to laugh.

“Are you laughing at me you fluttering pollen eater” called Tabby.

“Of course I am” answered the butterfly “after all you are the biggest clown in this garden at the moment; cannot even climb a branch without falling. “

“I have climbed bigger branches than that one and higher. It just so happens that I don’t want to climb it at the moment.”

“Then why are you trying?”

Tabby was really getting annoyed, being laughed at by a butterfly of all things. She decided to change the subject.

“What are you doing under that leaf Shmatterfly?” she asked.

“Doing something sensible which I cannot say for you; I am ensuring the survival of my species.”

“Doing what?”

“Cat you are not only clumsy, but stupid as well. I am making sure that when I am gone there will be others that come after me. You should be pleased about that. It means lots of butterflies for you to try to catch next year. I have laid a few eggs under the leaf, out of the way of a silly cat, to ensure that there will be lots of caterpillars in the garden.”

“Now who is being stupid butterfly? Cats do not eat caterpillars, so what is the point.”

“Don’t forget cat, caterpillars are my children and one day they will turn into beautiful butterflies.”

“Great news, all the more food for me.”

“Yes, but first of all you have to catch us. Looks like you will need some practice.”

Tabby jumped again, but landed in a pool of water that had been left after the garden had been sprayed by the hose.

“Meowwwwwww, now I am wet. There is nothing worse for a cat than to get wet. Yuck, growwwwl, butterfly I will kill you.”

“No cat, you will not kill me. Just watch me now” and the butterfly fluttered down to the water to take a drink. Tabby took a launch with his paw at the butterfly and slipped back into the pool of water. The butterfly laughed. Tabby jumped at the butterfly but she flew up onto the leaf again.

“Oh dear” she said, “you know cat I am feeling very tired with all this jumping and fluttering and laying my last batch of eggs was also quite exhausting. I somehow think my time is coming.”

“What does that mean butterfly? Your time is coming.”

“Cat, how long have you been hunting butterflies and mice for that matter?”

“Since I was born butterfly. Why?”

“When were you born?”

“I think that was a long while ago. I have lived through at least five winters since I have been here.”

“You see, cat. I only live through a summer until my duty is done, and now it is done.”

“What do you mean?”

“I have laid my eggs and my folk will be born again next year. Even you will have pleasure in hunting my children and their children in the garden again after the next winter as you call it. So now my time is here. Cat it was fun spending the last moments of my earthly life with you. I really enjoyed it.”

“You mean you are going and I can eat you.”

“Yes cat, I am gradually drifting into a long sleep from which I will no longer awake. Goodbye cat, goodbye flowers” and the butterfly left the leaf she was sitting on, not flying away but drifting down to the ground.

Tabby was astonished. “Butterfly, butterfly” she called, but there was not answer. Suddenly Tabby did not enjoy hunting this butterfly anymore. She almost felt ashamed. The butterfly had died, gone, and even seemed to be accepting her future which was none. It was then that the threatening storm began. Large drops of rain fell and Tabby realised she was becoming wet. “No, this is not a cat’s life” she thought and hopped through her cat flap into the security of her home. She forgot the butterfly which was left to its fate in the rain.

1'142 words

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