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Flash Fiction: Fluffy's Christmas Toys

Fluffy lay on the couch, licking the last of the possum blood off of her feet, and watching her human put shiny things on a dead pine tree. She was exhausted. Going out every full moon and hunting something big enough to sate a werewolf’s appetite was work!

The first month, killing the terrorist had been satisfying, but in the months since—well, the neighborhood dogs had gotten very polite. And the local wildlife, well, they knew to hide during the full moon. She wasn’t the only werewolf around.

And now, there her human was, decorating the tree, and she felt no urge whatsoever to go bat at the pretty toys. It was just wrong! But she was so tired. She stretched and curled.


She woke much later. The lights on the tree were off, but she had no trouble picking up the gleams of the baubles. She went over and patted at one half-heartedly. But her human didn’t push her away, laughing and rubbing her head. Once again, she wished she’d never teased that werewolf. Though she couldn’t regret getting rid of the terrorist, not after he’d killed one of her stray friends, and bitten others.

It was so totally un-feline to be mooning about like this. She had to get with the spirit of things, or her human would be taking her to the vet. She went and got a drink of water, then padded up the stairs to see if her favorite Christmas toy was up yet—yes! There it was, green leaves and white berries, dangling from a red ribbon, tied around one of the uprights along the handrail separating the second floor hallway from the room below.

She headed over and started to play with the ribbon, pulling and tugging and shredding—the exact method didn’t matter, so long as she could drop the mistletoe to the first floor and bat it about for a while, leaving it somewhere amusing for the human to find.

It dropped quickly—too quickly. Fluffy was just starting to really enjoy the play. But she bounded down and batted it across the floor. And stood there and watched it bounce, still not wanting to chase anything. She was still stiff from the antics of that possum!

Angrily, she bit into the mistletoe, harder than she’d planned, and carried it over to the open box of shiny toys, and placed it into one of the waiting spots.

Boy, that stuff tasted bad. She sat and licked her toes again, licking and swallowing, licking and swallowing, trying to get rid of the taste. Suddenly, she felt her form twist and grow. What? How? She looked around wildly, but there was no full moon in sight. She—just barely—remembered not to howl her confusion inside the house. It would no doubt wake her human, and—no. Just no.

She shook her wolf-body, looking around. From this height, the whole apartment looked different. Small. And now she was hungry, though not as much as usual. She headed into the kitchen and polished off the kibble in her dish.

So, what had happened? She trotted back into the living room, and lay down on the couch, thinking. The couch wasn’t so comfortable like this—her feet all hung off the ends when she tried to curl properly. Finally, she sat up and shifted, putting the bulk of her weight over her feet, and pulling the coverlet all out of whack. Could it be the mistletoe?

She got up again, one claw pulling the coverlet half off the couch. She sniffed the mistletoe, and again felt big, strong, and very wolfish. Huh. But then, how to get back to her proper form? Would it just wear off?

Behind her, she heard noise at the front door, metal in the lock. It fumbled around, not like a proper key, and she ran to watch.

After a while, the lock snicked, and the door opened, revealing two men in dark clothes and ski masks. One started to step inside. Fluffy immediately started to growl.

“I thought you cased the place, Mel!” It was a rough whisper.

“I did!”

“You said nothing about a damn wolf!”

Fluffy advanced on the men, and they hastily pulled the door shut. With a sense of satisfaction, she listened to them retreating down the walk, arguing. A car door slammed and a car pulled away with a squeal of tires. So being a werewolf was still good for something after all!

She sat there wagging her tail proudly for a minute, then decided she deserved a reward. And at this size, she could reach the new catnip mouse out from where she’d watched the human put it. If she could open the cabinet door.

She trotted into the dining room, lifted awkwardly onto her back legs, grabbed the handle of the cabinet with her teeth, and pulled. Success! She snaked her wet tongue in between the mugs and the side of the cabinet and snagged out the mouse, dropping to the floor to lick and sniff at it.

Oh, it was wonderful! She sighed, and rolled about in ecstasy. It was so distracting that it was a while before she realized she was back to her proper self.

The windows were starting to show light, and soon the human’s waking noise would happen. If she could change at will, maybe being a werewolf wasn’t going to be so bad after all!

Quickly, before her human could wake, she ran to the living room, and snagged the red ribbon in one claw, dragging the mistletoe to a far corner under the couch.

Then Fluffy hid the mouse before heading up to her human’s bed to purr and purr, thanking her wordlessly for the best Christmas toys ever.

Copyright ©2009 Deirdre M. Murphy

__________________________________

For anyone who missed Fluffy’s debut,
Fluffy and The Terrorist, here’s the link.

This story is a part of the Spec the Halls contest for speculative winter holiday-themed fiction, artwork, and poetry. You can find guidelines and links to other entries at
http://www.aswiebe.com/specthehalls.html 



I hope you'll leave me a comment!

Comments

( 14 comments — Leave a comment )
marisabirns.com
Dec. 18th, 2009 04:21 pm (UTC)
Story
Loved the continuation of Fluffy. And so happy that changing at will is now an option. I mean, those robbers were scared off so being a werewolf is useful.

Lovely Christmassy story!
tigertoy
Dec. 18th, 2009 07:55 pm (UTC)
I love werewolves, but even so, it takes a real effort of will to suspend disbelief over the whole full moon thing. I like seeing a different method to trigger the magic. And I think that Fluffy having control over her shape changing ability has lots of potential. This world could go lots of fun places.
wyld_dandelyon
Dec. 18th, 2009 09:25 pm (UTC)
In flash fiction, it's hard to have a story at all (as opposed to a vignette), much less a story that ignores established tropes. 1000 words isn't much, and detailed worldbuilding (as well as many of the stories I'd like to tell) needs more space.

But I'm glad you're enjoying Fluffy, since I am too. :-D
tigertoy
Dec. 19th, 2009 01:21 am (UTC)
As you're demonstrating, you can do a lot in 1000 words, and you can do even more in a series of arbitrarily many 1000 word segments.
wyld_dandelyon
Dec. 19th, 2009 05:52 am (UTC)
Thank you!

When I started writing, you'd never have convinced me that I could write short stories this short. I had trouble getting stories under 5000 words!

I suspect songwriting has something to do with that.
valdary
Dec. 18th, 2009 09:26 pm (UTC)
Festive Fluffy made me festively smile!

A charming story.
wyld_dandelyon
Dec. 19th, 2009 05:53 am (UTC)
Thank you.
ext_206829
Dec. 18th, 2009 10:03 pm (UTC)
Excellent Story
I enjoyed seeing a cat as a werewolf. I loved Fluffy's voice throughout. This was a fun read!
ext_206076
Dec. 19th, 2009 01:24 am (UTC)
story
Love the Fluffy continuation! Terrorist - that still cracks me up. Nice to see that she can change at will now.
red_trillium
Dec. 20th, 2009 08:55 am (UTC)
:) I liked this one, interesting play on making Fluffy change with mistle toe and the holiday season.
wyld_dandelyon
Dec. 20th, 2009 10:49 am (UTC)
You're catching up! I hope this means you're less tired and stressed.
red_trillium
Dec. 21st, 2009 08:34 am (UTC)
Still tired, really glad we've got 4 day weekends coming up for the holidays. Stress, starting to ramp up at work and leading up to Christmas both at work and home. I'm giving myself permission to not have to get gifts out by Christmas. As bad as I feel about not getting people's choc bars out by Christmas I know my friends would rather I do it when I'm rested and not have to wear myself out.
theothersideofdeanna.wordpress.com
Dec. 22nd, 2009 02:56 pm (UTC)
Love the imagination at work here
This is a fantastically told story Deirdre! You conveyed Fluffy's voice very well. I'm glad Fluffy discovered how to change at will and hope you'll show us her next adventure soon.
(Anonymous)
Dec. 22nd, 2009 05:58 pm (UTC)
Hooray for Fluffy!
You capture the POV of a kitty really well! And a kitty-werewolf is a nice twist on it, particularly with the mistletoe magic aspect of it. I was engaged all the way through

Merry Christmas!

Cecilia Dominic
( 14 comments — Leave a comment )

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