The following is a snippet from the second short story that will be going out in the club. If you haven't signed up yet, you can do so here.
I check my watch when I reach the picnic shelter at the halfway point on the walking trail. It is two p.m. Deciding that the day is a loss, and that after twelve days straight of working I should give myself a day off, I turn and walk back to my car. I can rent some movies and let myself wallow for the afternoon, then start fresh again tomorrow.I am so preoccupied with my mental rolodex of films that I almost don’t see the streak of white that shoots out in front of my car. I slam on the brakes, inches from turning a beautiful Turkish Angora into a fluffy white pancake.“Oh my god!” Gasping for breath, I throw the car into park and climb out. The owner runs across a lawn on my right, the screen door banging in the breeze.“I’m so sorry!” he calls, jumping the curb. “I opened the door to get the mail and she just shot out! I don’t know what came over her.” He kneels to gather the trembling ball of fluff in his arms. “Are you okay, Percy?” he asks, feeling over her tiny body for damage.“Is he okay?” I asked. “I’m so sorry! I didn’t even see him, he moved so fast. I didn’t hit him, did I?”“No, I think she’s okay. I’m really sorry. I should have been keeping a better eye on her.”Wait. “Her?”“This is Percy,” he says. I let her sniff my fingers. She doesn’t object when I stroke the fur between her pointed ears. “It’s short for Persephone.”“You’re kidding.”“No. Why?”“I have a Maine Coon named Hades.”He laughs. “Seriously?”“Yeah. My dad does maintenance for this old theater, and they found a litter of kittens in the boiler room. Hades was hiding in the furnace.”“In the furnace?”“Yeah. It was July, so it wasn’t on, but he was making all kinds of noise in the vents and scared the crap out of the guys doing renovations on the stage area.”He has a really great laugh. Light brown hair flopps into his eyes, which are blue.For her part, Percy seems to have forgotten the incident. She purrs and nuzzles her human’s neck like nothing is wrong.“You know, you look kind of familiar. Have we met?” he asks. “I’m Robert, by the way.” He offered his hand.“Jude. It’s nice to meet you.” There was an air of familiarity about him, but I can’t place him until he withdraws his hand and uses it to sweep the hair out of his eyes.Dream boy didn’t have a pony tail. He just wore his hair combed back.The revelation hits me in the stomach. “I--I need to go,” I say, turning quickly on my heel and going back to the car. The engine is still running. I struggle with the seatbelt.“Hey, wait! Did I say something wrong? That thing about you being familiar wasn’t a come on, I swear!” He leans over my open window.“Look, I need to go. I’m really sorry about your cat. I hope she’s okay.” I grab a business card out of my purse. “If she’s hurt and you need to contact me, here’s my number.”He takes the card. As soon as his hand was away from my window, I peel out, my tires shattering the silence of the quiet, residential street.I am still shaking with nerves when I pull into the driveway of my little yellow cottage.“It was a dream. A dream. As in, not real,” I tell myself as I unlock the door. Why did I give him my card? How could I have been so stupid? He’ll probably sue me for nearly hitting his cat, and how am I supposed to pay for a lawyer?Yes, that’s it. Focus on the practical problems, and not the fact that last night I had a dream I was dating some guy I hadn’t even met.
I hope you enjoyed.
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