Not often, but sometimes Jeremy would exhibit signs of being a cat. Oftentimes, this illness exhibited itself in the form of stealthily knocking full glasses of water off the coffee table and staring his mother in the eye as she waited for him to take responsibility for his actions.
At other times, he would poop in a box he kept in the corner of his bathroom full of kitty litter. This was his mother’s least favorite.
Sometimes he enjoyed batting a small piece of plastic around the linoleum of the kitchen floor, especially while his mother was trying to cook dinner.
Rarely, he would lie on the kitchen counter, roll casually to one side, and expose his belly for an indeterminate amount of belly rubs before he would widen his eyes, bare his teeth, and go for blood.
Doctors eventually gave up on conventional medications and recommended a flea collar.
Alice bundled her coat into a ball as she took her seat on the train. She turned to her seatmate to introduce herself, but the man was reading a paper. Quite determinedly reading a paper, she noted. He rattled the pages fiercely as he turned them, shaking out imaginary wrinkles and possibly mixing up the words, Alice presumed. She shrugged and faced forward to wait for her journey to begin.
The remaining passengers bustled by, occasionally knocking her elbow, but mostly focused on themselves in that polite way that people assume in mass transit situations. Alice settled back and thought about her grandmother’s house. where she’d be in just a few short hours.
She was named Alice too, and ever since Alice the younger was a little girl, she’d been entertained with the most outlandish stories of dreams and mirrors and decks of cards. Alice the grandmother even had a nifty little bottle labeled Drink Me that served as a prop for one of those stories. Summers with her grandmother were the best times of young Alice’s life.
The train began to move, and she nodded off, to dream of a rushing rabbit in a waistcoat who was terribly late.
Look at these birds of a feather
Frolicking gladly together.
The dolphin did dash,
The cow made a splash,
And neither one cared ’bout the weather.
“That guy’s a joke anyway, Ems. You go. Bring the sexy undies that I know you bought for this trip and just enjoy being with yourself. Trust me, you’ll have a better time than you would ever believe.”
Her sister Sarah’s words echoed in her head, and Emily smiled. Of course she was right. Sarah was always right. It was nice to just hang out and relax and feel good about herself with no pressure. The cabin was secluded enough that she could sunbathe nude, but not too far from the most important amenities.
She finished up her game of solitaire and grabbed her phone to order a pizza with lots of extra cheese.
This planet was not at all what Gorba expected. The inhabitants were absolutely huge. And nearly all of them so dangerously oblivious to their surroundings.
The slobbery one that picked him up in its wet, cavernous facial opening was covered in some sort of fine tentacles, but they didn’t seem to operate like tentacles at all. Useless appendages? Millions of them? So strange. Maybe they were taste buds. But no, probably not; it hadn’t touched Gorba with the tentacled parts of its body, only the plain, empty ones.
So much noise.
So much light.
So many inhabitants, in so many shapes and so many sizes.
Gorba considered hibernation until the time of his inevitable rescue…Yes. That was probably his best option. He couldn’t make sense of this place at all. He let his tentacles go rubbery and his eyes go googly, and he commenced to wait.