Wednesday, July 20, 2016

STORYTIME BLOG HOP – JULY 27TH, 2016 - THE DAY THE CAT GOT OUT

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STORYTIME BLOG HOPE - JULY 27TH, 2016

THE DAY THE CAT GOT OUT

INTRO

*This is part of my “Nebraska Creepers” serial novel I've been working on. I want it to be able to work as a stand-alone, or be able to be read in one sitting. This is just an amusing little incident that occurred circa 2014 – 2016. People in later years, weren't rightly sure, because some didn't want to admit what they had seen and others claimed that they had not only been there, but had front-and-center seats; so many in fact, that, like Bob Seeger, who grew up in Ann Arbor, and shared his gym locker with 428,742 claimants, the number of people approached nearly the sum total of half of New-New Tampa, or roughly 578,943. It absolutely beggared belief.

I

Since his retirement, Paco had spent the sunnier and cooler part of the spring and late fall playing dominos in the old Brorein Park on the now-defunct part of Nebraska Avenue. Since the last and final election and Presidency of the United States, and ensuing Civil War, personal vehicles were banned, and public transportation was limited, although Paco didn't have anything to complain about. He enjoyed his time at the park, and loved talking to the younger folks who came to watch the Domino games and kibbitz. Public schooling was no longer a thing, but it really didn't seem to affect the kids; most are by nature, curious and enjoy learning. The time had come in which the social fabric had pretty much broken down completely, and frankly, Paco and his contemporaries felt the world was better off for it. Reliance on one another proved not to be such a bad thing, so, when the kids were around and asking questions about the math of Dominos, or begging for stories from the “before the War” times, Paco and his pals were happy to engage with them.

The one story they seemed to want to always hear about that had reached some legend or mythic status, was the one, everyone called “The Day the Cat Got Out”, but no one who actually was there, was really certain about what it was they had seen. Perhaps this was part of the fun and mystery of it all. It always led to a certain amount of speculation and stories that became whoppers. Such are all myths and legends started; albeit with a trace of truth at the heart of it.

II

The facts are these: one late night in October, not too long before Halloween, a woman, who had been living quietly on her own, with her aged cat, suddenly, burst out of her house, clad in black, like a Ninja Warrior, with the exception of wearing a tail and something that looked suspiciously like cat ears and whiskers, for a mask, and ran up the middle of her street, at oh say, around 1 a.m. It was surmised that she did so, because she didn't want to be observed. However, dis was da 'hood, and 1 a.m. may as well have been noon. As she ran down the street, her spine began to elongate, as did her heels on the backs and the claws on the front of her feet. She then began to run on all fours, and gained terrific speed. Startled neighbors and the local ne'er do wells, began to chase the creature, who didn't really seem to be going anywhere in particular.

Shouts of “It's a panther! A shape-shifter! I'ma shoot it!” were heard. The first round of gunfire was heard and the big cat took a quick veer to the right, a pack of people running right behind it. The big cat took a huge leap to try and jump upon a roof to get away from all of the activity and the gunfire, but missed by a foot and slid all the way down the side of the house, and left gouges in the side of the house in its wake.

Desperate, the cat attempted another leap from a sitting position and it's powerful leg muscles made the leap gracefully and nailed a solid landing on the roof. It turned around and sat, facing her adversaries, glowering. Said adversaries, now quiet, looked back. The cat lowered her head, looked at them furiously, and with a surprisingly orotund growl said “You idiots, I am your Super Hero! Knock it off with trying to kill me! This is my Trial Period on the Suit. If it doesn't work, I need to get a new one made! If ya put a hole in it, it invalidates the warranty!”

The cat then turned and ran gracefully off over the rooftops and disappeared. She was never seen again that obviously, but there were glimpses, and there was a noticeable drop in the high crime rate around the area.

III

This was the tale that Paco always tried to tell the kids, but over the years, (nearly forty of them!) the tale had transmogrified and become something epic, akin to something Thor-like coming down from the Heavens and single-handedly cleaning up the 'hood.

Paco would always shake his head and say, “No, it weren't like that, guys. She was a real flesh-and-blood human being who found out a way to use a bunch of techno Voo Doo to help her. She just a person, like you and me.”

One of the kids said, “I bet she was a alien! Or a ghost! Mebbe a shape-shifter!” Paco just shook his head. “Naw, man, she was a real person. I knew her. She bought her milk at my store. Did laundry right next to me at the Laundromat.”

The kids would look downcast and Paco would always relent; “well, maybe she did have a way about her. Who knows? There are more things unknown and unseen, here on heaven and earth. Sometimes, I still see her, sittin' watch on the roof... You could be right, although that would make her the most agile 110 year old I ever saw!”

This always made the kids happy for some reason, and really, why bust a kid's harmless dreams?

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AUTHORS AND STORIES

Karen Lynn Dragon Smoke and Wind 
Katharina Gerlach Lobster One 
S. R. Olson Malakai's Gift 
Wendy Smyer Yu Into The Light 
Barbara Lund Separate Space 
Shana Blueming A Melting Heart 
Juneta Key Don't Drink The Water 
Angela Wooldridge Midwinter Lee Lowery All Aboard 
Elizabeth McCleary OverWhelmed

17 comments:

D Biswas said...

This is how legends are born :)

www.damyantiwrites.com

Katharina Gerlach said...

What an entertaining little story. I agree, legends are possibly born like this.

Juneta Key said...

Well, Told! I really enjoyed that, especially the delivery. Good Job.
Juneta @ Writer's Gambit

Elizabeth McCleary said...

Fun story with a uniqe voice. Very nice!

Karen Lynn said...

I like the layers of rumor on top of the initial story, and the layers of time you have going on here. Thanks for joining us, and I hope to see more of your work soon!

Angela Wooldridge said...

I loved this, what a beautiful 'voice' you have!
(and welcome to the blog hop!):)

Viola Fury said...

@Damyanti!

Thanks so much for reading and for your encouragement over the years. It was a wonderful day when I met you! I had to dig down deep for this inspiration and it fit perfectly! This area is one that is steeped in sorrow and odd stories and bewonderment and often prosaic things. This is an ideal way to bring the area to life and showcase the people for who they are; people who strive with what they have and work against odds with tools that are not always up to snuff. It's one of the reasons I love living here and I also have a chance to help out at odd times. It's a good place for me. I feel alive here. Thanks for reading and I hope the finished work does all of us here on Nebraska proud! Thanks again, my love! Mary

Viola Fury said...

@Katharina!

Thank you so much for stopping by and reading my little story. This is actually the first piece of fiction that I've ever really worked on and polished for other people's eyes and I appreciate any feedback! It is part of a chapter of a larger work, that deals with the area of town I live in in Tampa, Florida. It is an older, mixed-zoned part of town and it is rather notorious in it's existence. We've had brothels for big-shots, arrests of athletes and U. S. Senators here for drugs and soliciting over the decades and just the usual corruption, along with visits from Teddy Roosevelt and Harry S. Truman (at the Big White House, when it wasn't a brothel), so you can see it is rather diverse! I'm glad you enjoyed the delivery; voicing is important in this. I'm just glad you read it! Thanks again! Mary

Viola Fury said...

@Juneta!

Thanks for reading and thank you SO MUCH for letting me participate in this #STORYTIME BLOGHOP! I'm glad you enjoyed the voicing and the way I delivered it. I've worked hard over the years to try and not sound "stilted" which I had to work really hard to lose, so I could just be natural and then find my own voice. Yikes! It was folks like you, Juneta and Alex over the years who encouraged me and helped me. I really appreciate that! I can't wait until the next #STORYTIME BLOGHOP and I will post on time! I promise! Thanks again! Mary

Viola Fury said...

@Elizabeth!

Thank you for reading! I'm glad you found it fun - always a plus and what I was going for and so happy you found my voice unique. I do hope that was unique in a good way! Again, thanks for reading! Mary

Viola Fury said...

@Karen!

Thank you for stopping by and reading! Thanks for seeing the rumors part. If this area could trade in rumors, we could ALL live like kings! I used the timing device, because I do want this to be something that is remembered in this area. This is a small part of a chapter of a larger work in the area where I live. On one hand, it's a character study, on the other, it's kind of a "whodunit". This is a notorious area, a high-crime area, but with young professionals, people who live below the poverty level, businesses and all less than 5 minutes from the Port of Tampa and downtown. So, there's plenty of opportunity for great things and lots of crime. Lots of opportunity to help people and just observe too. Anyway, thanks again for reading and letting me join your group! Mary

Viola Fury said...

@Angela!

Thank you so much for reading and thank you for the lovely compliment! I really had a lot of fun writing this! This portion here is actually part of a chapter of a larger work, and when the idea came to me, I just knew it was right. It hit a chord for the area I live in. I don't want to say too much, but I think it will be a lot of fun. Anyway, thanks again for reading, and I will be writing more for your group and I appreciate the warm welcome! Thank you! Mary

Wendy said...

I very much enjoyed this portion of your larger work! I do hope you'll join future blog hops and keep us updated on your progress :) . Also, I just wanted to add that this setting you've created is really interesting (post 2nd Civil War, end of presidency, etc.) and you have a great ability to portray your characters' own voices/views and a keen bit of observation/description about the 'tone' of the neighborhood. For a first time offering for an audience, you're off to a great start!

Viola Fury said...

Hi Wendy!

Thank you so much for reading and commenting. In truth, I started with a germ of an idea and then, as things have transpired, I thought, "well, why couldn't it also be part social commentary/part glimpse of the "past" from my viewpoint, without the ax grinding in the background?" and just slip these things it subtly? I'm not sure that I'm quite that deft, but without trying, I'll never know. I feel quite strongly about my love for the USA and the principles the founding fathers intended, via the Constitution and the Bill of Rights, yet don't want to get preachy in a book that is meant for fun and a bit of observation about the human condition. If I can shoe-horn some of my own viewpoints in subtly and not ruin the flow, all the better. The 'hood is its own voice, too and I live in it daily. I've written of it and about the people for over five years. Some of it is gut-bustingly hilarious and some is so very tragic, Wendy.

I came to be here after a vituperative, bitter divorce in which I let him keep the house. I took a reduce settlement just to get away from him, and then found out some very un-savory things about him later on, which led me on a vendetta against him (he took over a job my late mother had held at one time, and he must have known how that would sting. It ended up biting him in the ass) for several years, which led me to "out" his behavior to his working environment; being a Social Worker, trying to keep families together, is great. But not so, if you got a girl friend when your wife was fighting for her life in the hospital with congestive heart failure and further, you did everything in your power to make her have a heart attack upon her release. You can see why I got the hell out.

Anyway, with the settlement, I tried to buy another house in Tampa (we had been living on 2 acres in the country) and I purchased during the 2008 ARM mess on a rent-to-own contract. I ended up putting 30k into the house, when the "owners" went bankrupt. I sat there and paid the bills, taxes and all for 2 years, when the bank reclaimed the house. I was working from home. The bank wouldn't even talk to me and I was evicted.

I was sick, tired, homeless and ended up in the hospital for 2 months, and spent 5 weeks in in-patient physical rehab after that. Hillsborough County dropped me off at one of the many homeless shelters on Nebraska Ave., in da 'hood. While I was in the hospital, they had done a "protective" filing on me with the SSA, and I received my SSDI in March of 2011, retro to October of 2010. I had already started thinking about starting a blog about being homeless.

Viola Fury said...

@Wendy!

I tend to be long-winded... My original blog was going to be full of Profundities and Deep Meaning, but it just mostly ended up being full of hilarity, although there was plenty of sadness to go around. When I finally became homeful, having taken the brave move of moving across the street and one block over (I can still see my old shelter) I tried to quit the blog. Well, the three-and-a-half readers I had at the time were having none of that! So, I kept on, and just explained that the focus had changed: from stories strictly about the shelter to all the hoo-ha going on around here.

Nebraska Ave. 33602, 22605, 33604, is some of the most notorious real estate in the country. This is where upright athletes and Senators and Congressmen come to get arrested for soliciting or trying to buy drugs and happens with un-astonishing regularity. During the 2012 GOP convention, a friend of mine who is a Political Editor for HuffPo, Jason Linkins, @Dceiver, was "live-blogging" the thing from a bar in Ybor City, about 8 blocks from me. What he was mostly blogging about was beer and pizza, truthiness and all. Me? I was "live-blogging" the convention from my porch, saying things like "It's a Hollywood Premiere here, well before noon, wid all dem Stretch Limos, up&down da street! Family values?" Jason was going, "ha ha ha! That's the REAL convention!"

So, a bit of human observation there. Here I still live, and da 'hood is still helping the human condition reveal it's true self, Wendy. I will definitely keep you posted and will most likely ask for advice/beta readers along the way.

Thanks again for such praise! It's nice to hear and it's nice to know I'm on the right track. When I came up with this "project" it just felt right. All the others have been dogs. With fleas. And also, a HUGE thank you for reading! Mary

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

She should be a little concerned if she is still hanging around on the rooftops. Guess she didn't want Batman to have all the fun cleaning up crime. Well done!

Viola Fury said...

@Alex!

She may still be; that is part of the legend! She would have been MUCH more concerned if she ended up with a hole in that proto-type hero-suit, that the ravening hordes or three people who were chasing her had accidentally put in it! She'd have been stuck paying for a faulty suit that didn't work!

As to whether or not she hung around on roof tops for the next 40 years, she probably did, seeing as how Tampa isn't Batman's beat. One thing's for sure, the level of crime dropped, for a while, at least!

Thanks for reading, Alex!