Friday, January 22, 2010


by Rain Graves

Cat Cemetery. Ancient. She crouched low, barely breathing. Slinking shadow in inky air, black like the womb. Like decay. Pausing, ears forward and back only once - Something calling her name. Lift nose; that's the way to smell souls. Test tongue through fuzzy lips, twitching whiskers for static. That's how to taste fire and power.

Singing...low, monotonous, symbolic. She listens, starts padding softly in that direction. It's ok, she knows the song. No words out of place, nothing strange in the lilt of the voice. Pretty soon there will be questions. Must get closer to hear them, to answer.

It's faster on paws than feet, she thinks, moving from her city Bubastis, like fierce wind towards a village. Greenwich? So far...almost too far. The call is strong enough to help pull her.

All stop. She listens cautiously, circling Greenwich Village--foreign place, city populated with crime. Ignorance. No place for a cat, or a cat goddess. Tinkling vibrations touch her golden hoop earring. There are two voices now... One is meek and small. Desperate. Learning Bast through a wall that is sacred. Small Voice is trapped. Must prowl... Must find!

As she reaches the room, it is thick with pain. Power-words like water, cascading through oils, prayer, fire, and wax. A woman lay heaped next to the altar, one arm clinging to the stone, the other clinging to her belly. She wants to scream, Bast can feel it. She is bleeding...everywhere.

She crouches, must make herself small, light, and greasy. Closing her eyes, she sees the entrance. Must get inside, drag it out. Left-right-left in rapid hind-leg motion.

Pounce! Run fast--into the Mother's nine centimeters. She chews a bigger way, so she can fit in and drag Small Voice out. Mother screams, it hurts. Small Voice is very faint now... Almost stopped singing. Bast must fix somehow.

"I am stuck," says Small Voice.

"I am a cat," says Bast.

"Can you help me?" says Small Voice.

"I can drag. Keep singing." says Bast.

Small Voice sang, gentle determination in its voice. Gentle frustration. Gentle need. These things made Bast strong as she worked, chewing and untangling the umbilical chord from around Small Voice's neck. Must get it out, thought the goddess, as she heard Mother moaning. Stay awake! Stay awake to help Bast! She felt contractions threatening to choke her.

Push... Push... Chew, push, chew...

The eye opened wide, and Small Voice could see it. Went towards it. Still hooked on something though, and Small Voice panicked. Flailing, kicking--hurting Bast, hurting Mother. Squeezing past, Bast took the baby by the neck and dragged... Through the eye, into the world.

Mother lay at the foot of the altar in a pool of nature's juice, exhausted. Better for her to sleep, thought Bast, as she licked the mucous and slime from the newborn.

"Ouch, your tongue is harsh!" Said Small Voice.

"The world is harsh." Said Bast.

"May I come to you for guidance?" Said Small Voice.

"Yes, sometimes..." Said Bast, purring the child to sleep.


Tune In Next Monday as
by David Agranoff
continues with Chapter 12:
Face To Face


  1. The Internet is made for people who write in sentence fragments!

  2. It's called poetic license. I see the story as a fragment, itself, of a larger picture. Even the image used up above is itself, a detail--a fragment of a larger painting. As an example of "flash fiction", the use of sentence fragments here is rather lovely. Thanks for commenting.

  3. I find this piece quite beautiful, actually. Touches something deep. Very cool.

  4. I really love it. One of my favorite stories here.

  5. I admire how the style of “Mau Bast,” in slivered present tense that shifts to past tense, evokes the evanescence of individual life within the eternity that is creation. From the opening invocation of life and death, “black like the womb. Like decay,” this story presents both tribute and offering to the divine force of creativity. The feline flow of the narrative extends to the reader a natural joy and sympathy, as if the story were itself a friendly cat – and like a cat touched with aloofness, which we hear in those last lines seasoned with the wisdom of life’s asperity – and uncertainty. A deft integration of lyric and narrative methods! And a fascinating use of changing tense.


Archive of Stories
and Authors

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Adam Bolivar's

Adam Bolivar's

Adam Bolivar is an expatriate Bostonian
who has lived in New Orleans and Berkeley,
and currently resides in Portland, Oregon
with his beloved wife and fluffy gray cat
Dahlia. Adam wears round, antique glasses
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Keith Graham's

Keith Graham's

Keith Graham's

Keith Graham is a computer programmer,
blues harp player, fellow beekeeper, and
speculative fiction writer. He currently
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others. Underground rock music
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John Claude Smith's

John Claude Smith's

John Claude Smith writes weird fiction,
something between Horror and Magic
Realism, most of it psychologically driven.
He's had over 40 tales and over 1100 music
reviews, interviews, and profiles published.
He is currently shopping two novels and
a collection to agents and publishers, all
while starting the third novel. Gotta keep
on keepin' on! Looking forward to Rome
in the not too distant future, but for now,
just looking for the next short story to
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David Agranoff's

David Agranoff's

David Agranoff is the author of the
short story collection Screams From
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His contributions to the punk horror
scene and the planet in general have
already established him as a bright
new writer and activist to watch out
for. The Freezine of Fantasy and
Science Fiction welcomes him and
his defiant vision open-heartedly.

David is a busy man, usually at work
on several different novels or projects
at once. He is sure to leave his mark on
a world teetering over the edge of
ecological imbalance. David's latest
books include the Wuxia -Pan
(martial arts fantasy) horror
novel called Hunting The Moon Tribe,
already out from Afterbirth Books.;
The Vegan Revolution...with Zombies,
[Deadite Press, 2010]; and
[Deadite Press, 2014]

Daniel José Older's

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Daniel José Older's spiritually driven,
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organizer to weave fast-moving, emotionally
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shouts about power and privilege in
modern day New York City. His work
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and Science Fiction, The ShadowCast
the collection Sunshine/Noir, and is
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Black Pot Mojo Reading Series in Harlem.

When he's not writing, teaching or
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