Day 31: Precognizant Cats

Author Jenna Eatough's Flash Fiction Story from Fyrecon's Fyretober Writing Prompt 2023-10-31

During October I am bringing you extra flash fiction or poetry in celebration of the season and inspired by Fyrecon’s Fyretober! What an amazing month this has been. I have enjoyed coming up with tales to fit the prompts, and I hope you’ve enjoyed reading them. Happy Halloween everyone!

Enjoy my thirty-first entry into Fyrecon’s Fyretober!

Fyrecon's Fyretober Daily Prompt List

1. New neighbors
2. It’s Alive
3. No Exit
4. Walk in the cemetery
5. Door in the wall
6. Mirror
7. Space visitors
8. The Monster Is
9. Anti-magic costumes
10. Skeleton’s battle cry
11. Djinn party
12. Space dwarves
13. Zombie fireball
14. Possessed guild house
15. Lorekeeper’s mask
16. Dragon sight
17. Alien scryers
18. Trick-or-Treating Shapeshifters
19. Disguised spellbook
20. Screaming trapdoor
21. Ghost weaponsmith
22. Jack-O’-Lantern avatars
23. Phoenix light sail
24. Sparkle castle
25. Graveyard pocket universe
26. Sentient wand
27. Haunted Skyhook
28. Pirate space elevator
29. Disguised terraforming
30. The Witches’ Laws
31. Precognizant cats

Bonus Fanged griffin

The cards snapped loudly against each other in Dan’s hands as he shuffled them while examining the three others seated about the table: Ren, Terry and Narfell. They held a sense of ease often absent in the last weeks. The Kuraffalin War was volatile in the sector of late. In fact, they hadn’t managed to steal an evening to relax in three shift cycles. Barely even sleep. Dan found the scene both familiar and strange with nerves that refused to completely relax. He doubted the others were different.

Terry’s brown, braided hair hung over her shoulder already unravelling even though she’d finished braiding it moment before. Ren seemed even less intent on the game than Dan himself. He sat slumped in his chair with his against the seat and arms dangling heavily on either side. Dan should have insisted that Ren went to bed instead of socializing, but Ren wouldn’t have listened. Those two were his oldest friends on the ship and a familiar sight.

Narfell sat at disease, the newest member of their group. He’d been on board the ship for only a week now, having replaced their previous comm controller and kept fidgeting with the edge of his cards as if he wanted to dart to the station in Dan’s room and pull up reports. If Dan had thought his shifts had been long, Narfell’s had been longer still.

“Narfell, you might as well stop twitching in your chair. We’re off duty,” Dan said. He flicked a card in Narfell’s direction before continuing around the circle. Narfell reached out with fingers too thin and too long for a human’s and drew the card to him. Dan knew those fingers flew over controls with a speed he couldn’t match. Dan wouldn’t complain about having him around for the worsening tensions.

Narfell held the card in front of his face appraising the design on it. “Pardon. I just feel the need to be monitoring the situation. Could not conditions worsen at any moment?”

Ren laughed mercilessly sly from his chair without bothering to raise his head from its slump. “We’re off duty. Doesn’t mean everyone is.”

“Who’s on duty?” Narfell asked. “Perhaps I could give them some scanning tactics.”

“He is.” Dan, Ren, and Terry all pointed to the feline lounging on a side table in the room. The cat glanced up as if sensing their attention and flicked his tail dismissively and yawned widely.

“Apologies. I understand even less now. How is that creature on duty?” Narfell raised his hands and drummed slender fingertips across his chin.

Terry chuckled and leaned forward to scoop her cards from the table. “When we’re not actively scanning, our cats are the best backup we can have. They know when there will be trouble aboard the ship.” She started sorting through her cards and scowled at them. Dan hadn’t even bothered to pick up his cards yet. He was watching Narfell’s reaction.

He reacted as Dan had hoped. At least he thought it was what he hoped for. As near as Dan could figure, the expression gracing Narfell’s face passed for perplexity in his species. “Why would those be better than my attention to the sensors?”

“Because they’ve a way about them, cats. Before we even left planet side, they’d already mastered quantum mechanics being both underfoot and not all at once,” Ren said, jabbing a finger into the air.

Terry chuckled, and Dan joined her in the old joke. Narfell blinked and peered at them quizzically.

“It goes back to Captain Susan Truffel,” Dan said, finally collecting his cards.

Terry picked up the story. “Legend goes that her cat escaped two days before she left the home world for her space assignment. When she finally reappeared, Truffel was so fearful she’d run away again she refused to leave her behind. She wriggled into bringing her fury baby along.” Dan grinned.

Narfell blinked at her. “Fur baby?”

“You’ll get used to our propensity for attachment to anything and everything.” Terry waved her hand dismissively.

“For instance, don’t even think about touching my mug,” Ren said. This time, he raised his head and glowered at Narfell who raised his hands and sat back in his chair.

Dan grinned at the pair. “Anyway,” Dan said, glancing at Ren to see if he was going to interrupt again. The man stayed blissfully motionless. “When they got aboard the ship, the cat started predicting problems before the crew could. a leak in the engine. A faulty transition. Coolant slowly seeping. Then the thing even predicted an attack. She became the fur baby to the entire ship.”

“Of course, it didn’t take long before she had actual babies,” Terry said grinning at Narfell.

“Appears that her fur baby had a bit too much of a good time in the days before they set out.”

“Her babies had more babies,” Ren said. “And now our ships are swarmed with cats that know when trouble’s coming.”

“Ah,” Narfell said, turning to look at the cat again. “So, when we are off duty, we pay attention to the fur babies to determine if we should revert to on duty.”

Dan laughed and kicked Ren under the table. “As good as any explanation we’ve got for them. We just know they know.” Ren sat up and glowered at Dan. “Stop glowering. Play or go to bed.”

Ren grabbed his cards off the table and huffed as he started sorting them. The next weeks would be long, and they all wanted a bit of time together outside of life-or-death antics. Dan glanced over at Tom laying contently on the side table. They had time before the next battle.

Be sure to check out all the #fyretober creations.

#fyretober2023 #fyretoberflashfiction2023 #fyretoberprompts2023 #fyretober2023day31

“Fyretober is for everyone who loves to create, and this month we’re looking to see your flash fiction, poetry, and illustrations every day. We’ll be providing daily prompts for the month and want to see what new concepts and wonders you can make with them.”

0 thoughts on “Day 31: Precognizant Cats

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *