This is a mildly-erotic short story with women readers in mind, from my Quickies CD (2 collections of stories, the other author is Patricia di Miere)
Eloise paced the kitchen. After a time she stopped, made herself a coffee and drank half. She poured the other half down the sink, walked through the alcove to the living room and poured herself a long vodka, marched back into the kitchen and poured some chocolate mint syrup into it. She took a swig and sighed. She marched back into the living room, sat down at her computer and stared at the forbidding blank word-processing screen. She took another swig of chocolate-mint-vodka and began to type:
SCENE TWO. OUTSIDE, NEAR THE CAR.
[Camera zooms in on a struggle between Jerry and two intruders, on the deck of Jerry's moored motor yacht. Jerry's face is contorted with rage as they twist his arm behind his back.]
JERRY: Let me go right away, you horrid man!
FIRST INTRUDER: No chance, you beastly blaggard!
JERRY: I'll damage your blinking face, you see if I don't, you big brute, you smell of fish!
SECOND INTRUDER: Don't you punch your blasted fist at me, you bottom- faced twit!
Eloise sighed and took another swig of vodka.
Things are just not the same since the independent censors started to interfere with the Capital TV Drama Channel
she thought, bitterly.
Now I'm afraid to say "golly" in case it's racist, or "gosh" in case they think I mean God. Surely these characters might say some profane things to each other during an arrest. But I no longer know what I can and can't say. And this screenplay has to be finished by the end of this week! Maybe I am working for the wrong channel. Maybe I need more inspiration. Maybe I've just become a type-cast writer of soap operas. I can't say boo to a ghost-writer any more.
Another swig of vodka and two re-written scenes later, she saved the page, shut down the PC and got up. She cursed savagely as her Siamese cat Tiggy ran in, colliding with her leg. As she glared at the cat, he washed his paws for a while to cover his embarrassment, blinked at her and crept slowly into the airing cupboard - something he always did at the same time each day.
"Come out of there you demented feline"
She said, not without affection as she opened the cupboard door wider. Tiggy came out from behind the tank, covered in cobwebs. He uttered a yowl which was friendly, but sounded like a small baby in agony.
Eloise went back into the kitchen to tidy up the remains of lunch, closely followed by Tiggy. She rearranged her dried flowers in a vase near the cooker and looked out of the window to watch the blue tits on the bird feeder... anything rather than go back to write more of the screenplay. It was perhaps simply not the right time. She topped up her syrupy vodka and went back to the living room. As soon as she sat down on the leather sofa, Tiggy sprang onto her lap and rubbed around her face, purring loudly, digging his claws in slightly. She ruffled the soft fur at his neck and removed the cobwebs gently from his whiskers.
She crooned. She stroked his chin. He put his head back, narrowing his blue eyes to slits in a feline grin.
"You're so sweet to me. Especially when you want food. Why can't men be more like you?"
Tiggy circled a few times on her lap and arranged himself into a neat ball. The phone rang. She reached over to the nearby phone table and answered it. Tiggy fidgeted irritably, disturbed by the movement.
She said, in a half-sigh, wishing she could be left alone to relax.
"Hi Ellie, it's Ray. Long time no hear. Are you OK these days?"
"Not too bad, thanks. Why should you care?"
There was a pause at the other end of the line.
"Well, I just hadn't heard for a while, things are quiet here, and...."
Eloise took a long breath.
"Oh, so you were just about bored enough to call me, were you? Well the reason I haven't called is because I don't believe in chasing men. It's their job to chase me. You haven't called for weeks now, so naturally I assumed we were over, as anyone with half a brain might. You see Ray, I don't go in for little waiting games by the phone. If a man can't just be friendly and be himself, he can go and flush his head down the nearest convenience."
She smirked to herself and took another swig of vodka as Tiggy purred on.
"Oh Eloise, I've really upset you, haven't I?"
He said softly. This stoked the flames of her ire.
"Upset? What? You men. You think that women giggle rather than laugh, chatter instead of talk - get upset instead of angry. Don't flatter yourself, and don't waste any more of my time, you gonads-for-brains loser. I don't even fancy you any more, you have a face that only a mother could love. Have a great life. 'Bye."
She hung up and sniggered for a few moments, as the vodka found its way to the muscles of her knees. Tiggy gave her a conspiratorial look and stretched out his right forepaw. She smiled back at him.
"You're so sweet. If only you were a man."
Tiggy lowered the fluffy eyelids of his dark-masked eyes slowly. Eloise felt the lids of her own eyes become heavy. The distant sound of the kitchen radio began to blur into a muffled sound, like pipe music across a grassy hill. She leaned back against the back of the sofa and closed her eyes, enjoying the soporific dizziness induced by the vodka. Mint and chocolate lingered on her tongue.
She woke up again with the terrible feeling that most of the day had been wasted. It was almost dark outside. The taste on her tongue had changed into the flavor of an old sock dipped in pond water. She groaned as she saw the clock on the wall. It was almost nine o'clock. She looked down at her lap. The golden-brown naked man sighed and stretched across her lap, flexing his elegant fingers. She ruffled his black hair, absent-mindedly, enjoying its silky texture. He smiled.
Wait a minute.
She looked down again.
There was a beautiful oriental man lying across her lap, naked as a new- born child. His almond-shaped eyes were open now. Instead of the usual dark color that oriental eyes might be expected to be, they were a fantastic turquoise blue. His hair hung in feathery locks around his face, like Chinese brushstrokes. Through the alcohol-induced haze she felt a strange jolt of recognition, remembering what she had said earlier.
He answered, in a deep, gentle voice. He sat up and rubbed his nose against hers, setting off a sweet sensation down her spine. She stroked his cheek. He laughed and sprang from where he sat to the top of the oak dining table. Once there, he reclined on his side, almost in the same movement, as slick as a cartoon character. He took a tangerine from the fruit bowl and batted it idly back and forth across the top of the table.
"I've been following your story"
He said in a casual tone, almost causing her to fall off the sofa in surprise. She was not sure if the surprise was due to his transformation, or the fact that a cat would: a. - be able to read, or b. - be interested in a television script. She watched in further amazement as he scratched his ear with his foot, showing a rather inelegant view of his lower body. He then sat up and studied his nails thoughtfully. He smoothed back his hair.
"You... followed my story?"
She managed to say.
Said Tiggy, matter-of-factly.
"I can see all the best aspects, as well as the pitfalls. You're lapping out of the wrong bowl completely, my fluff."
He gave her an inscrutable smile, showing delicately-pointed canines, like a friendly vampire.
"The trouble is"
"Your characters in this episode are not successfully juxtaposed, and worst of all, they are not speaking in the correct idiom for their class. Well, class as you would know it, for humans. We have classes of our own. And I have a fine pedigree, as you know."
He smoothed his hair back again and jumped silently down from the table. She sat up abruptly as he sat down in front of her computer and switched it on. He tapped out the booting-up password without pause to blink, flexed his fingers and waited for the desktop icons to appear. As Eloise watched him, she wished that she had not left the curtains open. The people in the house opposite might catch sight of a naked Chinese youth sitting at her computer if they cared to look out of their window, across the garden fences.
Without a thought for the prying eyes of neighbors, Tiggy went straight to the Start menu and found a shortcut to Eloise's screenplay. Eloise frowned in confusion as he opened the document and began scrolling through it, reading it closely, leaning forward.
"Don't you think you should put some clothes on?"
She asked, hesitantly. It seemed a shame, he was beautiful to behold, but he was right in front of the window. Tiggy shrugged. He turned to her briefly, with a smug grin.
"I have nothing unseemly to hide."
He went to the end of the small amount of dialogue she had typed and began to delete some of the phrases. Then he began to type, adding to the screenplay of the scene and improving it to an amazing degree. Until he made Jerry suddenly say
"I'll BITE you, so help me!"
Eloise rested her hand on his arm.
"No wait a minute"
"He would not say that. He's human, not a cat, remember?"
Tiggy pouted for a moment, then smiled cheerfully again.
"Oh yeah. Sorry."
JERRY: I'll flatten you to a pulp, I swear I will!
and carried on typing. From time to time Eloise offered suggestions. She poured him a small vodka, which he enjoyed, although he drank it rather noisily. They carried on for an hour or so, with Tiggy typing at amazing speeds, stopping only to heed to suggestions from Eloise, who was beginning to slip into a pleasant sense of unreality.
When the scene was finished, with the Jerry character locked in a cell for the night, Tiggy saved the file, stopped typing and stretched, showing fluffy tufts under his arms, with an enticing male scent. Eloise could resist no longer. She reached out and touched the dark, wispy hairs, letting her hand run off them and down the side of his sleek body. He leaned closer against her hand.
"It's so nice when you stroke me"
He sighed, not surprised or alarmed by her touch.
"Even better without fur."
He looked at her with his intense turquoise eyes and narrowed them to a smile.
"Could I sit on your lap?"
He asked, without a trace of self-consciousness. She nodded, feeling hot and cold. She walked over to the sofa and sat down. He sat down on her lap, feeling surprisingly light. He wrapped his arms around her, pulled her close and gently licked the side of her neck. He went on doing this for some time, as she ruffled his hair. It felt soothing and strangely moving. Her eyes began to feel heavy.
"I made a crazy wish today"
She murmured, feeling her limbs become warm and loose as he lapped at her neck.
"Maybe it was foolish. Maybe I'm mad. Maybe I shouldn't drink so much." He did not answer. She ran her hand over his shoulder. He pulled her closer and nuzzled her ear.
"What do you think, Tiggy?"
She asked, moving back to look into his eyes, which had become quiescent and sweet with affection.
"I don't know Mistress"
"I just love you, that's all. You feed me and you belong to me."
This seemed a good enough answer, to Eloise.
Outside it had become very dark. A light in the upstairs window of the house opposite went off. She listened to Tiggy's breathing as her eyes slowly closed.
Suddenly Tiggy jumped in his sleep. Her eyes flickered open. It was still dark outside. The side of her neck felt slightly sore, as if someone had chafed it with sandpaper, or a scourer sponge. Or the rough tongue of a cat? Tiggy was lying on her chest with his paws around her neck, twitching as if in a dream, flicking his tail from time to time. His fur was warm and soothing under her throat, but she gently lifted him and put him down beside her. He woke up with a disappointed mewl. She looked at her computer. It was on. She moved the mouse, dispersing the screensaver.
To her amazement, the screenplay was complete. She scrolled through it. It was better than usual.
She glanced at the empty bottle of vodka.
But hadn't she only drunk half of it?!
She looked at Tiggy. He washed his right paw and licked his lips.
Then, very slowly, he winked.
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