I knew I had to find it before the end of the month. But it was already the day before the monthly short story deadline, and I still didn’t have any good ideas. None. Zero. Zilch.
That blank screen was just sitting there, taunting me, every blink of the cursor on the screen like the punctuated jab of a playground bully: Ha-ha-ha-look-who-can’t-find-a-plot-line-this-month! Thanks for that, annoying blinking cursor! I’m well aware I only have less than forty-eight hours left to get a stroke of brilliance, write it, screenshot it, post it, and submit it! If you think it’s so easy, let’s see you write a story…
Well, I have to type something. Okay. Let’s do this.
I knew I had to find it before
Hmm. At least I know how to start, that’s the prompt this month. But how to finish? It needs to be something clever, something epic, something–
“Hey, Casanova. Mommy’s very busy writing right now.”
My cat, not particularly caring all that much about the most serious of human crises — having writer’s block with a deadline drawing dangerously close — jumped up onto the desk and gave me that face. You know the one. That “your problems mean nothing to me human, now pet me immediately” face.
“Not until I finish this short story! It’s nearly the end of the month and I still haven’t found an idea that will work right! No, no, don’t be absurd! I can’t always write about cats! Don’t give me that, ‘What do you mean human, the Internet is made of cats’ look! I have to show some variety! Unless the cat is from an intelligent alien race sent to infiltrate and destroy humanity from within, no cat stories this month……”
“Oh. Oh, now that’s brilliant! You’re a genius, Casanova!”
I knew I had to find it before humanity became completely and utterly enslaved to the furry overlords. Some believe that it is already too late. They see the way we are helplessly compelled to fill the food bowl even before it is completely empty, because the furry overlords are displeased with the flaky broken pieces and require a fresh coating of niblets that has a scent which is pleasing to their sensitive nostrils. They see the way we labor to clean the shit from their litter boxes every day, when we know they can use a toilet. There is video evidence out there, proof, but they seem to enjoy having us on our hands and knees with the scooper, just so they can immediately dirty it afterwards, as if to spite our kind. They see how we must open and shut and open and shut and open and shut the door when beckoned, and the petting! Oh the petting. We are completely powerless against those furry faces, and those mews, and we must pet, and pet, and pet. No matter what we are doing. They are too powerful, they say. Humanity has already lost.
But I believe it isn’t too late, that we have not lost yet… at least, not completely. Because I knew their secret weakness.
I had been slaving for years to formulate the perfect scientifically altered catnip that would be powerful enough to 5hjopw5hiow5yhjpwo4hn’;hjnaptheiopayhrphobnibh;wphibw5
“Argh! Casanova! What have I told you about getting on the keyboard?”
My brilliance was interrupted as I had to backspace through several lines of kitty-type to get back to my masterpiece.
Thankfully, “the flow” wasn’t interrupted again, and within an hour I had churned out my magnum opus.
I felt a great sense of relief as I typed the final line: With a mighty explosion, the catnip bomb explodes over the planet, freeing humanity from the furry overlords once and for all. Now to just save it and get a few screencaps… I can do this! I can get this in on time!
There is a loud crash followed by the sound of the PC abruptly shutting down, the monitor going black before my eyes, and I stare at it, blankly, unable to process what I am seeing. No… this… can’t… I look over to the side of the desk where the tower is, to see my inspirational orchid is no longer on the side table, but instead is a big, watery mess all over the cabling connected to the back.
And the cat is nowhere to be found.
My head falls to the keyboard in defeat. I guess there won’t be a short story this month, after all.
This was written for the March Monthly Short Story Challenge from the Sims forums, which tasked folks to write a story in 500-1500 words using 1-12 screencaps beginning with the sentence “I knew I had to find it before…” It is a completely stand-alone story, and features my Simself. If anyone is crazy enough to want her in their game, she is available for download from SilverDaybreak’s Simself Scroll in both Sims 3 and Sims 4 flavors. Casanova is also available with the Sims 3 version!
This was just a silly little idea that popped into my head at the last minute, when I’d finally come to the realization I was probably going to have to forfeit taking part this month, since my previous idea had fallen through for requiring way too much world-building (it just simply was not a “do it in a month” sort of project, as I quickly discovered halfway into the month, leaving me suddenly with a serious need for a fresh, brand-new idea, and not really having anything good and being really pressed on time). I’m hoping it is humorous and relatable regardless!