Ten writers for children. All with something to say.


Part 7

Claire’s whiskers twitched. If only Alicia Flea were here to tell her what to do.

What was it that Alicea Flea used to say? Something about all cats having nine lives… Yes, that was it! All Cats have nine lives! Well, if it was true, then surely Claire could risk one of her lives to save Ralph.

It was time to use her nose. Claire’s eyes had already determined the fake Ralph, now it was time to focus on her extraordinary sense of smell. Claire loved the smell of Ralph when he came in from his daily run. Mud, moss, fish, pine sap all trailed him through the door filling her nostrils with adventures. But mostly, Claire loved Ralph’s all around permanent smell. The smell that was his gift to the world. Claire’s world. Something between a tunafish sandwich and a bowl of buttermilk. It was time to sniff out the real Ralph.

Whiskers twitching and nose whiffing, Claire wondered how many rooms there were in Lord Cadaver’s tower. Then she remembered seeing a doorway on the stairwell when she was climbing up to the party. She made her way to the front entrance through the festive party crowd, her nose caught up in smelling perfume and cologne, lemonade and peanuts, but no tunafish sandwich nor buttermilk bowl, Claire ran right into Lord Cadaver.

“Going so soon?” he asked with a sinister smile.

“I was just needing some… some fresh air, I-I’m coming right back,” said Claire.

“If it’s fresh air you need, there is no reason to leave the festivities.”

Before she could protest, Lord Cadaver lifted Claire and carried her over to the only window. Setting her down on the thin sill, he stroked her fur. “There you go, breath in all the fresh air you need.” Then he closed the window!

Not daring to move a single paw, Claire looked down and saw the sliver moon reflected in the still black waters of the moat surrounding Lord Cadaver’s tower. She looked up and there was nothing but tower, solid stone tower for as far as she could see. Then she heard it. The song she and Ralph always sang together.

Oh baby come back to me,

You’ve left me all alone with only one bone.

Oh baby come back to me,

I need only you to keep my whole sky blue…

The real Ralph was up there, somewhere near the top, and Claire, with her keen sense of smell and the nine lives Alicia Flea promised were hers, would have to risk at least one of them to save him.


Mark said...

Awesome! Very evocative writing!

Edie said...

This would make a great book. And, Lauren, I'm not surprised that you know your cats very well!

Christy said...

It's a good thing that my lifeless Claire still had eight lives to go. Thank goodness she turned out to be a cat!

David LaRochelle said...

How delightfully odd that some of the same themes come back: the name Claire, tuna fish. I agree with Mark; very evocative writing. Don't ever doubt your writing skills, Lauren. I'm waiting to read your first novel!

Stephanie said...

That is so fun:)

betsy woods said...

I want more . . .