Imaginif prompts for daily writers.
If you wish to join the Writers Prompt Daily simply use the below photo (changes daily) as a prompt and post a short story, poem or paragraph to your blog. Leave a comment and your link here so that all participants can come to you and read/comment/encourage. Stories below are copyright and are Megan Bayliss' writing around the below daily picture prompt.

Kitten's play

A slow, pregnant, tear slid down her high cheek bone and rested on the pillow before it decided to slip inside for a final down. Her cloudy blue cataract encircled eyes looked at me, pleading for me to quiet, so that she could tell me wisdom in her last hour.

“It is not the years I am dying with, Megan, but the life I had in my years.” She nodded, as though willing me to understand her wisdom.

I didn’t.

I was 20. 
How could I understand more than sex or drugs….or dodging the police when I had drugs on me? 
Not that Nan would have known about that stuff.

She continued, because she knew the urgency better than I did. 

“I may only be 83, Megan, but I had lived a hundred years by the time I was 21.”

Nan lapsed into a reminisce. 
I lapsed into my own thought and wished for her death so that I could inherit her wealth.

I though on her claim of the life in her years against the years of her life. 
I liked it. 
I might even use it some time to explain all the things I’d done.

I liked learning. 
She encouraged me. 
She schooled me when I was much younger. 
My own parents were too busy.
With the bottle.
With other people too, sometimes.
Other people of the opposite gender.
They were such losers: my parents and also the other people.
They, my parents, died heaps before Nan.
They didn’t learn, they just partied.
Which was good.
I inherited the lot now.
A real lot.
Nan was MIGHTY wealthy.

I though, again.
On her claim of the life in her years against the years of her life.
I wanted to ask her but she wouldn’t shut up.
She kept meowing little platitudes to me.
Little meows that belonged to a kitten, not to an 83 year old.
It made me angry.
Just to begin with.
Then I got interested.

Nan,” I said very firmly, but ultimately respectfully and lovingly as you tend to talk to a dead person, talking. “You talk too much!”

She smiled at me. 
A tired smile, because, she was wanting to die. 
Really wanting to die.

“I’ve always liked your bluntness, Megan. You will go far, my girl. Don’t you ever let those men try and hold you back, my dear. You tell them. You do them; do them with a big stick.”

I smiled.
I liked her sarcasm.

Nan, what did you mean about the life you had in your years?

She winched.
In pain.
Except that I cannot imagine that Nan would ever have felt pain.

A starched, boring, normal, expensive agency nurse injected the machine beside Nan.

“Like the fuck that’s going to help,” I thought. “Why inject a mongrel machine when my Nan needs the pain relief. Dumb bitch, Nurse.”

Nan breathed loud and scratchily for a while. 
I didn’t like seeing her like that and I wanted to ask for her to die.
But, probably, nobody would understand my request.
They would think I was bad.
But, I didn’t want my Nan to suffer.
She had lived a life in her years.

What did she mean by that?

Nan opened her eyes, half sort of. She called my name. I squeezed her hand to let her know I heard her call.

“Never have just one kitten, Megan. Always have two.”

“Yes, Nan.” I lied. I HATED cats. Like I would EVER have two of the smelly little bastards.

“One cat gets lonely and plays up. Two cats watch out for each other. They play. They have fun. They live. Like two people who love each other. But, cats play up because they get bored quickly. Even two cats together if one cat doesn’t want to play anymore. Even two people together...unless they look out for each other and understand how important it is to play, together. Nine cat lives entwined becomes eighteen lives. Eighteen lives means that you live all of life, all of life’s up and downs. Tom catting husbands, playful kitty love at other times. It’s all worth it because you grow and you grow and you grow…through play.”

“Life, Megan,” she continued, staring straight at me, “is for living. Live it like you are walking atop a fence. Like the kittens do. You will always land on your feet, girlie, because I have left you a safety net. Because you are such a kitty and kitty’s shadow, I have left you two safety nets. Enough money for the rest of your eighteen lives. But,…”

She breathed a funny sound and dumb nurse came and checked the monitor, Nan’s pulse and, then, the dumb one glared at me.

“Fuck off,” I thought; I’m interested in what Nan has to say. “Piss off before I can’t hear this shit anymore.”

Nan tolerated the conversation intrusion and waited for private nurse to be gone.  
Nan was always so patient.
So understanding.
Wonder if I would grow patience?

Nan’s hand hold grew weaker over mine.
She softly tapped for my full attention.

“Don’t waste your life on a single thing, Megan. Always double your chances and live life to the double. Juggle your eggs. Play, but play safely. It’s the life you have in your years that makes you wise, not the….”

Her final breath.

My heart.

Nan died imparting her greatest wealth to me. 
I never might know exactly what it was. 
I bought two kittens on my way home though. 
And decided to never do drugs again.

I also got a text about my private clinic results. 

I was pregnant. 
Too young. 
Too early. 
Not ready. 
But, I was filling my years with life and I was going to make sure that Nan’s wisdom lived on.

I called the baby, “Nan.”

I can’t ever remember a time where we didn’t have two kittens in our life. Such clever creatures they are. They never stop learning and helping each other. They never stop playing and having fun.

Nice one, Nan. I finally got it.

If you wish to join the Writers Prompt Daily simply use the above photo as a prompt and post a short story, poem or paragraph to your blog. Leave a comment and the link here so that all participants can come to you and read/comment/encourage. Story above is copyright and is Megan Bayliss' writing around the above picture prompt.

4 Response to "Kitten's play"

Julie G said... got that from my picture, cool.

Yes Nana's are amazing creatures. My nan always had great words of encouragement and some not so for me.

Living in our years, yes lets all be brave and do that.

Megan Bayliss said...

Was a great pic, Julie. As soon as I saw it I knew it would produce a reflective piece of writing.

I've tried to experiment with Sammi's writing style here: short sentences without a lot of structure and no adjectives.

When I read my draft through, I read it completely differently to the way I wrote the sentences.

I love reading Sammi's writing because of her distinct style. What this has taught me is that my style is mine and Sammi's is Sammi's. If I write like Sammi all the time, I may well enjoy reading her less because I have a different rhythm in my head.

However, it was a useful exercise for me.....except that I did it at 4am...that so wasn't useful!!!

Sammi said...

You do Sammi pretty well, Megan.
I like YOUR style though.
Your writing is really descriptive.
You write for the senses and I don't need to hear it to appreciate it.

My nan only ever said 1 word while she was dying:

Megan Bayliss said...

Thanks Sammi. Interesting point you make about writing for the sense....not just the hearing sense.

I do write to evoke different senses...but, I read my draft stories out loud, to test the flow and rhythm....that's why mine sounded different to yours!!!!!! Yours cant hear, mine can! That is why the rhythm, was different and why I didn't love mine the way I love reading yours!!!

Well there you go. You just showed me something new, Sammi. Thank you. You're pretty sound for a deaf chick!!

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