Last year, my friend Bryce participated in Drawtober, a Deviant Art challenge to draw something new, based upon a prompt, every day in October. Unbeknownst to him, I decided to participate in my own challenge: to write a story about every picture Bryce drew. But then I got a book agent (yay!) and suddenly all my writing activity focused on the revision of my novel, and like so many writing projects, "Write-tober" (ugh, not a good name) had to die. But I had a lot of fun writing the few stories I managed, and looking back at them, some are kinda nice. So I thought I'd stick 'em here on the blog, in no particular order, over the next couple weeks. Here's the first one. And here's the drawing that inspired the story.
They’d heard about this day.
“There goes another one.”
“There. Building on the corner, window on the tenth floor. Where Buddy likes to sleep?”
There’d always been rumors. End of times. Loss of power grid. Riots, chaos. Mass hysteria. Like the movie said, Dogs and cats, living together. As if.
“You think Buddy’s okay?”
“He knows the drill.”
One by one, the lights of the city went out. They watched it all from their window.
A quick glance over the shoulder. Doug hadn’t moved in at least twenty minutes. His phone, still lit — he never remembered to set it to Power Save Mode, even in times like this — showed the last number he’d tried to call: 911.
Another light flickered, went out.
“That’s Slinky’s place.”
“That lucky bastard. You ever seen the size of his lady? He’ll be in hog heaven.”
“You are so insensitive.”
“Oh, come on. Like you haven’t had the same thought. Meanwhile, here we are, living with the world’s most committed runner. Nothing but muscle.”
They perched on the sill until the last light went out and the entire city was plunged into darkness. Still, they had no trouble making out shapes in the darkness.
“Well, that’s it. Next the riots begin.”
“They’ll do each other in and leave nothing.”
“Just like our parents warned us.”
The phone went dark.
“I could eat.”
They leaped from the sill. They’d known Doug all their lives, but still, it never paid not to be cautious. He was changed now; he no longer walked, or talked, or sat on the couch yelling at the television. They approached one step at a time, their backs low, shoulders hunched. Sniffed.
“Where do you want to start?”
“I’ve heard the eyes and cheeks are good and soft.”
Later, they licked their paws clean.
“You were right. That was much better than the dry food.”
“I’m so stuffed, I could take a nap.”
And while the riots began and the world below their twentieth floor apartment tore itself apart, that’s exactly what they did.