Popcorn Kittens

*to understand the title, you must read Kris Rusch’s post.  This is why I’m so careful what I read before I go to bed when I’m deep in a book.  But you see, I’m an idiot.  I thought “Old French Fairytales” by the Countess of Segur, which I read as a young girl would be safe.  And then I woke up this morning with the bit below.  The world and characters will eventually, I think, become a series of short stories.  For now it’s back to Darkship Renegades for me though.*

“Captain,” the man said, and waited.

Captain Charming looked up from the paperwork on his desk. He didn’t blame his men for never using his last name.

In a world such as theirs, his name was a cruel joke, and not just because most of the kids in his elementary school called him Charmin.  And don’t even get him started on all the squeezing he endured. 

“Yes,” he said.

His subordinate, never a sight for sore eyes, being of peasant stock and having been raised by enchanted cows in a farm, after being abandoned by his parents, now looked even more bedraggled than usual. His coarse brown hair stood all on end, there were burs sticking to it. Eggs stained his blue uniform of coarse sackcloth, and his shoes looked like they’d been run over by a whole herd.

“It’s a dress, sir. Down on main avenue.”

“A dress? You got yourself looking like that fighting with a dress?”

“Well, no. It was the fact that the egg vendor ran and some of the eggs fell off his cart and onto me. Then a cart of hay overturned. And then…” He sighed. “A flock of sheep stampeded.”

Captain Charming picked up the magical pen which he had instructed to sign his dispatches this morning and, with a little effort – it kept wriggling – put it in his inkwell, which would keep it safe till he picked it up again. He chewed his bottom lip contemplatively. “What’s up with the dress, then?”

“Nothing sir. It’s a very nice dress, cloth of gold with diamond buckles. But it’s walking down main avennue.”

“What? On its own?”

“No, sir. Accompanied by a very nice headdress and a pair of silk slippers.”

Captain Charming stood up and sighed. “I bet you it’s the work of some fairy underworld or other.” He added with feeling, “I hate Mondays.”

9 thoughts on “Popcorn Kittens

  1. In re: Capt. Charming — back in college I had a course taught by a grad student name of Mann. I had the MOST difficult time asking questions in that course, forced to find alternatives to addressing the instructor as Mr. Mann.

    Other than that, your story is an example of why I refuse to dream and take precautions against so doing.

  2. Finally, a term for what’s going on in my head!

    I’m going on vacation in a couple of weeks, and I’m only going to load the three things I need to work on, onto my little notebook. Oh, and a reference, and . . . no. Three (closely related) kittens popcorning around in my head are enough. So maybe I can forget all the rest that are sitting on the desk top here, and get these three novellas finished and polished by a self imposed deadline.

    Never mind that weird dream with the stupid bombs . . .

  3. I like the well dressed invisible woman. Couldn’t tell if we were dealing with military or police though. Something to cue the reader into when it finally gets all the way through and hijacks your fingers.

  4. Nice. Very nice.

    I worked for a few months with a young woman programmer whose last name was Wench. Really & truly. And she was worthy of the name.

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