Rachel Ferguson 2013 +'16
April made a dash from underneath the couch.
I’ll hide behind the curtain on the windowsill, thought April, thinking she could get away with it.
Marcus heard a scurrying in the lounge room and dashed to get April before she could escape again. He grabbed her and, despite her struggle to get away, succeeded in getting her to the laundry and in her bed.
“Goodnight”, said Marcus as he turned out the light and closed the door.
Why are we always stuck here every night? thought Ruby.
It’s so cold down here on the floor, thought Milo. And stinky too. Why do I have to sleep next to the kitty litter tray?
Marcus was the only one still awake, and April, Milo and Ruby waited patiently for him to go off to bed. They waited, and waited, and waited, until finally Marcus gave his last yawn and headed off down the corridor to his bedroom.
Finally, thought April. He’s gone to bed.
Firstly April jumped out of bed, followed by Ruby, and then finally Milo. They tried to spread out as much as they could in the small room that they were supposed to sleep in.
“Meow; meow, meow, meow”, said Ruby, which is translated to, ‘On my count; 3, 2, 1’.
On one, April, Milo and Ruby did the impossible. There was a flash of light and a poof of smoke, which revealed April, Milo and Ruby to no longer be ordinary cats and a dog, but tall, non-furry creatures that have opposable thumbs and only two feet, otherwise known as humans.
“Well isn’t that a relief”, remarked Milo, in a deep almost doggish kind of voice.
“I know”, said April. “Being a cat can be very tiresome”.
“You think being a cat is bad? Try being a dog”, Milo started. “I’ve been licking my own butt, and you don’t wanna know what else”.
The three newly transformed humans stretched out their arms and legs, before opening the laundry door. All three of them carefully walked down the hallway, avoiding the creaking floorboards, all the way down to the parents’ bedroom. They slowly opened the door, and crept past Helen and Marcus sleeping in their bed, to the cupboard.
“Okay. Girls, you find some of the Helen’s clothes to wear, and I’ll try and see if the Marcus’s clothes will fit my style”, whispered Milo.
Milo quietly rummaged through Marcus’s side of the wardrobe, looking for something to wear, while April and Ruby were going through Helen’s side.
They found their outfits; Milo in a white shirt and blue jeans, April in a floral dress and Ruby in a pair of black leggings and a purple top.
“Girls, stop checking yourself out in the mirror, we’ve got to go!” instructed Milo.
“Okay, okay…” Ruby said putting her hands up like she was getting arrested. “But you’d be doing the same thing if you were a girl”.
Milo pulled Ruby’s arms down and ushered them out the door, and with a quick glance in the mirror, he followed.
They got to the front door, and didn’t know what to do. They’d already done everything in town, and none of them knew how to drive, so the decision was quite difficult.
“How about we go roller skating?” suggested April.
“Nah, we did that last week”, stated Ruby. “How about we go swimming?”
“Girls, girls have it all wrong”, Milo said, stepping into the girl’s conversation. “Those places will we closed by now. How about we go find a party in town”.
No more words were spoken, but there was a mutual agreement, they would find a party.
It proved to be harder than the three originally thought. After they’d left the house (they still locked the door of course) they went down this street and that street, but they couldn’t find a party anywhere.
“There aren’t any parties tonight”, uttered April. “We may as well…”
April stopped mid-sentence, and they all turned they heads towards the sound of music. April, Milo and Ruby turned to face each other and smiled. They knew what that loud music meant.
Since they were all animals, they could easily track down the party. They followed the music for what seemed like only a short amount of time, and were rewarded when they found what they had been looking for. A party.
There were about two hundred people there, and April, Milo and Ruby were a bit flustered at first, but once they were on the dance floor, they were wild. They partied all night, and to Milo’s delight, there was a pool which he happily swam in.
Once the night was over, and all the people had left, April, Milo and Ruby had one more adventure ahead of them, finding their way back home. They searched and searched, and luckily Milo picked up the scent, and they all merrily ran home.
Once inside, they returned to the laundry.
“Well that was fun”, said Ruby with a yawn. “But I’m really tired”.
“Yes, we should all go to bed”, April responded.
“Defiantly”, admitted Milo. “I just hope that the Helen and Marcus don’t notice that their clothes are wet, and in here”.
And with that, they took their natural forms as cats and a dog, went back to their own beds and after a long night, fell straight off to sleep.
Why Don't You Dance?
I found two glasses and poured whiskey.
“That’s enough,” my girl said. “I think I want water in mine.”
I looked around for a place to get water as she sat at the kitchen table.
“There’s water in that spigot over there,” the man said.
He said something else, but I didn’t hear it. I nodded.
I walked to the table and gave my girl her drink. The man was staring. It was unsettling. I cleared my throat and sat down. My girl smiled apologetically at the man. I felt a pang of resentment. I looked at her and grinned to hide it. I turned my head to the man and continued smiling. I didn’t touch my drink.
I watched the man closely. He was gazing at the television. Once he’d finished his drink he started another. He reached over to turn on the lamp. I saw his cigarette drop from his fingers and fall between the couch cushions.
I felt an absence from my knee. My girl had gotten up to help the man find his cigarette. They were getting quite close. I took out my checkbook.
“So what do you want?” I asked her.
My girl came back to the table. I held the checkbook to my lips to hide my smile.
“I want the desk,” she said. “How much money for the desk?”
The man waved his hand like it was a ridiculous question.
“Name a figure,” he said.
He looked at us. We looked back. The man seemed puzzled. I stared hard.
The man said something about the television. He opened a beer and poured more whiskey.
“Everything goes,” the man said, gesturing to his front lawn.
He poured my girl another drink.
“…You’re very nice,” she said.
“It goes to your head,” I chimed in. “I’m getting it in the head.” I held up my glass and shook it slightly.
The man went over to the records. He held them out to my girl. I opened my checkbook and began writing. A record began playing.
“I’m making it out to cash,” I said.
“Sure,” the man said.
We drank. We listened to the record. And then the man put on another.
“Why don’t you dance?” the man said.
I was apprehensive.
“I don’t think so,” I said.
“Go ahead,” the man said, sweeping his arms. “It’s my yard. You can dance if you want to.”
I didn’t move. The man started towards my girl. I wasn’t having that. I took her hand and walked her to the driveway. I held her close as we danced. We danced until I was dizzy.
“I’m drunk,” I said.
“You’re not drunk,” she said.
“Well, I’m drunk,” I said.
I stumbled over to the couch.
“I am,” I mumbled into the cushions.
My girl walked over. She said something, but I was too tired to hear. I saw her walk to the man with arms wide open. I passed out.
Weeks later she was still talking about it. She would go on and on about the man with his furniture on the front lawn. She made it seem like it was just a funny story. There was more to it than that. I knew there was something she wanted to say but wouldn’t.