Interludes 1

Today marks the 6th week since my first blogpost, Harvest. I’ve published a blog post 3 times a week since, and it’s been great fun, even though I’ve missed my self-imposed deadline a few times (although a good thing has been born out of that: Nadec). This week I took a break from the blog, so nothing has been shared Tuesday nor Thursday.

At first, this was unintentional. But then, I decided it was a good thing. I quite like writing the flash fiction stories. I know some of them aren’t really good (like this weird thing), but there are a few I personally really like (the woman and the tree, for instance, or keys). However, letting the creative mind rest occasionally is a good thing. So that’s what I did.

I thought I’d use this Sunday to introduce you to my Work In Progress, aka WIP. There are two for the moment, not counting the flash fiction I post here on the blog.

WIP 1 is the one which started this whole writing thing, at the end of May 2018. You can read more about how it started on the who-page. Summarising a story as complex as it’s turning into is not easy, but I’ve managed it a bit and shared it on my Twitter:

wip 1 synopsis

And just today I figured out how to say it in 4 words: a superhero epic fantasy adventure. I would say in terms of progress, that the first draft of this is about 70% done. Since it’s my first time writing a novel, I’m not quite sure how long it will be. I’m used to reading long fantasy novels, so that’s what I’m aiming for as well. Fantasy books should be long and complex, right? I don’t have a title for this one yet. If you’d like to read little snippets of the draft, I sometimes share some lines on Twitter, so follow me there if you’e interested in that.

The second WIP, I can’t say much about just yet. Unlike with the first, I’m outlining this one. I’ve only recently started doing that and it’s a whole new process for me. But I believe it might be the way to go for me. This story is a combination of fantasy and science fiction, but more fantasy than the other. It will feature Yesco, whom you may have met before in the flash fiction story ‘skill of the butterfly’.

I have a special thing in mind with this story. It involves podcasts and choices. That’s all I’ll say for now. I plan to finish the outline by November, so that I can write part of the story during NaNoWriMo. For those who don’t know what that is, it is an initiative to motivate writers to write a novel (50 000 words) in 30 days. The most I’ve written before was about 35 000 words a month but this time, with the help of an outline next to me, I hope I’ll be able to reach the goal. I might be publishing less posts a week during that period due to time restrictions. A possible title for my WIP 2 is “Tear of the sky”.

About the plans with the blog. Since this is all new for me, it’s a little bit of trial and error, and figuring out what works best. I like the idea of having a break every 5-6 weeks, followed by an interludes blogpost on that Sunday. In that post I’ll look back on the stories published during that time, and I’ll discuss the progress of the larger projects.

Feel free to send me prompts for flash fiction, either in comments below, or email. A prompt can be as little as 3 words, for instance, give me a character, an object and a genre.

Thanks for reading!

Stranger

‘I have no time for this,’ Nadec announced to the man laying at her feet, who looked around in confusion. ‘I’m already past my deadline.’ Her cat jumped from her shoulders, sniffing at the strangers’ bare knees. Nadec grabbed her halberd from her back, once again praising herself for making the mechanism for shortening its shaft and the magnets to keep it safely in place. In the process of doing so, she could see all the pink blood on her hands and clothes and uttered a long and solidly vulgar curse.

‘I better take a shower first,’ she muttered. She looked over at the man again, who had pushed himself to a sitting position by now but still looked pretty dazed. Remembering the first time she’d skipped, she felt a bit of some sympathy towards him. Whatever he had to endure from the xlups probably only added to his feeling unwell.

She couldn’t feel too sorry for him though, it’s his own fault, he shouldn’t have grabbed her ankle and then he wouldn’t have skipped along! Her brows drawn down, she took a blanket of her couch and tossed it to him.

‘Here, at least cover yourself up, you can have a shower after I’ve finished.’ His face showed a lot of confusion at her words, and she saw him mouth the word shower. Not wanting to waste anymore time, she grunted while ignoring him and walked towards her bathroom.

Feeling immensely better after her quick shower, she immediately went to work on her blog. Trying to explain to the stranger how the shower worked, and everything else, would definitely be too tedious of a job so she didn’t bother, for now. Her desk was part of the large open space containing the lounge room, kitchen and dining area all at once, so she could watch the stranger while she worked on her blog. Annoyingly though, she seemed to watch him more than be able to type own words.

He had draped the blanket on his back like a cape, completely missing the point of it needing to cover him up. He’d been walking around the room slowly, stopping at every little thing and looking it over for several minutes a piece. Nadec decided that he was not bad looking at all, especially considering the average looking people of the other realm. Her eyes kept drifting back towards his uncovered body. Definitely much better than what the xlups had to offer. That thought made her snicker quietly. Even in modern day standards this man would hold up very well compared to other men. Dark hair falling in waves on to his shoulders, unshaven chin and cheeks—something between stubble and a beard—tall, lean, obviously muscled in all the right places. She felt a warmth spreading from the middle of her tummy and quickly averted her eyes and stared back at the computer screen.

A scream, a feline squeal, and a clattering sound, made her look back at the man again, all senses alert. He had stumbled back from the window—she assumed—tripped over her cat, knocked over her side table and rolled over the back of the couch, hitting the lounge table so hard with his forehead that the wood made a creaking echo. Or maybe that was the sound of his head splitting open. Rolling her eyes, she looked back at her computer screen, scowled at the ten words she’d written, and got up with a sigh.

After fetching her first aid kit, she knelt next to the stranger. ‘Alright fella, let me see. Ooh, that’s quite the cut. Right, sit down in the lounge. Yes, that’s this large red thing behind you.’ She cleaned out the cut and used her special skin glue to keep it together. That should do. He let her do it, looking at her in silence, studying her face, which made her cheeks heat up. She was not used to being looked at so intently.

‘My deadline isn’t going anywhere so I might as well give you some attention. Do you have any other wounds? Did the xlups hurt you in any way?’

‘No, I am alright,’ he replied softly after clearing his throat. ‘Who are you and where am I? Is this a castle? How can we be so high above the ground and the view is strange, what are all those weird things I saw?’ He hid it well, but Nadec was certain she could detect a good amount of  discomfort and even fear in his questions.

‘Alright, I’ll try to explain things to you,’ aiming to covertly move the blanket to cover his lap. Too distracting otherwise. ‘First, tell me who you are, where you come from, how the xlups caught you and why I’d been sent to free you?’

The stranger pulled himself up, sitting as straight as possible, his chin lifted up slightly—the blanket shifted again, causing Nadec to sigh.

‘I am Pagewyn O’Elope d’Onnosely, ruler of Paralelo, master of the Squares, defender of the Triangles, chief of all Lines, bearer of the Wooden Water Crown!’

Not knowing whether to swear again or to stare, Nadec burst out in gales of laughter.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * 

This a a sequel to ‘deadline‘, an untitled flash fiction story published a few weeks ago (I suppose I call it deadline in my head now). I liked it so much that I decided to turn it into a continuing story. I’ve got no idea where it is going, but I like the comical side of it and the mystery which surrounds it. I’m keen to find out how the story continues! Are you too?

Obviously the title and chapter titles and everything can still change, but if you want to read the story in its whole, go here. I’ll aim to add each new chapter to it, and in the end give it all a proper edit which will hopefully make it into a ~decent~ short story/novellette/novella/novel (who knows where it will end, I certainly don’t).

Quarterstaff and rum

The travelling merchant pulled the lever to make his cart-puller stop. Not even waiting for a complete stand still, he jumped off, and began to rewind its core, all the way to the end of the coil. That should be enough to continue his journey at least a few more hours, until the darkness came to sweep the light away, sun replaced by the full moon and her stars. He looked around for any signs of other travelers, but the dirt road seemed empty. He knew this small gap in between the trees hardly deserved to be called road, being almost too narrow to fit his cart and -puller, the dirt overgrown on many places with patches of long grass and small shrubs of weed. He kept turning the winding wheel, feeling it skip a few times with every turn.

Due for a new star soon, methinks, the merchant thought to himself. He might even consider upgrading the whole puller mechanism, the core. He’d heard there were cart-pullers now that can keep going for almost 8 hours straight, and even some with adjustable speeds. Now wouldn’t that be something aye. He’d heard the old myths and legends, oi, everyone had heard those, about horses and other animals being used to pull carts. People even sat on top of them and they called it ‘riding a horse’. The merchant shook his head and let out an amused grunt. Surely those stories were only myths? If the horses from those stories are in any way like the horses running wild on the flat lands, he wouldn’t even think about getting close to them. Too large animals by far. Dangerous for sure.

A snapped twig was the only warning he had. It was enough. He snapped his head back, giving him a good view of the speeding cross bolt lodging itself deep in the puller’s wood. Without pause, he let himself fall back completely and roll under his cart. Emerging from the other side, he unstopped the vial he’d snatched from underneath the cart, and downed the content in a few quick gulps.

‘Aaaah,’ his face a sudden grimace while he sucked air through clenched teeth, ‘The rum, good stuff. Perfect.’ Inwardly he gave a little thanks for not grabbing the cognac, or even worse, the whiskey. That one would’ve been awkward in this situation.

An instant later, he felt his body grow warm, muscles heating up and flexing. His hearing became slightly sharper and he felt as if he could see better, but from extensive testing he knew that wasn’t so. While he heard the scrambling of leaves on the other side of the cart, his hands went to the underside of it, taking his-

‘Urgh, you pooing stupid thing,’ he mumbled as he tried to solve the blocked quarterstaff-hanging system. He needed to fix this hiding place, it clearly isn’t worki- ‘There we go!’ he yelled triumphantly, snatching it to his right, feeling the resistance before he heard the grunt. Surprised, he looked that way.

‘Right. I’m being attacked, forgot that for a moment.’ Frowning down to the masked person doubled in a heap on the ground, he grinned. ‘Got you in the nuts, did I?’ Chuckling, he added a solid hit on the attacker’s head.

Whirling his staff, he turned to block another person’s weapon, fluidly extending it further to make contact with the masked face. Before the attacker could crumble to the ground, he’d already pulled back his staff while twisting his body to align the end of his weapon perfectly with another attacker’s sternum. A choked out gasping sounded, but the travelling merchant calmly bend down to replace the quarterstaff back in its place. That done, he lifted of the gasping man’s mask and peered at the face.

‘Just what I thought, the pooing unibrow posse. Again. Bah. You tell your doyen that I’m tired of getting harassed. Next time I won’t be so friendly.’ With a shove, the attacker fell back, still struggling for breath. ‘Pathetic bunch of twats.’

He quickly tied them up, and jumped back on to his cart-puller. Pulling the lever made it silently go forward again.

Storm (3 – final)

It was cold, dark, and uncomfortable. He’d been able to rest a little bit, knees pulled up to his chest, arms holding them to keep from sliding outward. This must be the worst second date in history! Are they even going to survive their situation? He couldn’t believe how relaxed she was, and still is. Couldn’t she see the gravity of their captivity? She’d just laughed away his previous question. The lighthouse was covered in a layer of ice thick enough to block out all of the light, who knows how long that takes to defrost. His phone’s battery won’t last much longer, and they didn’t have food.

‘I’ll need to turn off my torch,’ he told her bitterly. ‘We’ll be in the dark. what then? It’s pitch dark, I doubt there is any light for our eyes to pick up a little bit of night vision.’ He could hear the panic come back in his voice but he didn’t care. Let her hear, he couldn’t worry about what she thought of him anymore. Despite that, seeing the way she rolled her eyes at his remarks, still made him cringe inwardly.

‘Ive told you before, the ice will melt soon enough, and then we’ll be out of here in no time. Don’t worry about your battery, I’ve got a charger in the car. You can charge it on our drive back.’ She looked at him sideways while circling the room, and sighed again. ‘It’s not like you can use it now anyway, without any mobile reception.’ She hesitated. ‘I am sorry for bringing you here, I really thought it would be a nice date. I couldn’t predict that we’d get trapped. And I you didn’t tell me about your claustrophobia.’

She dissappeared from sight behind some sort of desk. ‘Aaaaaaaah, this is great!’

He almost jumped from the loudness of her scream. At least she apologised, somewhat, he thought grimly, that’s better than no- Lights flooded his vision and he cried out in surprise, covering his eyes with his hands. A low buzzing sound started up somewhere, and there was a faint flow of air stroking the top of his head, not quite enough to move his dark mop of hair.

‘Seems like I’ve found the power board!’ She yelled out in happy satisfaction, a grin almost splitting her face in two.

‘Such a strange place for that.’

‘I’m not going to complain! There was also a heater so with luck, that thing still works and can heat our asses out of here! If there’s no insulation around the building anyway, but I doubt that.’

He felt a weight droop of his shoulders and it seemed as if his breathing got better. They’ll be fine. The warmth of the heater will melt away the ice from the front door and they’ll be able to leave.

He might not date again for a while now.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Alright, I’ll admit, this story is definitely not one of my best! It might make more sense if you read the first part and second part as well. Lucky these things are such a short read hey 🙂

The woman and the tree

Twisted knots, gnarled lines, deep grooves, and deformed limbs. The tall, dark-haired man with tan skin looked from his great-grand-mother to the ancient tree, seeing the similarities. She was standing next to one of the drooping branches, one of those which looked as if they’d pointed proudly towards the sky somewhere in the past, but had given up at some point, a long time ago, and allowed gravity to pull at it. The branch had a few dips and rises in it, even touching the ground once. It was as thick as the man’s slender waist.

The woman, leaning heavily on her stroller, lifted a shaking hand while her whole body vibrated with the effort. The man almost rushed forward to help her, but he was too slow. To his astonishment, from the moment her hand touched the tree, she stopped shaking completely and all tension seemed to flow out of her body.

“Hello old friend,’ she whispered, her eyes closed and a blissful smile on her thin lips. ‘I’ve missed you.’ Gently, she let her forehead fall against the branch, seeming to savour the feel of the rough bark against her almost equally rough skin.

“I’m sorry moemoe, it’s time.” The young man looked behind him, sadness in his eyes and face while still projecting strong confidence in his body’s posture, signaling with his hand. He walked up to her to take her away from the tree, eyes stinging.

“And so, we both die today,” the centenarian murmured, too soft for even the man to hear.

The sound of the bulldozers ripped her heart in two.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Prompt taken from https://www.thewriteservices.com/single-post/2018/09/09/ATA-Flash-Fiction-Contest-2018—Week-36

Screenshot 2018-09-09 at 18.16.19 - Edited

 

Storm (2)

She looked at him, sitting as far in the middle of the round room as he could, his knees pulled up, his chin resting on them, eyes closed. His breathing seemed to have calmed down. She saw him by the light of his phone’s torch, laying next to him, shining upwards. Guilt surged up in her. Maybe she shouldn’t have brought him here. Maybe she should’ve come by herself, but she hadn’t known how scared he would get.

It had been magnificent. The liveliness of the ocean, the power of the clouds, the visible gales of wind. Rain and hail had pelted the lighthouse, mixing with the waves which had seemed to reach way above the windows they were looking out of. The temperature drop hadn’t been unexpected, but the suddenness of it had surprised them both.

The darkness though. That one had crept up on them like a summer night’s moonless sky. The one where you know it’s coming, and you realise it’s happening, but it doesn’t hit you until you can no longer see the person you’re talking to.

She suspected that the outside temperature had been so cold, the water pelting the tower from above, below, and aside, had frozen all around them. Now that was something she should’ve accounted for, but obviously hadn’t. She shrugged her shoulders, first the right one, smoothly followed by the left. She followed that shrug routine a few times, loosening some muscles. She returned her gaze from her miserable looking date to her camera, checking through the photos. It had taken a photo every 5 seconds, and she was fairly satisfied with the outcome. It would’ve been better if she’d taken the photos manually, but she’d wanted to see the storm with her own eyes, not through a camera’s lens.

‘How long will we be trapped here?’ She sighed at the accusing tone of his voice.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

I thought the storm flash fiction piece I did, deserved a little bit more. The third and final part of the story will be published on Tuesday 11th of september 2018. Thanks for reading!

Storm

‘We should get out of here! Now!’

The wind started to pick up. He could see the waves getting larger already, white tips starting to form, multiplying as he looked out over the ocean. All of a sudden, the storm clouds were visible, a large and dark wall of roiling shadow shapes, all aiming to be a different kind of grey.

The floating mass reached as far as the eye could see, overtaking the whole horizon, moving with a palpable speed. Underneath, the darkness appeared to bleed out into light grey with touches of green and other indistinguishable colours. It was almost impossible to see where the torrent blended in with the water of the ocean.

‘It’s too late, we’re stuck!’ His panicked exclamations got met with a low chuckle.

‘Don’t worry so much, we’ll be fine here.’ She came to stand next to him, looking out at the rapidly approaching winter storm. ‘Woaaah, now there’s a sight. That alone was worth coming here.’

She glanced at him, the smile still on her lips.

‘Really, this lighthouse has been here for 45 years, it’s not the first time it’s going through something like this.’ She wanted to put her arm around his waist but before she could move, he stumbled back a few steps in horror.

The storm hit.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Inspired by these photos. I don’t know who it is from so I can’t give credit, please let me know if it’s yours.

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Untitled (part 1?)

‘Gorwak guts!’ Her watch showed her that she’d missed her deadline by half a day. She cursed again and tapped it a few times in frustration. ‘Bloody thing,’ she murmured, frowning, ‘I’m sure that had been more than 37 000 steps.’ She’d always been annoyed that none of the fitness trackers would accurately account for all of the steps she took while in the air.

Dislodging her halberd from the dead creature’s head, Nadec tried to use its clothes to wipe her weapon clean. Calling it clothes may be overdoing it too much. It didn’t look like more than a strap of fabric with two holes at each end for the head, covering nothing more than the spine section of the back, down to everything between the legs, and back up to whatever was in the middle of the front body. The part near the ass seemed to have been wedged in between the fiery orange, purple-haired buttocks, which had distracted Nadec a lot during the fight. She felt lucky that the cloth seemed to be attached tightly enough to keep its position at the front.

The thightness prevented her from being able to use it for wiping the pink blood off her weapon, so she used her side knife to cut the cloth off near the neck. When she was done with that little bit of battle-aftercare, she couldn’t help but take a peek at what the cloth was meant to cover. She swore once again, this time directed at herself. Every time she told herself that she’d never do it again, but every time she did it anyway. She gave an exaggerated shudder and contorted her face in disgust. It would definitely have distracted her during fighting.

She shortened the halberd’s shaft and flung it at her back. The magnets held on to it immediately, keeping the weapon in its place. It had taken her a while to find a proper way of carrying it. At first she’d tried the traditional hip-carry, but because of the large size of the weapon and her rather diminutive stature, that didn’t go very well. After tripping over it several times and cutting herself more than once, she’d gone on a mission to find a better way. Having it on her back was perfect. The weight was placed in the most central and supported spot, the handle stuck out over her tight shoulder, in perfect reach to grab it with her right hand. She’d tried to have it at the left shoulder but it was a big struggle to get a hold of then.

She shrugged, letting the weight of it settle, and took one last look at the 4 dead orange creatures around her. Poor buggers didn’t stand a chance against her. A chuckle escaped her mouth. Suddenly remembering her deadline, she hurriedly went up to the xlups’ camp fire and untied the man laying there. He’d been tied to a thick branch, ready to rotate on top of the fire.

‘There you go buddy,’ already turning around to leave, anxious now that she had her deadline back in her mind. Her fans would probably be wining again about the lateness of her blogpost. She bent down her knees slightly, slapping them against each other in quick succession whith her hands placed on top, appearing to follow her knees. Except that her arms alternated between getting crossed and opening up, giving the illusion that her legs were doing funny things. The expected build-up of energy came quickly and she concentrated on where she needed to go. With the next crossing of her arms, she found herself back in her house. Her cat immediately came up to her, meowed and jumped up in her arms, purring as loudly as a car-sized bumblebee.

‘What just happened?’ A male voice asked, so out of nowhere that she jumped and her furry buddy dug in his claws at the movement. Nadec looked down and saw the man she’d just fried, only now letting go of her ankle.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Obviously, I’ve missed my self-imposed deadline yesterday. Funny enough, that inspired me to (quickly) write this little story. Since I’m on my phone now, the lay-out might not be perfect because the blog’s app is a bit limited. It probably needs some editing and such, but I’ll get onto that tonight. I couldn’t find a proper title for this, so “untitled” was the best I could do, and I added “part 1” because this seems like something which deserves a follow up.

Am I a creative person? (interludes 0.1)

For the first time since I started this blog several weeks ago, there is no flash fiction story today. I do want to stick to my regular schedule of posting a blog every Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday at 6pm Sydney time, so here are some of my ponderings, and a quick talk about all the things I’m keen on doing.

Somehow, I’ve never considered myself as a creative person. I’ve been drawing and painting on and off ever since I was a kid, but I never considered that to be creative because I “cheated”. Which means I never invented anything, I always copied pictures that already existed. So in my head, that meant I wasn’t creative.

Around age 11, I started to play the cello, but stopped two years later under the guise of “being too busy with schoolwork”. Which was of course a bit silly, because really, I wasn’t that busy. I liked, and I still like, that my mom gave me the freedom to quit. Maybe it would’ve been better if she’d forced me to continue, but probably not.

I dabbled a bit in photography, meaning that I had a small compact digital camera when such things were pretty new, and I did like taking photos but never took it to the next level. I’ve knitted and crocheted (yes, this is correct past tense of crochet, I’ve looked it up!) things, and at one point even attempted to spin alpaca wool on a spinning wheel which I’d assembled myself.

I started writing some story a few times but never got further than a page before I forgot about it.

I’m 34 now. I’ve got a cello which I’ve bought a few years ago and my fingers are itching to play again. This time though, I want to really practice enough to be good enough not to be embarrassed to play for people. Which is why I haven’t started yet, I need to be sure it’s the right time to start up again so I can invest time. I’ve got a few empty canvasses and secondhand paint and brushes, all ready to be used. Again, I’m waiting on the good timing to be able to invest time.

I’ve got it in my head that I want to buy a decent camera, because I want to be able to take close-up photos of spiders. And flowers. And insects. And everything else, except humans. My phone camera frustrates me to no end because it’s unable to do such a thing.

I bake my own sourdough bread at home once a week, am brewing kombucha, have toyed with making tofu, frequently make soy milk, or oat milk, or any other plant-based milk, I work as a gardener, have a plan in my head to make an outdoor area for my cat, have other plans in my head for other DIY projects, started sewing a few months ago and making my first dress is something which is happening soon.

And I started writing at the end of May 2018, and wrote every day since then. I might even be a little bit obsessed by it. I was thinking about all of this today, and I was astounded to come to the conclusion that, maybe, just maybe, I actually am creative! I think I might even say that I definitely am a creative person. I have never seen myself, or labeled myself, that way, which makes this a bit of an odd experience. I can’t say I’m surprised though. I’m learning so much from myself these years, I feel like I’m finally starting to figure out who I am. It’s pretty awesome!

As for all the writing stuff. In May I started writing on my first novel. AT first, the idea I had was supposed to be a short story. But then I started world building, and adding more characters, and I quickly realised it was to be a novel. I’m about 70k words in, and I reckon that’s probably halfway.

Next to that, I’ve started doing these flash fiction stories because they are such a great way to practice writing! I also have several more other ideas for more novels (and if I want to add a second and/or third book to my first novel, those ideas also already exist). I’ve written a short story which I’ll be submitting today, if I can finish editing it. Deadline (oh my gosh, I’ve written a story which had a deadline!) is tomorrow, so I better hurry up and get it done! I’m honestly not expecting to be picked as first place, but I do hope to get an honorable mention for originality. It’s the first time I’ve written a story for a specific purpose so I’m excited! (It was for this)

And now I also have an idea for a podcast. Aaaaaarrrghhh! Too many ideas, definitely not enough time! Working full-time doesn’t help with getting all the creative things done! Somehow, I’m counting on the end of winter to help met more done. Being warmer means being less inclined to snuggle up on the couch with lap cat. And I’ve just noticed that it’s already past 6pm, so I’ll end my rambling here. Feel free to shoot me a comment or send me an email astridjefwriter@gmail.com. Or hey, just connect with me on Twitter!

Bye for now and thanks for reading all this way. You’re my hero!

Forgotten

It just lay there. Abandoned. Forgotten. Alone. No one took any heed to it. No one saw it. No one picked it up. Until the cat came along.

The cat saw it from a distance, and lowered his front body, backside slightly up in the air. He inched a little bit closer, crawling silently over the dark wooden floor. His eyes grew wide and the pupils opened up, replacing the piercing green with black. The ears pointed rigidly forward, moving ever so slightly towards surrounding sounds. The glorious whiskers expanded to the max while the head stayed as low as it could, almost resting on the floor.

The tail swished from left to right, going quicker and quicker with every turn, sometimes the whole tail, often only the tip. Then, suddenly, the cat’s butt began to wiggle. It stopped wiggling for a short moment before starting up again, followed by a sudden powerful jump which placed him right in front of the object.

The cat’s paw struck out, perfectly aimed to strike the hairpin. In a flash his other paw moved, pushing it back before being caught again. The pin was pushed from side to side, lightning fast, sometimes even bitten, thrown upwards, dropped down, picked up, walked with and dropped again.  

The attack lasted only moments, moments which seemed like a lifetime. The cat had almost tired of the game when suddenly the hairpin stopped moving. It got stuck between the floorboards. The cat tried to pry it loose, but after several attempts, even using his sharp claws, he gave up. There was a couch and a lap waiting for him after all. The hairpin just lay there, abandoned, forgotten, alone.