❝There’s a spirit sparkling just above the barn.
“It’s beautiful,” I say.
“It’s blinding me,” says Mama, pushing me out the door. “Go shoo it elsewhere.”❞
Mama’s always got her priorities straight, unlike me. I get distracted, sticking my nose places just to sniff the different scents out. Which is, she says fondly, only to be expected, and I’ll grow out of it as I grow up—or at least, learn to be wiser about it.
I pad towards the side of the barn, where it’s crooked enough for me to scamper up the walls to the roof with ease. The spirit is still where I left it, and it doesn’t shift as I stalk towards it, squinting my eyes against its brightness and moving carefully, conscious of the long drop on either side, the breeze tugging at me.
“Spirit!” I call up to it.
The spirit flickers and flashes, a conflagration of floating light, like a rainbow that is also a cloud that is also a ball of heatless fire. Like the sun, but far closer and prettier. It doesn’t really move, but I get the sense that it’s looking at me, even though it doesn't have eyes like mine or any other creature’s eyes that I know of.
KITTEN, it…says. It doesn’t have a mouth either, but I hear it anyway.
“That’s me,” I reply, sitting and curling my tail around my paws. “Mama wants you to go. You’re distracting.”
HM, the spirit says. PRESUMPTUOUS OF YOU BOTH.
“We’re cats,” I reply.
INDEED, the spirit says. It almost sounds amused.
The swirling colours roil a bit and then settle, dimming to just a faint sparkle, like it’s been clouded.
BETTER? it asks me. I’VE SETTLED HERE AND I DON’T WISH TO MOVE.
I tilt my head, studying it, trying to imagine what Mama’s verdict would be if she were here. I didn’t shoo it away…but it also isn’t blinding anymore.
“Better,” I answer. “...Whatcha doing up here anyway?”
WAITING, the spirit says. It definitely sounds amused.
I reach a paw carefully towards a wispy tendril, but it fades like mist before I can touch it. “Waiting for what?”
A SNACK, the spirit says.
The fur on my back rises, my ears pressing back. “I’m not a snack,” I hiss, making sure to show it my teeth, flexing my claws so they dig into the wood.
NO, the spirit says, YOU ARE NOT. YOU ARE A KITTEN.
Oh. Well, that’s true. Still, it occurs to me that this spirit is maybe more than just beautiful, and anyway, Mama will want me to come down and help her with today’s tasks.
“I'm going now,” I declare, and with one last long look at it, I turn and scamper back the way I came.
I’m not running away. I’m not afraid. I just…don’t want to be up here anymore.
Fictober is a challenge where writers respond to a prompt a day for the whole of October.
This year's prompts are from Deep Water Prompts on tumblr.
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