So far we seem to be doing good with these prompts. They have produced some really interesting results, ranging from poems by Misha to snippets by most of us to what looks like the beginnings of novels. (hint, hint – you know who you are. We want to see more.)
This week I was given a prompt from Becky: “let sleeping dog lie”. I ended up with a minor collision of ideas. Go with the obvious, a dog woken up by a break in? The not quite as obvious, some poor fool drawing Fido’s attention – after all, to most people he looks like a dog. Or go with the meaning of the expression…
Let Sleeping Dogs Lie
Most of the time, couples night was at someone’s house, but this was a rare time that they went out for dinner and a show. After all, it wasn’t every week that they got tickets for orchestra seating to see CATS live.
They came out of the restaurant and turned towards the parking deck. The evening air was cool, hinting that it would be almost chilly by night’s end. The walkway wasn’t wide enough for four people to walk abreast, Gabe and Star moved slightly ahead. Gabe was waving his hands around as he described the time he’d seen CATS on Broadway.
“All I know is that the PBS version is good.” John chuckled and handed Robin her stole.
“Wait until you see the transformation of Gus,” Gabe waved a hand enthusiastically. “The PBS version under plays that scene.”
“I’m more interested in seeing how the girls react to seeing Rum Tum Tugger.” John laughed, ignoring the elbow to his ribs from Robin.
Star looked over her shoulder at John and Robin, grinning at the head shake from Robin.
The last summer sun was sliding behind buildings to the west, casing long shadows across the driveway. Out of habit all four glanced into those shadows as they walked and talked. A low sound next to a dumpster drew John’s attention. Half a heartbeat behind him Robin was also looking. To most human ears it sounded like a couple of animals fighting over scraps. No one in this group was a typical human. The three clairvoyants picked up the not-quite mammalian undertone to the growls.
John took his arm off Robin’s shoulder and moved a step towards the sound. Seeing his friend’s reaction, Gabe unconsciously shifted to stand between the girls and the sound, one hand drifting towards a concealed holster. It may not have sounded unnatural to him, but he trusted his friend’s gift.
Star and Robin looked at each other, torn between interest and amused exasperation at their men’s behavior. Robin’s expression clearly said that any other night, when she wasn’t wearing one of her best dresses, she would have protested.
John and Gabe took a couple of slow steps towards the noise. They allowed just enough separation between them that they didn’t present a solid target, yet were close enough to block an escape or an attack directed towards the women.
A shape emerged from behind the dumpster. It stood about half as tall as an adult man and about as thick. Reddish skin and a tangled mass of yellow hair removed any lingering doubts about the figure being nothing more than a person who’d fallen on misfortune.
John mentally cataloged the form as a higher form of Imp. Not typically dangerous, more mischievous than dangerous, but capable of causing harm if they felt threatened.
The imp barely glanced at them and did not notice that the humans were watching it. It assumed a bent, almost groveling, position and backed up another step.
More growling noises came from the darkest corner of the dumpster. The imp ducked more and shifted from one foot to the others.
John looked over at Gabe and raised an eyebrow. The other voice, if you could call it that, almost had a quarrelsome tone to it. With a low wave of the hand, he motioned everyone to back up. These two were not fighting, at least not physically, so no humans were in danger. There was no reason for a group of Custodians to get involved.
Once they were clear of the scene John laughed softly. “I’d swear it sounded like a domestic dispute.”
“He probably forgot their anniversary,” Robin dryly remarked and headed for Gabe’s Lincoln.
For the curious, yes I have seen CATS. There is a very nice outdoor amphitheater just down the road where we have had the pleasure of seeing CATS, Les Misérables and Bill Cosby. I did find the portrayal of Gus in the live show more poignant than the PBS show. And Tugger, what can I say … puuur.