I'm still retired from fanfiction, but something incredible happened this week that really deserved a reaction on my part: Cousin Mose and Alex Wert both posted new material.
And since this can only mean we're going through a timewarp, I figured I'd better do my part. This one is kind of a gracenote to my work... which is to say I can't imagine it making sense if you haven't read everything else I've ever written.
Putting Out the Fire With Gasoline
Dwight had learned much of cats and the women who kept them in the time since he'd begun his torrid affair with Angela, much that was dark, unknowable, or merely baffling; but no lesson seemed to re-prove itself so consistently as the simple, golden truth that (size regardless) a cat will somehow take up 95 percent of the bed it lies in.
Not that Dwight minded much since that meant he was once again sharing his 5 percent with Angela; and though she'd gone through with her marriage to Andy, he was safely in the hospital clinging to life, his bed (in another room, clear across the hall) was empty, leaving Dwight free to do his woman as he saw fit.
Dwight gave a slight smile and reached down to scratch the cat separating himself and his woman. The cat was uninterested, but took it well enough. Part of Dwight was always suspicious that the cats would seek terrible kitty vengeance for the cat he euthanized, but so far nothing had come of it.
Cats, he decided, simply weren't mentally advanced enough for the concept of revenge.
The Alarm Chronograph strapped to his wrist silently buzzed. Angela was sound asleep and he could now safely sneak downstairs to watch Metalocalypse with his headphones on. He didn't enjoying keeping his nocturnal activities a secret, but Angela had made her thoughts on the subject more than clear and, besides, he found that keeping his beloved in the dark on this matter gave the whole thing an added thrill.
However, as soon as Dwight made his way to the kitchen to retrieve the home-made beet chips (in both Barley and Classic Okra varieties) he had prepared for the evening, however, he noticed something decidedly askew.
Every one of Angela's cats, even the one that had seemed so immobilely stuck to the bed a few seconds ago, were perched on the counter, the table, and the refrigerator as if they were waiting for him.
Odder still, they all seemed to be smiling.
And suddenly, all Dwight could think about was Sprinkles and how he'd left her to die in the very refrigerator currently resting under Augie, Willem C. Calico, and Mr. Mittens.
Reflected in the cats' bioluminescent eyes, he could see similar sentiments being voiced.
There were no screams. There was no time.
All throughout the funeral, Pam had been uncomfortable.
Well, moreso than she was at most funerals.
When she finally fell asleep, Jim still hadn't written Word One of the eulogy. She been afraid to ask him that morning and he'd been uncharacteristically silent.
Now, as she watched him slowly walk up towards the podium, Pam couldn't quite shake the fear that he actually was going to get up there and start reciting "Jabberwocky."
All eyes were on Jim as he cleared his throat. "Myth," Jim begancrisply, "less than four people are killed by housecats every year."
And Pam started casually scoping the grounds for a hiding place in her size.
"Fact," Jim continued, "before now, there is no record... anywhere... of a healthy human being dying from an attack from a healthy cat... or group of cats, in this case."
The awkward silence was so palpable it actually signed the guestbook and left an email address.
Jim took a breath. "And I think that's what Dwight would have wanted. He was a true original all his life... he deserved the kind of ending that would put him in the record books.
"So many of us are going to be forgotten after we're gone," Jim reflected morosely. "Some of us already have, but Dwight... in two hundred years, there'll still be a picture of him in every vet's office in the world."
Jim gently rested a hand on the makeshift replica Star Trek torpedo that housed as much of Dwight as could be salvaged. "You belong to the ages now, buddy."
And, as Cousin Mose filled the air with a barely recognizable rendition of "Doctor Feelgood" on his late cousin's discarded recorder, the body was slowly lowered into the ground.
Certainly it wasn't the most somber of funerals, but everyone who knew Dwight could agreed that he would have been pleased.