Sorrows And Purrs
Bench Pressing Strong Verbs
But I think I’m reaching the end of the list.
I’ve vague notions of revisiting them, but I’m not sure to what end.
Anyway, here are the rules for my little game. And here are today’s words — Exacerbate, Comprise, Create, Highlight, Demonstrate, Differentiate, Disappear, Value, Refute, and Base.
And our leading lady is Janet, a white witch.
When Shadow stretched, Janet stroked the big, black cat again, heart swelling as he arched his back and shifted against her.
“Purr,” he black cat said, and rewarded her with a head butt and a louder, throatier purr.
“I’m not falling for that Mr Charming act” she said, and tried to look into his golden eyes as she surrounded him with her arms and pulled him close, burying her face in his soft fur. “You’re on a diet and it’s hours until supper.”
Tail slashing, his claws came out, and he turned to stare, fixedly, on a spot of sun on the carpet.
“Please, don’t be that way.” Her eyes misted over, and her heart slowed, threatening to break. But she resisted holding him tighter, not wanting to exacerbate the tension. “I need a little love. Please?”
But he refused to look at her.
“Fine.” She loosed her grip and blinked back an errant, unwanted tear. “Be that way.”
With a hint of claws, he flowed in a liquid arc to the floor. Without ever so much as a glance at her, he arched his back, and began grooming himself.
“But they weren’t your friends,” Janet said, and sighed when time slowed, then hugged herself. How unfair that Shadow’s momentary purr comprised the sum total of support she’d received for one little mistake at the Vernal Equinox celebration. She brushed back the tear. “I would do it again, in a heartbeat.”
Shadow’s ears twitched while he continued grooming himself.
“I know you can hear me,” she said, even while her whisper created a deep, empty feeling in her heart, highlighting the differences between them. “They expected us to bring our familiars, right?”
He paused, staring at something out the window…then returned to his paws.
“It was the same pasture we’ve always used.” By some ancient arrangement, the farm family allowed them use of a hillside overlooking the circle of stones long since fenced off by the government seeking to demonstrate independence from the Old Ways. Still, she’d been all aflutter for days, getting her hair styled, with just the right hint of blue in the black, and a shimmer of red at the tips, demonstrating her uniqueness, differentiating herself from those old hags nagging everyone with endless rules.
And so, after insisting Shadow wear his best silver bell, they’d teleported. But, instead of love, all the convivial ties had disappeared when Sherry and that horrid little dog materialized, yapping and scampering about.
Janet had been so proud of herself for pulling the teenage witch aside and delicately wondering if the girl knew a muzzle spell. And, instead of gratitude for mentoring her, the entitled child had shrilly asked how Janet claimed to value their friendship, yet refuted it with such hate.
And, when Janet turned to the other for help, they had all rushed to Sherry’s defense, accusing Janet of intolerance to diversity among familiars, based on poor Shadow’s hissing and arched back.
Of course Janet had transformed the little dog into a little mouse before gathering up Shadow and fleeing.
With another sigh, Janet leaned out of the chair, managing to touch Shadow’s head.
He pulled back, and looked at her.
Closing her hand, pointing with her index finger, she offered again.
He looked at it, before glancing at his food dish.
She sighed. “Must you always have your way?”