Opening doors for ladies was always followed by a subtle attempt at trying to find out their name, where they lived, and what they thought was John Paul van Damme’s best flick. In that order. If Keith managed to get them answer the third, then there was a canny chance he’d offer the lucky lady the chance to go out on a date.

Nobody had ever replied to the first question with a name. Most popular answer given was silence, a polite smile, and an increased walking pace.

Things changed when Muscles walked through the door. She was originally called Tiddles, a twelve-week-old bundle of fluff who would almost jump out of her skin every time Keith tried to pick her up. It was a one-way street of love at first sight.

After a week she started to become accustomed to her new surroundings, the toys he would dangle on string for her to jump and catch, and the expensive cat litter tray, which was much like the one at her birth home. She took no time to settle. The only thing she couldn’t get used to was not being able to go outside in the garden – where every day the most beautiful tabby tom would slowly saunter across the lawn, stop and sit for a while watching Muscles get all excited inside on the windowsill. After a week of looking at each other, he progressed to jumping up onto the outside sill, where they would gaze into each other’s eyes, separated by a pane of double glazing. He would hang around until Keith would come storming out of the house furiously brandishing a badminton racket trying to swat Tabby Tom away.

The last time Keith chased after Tom, they did three laps of the garden, with Keith promising to put him in a pie. As Keith cut off Tom at each corner the Tabby was left with only one route of escape – into Keith’s kitchen, and into the paws of Muscles. As an insanely jealous Keith came bursting in, he tripped on the doorstep and fell. In an attempt to break his fall, he stretched out his hands, only for the first thing to hit the porcelain floor tiles, the badminton racket, to snap at the unexpected pressure placed upon it. The shaft of the carbon racket splintered into three, two of which ricocheted off the washing machine, while the third pierced Keith’s left eye and punctured his brain. Tabby Tom cowered in the corner until he was convinced his attacker wasn’t getting back up. He then made his way to the windowsill.

Nine weeks later, Muscles and Tabby Tom were the proud parents of five, all were born in good health. They spent the first ten weeks of their lives playing freely in any room they chose to, or out in the garden climbing trees with their parents watching on lovingly from the windowsill. It took them all a further two weeks to finish off eating Keith.

The End.

Brief #6 Like the Prose 2021: Romance

Copyright © 2021, Ray Hopkins, All Rights Reserved

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