Prompt: You chanced upon a mysterious flute, and, like any reasonable person, decide to blow it. It only emits a hissing sound. You think you’re not playing it correctly until you started noticing cats following you.
From open windows and cracked doors; along fenceposts and wrought-iron gates; from every nook and cranny of the quiet street the cats crawled out to meet me. One by one they sit, peering with yellow eyes and too-wide pupils. Relaxed tails curl around their withdrawn paws. In every direction, they are. No escape, no maneuvering around them.
I don’t speak, not wanting to upset the horde of cats. Instead, I inspect the ebon flute I found in a nearby alley running along two homes. Didn’t plan on finding it, I was only searching for food. The flute’s sleek build gleans under the street light, and the crescent pattern weaves around the airholes. But, looking at it closer, I notice there’s writing on the underside. I lift and turn it towards the light.
They tread with whispering paws
upon star tails and dust
heeding the melody that calls
From planetary shadows and cosmic depths
to places far beyond
allowing passage to the Architects
I glance over them once more. Their pupils are wider. Within each are tiny pricks of light, poking through deep, dark blue.
“You’ll take me, then?”
None mew, their gaze feels heavy.
There’s nothing for me. No home, job, spouse, family. What’s the point of staying here?
“I’ll go,” I say.
They rise, turn, and stare into the night sky. One by one they run on the air as though it were a steep hill, and before I realize, I’m no longer on the ground. Like I’m pulled by the clowder, I follow. Cold wind whips my face, stings skin. They reach the gray clouds and fade away, slipping behind a curtain. And, when I reach the clouds, I do, too.
Read the previous prompt, “Filth From Below”
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