A quantum fairy tale
approximately 800 words
A fairy tale
Once upon a time there was an Abyssinian kitten named Schrodinger who thought he was human.
Everyday when MissFlowerySmells, the other human in his domain, sat at her desk, he curled patiently on her lap, listening to the click of her fingers on the keyboard. When Missy--that's what he called her, for short--when Missy sat down for dinner, Schrodinger joined her, perched on an empty chair at the table and watched. When Missy crawled into bed at night, he slipped under the covers with her. When she snored, he purred.
One day, he noticed that Missy had left the door to the Forbidden Zone ajar. Schodinger had always been so curious about what was on the other side of that door. The most interesting smells and sounds came from there whenever Missy shut herself inside. At last, he'd find out.
The equipment he found there made chirpy sounds. That was irresistible. Schrodinger prowled the workbenches, wending his way among the boxes and their flashy lights. They were warm, and wires coiled snake-like everywhere. Missy always called him "bad cat" when he played with wires. He couldn't understand why. They were so interesting. Schrodinger pawed one of the wires and tipped his head.
But just then, a light flashed and, in the unexpected brightness, Schrodinger was sure the wire had turned into an actual snake. He arched his back, hissed, and jumped backwards. He bumped into one of the boxes, sending it crashing to the floor. A siren blared, and electricity thrummed through his body. His brain blazed, his heart thumped in fear, and Schrodinger scampered away to hide under the sofa in the living room.
Missy came running into the Forbidden Zone, wrapped in a towel and dripping water. "Dinger, what have you done?," she wailed. She always called him Dinger instead of using his proper name.
Schrodinger perked his ears. He understood what she said. He understood the words, not just her distress. That had never happened before. He thought some more about what she'd said, and reflected that it wasn't his fault she'd left the door open. Whoa! Where did that complicated idea come from? For sure, nothing was ever his fault, but he'd never considered assigning blame to Missy. She was just the other human. The one who Opened the Can of Food, Petted him, and Changed the Litter Box. It was kind of like she worshiped him, now that he thought about it.
Meantime, Missy was off in the Forbidden Zone, whining. "Dinger, you've fouled up my whole superposition array. I'll have to start all over. I'm never going to finish my dissertation on using quantum mechanics to enhance intelligence."
Schrodinger licked his fur and contemplated what she'd just said. Of course intelligence was an emergent quantum phenomenon. It was obvious how you'd use entanglement to improve cognition. He'd known that intuitively all along. But then something happened just minutes ago during his Forbidden Zone Expedition. Because of whatever that was, he was thinking more clearly, using words. And stuff.
He wondered what else he could do. He stared at Missy and said, "It's time to feed me."
All that came out was meow, but her head gave a little twitch, and sure enough, she took out for the pantry and opened a can of food for him. Awesome. While he took dainty bites of Fancy Feast Tuna, he thought and thought about what had just happened.
He wondered what else he might make Missy do. He decided that she should clean his litter box.
Her head gave that little twitch again, and she walked off to take care of that odoriferous chore.
Odoriferous. That was a word Missy would never use. He emitted a self-congratulatory purr.
When Missy came back from changing his litter, Schrodinger inspected her and noticed they weren't the same kind of creature at all. Because of that, he realized that the two of them must be different species. She didn't have his excellent tail, for example. And she clearly didn't think as well as he did. Or at least, as well as he was thinking now. The time before the Forbidden Zone Expedition was a little fuzzy.
He decided that since he was human, she must be something else. He wondered what he should name this new species he'd just discovered, until finally he came up with the purrfect solution.
And that was how Missy became Shrodinger's cat.
All right, I know this is a silly story.
I wrote this when I was invited to participate in the "fill-in-the-blank" activity in Bubblegum Jones 's port. The challenge is to base a story around filling in the blanks in this prompt:
Once upon a time there was a _________________________. Everyday,_____________________________. One day,_________________________. Because of that,____________________________. Until finally,____________________________.
I don't think I produced quite what she wanted, but it was fun, and I'm pretty sure all the required words are there.