Flash Fiction entry 6/20/22. W/c 299
|Sterile, white linoleum surrounded Naomi in the treatment room. One small window allowed autumn sunlight to peek in, but the view captured not the cleanly developed inner harbor, but rather the busy streets and offices of southern Baltimore. Naomi turned at the click of the opening door.|
‘Ms. Tyson? I am Dr. Presley, and I will be administering the feline allergen inhibitor treatment. It’s quite quick and painless, so if you are ready, we can begin the procedure.”
Naomi released her breath. “Can I ask you a question?”
“Are there any side effects?”
Ten months later, Naomi was no longer allergic to the cats she longed to hold as a child but which gave her facial rashes and coughing fits. Before she could adopt and cradle her first kitten, however, she was stunned to find herself able to understand–and eventually converse with–every cat on the street.
“Lady–get me some tuna, will ya?” demanded a plump calico.
“Hey weirdo–I need me a juicy trout. And nothin’ less than sushi grade!” called an obstinate orange tabby.
After Naomi’s heart forced her to comply with the first request she’d received, word got around, and she soon became the victim of constant harassment by the many cat gangs of Baltimore. At last she took a stand.
She tossed a half dozen salmon filets out the window of her Subaru Forester. “That’s the last of it! I’m done feeding you all–I’m almost broke!”
The black cat with the yellow eyes strolled forward. “Watch it, lady. Mapo don’t like that tone.”
Panicked, Naomi drove off that day, never to return to the state of Maryland. Rumor is, Naomi Tyson now lives in a cabin in Alaska with three German Shepherds. She likely doesn’t suspect what is brooding on the coast of the Chesapeake Bay.