I recently joined a writing group of others who also like to write sci-fi / fantasy. A few days ago, we met virtually and spent ~15 minutes responding to the following prompt (it’s paraphrased since it was only read to us and, unfortunately, I can’t remember it word for word).
When the timer started, I had no clue what I was writing. I felt the prompt was a bit–well–silly. The story, though, developed in about five minutes.
Naturally, I chose to focus on the rising evil. I can’t seem to help myself. The evil is so much fun.
Since they came to Earth, cats and dogs have been fighting for the affection of the human species. Both cats and dogs, once protectors of the universe and dabblers in the magical arts, set aside greatness in preference of the chin scratch, which it just so happens is exactly what humans like to give small, furry creatures.
But now, an evil is rising. Cats and dogs must put their differences aside to protect the people they love.
Note: I have called dogs and cats by their extraterrestrial species’ names, which are Canars and Felinoras, respectively.
“Yes, thank you.”
“Can I get you something? A drink?”
“No, thank you.”
“Wonderful. Now, tell me what you saw. Tell me what happened.”
The girl shifted in the chair that was too high for her. Her legs swung back and forth, but as she began to speak, she leaned forward, gripping the edge of the seat so tightly her knuckles whitened. Her legs stilled.
“I was getting off the school bus and they were getting on. Or under.”
“Alright. Thank you. And how old?”
A trick question. Or perhaps just a poorly worded one.
“How am I supposed to know how old they were?”
“Sorry. You. How old were you?”
“Oh.” The girl did the math. “I was seven. I’m just eight now.”
“I see. Please go on.”
“I had jumped off the last step of the bus, splashing into an ankle-deep puddle left from the afternoon rain and admiring my new unicorn rainboots when they pushed the manhole lid open and came up, out—slithering and writhing.” She said it perfectly. Just as she had recited it to herself every day.
Had she been too eloquent? The girl scrambled to say something girlish.
“I guess? Maybe not.”
That was better. Fear and uncertainty were the appropriate emotions a human child would be feeling at a time like this.
“Hm. I see. Sorry, please continue.”
Closing her eyes, the girl licked her lips. Would her interrogators believe her story? The scene still played in her mind—every day she remembered her birth. She had expected that one day, they would bring her in.
Their skin, emerald-green; their eyes, black and beetle-like. They moved as though tormented, half-dragging ill-formed carcasses that glistened in the sunlight.
When they saw the little girl, one of them hissed. It surged around her, trapping her in the sludge of its body. She struggled against it, but she was no match. A small human, still in larval form. It consumed her in less than a minute.
The Transformation was complete. The girl stood—the new girl—the one who looked just like the old girl. She licked her lips and spread her fingers, examining each metacarpal.
The Felinora licked his paw. “Marya? Are you alright? Do you need a break?”
Though they appeared eager-to-please, the creature was not deceived. It knew their strength. It knew their power.
It smiled, the smile of a sweet girl whose legs still could not reach the floor. “They just rode away. On the bottom of the bus.”
The Canar scratched her ear. “That’s an interesting story,” she said.
“It’s true! And I’ve never seen them again.”
“I think you’re overlooking one small detail. It’s a tiny thing, really.” The Felinora flicked his tail.
“Well? What is it?”
The tips of the Felinora’s claws protruded from the fur around the his toes.
“Humans can’t understand the Felinora or the Canar.”
Do you see the story going another direction? If you write a different version, be sure to link back to me. I’d love to read yours.