My latest quick fiction, inspired by Carl Soerens’ magnificent lion photo.
This thing I am setting out to do—I don’t know that I am up to the challenge. When I think of all the times I have failed in the past, the ridicule I have received from even my own family, the lack of confidence —I know it is deserved, but still…I wonder if I have it in me to do it. I am regarded as fearless, as bold—sure I am big—but they don’t know how I feel inside.
I will not fail this time. I WILL NOT FAIL!
Oh, the humiliation of that last time. I wish I could forget it, but I can’t.
In the beginning I was ready for anything. It seemed so small that someone of my prowess would have no trouble. I went in with my head held high even though my heart was beating a mile a minute. Well aware of eyes watching my every sleek and stealthy move, I faced it with assurance, already basking in the adulation I knew I would receive.
I froze. A chilling paralysis rose up and consumed me. I could not move.
Given another moment, I might have recovered, but the instant I paused, Phoebe appeared and just that fast, it was over. Imagine! Phoebe, a skinny little female.
Okay. Deep breath. Slowly, slowly…Here goes: “AHA! Gotcha!”
I think I’ll strut around a while and enjoy the triumph, maybe swish my magnificent tail—way better than Phoebe’s stringy brown thing.
Oh dear, now what do I do? “Stop crying!” Good grief, he’s gone all wimpy, squealing…who knew he could make so much noise?
Oh no. No, no, no-o-o! This is no time to sneeze. I will not sneeze. I. Will. Not. Sneeze…
A a a a a a CHOO!
Fine. Let Phoebe have him. She’s Siamese and thinks she is superior to an old alley cat like me.
At least he is out of here.
I hate mice.
Elaine H. Soerens January 2015