Thursday, April 26, 2018

The Buddha in the Tree

dontravis.com blog post #282

Lots of page views last week, but not much comment on the story. Hope this flash fiction story gets a better reception.

*****
Courtesy of Max Pixel
THE BUDDHA IN THE TREE

          Herbert sat as still and quiet as a meditating Buddha on the topmost perch of his damaged cat tree, his yellow eyes moving back and forth between the two men standing over what had been his human. She now lay motionless on the floor, a halo of blood matting her splayed hair. Herbert blinked. She was no longer the human who tended and loved him, although he did not know how he came to that conclusion.
          “Damn, Sarge,” one of the men said. The shiny badge affixed to his belt caught lamplight and reflected it at Herbert. “Look at those tracks. Have rats been eating on her?”
          The other man, older than the speaker, motioned toward the cat tree. “Nah. That’s the cat’s paw prints. He came down to investigate. Name’s Herbert, according to the neighbor who found the vic.”
          Herbert’s ears twitched at the sound of his name.
          “Jesus!” the first man said. ‘It’s alive. I thought it was a stuffed toy.”
          “He’s real enough. Probably the only witness to the murder.”
          “You think so?”
          Sarge stroked his chin. “Way I figure it, that cat was sitting right up there on the tree while the perp killed the girl. Then the guy spotted the cat and took a swipe at him with the bat he used to murder the woman. See how the top of the tree’s broke off.”
          “But the cat got away, huh?”
          “Herbert’s sprier or luckier than his owner.”
          “Too bad he can’t talk.”
          Others came inside the apartment and tromped all over Dolly’s carpet. Dolly had been his best friend before she became that thing on the floor. One of the humans held an object to his eyes that clicked and made light flashes.
          Then Herbert heard a voice from outside the open door that make the hair on his back ruffle.
          “What’s going on here? I need to get inside.”
          A soft voice similar to his Dolly’s answered. “Sorry, sir. But I can’t let you in.”
          “This is my girlfriend’s place. I need to see her right now!”
          Herbert half rose and made a small sound.
          Sarge stared at him. “Well now, maybe the cat can talk.” He turned and stepped to the door and blocked the entrance. “I’m Sergeant Doyle. What’s your name, sir?”
          “William Peeler.”
          “And what is your relationship to Dolly Hardiman?”
          “Like I said, I’m her boyfriend. What’s going on here?”
          “There’s been an incident, and I’m afraid your friend is dead,” Sarge explained.
          “Dolly’s dead?”
          “We believe it’s Miss Hardiman, but she’s not been formally identified, as yet. Do you think you could identify her for us?”
          “Of course.”
          “Are you sure. There’s a body in there. Will that disturb you?”
          “Is it Dolly?’
          “Why don’t you step in and tell us.”
          Herbert watched as Sarge move aside and turned to stare at the cat tree as a man moved into the room. Immediately, Herbert stood on stiff legs, bowed his back, and hissed out a snarl.
          Sarge and his companion closed on the young man who had just entered.
          “Mr. Peeler, you need to come down to the station with us.”
          “What? Why?”
          “You’ve just been ID’d.”
          “By who?”
          “By the Buddha in the tree.” 

*****

I’m not a cat person, but I have a friend who is. And I totally believe her cat would spring into action in case disaster befell her.

Let me renew my plea: Keep on reading. Keep on writing. And keep on submitting your work to publishers and agents. You have something to say… so say it.

If you would like to drop me a line, my personal links follow:

Facebook: Don Travis
Twitter: @dontravis3

Here are some buy links to City of Rocks, my most recent book.


The next book in the BJ Vinson Mystery Series, The Lovely Pines is scheduled for release on August 28 of this year. Abaddon’s Locusts follows sometime in the first quarter of 2019.

See you next week.

Don

New Posts are published at 6:00 a.m. each Thursday.


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