Friday, October 14

Chapter 30:

In Which Aiko's Journal Entry is Made Into A Story As She Suggested It Might Be.

It was a lovely evening outside...Warm, not hot, and there was a slight breeze blowing. There was no reason for her to stay inside, so Anna removed herself out of the office chair in which she had been seated, and strolled down the dusky Arizona boulevard. She was... Not happy exactly -- no, that would be too much -- but contented. Nothing was going wrong, and it was such a beautiful sky outside. The cloudless sky would soon be reflecting the full range of spectrum from darkest night to yellow hues. She checked her watch -- more out of habit than in wonder -- and decided that she had enough time to check her mail at the school's post office, nearly two blocks away,and still get back home before even the street lamps turned on... And that at a leisurely strolling pace too.

As she strolled from her dorm across the campus, she watched the freshmen scurrying to get to parties and band rehearsals as if it would be the end of the world not to show up. She smiled at their naivete, and remembered herself doing the same thing four years previous. Those days were over now as she studied for her masters degree: she was now one of the instructors marking late-comers to her own class of freshmen during the day. It gave her a new respect for her professors at her alma mater. She began to wonder if she had ever really been a freshman.

* * *

She licked her right paw gently to clean it with her rasping tongue, and brushed back her side whiskers. It had been a long day of rushing between the feet of students and traffic on the street, and all she could think of at the moment was a saucer of warm milk and maybe some kippers if any were handy. That was one benefit of having an elderly lady owner: they spoiled you. She looked at the sky casually, and saw the time. Evening light was fading, and if she were to get the milk, she would need to be there before the sounds from the awful box said "this is Jeapordy," otherwise she would be forced to wait until morning.

She began strolling along the sidewalk near the street when she her ear picked up a slight sound, as of tiny feet pitter-pattering towards the center of campus. She sat still for a moment and cocked first one ear, then the other in the direction of the sound. She began to purr to herself. It was a young mouse. Still tender and still brave enough to venture out while still light in this city. She had time, and it was such a lovely evening, she took herself up to the chase.

* * *
Anna could see the entrance to the mail-room, but was stopped by an acquaintance who wanted to catch up.
"It's been ages," the acquaintance said, "not since... What, sophomore year?"
"Yeah," said Anna only half-heartedly. She had not wanted to stop in order that she would be back before dark. "Long time."
"I've applied for an applied science major... Ha, ha... Get it? Applied for Applied?"
"Okay, well..."
"So what are you up to these days?"
"Just..." She realized this conversation would not be quick, so she took in a deep breath and began to tell her story.

* * *
Well, the milk was definitely out, but the young mouse was well worth the disappointment. She licked the last of the mouse off her paws and began preening once again. She was a born hunter, and she knew it. Her mother had taught her all she knew before she was adopted by the lady called "Reena" who lived with her in the mobile homes. There were many cats in that neighborhood, many of whom she was used to seeing and even conversing with on a quiet evening. She knew which ones would want a pleasant chat, and which would try and tear her paws off. There was even one dog in the neighborhood she didn't mind. It was a pekegnese with a limp paw. But her mind was not on those things now, but on what a beautiful night it would be once all the stars were out. The kind of night that makes you want to sing on fence-tops. She began to walk homeward across campus.

* * *
Anna once again proceeded towards her mail. There may still be enough time if she hurried... But, no. Tonight was not worth hurrying. Some evenings you need to savory, and this was one of those nights. So she doesn't make it back to her dorm/apartment in time; there is plenty of light anyhow. The light began to flicker on, and emit a very dull blue while the filaments warmed to a bright yellow.

* * *

She passed a cat as she walked to the mailbox and they nodded gravely to each other, and passed on -- each towards their destination, but not in hurry. This was a night to savor.


At 8:28 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Very pleasant autumn evening... thank Aiko for sharing it.

You write a lot of intermingled lives: Suicidal partners and females and felines. Interesting. Lots of "Chance" meetings that aren't chance at all.

There are a couple of extra words that you neglected to omit in your editing... but a very pleasant piece. It made me relaxed, actually.

Write on!

Yo Mama

At 11:15 PM, Anonymous Aiko said...

Lovely story!


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