It was a wet night in early December. The ground smelled slightly of snow that had not yet fallen that year. It dared to, from the gloomy sky where it sat, but it dared not. The sky must have felt especially timid that year.
“The sky must feel especially timid this year,” Marrows said, staring up with his large eyes. “But I don’t wish for snow.”
“We want snow,” replied the two sisters. They lived comfortably in a large house down the road, among large firs that seasonally became so heavy with the weight from the sky that they moan heavily in the silence. “We want snow to play in. It’s fun, and we like to make pretend food out of it. But it doesn’t taste very good.”
“Ah, I’d like some food right now. Did you bring anything, Dinette?”
Dinette glanced shyly over at Toppest. She always made sure to bring something. It’s easiest for her, living next to the Grande River Chinese Restaurant, to be able to bring food. Customers to the establishment never are able to finish up, leaving much too much food left over. Good food, that can no longer be sold. Dinette gets the food after, for free.
“I like noodles. I think, you have some noodles, right? Can I have some first?”
“Toppest, you always eat first.”
“It’s a party. Let’s just all eat at the same time.”
“But I’m so hungry.”
Dinette set out the first styrofoam container. Toppest dug in immediately.
“So greedy, Toppest, pig!”
“But I’m so hungry!”
Dinette laughed. Her laugh was always so pure. Her voice was exquisite, a real pleasure for whomever had the good luck to hear her speak. She had once been a performer on stage, she had said before. There was a soprano who had taught her how to use her vocal chords properly. But it’s too bad, she hardly spoke now. Eventually people became tired of her, and her act. There were always better singers to replace her.
“Why don’t you give us a performance, Dinette?” Cookie smiled. “For the party?”
Dinette quietly shrunk back.
“I’d love to hear you sing again,” said Nickles. He loved Dinette, but he would never tell her. It was his wish.
“We want to hear you sing!”
Dinette was about to crawl back again when Marrows, behind her, pushed her into the centre of the light.
“Sing, for us,” he whispered to her.
She looked in a circle around her, nervous and completely embarassed. She tried to remember what that nice soprano had said to her.
“You have talent,” was it that she said? “If only it was so easy for me. Oh, you’re so cute! I’d love to take you with me on my tour.”
Talent, she said. Dinette opened her mouth. Button’s mouth was open, too, in anticipation.
She sang something from the musical, or what she remembered from it. It was a long time ago, and her memory was fading from the years. It finished quietly, when Dinette forgot the end.
“That had some holes in it,” contemplated Housey. Dinette shrank faintly at the criticism. “But it was a real treat, thank you.”
“We like you a lot, Dinette!”
“Maybe someone heard you, and will want you back on stage, you know?”
Dinette opened her mouth slightly in thanks as Toppest batted her head gently with grease.
“But it’s getting late, isn’t it?” said the two sisters to each other. “We’ll meet again tomorrow, you see?” and they were off on their way home. They were the only ones who had somewhere important to go. For the rest of them,…
“Let’s hide here for a while,” said Marrows. “I like it here. It’s a bit warm.”
Together they huddled together in the corner. They watched carefully, sleepily, at the sky above where they stood. The gloomy snow-bearing clouds passed gently over the full moon, uncovering it and covering it in a hazy round halo of light.
“I’ve heard there’s a legend,” began Housey, “of humans that become dogs under nights like this.”
Cookie giggled as she imagined large dogs in human clothing.
“Dogs? Why just dogs?”
“I don’t know. It’s just a legend I’ve heard, around.”
“This opens up a lot of possibilities.”
“Just during the night?”
“I wouldn’t want to be a dog.”
“But, maybe, don’t you see?”
“I see your foot.”
Dinette laughed pleasantly.
“No, that’s not it. Let him continue.”
“It’s just a legend. Who knows if it’s true or not.”
“But, do you think, could it be possible,…”
“That we can become humans?”
“That would be nice, I think.”
“Yes, that would be nice.”
[Children Kittens: Posted November 15, 2006 at quietasday.livejournal.com]