Universe W-2020: The Sideshows 3
May 31st, 2019
Emancipation: A Mongrel Chronicle
A Cat Named The Mongrel
Everything has a beginning, an origin story of sorts. It is simply the nature of what is, and what is happens to be very cyclical in nature.
The laws of birth and death – as a physical creation, you’re likely familiar with at least one of these concepts, the latter tending to be quite the bitch at familial holiday get-togethers. Here in the Universe dubbed W-2020, much like in my own and maybe yours too, there are no exceptions to these laws – all things, at one time or another, are born, and at one time or another they’ll die… in body. However, as you may or may not be aware, there’s a lot more to this Universe than simple physicality; there’s also the domain of the mind, and more importantly, or rather, more pertinently, there is spirit.
Trotting among the standard run of the mill lifeforms inhabiting this eclectic plane of Existence are lifeforms whom, upon merging their arbitrarily defined circumstances with their minds, become self-proclaimed gods. These beings possess an excessive amount of something, whether it be time, currency, technology, connections, resources (whether valuable or in-), what have you. Because of this access to more stuff than the lifeforms around them, the stuff-havers get an idea in their head that says, ‘You were bestowed with all this stuff for some higher purpose that isn’t perfectly clear to you, for some reason. Ignore that last bit though, you were created for higher reasons than the rest of these peonish peasants!’
Once this idea’s been allowed to ferment inside their mind until it solidifies, these beings go ahead and act like they’re some sort of gift to the world, often making complete asses out of themselves in front of all the other beings that choose to surround them. Unless, of course, they choose to wield their influence for good, or rather, for the benefit of the beings with which they coexist; in these scenarios, regardless of how infrequently they occur, the given self-proclaimed god self-proclaiming their own godship really isn’t that far off from the truth. A bit early, perhaps, but not far off.
At the end of the day though, all these beings wield is influence. No matter how much shit they throw at the fan that is existential kickback, the wind will not stop – it will only stink when it hits their noses.
Above the self-proclaimed gods on W-2020’s infinitely vertical spectrum of consciousness are the actual gods. Not even big G, just to get that out of your head. These beings, having surpassed the base realm of physicality in one way or another, dabble in the mastery of the domain of the mind. They represent, possess, create, and exude knowledge in the purest, most refined sense – they’re the masters of their fields, known by none and studied by less. These beings can be benevolent, if they wish, or they can fuck shit up; godship comes with the ability to decide whether you’d like to help or harm the lifeforms around you on an entirely situational basis.
These gods, as powerful as they may grow to be, are always far from omnipotence; they too die eventually, inevitably cast astray from the pantheon of the mind they spend their entire existences building up. Death is not the end for the gods though; following their demise a god will be reborn, sometimes in a new body, sometimes on a different planet, always equipped with the knowledge of what it must do but lacking the knowledge of how – this instills a certain balance between the so-called forces of good and evil, you see. Gods are also born with a secondary, underlying piece of knowledge to accompany their knowledge of what they must accomplish in life, one inescapable gospel of godhood that some higher beings spend entire incarnations trying to fight: gods are not, and never will be, at the top of the consciousness spectrum.
Seeing how self-proclaimed gods are no more than (sometimes cocky) masters of the body, and true gods are masters of the mind, all that remains are the masters of the spirit.
Universe W-2020 was created by a blast of energy emanating from something near the top of the consciousness spectrum; some think it was a being, some think it just kind of happened, both and neither of them are right. So when this being created everything – the various tiers of lifeforms, the Universe they fester within, the Multiverse it’s all contained in and yadda yadda big words – it did so in the instantaneous flash of a timeless moment. Despite that, even the top being is not omniscient, and it cannot ensure its entire creation remains stable by itself. The being created this Universe to exist in it, not to monitor and micro-manage it; I’m sure you can understand.
In order to sustain balance, this being had to create a new tier of lifeform. A secret, higher form of life, able to control and manipulate the very energy that life both emanates from and is sustained on – these are the aforementioned masters of spirit. These beings operate at the highest possible level of consciousness their specific situation allows for; where the gods are masters of knowledge, these higher beings brandish the very force of intelligence itself. They too exist in a hierarchy, the original creator of what is residing at the top, but yet still as an equal to its fellow spiritual beings (as long as they’re not in the room with it).
To avoid further overuse of the word being, let us call these masters of spiritual pillar of Existence the universally endowed – you know, because upon birth they’re endowed with the intelligence that the Universe itself operates on. There are myriad of these beings inhabiting Universe W-2020, some who know what they are and others that are painfully unaware; this is the story of neither type.
No, this is a story, a chronicle of sorts, about the first universally endowed creature to be birthed into Universe W-2020, one who does not think about the purpose of his own life but one who just simply lives.
This is the story of a cat named The Mongrel.
A Chase Ensues
It’s an exceptionally balmy night in the self-cleaning streets of New Manhattan. An innumerable number of cars are self-driving an even larger, still innumerable number of humans, and even a few beings, to wherever they think they need to be getting to right this second. Some folks are enjoying a night out on the town, keeping it mellow at one of the many speakeasies or smoking lounges, while others are pushing the limits of their own comfort zones at extreme sports venues or snuff houses like Madame Mwazah’s Train of Pain. Some just got out of a 16D movie, their nerves still tingling from being technologically removed from and reinserted into their bodies, while others are looking for a quiet place to veg out and enjoy whatever cocktail of arbitrary drugs, narcotic, Psychedelic or otherwise, they decided to shotgun tonight. Some are lurking in the luxuriously ratty back alleyways, lying in wait to stick up some unsuspecting shmuck who resolved on going for a swell perambulation without packing a deadly weapon, while others, all gutsied up in tuxedos and evening gowns, are staring down at the city from inside their skyscrapers, essentially doing the same thing but in a strictly corporate fashion. The Mongrel, just coming out of a nap, takes in all the nonsense with the most uninterested look possible plastered on his furry little face.
The Mongrel’s lived in this sprawling cityscape for quite a short time now, only being born a year ago amongst a litter of six kittens. His mother was a hairless Siamese and his father was a fat orange tabby, the latter probably serving as the character model for the star of the popular newspaper comic Farfield. All the kittens in the litter more or less resemble their parents, sharing the same colored coat (or lack thereof) of mom and pops, but not The Mongrel. Not only was our dude born a few sizes larger than his siblings, bless his poor mother, but also with a sleek black coat and white fur emerging from his belly, booting his paws, and decorating his nose/mouth/lower face area… you know what I mean.
From the very start, The Mongrel knew that he was some kind of special – whether that meant genetically deformed or superior, he did not know, or care for that matter, for he is a cat. All The Mongrel wants to do in life is, quite simply, his thing. In the last life he lived, this included roaming the forests of the East Coast hundreds of years ago in the body of a fearsome mountain lion, but that was then and this is now, and now, The Mongrel doing his thing involves finding whatever delicious-smelling morsel the hairless apes stashed away for him in the nearby tall metal can.
The Mongrel crawls out of his hidey hole and prowls his way out of the alley, initiating a dash across a gridlocked street until he finds himself face-to-face with a gas station. This station, one of the city’s many Lexicon-Grovels, has a RapidSurvey minimart on the property – this is The Mongrel’s go-to hotspot when he’s hungry or bored and he can’t find any large alley crickets to kill for food, sport, or otherwise. He comes here because it’s a food depository and he respects the humans for building it; what he doesn’t respect is the fact that humans walk in, get their food, and leave without eating it immediately. Like, really? How can one possibly hold food in the palm of their creepily fingered hands and not devour it on the spot?! Like this one time – get ready for this shit – The Mongrel witnessed a human, somewhat young and seemingly both male and female at the same time, walk inside the minimart to get food, walk out with said food, and point a glass rectangle at it for a few minutes, just to ultimately toss the food into the can! Without even eating it! The sheer absurdity, the sheer wastefulness of these dirty, hairless apes! Inarguably flabbergasting, but it didn’t bother The Mongrel for too long; dude ate very well that night.
Keeping low in prowl, The Mongrel lurks around to the back of the building where all the bulk excess food is stored in large metal containers, most of which are slathered in green paint. He was going to hit up the can out in the front, but the one of the odder monkeys accompanied by one of those four-legged hairy beasts walked up and stashed a bag of foul-smelling nasty right on top of all the food, ruining it forever. The Mongrel wasn’t engulfed in a fiery fury of rage for too long though – wildly whipping his tail around helped him sever his emotional attachment to his perceived dinner. Besides, the food stash in the back has way more grub, and hardly any other animals hang around it anymore. This may be due to some sportful genocide (read: playing) on The Mongrel’s part, but the past is the past.
When The Mongrel gets around back he picks up a scent, the aromatic, infatuous scent that can only emanate from one, specific morsel: balls of meat smothered in tangy yet delicious blood-colored stuff. While it doesn’t take The Bottomless Pit very long to find his target – he has a nose like you wouldn’t believe; the Mongrel can sniff out the scent of food from four hundred twenty miles away – you better believe he takes his sweet time inhaling it. Bite after bite of lukewarm beefmeat, lap after lap of tasty sauce; The Mongrel has never been more elated than he is right this moment, bringing decimation with no survivors to this decadent, monumental offering the humans have obviously prepared and left out here just for him. Pure, unadulterated bliss… until about two minutes later when he finds the bottom of his bottomless pit of a stomach, gets bored, and walks away.
As Mongolio turns the corner and prepares for the dash home, something that surprisingly enough isn’t readily edible or killable catches his interest. A car, packed to the tires with humans, pulls up to one of the pumps and lowers one of their windows, letting out all that adolescent apestink. Due to The Mongrel’s supreme sense of hearing, the excessively loud mouth noises of the humans, and The Mongrel’s inexplicable capability of understanding any and/or all forms of communication regardless of the language with which it’s spoken, The Mongrel is forced to eavesdrop on their conversation. Three of the humans, males, are attempting to anecdate the one other human, female, that around Christmastime a few years ago, a flying yeti shot jelly-loaded missiles at them for trying to record it as it flew through the clouds. She’s not buying it though, homegirl just wanna drank.
The Mongrel quickly loses interest in the conversation and turns around to head home and take a nice catnap, walking underneath the beam of a streetlight on his way towards his crossing. He then hears a shriek, followed by the slamming of doors and the rapid onset of approaching footsteps.
‘Ohhhh shit,’ The Mongrel thinks to himself as he turns back to witness two hardly evolved chimpanzee escapees coming at him at a mediocre speed. ‘They’re gonna try to get me.’
Mongo, a pure ball of energy, fur, and good looks, dashes back into his hidey hole hidden in the alley, his movements slicker than a greased streak of black lightning. From his spot he listens as the humans try to and quickly fail to keep up with him; he even watches their dirty feet as they stomp’n’tromp along mere inches from the entrance to his cubbyhole, completely unaware that he’s there, yet there he is all the same. Funny how that works, isn’t it? The humans proceed to waste the next twenty minutes of their lives searching every square inch of the alley until a creepster in a trench coat and nothing else scares them off. The most intelligent species on the planet, according to themselves; if The Mongrel was physiologically capable of laughing like a human, he undoubtedly would be right now. However, he is a cat, so he does the thing that any cat in their right mind would do in a situation such as this: hunt down that filthy bastard cave cricket that just had the audacity to crawl out of a crack between the bricks.
A chase ensues that lasts all night, taking The Mongrel from his alley nestled in the heart of the city to the drone-powered shipping hubs of the PortNation district, then back across to the graveyard of the suburbian outskirts near the North Beach of the walled-in island until they bang a hard left and enter one of the more ethnically and sexually diverse districts of the city, South Jopia. A quick note, and The Mongrel wanted me to tell you this, but despite all the fancy names, everywhere looks the same in this stupid city. PortNation is a bunch of skyscrapers, the headstones of the suburbian graveyard are all skyscrapers, and South Jopia? All scrapeskyers.
The cricket fights hard and well, truly giving The Mongrel a run for the dollars he does not have nor want. Eventually the pair make it back to the middle of the city, The Mongrel’s dojo. They blow past his hidey hole a few times before the insect turns down a street that The Mongrel has always avoided because instincts, not this time though. This time there’s a cricket involved, a smart, respectable cricket, a cricket that must taste death at The Mongrel’s claws.
Literal cat chases metaphorical mouse down the street, under a barely open garage door, and into what appears to be a physical space that was distorted into a dimension of pure light. When The Little Guy’s eyes adjust, the room’s true identity reveals itself: a massive garage with marble floors engraved with patterns of olive branches and owls in gold, rubies, and more gold, light fixtures installed in the ceilings and floors, and a team of dormant robots that, thankfully, look absolutely nothing like humans whatsoever. The Mongrel, taken aback by all these reflective surfaces, gets distracted long enough for the cricket to disappear once more, leaving its pursuer not even the sound of its crunchy legs tapping against the floors. Oh well, at least The Feline Phenom has a new place to sleep and live. Nothing will be able to find him here, especially not one of those silly humans. There’s no way one of them could fit underneath that garage door, no freaking way. Their dumb, stupid, useless, dumb opposable thumbs are just too fat.
Studying his surroundings, The Mongrel notices there are quite possibly more cars in here than there are out on the street. This place must belong to a human, then… ugh.
A wave of tidal proportions composed solely of the feeling of tiredness crashes over Mongo and joins forces with his already overwhelming wish to avoid human contact until he slumbers and wakes back up. This sends him on one mission: find a car, one that he’s never seen driving around before, and sleep soundly until he can sleep no more. There’s actually quite the selection in here, and that’s after eliminating all the cars that don’t fit into the very strict guidelines and preferences The Mongrel holds for the places he rests his head at all hours of the day and/or night; how lovely!
Deciding that snooping around and finding the perfect car would take far too much effort, The Mongrel jumps into the nearest vehicle with an opened window, which just happens to be a laser red Vechy Vorcette from fifteen years ago, give or take. A very sleepy Buddy curls up into a little ball on the back seat and gently drifts off into slumber. Deams of unbridled cricket massacre guide him into a state of unconscious delight.
The Passenger Seat
The next morning, a resounding ding startles The Mongrel from the most catly of naps. His ears perk up and he lazily stands, does a little stretch thing, and walks over to the car door, barely poking his head up enough to see what in the world is impudent enough to disturb him from his slumber.
Surprise surprise, it’s a fucking human. Exceptional. Awh, but this one’s all dressed up in a suit, and he has a purple tie, too! How charming.
Our furball, less than half awake and not giving a damn, sits up and watches the human stroll halfway across the gilded floor before randomly stopping dead in his tracks and swinging his head back and forth, swaying his hair, as if he was surveying the room. The Mongrel, sketched out by the eccentric behavior, ducks down to the floor and does his best to hide in the space underneath the passenger seat, managing to fit a whole third of himself into the gap. Meh, good enough.
The clicks and clackles of Suitboi frantically pacing around the garage ricochet off the walls and directly into The Mongrel’s ears. What’s more, the human keeps whispering words to himself under his breath as he tromps around, sketching Mongo out to an even further extent. It isn’t that Cat’s afraid he couldn’t outrun the human, that’s not it at all, escaping just requires a certain amount of effort – effort that Boy doesn’t feel like expelling right now. All he wants to do is go back to sleep, so much struggle so early in the current stream of consciousness does not resonate well in The Mongrel’s infinitely complex brain.
Eventually the human relents, the click’a’clacking of his shoes unto marble audible for entire seconds after. He begins to speak, his mouth noises easily penetrating the makeshift hidey hole Mongruh’s buried himself in.
“All right, y’all… I don’t know who or what is in here, but I really, really feel like something squirrely be goin’ down. There’s some straight juju in the air and I don’t know if it’s the bad flavor or the good flavor of juju. BUT! I don’t really want to know either, so I’m just gonna leave… if you’re some kind of thief or something, well, I think you should make like a loaf of banana bread and get the fuck outta here before I find you and put you the fuck outta here. ‘Kay, byeee!”
With that, The Mongrel hears more clicking proceeded by a car door opening and closing, more miscellaneous car noises, the sound of three low-speed collisions, followed finally by the human audibly wishing to himself that he had lit up this morning. ‘What a strange huma…’ The Mongrel thinks to himself as he falls back to sleep, still sort of underneath the passenger seat.
A few hours pass and Dude wakes up. He’s significantly less sleepy, but he feels heavier than usual, a bit sluggish even. He goes to peek out of his hidey ho– oh wait, he lives in a garage now, that’s right. This place is certainly upgrade to what was once his humble abode, but when he decided to live in here for the rest of his eternal life, The Mongrel failed to consider something of dire importance to his quality of life: where is he going to poop?! The Mongrel must be sneaky at all times from now until he never ever dies ever, especially with that confirmed human sighting this morning, but his poops and sneakiness don’t exactly go together. Like, at all.
Stress begins to overtake The Cat, but not your everyday stress; no, this is real stress, stress like a human’s trying to get him, stress like witnessing the global extinction of alley crickets, stress like he’s bombed on someone’s spot just to find out there’s nowhere to drop his bombs!
It’s at this point, his tail mid-whip, that a wonderfully relieving revelation overtakes our little friend: this place isn’t just a garage. This is his brand new, gold-encrusted marble-tiled litter box! If only momma could see him now… anyway, as he’s about to leap from the car and find himself a nice spot to lay it all down, the memory of the weird human rears its fedora-topped head.
‘Fuck that guy, I’m gonna shit in his car.’
And so he does.
And so it smells.
Really, really bad.
Cat, feeling lighter on his feet than ever before, springs from the eternally ruined automobile and takes a prowl around the garage to better familiarize himself with the new digs. Well, he starts to prowl, but the prowl evolves into a sprint when he spots that damned cricket from last night. That little motherfucker escaped The Mongrel and it dares to show its goo-filled exoskeleton again?! Oh no, not today.
A pursuit over the marble ensues. The Mongrel has never before encountered such slipperiness during his escapades over concrete, nor asphalt; this marble’s a different animal. Just like The Mongrel. He respects this choice of flooring.
Jumping over motorcycles, ducking under cars, leaping through a helicopter or two, and forcing The Mongrel to slide around all over the place, the cave cricket proves to be quite the prolonger of the inevitable. Eventually the pair comes to a slightly opened vent that connects to a series of tubes leading somewhere under the floor, and the cricket jumps in, leaving The Mongrel to bat at the cover until he realizes he needs to use is claws to pry it open. And so he does. Having thrown all caution to the wind many, many lives ago, The Mongrel then slings himself into the darkness after his prey.
The fall feels like it lasts for hours. Fur and whiskers tumble violently through the air and sensations of all three of the emotions on the feline emotional scale hit The Mongrel at once. In reality, the fall only lasts a few fast minutes and The Mongrel lands on his feet totally unscathed, but there’s no telling him that, he’s a survivor. The cricket’s completely vanished from his sight, and his mind, too; Mongo’s attention is wholly captured by the underground laboratory complex he seems to now be trapped in.
Such a busy basement – there are workstations for all sorts of “manly” hobbies, more computers than a team of four humans could use at once, robotic beings both assembled and scattered about in pieces, welding equipment, mounds and mounds of unorganized spare parts avalanching out of open doors and storage cabinets, a couple walls covered with a large assortment of weapons of both the standard and science fiction varieties, test tubes, gigantic vats of chemicals (some glowing, some radioactive, and some both) and, finally, not a single poster depicting a specimen of the human feem. The Mongrel, having been around the block more than a few times, realizes exactly what kind of human lives down in this cave, and he wishes to avoid making eye contact with it at all costs.
Upon this realization, two large metal doors that were previously posing as a normal wall slide open behind The Mongrel, releasing a tubby creature wearing overalls under a transparent plastic lab coat, of all things. The creature, taking an unimpressive step and a half before noticing The Mongrel’s presence, freezes and allows his eyes to bulge from his head.
“Oh my god thERE’S A CAT IN HERE! CAAAAAT! HOw did you get in hERE?! NO! You’re a spy, sent from the United States Government Resurgence Force! Obviously! All weapons systems, robots, automated chemical spraying hose-o-ramas! When I step back behind that door, open fire and don’t close up shop until you’re either dead or out of ammo! There’s no telling what this cat could do! This is NOT a DRILL, robots, I repeat! This is NOT a DRILL!!”
The chunky monkey, busy going around the room and shouting at all his inanimate objects, did not notice The Mongrel pull a quick how do you do, for The Mongrel is as smart as his fur is sleek. From beneath the floating flying saucer bed in the corner, The Mongrel watches the hulking creature pant and gasp uncontrollably as if it was exhausted from walking around in circles for two minutes, then it limps back into the secret room and seals the wall. For the next several hours (or minutes, who’s to say?), more loud noises erupt from that solid metal door than The Mongrel ever wanted to hear in his literally infinite life. Once the onslaught against the monkey’s own ridiculous fears subsides, said monkey opens the door and creeps out into the chemicular mist laden battlefield, the smells of gunpowder, laser beams, and heated metal co-mingling with the myriad of spilled, mixed, and ruined chemical compounds is almost enough to send The Mongrel into a seizure.
Almost. But not today.
The human, a wide smile carved across his genetically paranoid face, walks back into his bedroom and seals the door. With the slap of his right sleeve, the ventilation system clears out all the nasty air and replaces it with clean, homemade air, hinted with a scent of lemons and lavender. Unfortunately for humey, the smile morphs into a terrified gaspish mawgape when The Mongrel walks out from underneath the hovering bed and breaks the silence with an apparently paradigm-shifting, “Mrrrrow?”
“Wha… what? No, that’s not… how?” the man(?) whimpers as he falls to his knees, palming his leaking face. “How is this possible? All of my equipment, muh–… my weapons. You… survived?”
The Mongrel gets the feeling that this dude desperately needs more human contact, or any type of interaction with other living things, for that matter.
“Well, I knew this day would come,” the overall-clad man-sized mouse squeaks out. “You know, cat, if that is what you really are, I knew this would happen. You’re obviously from the yoU-eSs-Gee-aRe-eFf, I mean, duhviously. I’ve been discovered, Cape Enterprises Uncorporated’s secret is officially uncovered. This truly is the end of days.”
The human raises his right arm and rolls up his sleeve to reveal a wristwatch, not just any normal watch of the wrist though. No, The Mongrel can sense the power emanating from deep within the gears of the thing’s clockwork; something is coming, something big.
With the inputting of a complicated series of button presses, all the lights go out in the bedroom. The once white fluorescents are replaced by a dreadful red glare that comes as a package deal with an obnoxious alarm.
The human looks The Mongrel in the eyes, whimpering, “Just know, Gruncle Fred, you did this,” before curling up in a ball and singing himself a nursery rhyme as his face leaks moisture from various orifices.
Suddenly, a robot voice with an alarmingly feminine undertone comes booming through the alarm chatter.
“ATTENTION. SELF-DESTRUCT SEQUENCE HAS BEEN INITIATED. YOU HAVE, COUNT ‘EM, THIRTY SECONDS TO GET YOURSELF AT LEAST FIVE AND A FOURTH MILES AWAY FROM EARTH BEFORE THE CAPE REACTOR DROPS DOWN THE TUNNEL TO THE CENTER OF THE PLANET AND IGNITES. HAVE A PLEASANT DEATH AND THANK YOU FOR DYING WITH US HERE AT CAPE ENTERPRISES, UNCORPORATED.” Then, once the robot filter kicks off, “Okay boss, how do I make it sto–” click
The Mongrel, unsure of exactly what’s going on right now, sits himself down next to the sadsack and spends the next fifteen seconds grooming himself. Five seconds after that’s over with, Suitman from the garage materializes into the room. After shooting tubbo in the neck with a cannonball or a dart or something, hard to tell, the suited human deactivates the blaringly loud inconvenience with a press of his tie. He then looks around, assessing the situation with a facial expression of this shit happens way too often here before pinching the bridge of his nose and closing his eyes.
“Oooooh-kay, so a few hours ago I certainly felt differently, but now I’m very glad you shat in my car today. C’mere lil’ guy, let me get you out of here. Sigmund needs some sleepy time.”
This goes about as well as you’d expect, The Mongrel avoiding His Eccentricness for minutes on end, the former jumping rapidly from the bed to the walls to the ceiling in an attempt to not get getted. This lasts until the jar of Catnip is removed from Suitman’s jacket, our Feisty Furball becoming immediately more complacent once he catches a whiff of the holy herb. Always being one for compromise, The Mongrel allows the conscious human to pick him up and carry him into a small room that, once the doors close, seemingly begins to ascend.
More than a few minutes of the human breathing very heavily later, the doors open into a cozy little hallway that leads into a cozy, not so little office that sports a dastardly lack of scratching posts. Before The Mongrel can squirm his way out of Suitman’s grasp, a demented howl reverberates through the air. As Cat looks over and locks eyes with the howler, he gets a strange impression that the woman’s name must be Karen.
“BOSS!” as The Mongrel allows the woman to give him a belly rub. “Where did you find this adorable little whoozits?! I LOVE him! We should call him Milkshake!”
The Mongrel and Suitman turn to each other, sharing a look of What the fuck? over a simmering mutual feeling of The fuck we should. The man lets The Little Man down and proceeds to explain to the Karen that one, they’re not keeping the cat (Duh. Nobody contains The Mongrel.), that Sigmund almost hit the big red button again because the cat found its way into his lab, and four, that after he gets back from his business trip to Oregon, he’s going to bring the cat to an animal shelter.
Karen protests and points out the fact that her boss left out the number two and skipped over the number three, but Suitman will have none of it, telling her that if she wants a cat she can go out and save one from imminent death on her own time. She answers this with a pout, explaining that she already has seven cats downstairs and she needs another one for the office when Suitman isn’t around to entertain her.
Sutiman, claiming he isn’t offended by Karen’s comment, acts extremely offended and goes off on a tirade about how he does so much work, how he has such a cool suit filled to the seams with so many gadgets and contraptions, and… The Mongrel loses interest, deciding to explore his new new digs.
It takes Mongrath, Eminent God Of All Things Feline, literally twenty seconds to locate a collection of wooden scratching posts that are all set up around a raised platform, the essence of the platform whispering to The Mongrel that it will be used for very unsettling purposes within the next year. Ignoring this, The Mongrel gets to work ruining the chairs forever until that tidal wave of exhaustion comes back for a second helping. A full day of being bombarded by bombastic bangs and booms can really take a lot out of a cat! Dude wanders around until he finds what appears to be either a bedroom or a hidden cannabis closet, it’s difficult to tell due to the conflicting smells of human and cannabic origins. The Mongrel jumps up on the bed to find a smaller, suitcase-shaped bed for himself, stuffed almost to the brim with identical copies of the exact same black suit. ‘Purrfect.’
The Mongrel squishes his way into the suitcase, burying himself betwixt a suit and another suit for sustainable warmth. As our boy’s fading into sleepdom, his nose picks up a cannabic odor drifting up through the clothing, quickly dominating his awareness. Yeesh, do all humans do drugs? Sad little monkeys.
Still feeling zonked from mingling with the Catnip deities, The Mongrel gently drifts off to sleep in his brand new makeshift hidey hole. Sweet dreams, Buddy.
A Flick Of His Tail
The next sunrise, Chuck wakes up feeling the wonderfully human feeling of being burnt as fuck. I mean, he wakes up feeling awash in afterglow. He checks the clock guarding his nightstand– 4:21 in the morning. ‘God. Damnit.’ Sleep has never been a close companion of Chuck’s, always flirting with him endlessly before dipping out the bathroom window halfway through their dates. Unless it’s a double date with Cannabis and More Cannabis anyway, but that’s beside the point. He decides that, for the first time in his life, mind you, that since he is up, he might as well stay up and get on with his day. Today this means leaving his city, breeching the mainland, and flying until he hits the other side of the country.
Chuck and Emilio, a childhood friend of Chuck’s, have been trying to get together for a good ol’ fashioned week-long powwow for quite some time now, but Chuck’s antics and wildly successful business ven– well, his antics mostly, always seem to get in the way. Not this time though; it’s almost 2020 for crying out loud! If New Manhattan’s most elusive eccentric wants to fly to Oregon for a week and smoke himself sillier, he should be able to. And if he has to lie to his Karen The Secretary and call it a business trip, so be it.
After draping himself in one of his many identical suits, Chuck zips up the suitcase (dutifully ignoring the purring noise emanating from deep within) and sneaks out to the elevator.
The evil box of fears takes our man (and cat) to the roof where there’s a large aerial vehicle waiting for him. This is no average helicopter or plane though; based off an old wartoy called the W-22 Osprey, one of old Grunc’ Fred’s most potent fuck you vehicles, The Superego Mk I has the shape of a transport plane with helicopter propellers at the ends of its wings, the props capable of shifting from verticality to horizontality once the craft is up in the air, plus an extra fourteen somethings tacked on that Sigmund threw in just for good measure. Chuck chucks the suitcase back in the passenger bay, one side unzipped, as he climbs his way into the front seat. With the press of a button that’s clearly marked AUTO-TAKEOFF AND
-PILOT, the craft takes off into the air, Suitman grabbing the joystick and making a very big show of pretending to be in control of his ascension. Once Chuck is… well he’s never high enough, but once the craft gains enough altitude over the city’s border wall, the propellers achieve horizontality and the fourteen hidden somethings reveal themselves to be jet engines, sending the craft beaming through the sky like a meteor through outer space.
A few minutes of pretending to fly later, Chuck gets bored and wanders out to the passenger bay. He sits down next to the suitcase and pats it a few times, saying, “Okay, I know you’re in there. Come on out little guy, I won’t throw you from the plane.”
Chuck gets neither a reply nor an acknowledgment, the suitcase simply does not respond to his gesture. Reacting in the way any sane, rational human being would in this situation, Chuck tears the luggage open and starts digging through his packed belongings as frantically as he possibly can. Suits and matching slacks go flying every which way, even loose, and to his astonishment, he only finds some shedded fur, a hairball (gross), and an empty baggy that carries with it the faint scent of catnip. He digs further until he hits the bottom, making sure his stash of Cannabis is still intact, which it is, allowing Chuck to breathe himself a sigh of relief.
“Oh well, I guess I’m going this alone.”
Chuck mopes his way back up to the pilot’s cabin to find none other than The Mongrel, sat proud and tall upon the co-pilot’s seat. Woah!
“Yo, Milkshake! I mean, Random Alley Cat I Found And Saved From Imminent Death That You Yourself Caused! You’re here!”
Mongo looks over to Chuck for a second before diverting his gaze back to the aircraft’s radar and GPS map. The cat, to Chuck’s amazement, sits motionlessly, attentively staring at the map for minutes on end without responding to any of his catcalls. Chuck can hardly even exist for a few minutes without getting himself involved in some sort of psychotic shenanigans, let alone sit still; this cat is something else.
Human starts pretending to fly again, this time as a fighter pilot in the surely upcoming third iteration of a worldwide war. After he downs a few bogeys, he checks in on his co-pilot, who seems to be missing. Coincidentally, meaning the phenomena can’t be linked at all, there’s a sequential jumping-scratching noise coming from the passenger bay, forcing Chuck to debate whether or not he should stop playing pretend. At first he decides not to, but his decision quickly reverses itself when the craft rumbles and entire torrents of air start rushing all around him. The words fuck and Oh are queued on repeat in Chuck’s head as he attaches a safety leash to his belt and proceeds with an investigation.
Rounding the corner, Chuck sees the one thing, the single set of circumstances that he was hoping to avoid seeing: the cat somehow opened one of the doors separating the inside of the craft and a forty-thousand-foot drop. Chuck’s gaze meets The Mongrel’s once more; the two silently stare at each other for seconds on end as oxygen, belongings, and an assortment of herbs fly out into the open sky. The suited man, securely attached to his ship and unable to walk any further, can only manage a single plea, two groveling words as a solitary tear forms and is immediately whisked away from the corner of his eye.
With a flick of his tail, The Mongrel jumps from the aircraft like the caution he threw to the wind all those incarnations ago. Chuck leaps but is immediately caught by his belt like a pissed off dog on a chain, sending his face directly into the plush carpet lining the floor of the vessel. He peers up and tries to catch a glimpse of the flying cat, but the little black furball has already shrunk out of view, his very being merged with the forests below.
Chuck, feeling emotionally devastated, manages to shut the door and regain stable footing, which he quickly abandons as he collapses back to the floor in a fit of rage, sadness, and an overwhelming need to not feel anything right now. When the rage has passed, Chuck gets up and hobbles to the front seat, engaging hyperflight. A joint is pulled from his suit pocket – the sheer astonishment over the fact that it survived the door’s opening allowing our catless hero to feel a tiny bit less miserable. He makes it to Oregon before he can even find a lighter, but not to worry: Emilio’s waiting for Chuck at the airport, and he’s got it covered.
The Mongrel has achieved emancipation. Thank you.
The Mongrel Dashes
Overcome with jubilation, dopamine, and an increasingly intense Psilocybin high, Chuck sprints up the foothill. His giddiness is cut short about seven steps later, however, when his bare foot splatters a fresh, steaming pile of nasty.
“Oh come the fuck on now, really? REALLY WITH THI–” sniff “Wait, I know that smell.”
Chuck quickly swings his head back and forth, surveying the area until he spots a very familiar tuxedo-furred furball staring him down from up the path. The Mongrel dashes, Chuck following him all the way to the mountain’s peak, the Mushrooms allowing him to ignore the screams for help his legs are trying to send to his brain. Upon reaching the summit and striding over the arrow-shaped rock that he doesn’t even notice, Chuck comes to a pastureish clearing with a cabin set back near the treeline. It is here that he shares a startled look with a curly haired hippie sitting lotus in the grass.
Hello Commons, this has been the third story from the fourth chapter of The 2020 Event |The Sideshows|, a satirical short story anthology about Existence and the universes that float within it. |The Sideshows| is the final book of the First Spiral, a longer story called The Highest One Writing.
The Highest One Writing is a story about an author told through the books he wrote. It starts with a self-help book and ends with the destruction of Existence. Also, it may or may not take you to the depths of insanity and back.
|The Sideshows| is available to read for free in its entirety on my website. Click here to check it out.
I’ve written a few other books, too. Click here to see the list.
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Be well Commons~