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  • Writer's pictureJen

[Flash Fiction] Strays | Speculative | 252 words

I'm going to start posting flash fiction again, just little almost-drabbles that I tend to write to warm-up my brain before diving into longer stories.

Title: Strays Genre: Ghost story, vaguely cyberpunk Word Count: 252 words. Credits: Many thanks to Yvonne for eyeballing this Notes: You can find more of my published fiction, as well as free fiction, here.

The city was being eaten by dark, looming self-building megastructures and neon-drenched streets that hurt Rachel’s eyes to look at. At times it felt like her very being was dissolving, unravelling beneath the cold grip of digitised advertisements splashed across every skyscraper for a mile around.

With each passing day her corporal form grew more insubstantial, making it hard to perform even simple tasks like eating.

Rachel knew she would die very soon.

One day she heard a strange scratching at her front door. Only just able to grasp the handle in her ghostly fingers, Rachel struggled the door open to find a small black cat perched on the step, staring up at her with huge yellow eyes. It wore no collar and its fur was a little ragged, and a small segment of its left ear was missing. Yet another creature abandoned to the digital haze of the city.

Another stray like her.

In the neon glow from the street, its eyes flickered with empathy. Rachel, drawn by its small and curious triangular face, reached out. A surge of static coursed through her and in that moment she felt its soft-but-greasy fur, felt the thrum beneath her fingertips as it purred in pleasure…

… Felt it anchor her and draw her back to the world.

“Come on, then,” she said, stepping aside to let it into her house, feeling the floorboards beneath her toes for the first time in months. She just hoped that the milk in her fridge was still fresh.

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