Writing

Short Stories: Not One or the Other

To see life through oblong eyes, to walk on four instead of two, to rely on smells. How different this mortal coil would be? I wonder this every time I turn. Do I kid myself to know a thing or two about this infliction as I trot on with my soft paws? Or do I truly feel what a creature of my appearance would feel? The old question about substance and matter never leaves me alone.

But that is not the only question I ask. Along with the shape and matter comes the pondering of belonging. Am I ever part of one or the other? Or am I forever lost in the middle, never full, always alone?

As I move on the street, I am afraid the trouble has gone past belonging. I don’t want to be part of either party. On my own, that is better. Also, such a restricted view to live on, to cut yourself from the fullness of connection to be tied with one kind. Both as boring as the other. Yet, the truth with any biological matter is there was always a need for energy and movement; otherwise, there would be no questions demanding to be answered. No higher consciousness. No divide.

That’s why I am on the move. Energy means food, food means money or hunting. It is not the hunting I object, but the quality of the food. Like so many, I’m mistaken food comes from the market wrapped in plastic and with a barcode. A part of me snarls at me, tasting the occasional blood. Sometimes the instincts take over.

Not today though. I’m making my way around the barricades. None of the soldiers notice me. Why would they pay attention to a cat who has seen better days? Maybe they should, then they would notice the small parcel tied around my belly. Failed by their binary thinking, I slip through. Not that I complain. This pays my bills in the time of the hidden war.

Another question arises. Survival or ethics? But who could ever answer such a question and think they aren’t lying to themselves? Overwritten by want and need. I continue moving on the zone where no one should go. The other side. More surer than ever that the soldier boys don’t know what they are even guarding. Or more like keeping in. No one goes in or out without authorization. They are afraid of the mutations. Creatures like me. But not me. I’m one of the lucky ones. Most are malformed, partly human and partly animals. And humans, the leaders, don’t know what to do. Shoot them all?

Thank you for reading! Have a bookish day ❤

© K.A. Ashcomb

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