What are Ozlandish Writings?

From July 2010 to December 2014 we ran OZLAND PICTURE STORIES as described below. Sadly though the number of writers reduced over the years and we decided to call it a day. We leave these as a record of the good times we had.

Are "You" ready to challenge your writing skills? Then participate in our OZLAND Picture Stories writing series at The Ozland Art Gallery.

Each month a new picture will be picked, from our OZLAND Artist of the Month collection, with different themes. Your goal is to write a 500-1000 word... poem... essay... or story about the picture picked. This is a chance for you to challenge your writing skills each month. Story can be written in ANY genre... sci fi... romance... ghost... fantasy... fiction... non-fiction... biography... mystery... historical... whatever your writing genre... feel free to experiment. Send your writing inworld to Sven Pertelson as a notecard to have it included on the web site. We meet at the The Ozland Art Gallery each Wednesday at Noon and 6pm SLT to read the latest submissions on voice. More Information

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

"A Kitten Finds a Home" by Llola Lane

"A Kitten Finds a Home" by Llola Lane

Inspired by 'Sooty' with my Sisters

Sooty opened her eyes... The world was a dark place. She felt someone licking her head. She was all sticky... and hungry! That was a good sign she was healthy and strong. She tried to stand but her paws would not hold her little body. She rubbed her eyes... A faint light burned them. She fell back asleep... hungry.

When she woke again... Sooty was all clean and STILL hungry. This time a familiar head pushed her close to her bossom. Sooty ate to her fill. There were others around her but they did not bother her. She slept some more.. her tummy full.

In the days and weeks that passed.. Sooty opened her eyes wider. The light didn't burn her eyes as much anymore so she kept them open longer. She still slept and ate but her days were more exciting now that the light didn't hurt her eyes. She saw she had brothers and sisters. She learned that the familiar head that pushed her to eat was that of her MOTHER. She was thankful for her mother. Their family was safe as long as they stayed close to mother.

Soon Sooty was exploring her surroundings. She learned not to stray to far from her mothers side. She learned that lesson well when a giant dog tried to eat her. She was lucky her mother was close... one swipe of her claws on his nose and that dog turned tail and ran in the opposite direction. Mother had scolded her for straying and she promised to stay close to mother from that time on.

Little did Sooty know that she would not be able to keep that promise for long. They lived in the cellar of an abandoned house of a human. Sooty didn't know what a human was... she had never seen a human. Until......

The little girl knew she wasn't supposed to go in the house... but she went in anyway. Her sister begged her not to go in. "That house is dark and scary," she told her sister. "I heard that a man was killed in that house... and his ghost scares everyone away." "That's just a story to keep people away," said her sister. "I'm not afraid!" And she opened the door and went in.

Cobwebs greeted her face. It scared Sarah at first but she quickly composed herself and walked in the room. It was a large room with a grand staircase in the center leading up to more rooms on a second floor. Her eyes looked upwards at the chandelier hanging above her head. Everything was dusty and the house smelled of rotted wood. Streams of light lit the floor from broken wood over windows. The room was pretty empty except for the curtains and a rug a the bottom of the stairs.

"AHHH choo!!!" Sarah's little sister had followed her in the house. They both jumped as the sneeze echo'd in the room. "You scared me Beth," said Sarah laughing. Her little sister grabbed her hand and they both walked to the staircase. The floor creeked as they walked. It was solid enough but a few boards in the floor were missing. They were careful to not walk by the holes in the floor. They could see the cellar below and Beth was SURE she saw something crawling around down there. They both decided NOT to visit the cellar.

"Meeeeeeeeeeeee ooooowwwwwwwww" Sooty loved how her voice echo'd in the old house. She and her siblings took turns trying to see who could meow the loudest and make the longest echo. They ran and played. Her siblings TRIED to get Sooty to leave mothers side... but she wouldn't. "There are scary things away from mother," she told them. "You are just a scardy cat," they teased. They called her names but she wouldn't stray far from mother. Mother nudged her to go play with her siblings and after a few moments of reasurrance that she would look after her, Sooty went off to play. She ran after her siblings as they turned the corner. That is when she made her first mistake....

The two girls jumped. "What was that???" They both asked at once. "A ghost!!!" Sarah knew better. "Sounds like cats," she whispered. Just then 4 little furballs ran into the room. They stopped dead in their tracks freightened by the girls. It was hard to tell who was more scared, the girls, or the kittens. "Awe... kitties," exclaimed Beth as she reached for them. "Let's take them home." Sarah wasn't sure if father would let them keep a kitten, let alone ALL 4 of them, so she told Beth that they would ask father and then come back later to claim the kittens.

"eeeeeeep HUUUUUUUMANS" exclaimed the kittens as they stood frozen in their tracks. All at once they unfroze and scurried off in 4 different directions. The littlest girl grabbed for them furiously. The little girl wasn't fast enough. They jumped and mew'd and slithered away from her little hands. All that is... except Sooty as she came running around the corner unaware of the humans....

"But I want a kitten NOOWWWW!" said Beth and scooped up Sooty as she came around the corner. The kitten wiggled and mew'd the tiniest mew but Beth held firm and started walking towards the door. Sarah muttered ok and moved towards the door too. There was NO use arguing with her little sister once she had made up her mind.

Sooty was stuck. The little girl had a firm grip on her. She couldn't get away no matter how much she struggled. Tired and frightened she gave up and let the little girl love her and kiss her. Sooty watched her siblings come out of hiding as the little girl closed the door to the house. She didn't know if she would EVER see them again.

Father took to Sooty right away and the two sisters were surprised when he said yes they could keep her. Beth thought of the other kittens in the abandoned home. "They are all alone and have no one to take care of them," she begged and pleaded with father. "Pleeeeeease may we go bring them home? Even if it is just for the night to give them food and warm place to sleep." Father agreed and the two girls put Sooty in their room and went to the attic to find a box to put the other kittens in.

Alone and frightened in this new room Sooty was trapped. The door closed behind the little girl and she was left alone. The little girl had made sure she left a bowl of milk though so Sooty drank to her tummy's content. She cautiously explored her new surroundings and sniffed every nook and cranny. The new room seemed safe enough so she jumped up on the bed and layed down on the soft fluffy covers. Sooty thought of her mother and siblings and drifted off to sleep.

The two girls spent over an hour looking for all 4 of the kittens. They really gave the girls a workout. All captured and in the box the 4 kittens looked up at the girls with tiny eyes. The kittens mew'd and their voices echo'd in the house. Suddenly from the cellar the girls heard the loudest meow they had heard yet. Did the kittens have another sibling they didn't know about?

Sarah opened the door to the cellar.

"I don't wanna go down there," Beth cried. "There are spooky things down there."

"We HAVE to go down there if you want to get that other kitten," Sarah said sternly.

Beth held her sisters arm as the two girls walked down the stairs. Sarah had a firm grip on the box with the kittens. After all that work capturing them she didn't want to let them get out of the box. It was dark in most of the cellar but there were little patches of light coming in from the small windows so they could just see. The kittens mew'd softly in the box. Their cries were answered by a long growl in the corner of the cellar. That growl was too big for a kitten and Sarah now knew it MUST be their mother.

Cowering in the corner mama kitty stared and growled loudly at the 2 humans who had her children. How DARE they disturb her family. She scratched at the larger of the two humans as she knelt down to grab her. She smelled familiar. This human was different. She had seen her before. Mama kitty thought for a moment. WHERE had she seen this human before? It was a while ago... of that she was sure. Then she remembered... It was before the kittens were born. A little human had helped her... fed her when she was hungry... near a store in the city. She had been scrounging around for food behind the store and was skinny and nearly dead. THIS was the little human that had fed her before the big bad human scared her away. She had been lucky to get away with her life, that big human surely would have killed her if not for the little human. Mama kitty purred.

Sarah did not recognize the mama kitty. She nursed her scratched hand and was just about to tell Beth to leave when she heard... PURRING??? Sarah stretched out her hand to pet the mama kitty. Now mama licked her hand. "She likes you Sarah," said Beth. "We HAVE to take her home now." Sarah handed the box of kittens to Beth and picked up mama kitty. Mama kitty purred even louder. Sarah was happy and forgot all about the scratched hand. The girls searched the cellar but didn't find any more kitties. Confident they had found all the kittens the girls headed home to show father and mother.

Father and mother were a little surprised to see the girls with 4 kittens PLUS a mama. That meant feeding 6 cats. Mother checked all the kittens and to her surprise they were all in good health. Mama kitty needed a bath and good combing but she too was in good health. She was a good mama and had taken good care of her children. Mother made sure all were fed and groomed before giving the girls the o.k. to take them to their room. In her mind she knew those cats would never leave. She smiled.

Sooty woke to familiar licking on her head... It was mother!!! And her brothers and sisters!!! They all played on the big fluffy bed. She was soooo happy to see her family. Here they all were... groomed.. fed.. and safe. No more big dogs to scare them. No more scrounging around for food in the garbage. She was a happy kitty... She was HOME!

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