Zen There Was One

Glad you could join us for the next zany episode of Elliot’s Adventures. If you’re new here, you can catch up by returning to the beginning, and reading really fast…

Elliot Z
Photo credit: dreamworlds.ru

The moon had climbed only a branch or two higher in the tree when Yvonne returned with dinner to find Elliot cleaning dried blood from a slash on his girlfriend’s neck.

Looking away, she patiently reminded herself that her own savory kill still dripped from her talons, and she lay a beakful of mold-garnished leafy greens and a spongy-plump mushroom at their feet. Then, because that suffocating need to show well had woken from its long sleep, she couldn’t stop herself from discreetly tossing tufts of fur and shards of bone down to the charred forest floor.

Resentment simmered in her veins.

Continue reading “Zen There Was One”

X is for Xavier

Curtis Bausse, the man behind the Cat Tales anthology of the top stories from his Book a Break Short Story Competition, is an author in his own right. One Green Bottle, the first of his Magali Rousseau murder mystery series, is a darn fine murder mystery — I know because I’ve read it.

Hey, if you refuse to purchase Cat Tales, two things are certain: you won’t be contributing to Cat Tales’ support of two worthy charities, and you’ll never know if the story I wrote, “Cat Artist Catharsis”, is any good. But maybe you’d consider purchasing a copy of One Green Bottle.

Of course, you could do both. You’ll find the links you need, below. Many thanks for your support.



Apart from having a name that begins with X, Xavier isn’t an interesting person at all. But he does indirectly lead to Cat Tales, the anthology drawn from last year’s Book a Break short story competition, so I thought I’d tell you how. He’s Magali Rousseau’s husband in One Green Bottle, you see, or was until she swapped him for a cat. Actually, to be honest, he swapped her first for another woman, so she didn’t have a lot of choice. She thought at that point her life would be miserable, but as it turned out, the despondency she braced herself for never came. On the contrary, a couple of months after settling in, she was sitting on the patio on a glorious summer evening, sipping a glass of wine as Toupie purred contentedly round her ankles, thinking that she was no less contented herself. This was…

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W is for Welfare

Here’s what you need to know about one of the charities your purchase of Cat Tales will support.



And so the A to Z approaches the end. I’ve brought you all the cool cats in Cat Tales, the anthology drawn from last year’s Book a Break short story competition. As I’m sure you know by now, the proceeds from Cat Tales go to two charities, Cats Protection and the Against Malaria Foundation. So a word now about the first of those, which does so much to ensure the welfare of cats.

First of all, why in the name of Bastet does it exist? I’ve read the whole of Utopia, and there’s not a single mention of Cats Protection, which goes to show that in a perfect world, we wouldn’t need it. On the other hand, there’s no mention of cats at all in Utopia, which makes me think it might not be quite so perfect after all. Oxen, cattle, horses, dogs, hares – but…

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V is for VIP

The Stealthy Six protect their neighborhood’s pets. What else do they do? Find out in Cat Tales.



Specifically, the VIP wheelie bin store where meetings are held every Monday night, attended by the Stealthy Six: Felix, Tom, Missy, Cinnamon, Bamboo and Tiger. In The Postal Code Cats, Olivia Templeton’s story in Cat Tales, the anthology drawn from last year’s Book a Break short story competition, we’re given the rare privilege of sitting in on one such meeting ourselves.

Conversation passes clockwise and each cat has the chance to deliver what they know. ‘Cinnamon, how is Donkey, the pug, over on Puddle Lane?’ Felix asks.

‘Fine, Felix. He’s growing at the right speed and is learning how to behave at last.’ Cinnamon marks a pause. ‘That’s the good news. The bad is that Mr. Laurie, next door to Rover, no longer has Periwinkle the budgie. I’m unsure as yet what the circumstances are, but Periwinkle, I’m afraid, is no more.’

Felix emits a sigh of…

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U is for Ugbor

Today is the next-to-last day to get a digital copy of Cat Tales for only $1.99! Or you can choose print for $9.50. Proceeds go to the Against Malaria Foundation and Cats Protection.


ofurefinalStanding on tiptoes, her arms and jaw resting on the frame, Elizabeth Ikhide looked out of the living room window of her parents’ apartment. It was a warm and tranquil Nigerian Wednesday morning on the BDPA estate. No outsider would ever have guessed how cold and terrifying the previous night had been: dogs barking, ripples of gunshots, three apartments robbed and two people killed. Little Liz hadn’t gotten a lot of sleep.

Wow! The opening paragraph of On Tuesday Night, Ofure Omoike’s story in story inCat Tales, the anthology drawn from last year’sBook a Break short story competition, takes us straight into the thick of the action.

Ugbor, incidentally, is a district of Benin City, where Ofure’s story is set. It’s where Liz and her family go to live at the end of the story, with its cramped and ostentatious duplexes encased by gigantic fences…

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Glad you could join us for the next yawping episode of Elliot’s Adventures. If you’re new here, you can catch up by returning to the beginning, and reading really fast…

Elliot Y
Photo credit: wallpaperup.com

The skeletons in bird’s memories weren’t as easy to dispose of as those that littered her life, but she shook them to the dark bottom of her mind with a noisy, full body feather ruffling.

“I beg your pardon. Where are my manners?” she asked with a smile that didn’t quite reach her eyes. “Welcome. I’m Yvonne. And you are—?”

Continue reading “Yvonne”

Xanadu or Die

Glad you could join us for the next x-traordinary episode of Elliot’s Adventures. If you’re new here, you can catch up by returning to the beginning, and reading really fast…

Elliot X
Photo credit: Cheri Perry

“Well?” The fierce predator blinked repeatedly, her flaming eyes flashing off and on in the dark. It was an intimidating effect she had perfected over the years to capture the attention of many broods of squabbling owlets.

The two tiny gastropods embracing in her nest pulled apart with a slight sucking sound. The larger one addressed her with a polite bow.

“Please accept our sincere apologies for dropping into your inviting… uh, Xanadu, uninvited. You see, we have just escaped the clutches of a deranged evangelist, and must have taken a wrong turn in our haste. We are the unwitting victims of gravity.”

Continue reading “Xanadu or Die”