Felines and Filthy Evil

by Rebecca A. Watson on December 8, 2015

in bus rides, characters, Creative Writing, life, writing

At our writers group we were given three sentences or phrases and were told to incorporate them into a story. They were pretty random and you can see more here. This is what came out of that exercise.

I haven’t had much going on lately
but that isn’t important (to you).
Your story holds court in your brain.
Know now that I’ve had enough of your bullshit moods.
The crap you dump on us all.
Moods might be an understatement.
Your atmosphere is pregnant with gravity.
Supersonic speed —
I need to race away from you.



Lydia’s tone doesn’t change too much. It doesn’t matter what she speaks of. Her eyes are the part of her that tells the real story.

  • The story that technically doesn’t have a protagonist and an antagonist, only a plot that keeps lurching.
  • The story that won’t just finish already and won’t just tell you what is.
  • The story that doesn’t seem to be any good, if you’re going to get technical about it.


“The filthiest way to be evil,” the man with the mustache began, because men with mustaches often concocted ways of being evil, at least in her limited experience with the facial hair, “has to involve something with a cat. I can’t go into more detail than that at this point. I’m sure you understand.”

She did, only because cats were often stroked by evil men. Men who, lacking a mustache to finger, needed other ways to keep their hands occupied while they plotted the demise of the modern world.


While many believed idle hands did the devil’s work, Lydia believed those with sinister motives were the ones who always had a specific task for their hands — a sort of misdirection for their audience, the way of magicians.

Since she didn’t care much for illusions and her gamut of allergies included cats, she decided she’d end the conversation with the mustached man. Had she taken a vote, those sitting around her on the bus would’ve seconded the motion.

Luckily, and in this case Lydia was lucky, her stop approached, so she would be spared the uncomfortable effort of ignoring the man for very long. Because although he’d used the words “filthy” and “evil” in the same sentence, and although his facial hair displayed his true character, Lydia would not make clear her intentions of ending their discourse.

No, that would be rude, she reasoned, and so she slipped out the back door of the bus without so much as a second glance or a goodbye.

A French exit. An Irish goodbye. That’s what you called it, depending, she guessed, on where you were from. She was neither, but she did have ancestors hailing from Germany or England, so perhaps that explained those phrases popping into her head.

“Do you have a lighter?”

The words floated beside the poorly mannered Irish and Frenchmen. It took only a moment to realize they didn’t belong to either of them, but to the mustached man, who had not honored their unspoken, one-sided agreement.

She turned, cleverly devising a way to not produce the lighter from her purse.

“I don’t smoke,” she replied and calmly moved down the sidewalk toward her home — her safety — in her mind a sort of base in a game of tag.

“Oh, I don’t smoke either,” the mustache replied. “I wanted to light your hair on fire.”

This struck Lydia in a way that talk of felines and filthy evil had not, and she finally saw his eyes, the ones that told the whole story, like hers. Evil was not home — was never home probably — sanity wasn’t around either.

This concerned her because evil was predictable and almost fun to look at, like a lion in a cage, but madness didn’t have patterns. There were no rules insanity played by.

She realized her base would not be honored, her safe house would be a prison. Her eyes searched wildly for salvation , and she found a referee of sorts in the form of a squad car.

“Something we can do for you miss?”

No mustache. On the cop or otherwise. Lydia spun vertigo-inducing circles — facial hair radar was silent. Not a blip on her screen.

She sobbed, shook her head and ran to the bright orange door of her apartment, away from magic, away from goodbyes, away from madness.

This is part of my 2015 goal to write more and differently. If you want to read more posts like this, click here.

Photo Credits: PublicDomainPicturesSayaka Sawanoguchi

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