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Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Tender Vitals

Tender Vitals
by Headley Hauser


"Look!" said Dander. "There it is again. They named a candy after you, Skittles!"
Skittles pouted. "It's not named for me. There are lots of fairies named Skittles."
"But not near this Seven Eleven! Look, some of the candies are green like your eyes, some of them are yellow like your teeth, and some of them are red like the color your cheeks get when you're angry."

"Stay back in the flower bed!" scolded Skittles. "A human will see you - or worse, a cat!"
Dander gave a little jump at the mention of the C word. There were a lot more of them now, and they weren't staying in houses and getting fed small cans of meat and meat byproducts; they were out hunting for birds, rodents... and fairies!

"A-ha!" laughed Skittles, "worried about your tender vitals, I see."
"The humans never should have named their cat food that. The cans turn every content calico into a fairy hunter."
"The humans named the cat food Vittles," said Skittles.
"Close enough!"
"And they don't think cats can read, or even understand their language."
"They don't think cats can read," said Dander. "They don't think cats can turn door knobs, or drive an SUV, or load and fire an M16. Humans aren't very bright."

"Most cats prefer Uzis. They're easier to carry."
"It's not like the old days when we twitched our wings and flew out of the cat’s reach."
Skittles bobbed her antennae. "It's hard to out-jump a nine millimeter bullet traveling at four hundred meters per second."
"I'll give the humans one thing," said Dander, "Their veterinarians help slow the rate of fairy-folk genocide."
"Yeah,” said Skittles. “They get those cats right in the bob-o-links.” Like most fairies, Skittles chose her euphemisms from among the names of small flowers and birds.
"Shush," said Dander in a whisper. "There's a tabby at five o'clock."

"What's she packing?"
"It looks like a Kalashnikov."
The two fairies hid among the marigolds. Marigold scent was unpleasant, but it masked their fairy airy from the hunting feline. The cat must have heard them, or seen movement because she was staring at the marigolds. Three banana clips hung from the cat's collar, and she wore a small medal with the word, "Neverland" inscribed at the top. This was no casual Sylvester, but seasoned campaigner. A lot of Tink's best fairies bought it in the catastrophe of '07.

A mole scampered across the path, catching the cat's attention. The calico released the Russian-made automatic weapon's safety and followed after the small rodent.
"You know," said Dander after the danger had passed, "maybe we fairy-folk should consider a new career as house pets."
"Like the canaries? You want to live in a cage?"

"We could avoid cages by using a litter box, and making ourselves useful. We could help them find their house keys after the imps steal them. They might even feed us Skittles!"
"Very funny," said Skittles, "but count me out. Humans claim to love their pets but how is it that the world is filled with homeless cats? Remember what happened to Charlotte’s 4H friend, the pig. Instead of feeding us sweets, the humans are more likely to feed our Tender Vitals to their cats."
You’re right,” said Dander. “We should stick to fairy stuff. You go paint a water stain of the Virgin Mary on that Seven Eleven, and I’ll grab the candy while the humans are staring at it.”



The moments before that cats landed in Neverland 2007.