This week’s prompt was a choice between 2 pictures. I chose the water play picture, as it inspired an idea for a series of short stories I can write based on something I’m calling Tales from the Back Porch. The stories are told by Grandma Rose while she sits in her rocker, on her back porch, to whomever may be listening….
The day is hot, muggy; the humidity at its highest peak of the summer. Kitty Cat, in all her long haired glory, strolled down the street, looking for someone to play with, her calico mane tied up in a bow, shiny and sleek. If you know Kitty, you know that playing jokes is her most favorite pastime of all. Today, she was feeling especially mischievous.
It seemed like everyone in the neighborhood was outside today. Perfect, she thought to herself. She was hoping to see Tom Cat (no relation) and Lionel, her two very best friends and biggest enemies. It has been awhile since she played a trick on them. She walked to the end of the block saying hi to her neighbors along the way. There was no sign of Tom Cat or Lionel. She wondered what they were doing.
She decided to go to their houses. Along the way, she began to scheme. She stopped at her house long enough to gather a water hose, turn the water on, and fill a blow-up pool with just enough water to get one wet. She found a baby doll and dropped it in the water, face down. When she was satisfied that it was ready, she continued on her way to Tom Cat’s house.
Kitty is in luck. Tom Cat and Lionel are together at Tom’s house. She preens prettily before walking up to them. “Hi, guys. Whatcha doin?” she asks them.
“Hi, Kitty. We are playing hide and seek.” Lionel answers in his gravelly voice. “Wanna play?”
“Okay,” she answers. “What are the boundaries? Do I get the whole block to hide?”
Tom and Lionel whispered to each other. It was typical of Kitty Cat to change the rules whenever she joined in a game. They liked playing with her, most of the time, so they usually agreed. “Ok,” they answered “but only as far as Mrs. Higgles’ house.” (Mrs. Higgle lived two houses before Kitty’s house, and they were hoping to avoid any traps that Kitty may have laid for them). Lionel started counting and Kitty and Tom ran off to hide.
Kitty managed to convince Tom to hide in Mrs. Higgles’ bushes. She ran behind Mrs. Higgles house and plugged in an extension cord and pressed play on the remote she had hidden under a big rock in Mrs. Higgles garden then hides behind the thick oak tree. Through the heat, the sound of pitiful wailing is heard. Kitty remains in position knowing that if she moves, Tom would be suspicious.
She didn’t have to wait long. She heard both Tom and Lionel calling for her, concern in their voices. Rather than keep them worrying, she came out from behind the tree she had chosen to hide behind.
“What’s that sound?” Lionel asked her.
“How should I know? I just heard it right before you guys found me. I wonder what it is?”
“It sounds like it’s coming from Mr. Hyde’s backyard. He’s got a well back there. Do you think someone got stuck?” the concern was evident in Tom Cat’s voice. “Maybe we should check it out.”
Mr. Hyde’s yard is surrounded by a metal fence. It isn’t very high, but it’s covered with ivy and lichen. No one really likes to bother grumpy old Mr. Hyde, and they especially don’t like to touch his fence. Today, Lionel decided to brave the wild growth and stuck his toes in the holes on the fence. He peered over and saw nothing. The pitiful cries weren’t coming from Mr. Hyde’s backyard. It sounded like it was coming from Kitty Cat’s yard. It was truly pitiful.
Tom saw it first and took off running. Just as he reached the pool to grab the baby out of the water, a long stream of water soaked him from head to toe, and the wailing stopped. His face turned red as he discovered that it was a doll and Kitty’s laughter filled his ears. Lionel just snickered and shook his head.
“I got you good this time, Tom Cat,” Kitty said through fits of laughter. “you should have seen the expression on your face when you saw it was a baby doll!” She howled with laughter again.
“It’s not funny, Kitty Cat. I’ll get you for this!” Tom Cat yelled. “These are my best pair of jeans!”
“I know. That’s what makes this so much funnier,” she replied.