A friend recently told me about [Fiction] Friday. The instructions are to read the topic for the week, post an unedited story in your blog and then share the link on their blog. Then you can read other posts and comment on them. I've been in a writing rut lately, so my friend suggested I try it as an exercise. So here goes...
This week's topic is: Include a telepathic parrot in your story.
Lou Ames did a quick once over of his veterinary clinic, making sure nothing was out of place before locking up for the night. After saving a cat's life, patching up a dog that got his paw caught in a fence, giving shots to another dog that had been bitten by a raccoon and performing heart surgery on a parrot, he was exhausted. A bottle of Coors and an episode of "Lost" from the DVR were all he could handle tonight, if that.
As he went to turn off the lights, he heard a voice behind him. "When was the last time you were on a date?" Startled, Lou spun around abruptly, knocking a pile of brochures off a table in the waiting room. "Who was that? Mom?" The voice didn't answer back and he went about cleaning up the brochures for Iams and Purina.
"Five years. No date in five years." Now he was really getting nervous. How did anyone even know that? He kept to himself and didn't share his love life with his clients. His mom didn't even know how easily he had given up on women after Elaine decided that vets didn't interest her anymore and had moved on to her dentist. It just wasn't worth the heartache. "Show yourself already, whoever you are." He walked around the office, trying to track the sound. "Five years. Five years. Lady with the sick cat thought you were handsome."
He didn't even remember the lady because he was so focused on saving her cat. The poor little beast had a chicken bone lodged in her throat and he managed to get it out. He remembered someone crying but his assistant had taken over so he could scrub for the surgery. The surgery. That was it. He may have blanked out a lot of the day's events, but he did know that the parrot was nearby during most of the procedures. "Mr. Feathers, is that you?"
"Lady with the cat is going to come back. She left the cat's blanket here." Sure enough, a ratty, yellow blanket covered with gray fur was sitting on the couch in the waiting room. Just then, he heard a frantic tapping on the door. A petite woman in her mid-30's was standing outside, illuminated by the moonlight shining from behind. Still bewildered by the parrot's prediction, he opened the door.
"I can't thank you enough for saving Felice's life today! I'm not here for that now though. I seemed to have forgotten Felice's favorite bla---there it is! I'll be out of your way now."
"What was that?" the woman inquired.
"Oh, um, just checking the last time Felice had her shots."
"You're way off then. She just had them last year."
"Oh okay, never mind. Hey, um, listen, would you, um, be interested in going out for dinner?"
"Tonight? I think Felice needs me."
"Not tonight. I have the series finale of "Lost" waiting for me on the DVR."
"Really? That's my favorite show! I just watched the finale. I'm so sad that it's over for good."
"Me too. Or at least I will be in another hour or so. Anyway, how does Saturday at 7:00 sound?"
"How do you know I'm single?" the woman smirked.
"Um, you're not wearing a ring?"
"I could still have a boyfriend."
"No. It's just Felice and me most of the time. She has to approve of the men I date and so far it's been zero out of the last five. I think she'll approve of you since you saved her life and all."
"Good to know. Should I pick you up or do you want to meet here?"
"Here is fine, since you passed the Felice test already."
"Okay then. I didn't catch your name though."
"Ironically, my name is Cat. It's short for Catherine."
"Nice to meet you, Cat."
"Likewise. Have fun watching "Lost" tonight. We can discuss on our date." With that, she breezed out the door with the ratty blanket thrown casually over her shoulder.
"Angelo's is your favorite restaurant. Take her there."
"Shouldn't you be sleeping? You had a big surgery. You need your rest."
"At the end of "Lost," everyone--"
"Good night." Lou quickly slammed the door behind him, covering his ears and humming. He drove home with a grin plastered to his face. "Silly parrot," he thought, nodding in amusement, thankful for the reminder to finally move on with his life.