100 Words A Day by Hydrargentium

Well, at least 100 words — best served random….

Tag: Kat-grrl

Kat-grrl reached out, straining to catch hold of the jeep as it raced by. She felt her claw tips drag against the metal, but it was smooth and unadorned, and yielded nothing for a grip. As it bounced over the low brush, the engine roared, then it was gone among the trees.

She swung her arms around in frustration, twisting at the waist, stifling her own useless roar. Her wild movements only made her sink deeper in the viscous sludge. It was now past her belt.

She had no idea how deep this stuff was, but the odour, turned up to eleven by her enhanced sense of smell, reminded her of rancid oil and soiled diapers. She forced herself to sniff at it, and detected nothing that suggested it would kill her — at least not right away. She was still sinking, and if she got too deep, she’d never get out.

Looking around showed no branches or ropes or long-handled tools or discarded pipes or two-by-fours — nothing that would have made getting free any easier. She did see a few leaves resting on the surface, which gave her nothing to use except an idea.

Tentatively, she slapped her palm on the surface, squeezing her eyes almost closed and turning her face away to avoid any splattering. The impact threw up blobs in all directions, including one that landed just above her ear. As she reached with her other hand to wipe it away, it slipped down into her ear canal with a sound that made her wince. She shook her head but failed to dislodge it, and fought the urge spit in disgust.

Slapping the surface again, it became obvious she’d be able to swim/crawl her way to solid ground, just a few feet in front of her. With a sigh she leaned forward, chest-first into the goop.

“Ew! Ew. Ew. Ew. Ew.” She’d hoped to be able to crawl more than swim, and keep her head and shoulders above it all, but with her first outstretched stroke, her hand plunged deep. It was only her cat-like reflexes that let her turn her face away to keep her mouth clear.

Accompanied by grunts of further disgust, she settled into a cross between a push-up and a breast stroke, kicking her legs randomly to try to gain my traction. After a few minutes, she caught solid earth with one hand, and dug her claws in. More frantic kicking and pulling followed as she dragged herself to safety. Her hair, dragging across the ground as she moved, felt heavy with the weight of leaves and twigs that had stuck to the sludge.

She lay there on the cool forest floor, panting as much in frustration as exertion. Her breath was loud in her ears.

Even louder, though, was the click of the safety being thumbed off as the muzzle of a gun was pressed to the base of her skull.

“I’m sure I don’t need to tell you not to move,” a male voice spoke behind her, carrying more than a hint of chuckle, “but just in case: don’t move.”

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Tar looked down at his hands. Blood was beginning to ooze from a thousand tiny cuts that etched his skin.

Kat-grrl, getting up from where she’d flung herself prone behind a panel van, sniffed the air, and then bounded across the street to him, covering the distance in three graceful leaps.

“That was some blast. Are you okay?”

He held up his hands as small droplets began to sprinkle the sidewalk, dark red on off-white. The black tar that covered the rest of his body flowed up from his arms, recovering his skin and staunching the blood. He winced.

“Stings a bit. Like I just washed my hands with sandpaper.” He looked around. “Anyone else hurt?”

“Yours was the only blood I could smell. Ransack is gone.”

“Yeah, he boosted it to the rooftop over there just before it went off.”

“And the reporters are around the corner over there.”

“I’m surprised they haven’t come out yet.”

She wrinkled her nose. “Well, it sounds like the woman dropped her equipment. She’s probably going to need a broom.”

“And the other guy is helping her?”

Kat-grrl shook her head. “No. No, he needs to change his underwear.”

“Don’t look now, but that guy is totally checking you out.”

Recalling her training, Kat-grrl turned to peer at the store-front window. Sure enough, in the reflection of the street behind her, stood a man in a suit — not a cheap suit either — totally ignoring the iPhone in his hand to stare at her. His close scrutiny made her tail twitch.

Her admirer almost dropped his cell.

She looked over at Call-out. He seemed to be staring further down the block, but it was impossible to tell with his goggles. She’d have bet money his eyes were actually on the guy across the street.

“I think he’s into cats.”

Call-out’s smirk twisted at the corner of his mouth. “I think he’s into you, honey. Or he wants to be, anyway.”

“So you’re telling me that there’s no such thing as aliens.”

Kat-grrl nodded her head, her lips pressed together in a way that said, “Yep, whether you believe me or not.”

“It’s all a hoax?”

“It’s all a hoax.”

“Really….” Buckminster rubbed at an eyebrow under his mask.

“Really.”

He seemed to contemplate this, little structures made of silver tubes forming in the air as he stared off at nothing: a bridge, a tunnel, an archway, a dome, a series of steps in a double helix.

Kat-grrl played with her hair while she waited.

“But you were there with us, last month. We were back-to-back there, for a while. The aliens were freaking everywhere! You probably still have that scar on your leg. How can you say there’s no such thing as aliens?”

“Mm-mm,” she replied, shaking her head. “Those weren’t aliens. They were artificial life forms, grown in government vats. They want you to think they were aliens. Because the truth is much scarier.”

The drill stopped three inches from his face. Little flecks of metal fell off the point to tickle his nose. Belatedly, Aubrey realized he probably should have closed his eyes while the bit pushed through.

After the drill reversed itself out, he heard Ranger’s gruff voice, thinned out and metallic from its trip down the hole.

“Y’alright? Can you talk?”

Aubrey tried to respond, but found that his mouth was so dry, his throat so parched, that the only sound he could make was faint and airy, like a slow leak from a tire.

“Aubrey?”

He tried to cough, make some kind of audible, human sound, but still came up with nothing. He gave up, and tried his teeth and tongue instead.

The whistling noise was airy, too, but more than loud enough.

From the hole, he heard more voices:

“Oh, that’s him!”

“Someone hand me that spray can.”

“I guess that means I don’t get his comic books.”