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Flash fiction: “Mornings”

So, I asked myself, what should I do after finishing a school paper: Do the dishes or watch something fun? The answer was, write a short story instead!

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Oy loved the mornings the best. They were his own to do with as he pleased, at least until Cassandra finally awoke and began to make noise about a need for caffeine.

The summer mornings were the best, when the sun rose early and painted the forest in light green hues as the first rays of sunlight slowly penetrated the thick cover of leaves. Sometimes there would still be mists left, dancing in the pools of light, twirling like something magical had crawled out of some hole in the ground to enjoy the sunlight, before it became too bright.

He supposed it was the ocelot, his other half, which encouraged this fondness for the early morning hours in him. It certainly wasn’t anything troubling, though Cassandra seemed puzzled enough about how he had the energy to be up so early. Naturally she seemed to forget that Oy also loved his mid-day naps in the patches of sunlight that filtered through the windows in their shared home.

A good morning had him rise with the sun; somehow he’d developed an uncanny ability to sense exactly when this happened. It never failed, that he would open his eyes and find the sky outside growing lighter, the rosiness that heralded the appearance of the sun already changing into a more orange hue as the first rays of sunlight crept above the horizon. He usually nabbed himself an apple or another fruit from the pantry before tiptoeing his way outside into the misty morning that awaited him outside. There were always special smells, special sounds this time of day. The day was as new and fresh as a newborn baby, full of promise. He could hear the other animals that had stirred with him, the first birds welcoming the sun with their intense singing, blackbird, lark and sparrow. It was the oldest and most familiar music to Oy and he could never tire of it. Occasionally he shifted into his cat form and stalked the dew-laden grass for baby bunnies and forest mice, not seriously to be sure, but just to feel his body moving, feeling like he was part of the miracle of nature which always unfolded before his eyes every time he ventured into the forest this time of day.

Soon he could see squirrels scamper along the tall branches he couldn’t reach, he saw fox cubs playing in the early morning sun, their mothers keeping a close watch. He saw deer, drinking from a forest stream, a sleepy owl napping up in a gnarled old pine tree and a clearing offered a stunning view of a falcon hunting for his breakfast. Oy took it all in, the sights, the sounds and the smell and when he judged the sun had risen far enough above the horizon, to light the tops of the trees painting them a golden color, he made his way back home.

On those particularly pleasant summer mornings, when it was already rather nice and warm even early in the morning he picked wild raspberries and wood strawberries, all strung up on sturdy stems of grasses and brought them back home to Cassandra as a gift. She always did enjoy something sweet to go with her morning coffee. And he told him all that he had seen and experienced during those long morning hours. It always made her smile.

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