The brilliant scientist, Portage McPeeve, does not want to take over the world.
He’s discovered a way to travel the stars, using them as gateways into other realities. With his Gateway Manipulator, he hopes to rule all the worlds of the multi-verse with an iron fist. However, when his beloved kitten becomes lost through the machine, he does not hesitate to cast plans for multi-world domination aside; instead, he follows her through the cosmos – encountering zombies, higher education for Supers, Greek gods, and killer ninjas along the way.
Will Portage find Mrs. Bumblefrost before it’s too late?
The superhero, Hephaestus – scourge of the wicked, fighter of evil doers, and foe of the unjust, watched as Ms. Snap Decision made the final adjustments on the machine. The glowing sphere crackled to life once more. “Ready?” he asked his new partner, the former minion of the nefarious Doctor Portage McPeeve. They gazed through the Gateway into another world, intent on following the passage of Doctor McPeeve’s cat, Mrs. Bumblefrost.
Annie knew her time was near; all the indications had appeared and the hourglass of her life had begun to run as dry as the rest of her. First, her tears, the salty flow of her emotions both joyous and heartbroken, one of Mother Nature’s great gifts, were replaced by artificial drops that shielded her eyes from the dry, harsh air of her home. Then the moisture in her skin, a problem her whole life because she had always had too much, began to evaporate. Lotion after lotion applied diligently both day and night failed to alleviate her symptoms. She could feel herself slipping away.
And last, though there was no exterior show she knew, she knewwith certainty, that her organs were withering inside her. She could feel herself drying up, like a grape left in the sun to become a raisin. No longer full and sweet and ripe, but shriveled and tough, darkened from age and exposure.
She sat on the grass in the family park beneath her favorite tree. Its branches sheltered her, took the brunt of the bitter wind that blew through the meadow. She leaned against its rough trunk, the split-ends of her hair caught up against the rough bark. One wrinkled hand – her skin had lost its elasticity long ago – stroked the small black kitten that had snuggled up against her.
“Oh, you poor little thing,” she cooed. Even her voice became brittle and began to fade. “Where did you come from?” She examined the cat’s paws. “What sweet little white paws you have. You look like you were walking in snow,” she said. The kitten looked up at her with bright green eyes, purred, and snuggled against her skirt.
The dress was traditional in her family, when a woman’s time was near. It contained all the colors of Autumn, the season itself which mirrored her condition. It seemed fitting to go now, in this place at this time. The meadow, normally so bright and cheery, was now somber and chill – yet not without its beauty. Leaves, dry and brittle, yet bright and beautiful, would fall to travel on the gusts of the season. She had inherited the dress from her own mother, and in due time her daughter would wear it as well. Tradition was important.
She wished they were here, her family. That was her only regret. She wished that she could spend these last few moments with them, tell them once again how important they were to her, how much they meant to her, and how she had always treasured them. How she still treasured them and always would.
She pet the cat once more, and the creature snuggled closer. She was grateful for the little feline’s company. “We girls have to stick together, don’t we?” she said, patting the kitten on the back of the head. The kitten looked up at her gnarled and wrinkled face and meowed her agreement. The skirt was full and warm against the autumn chill, and Annie tucked its folds around the cat like a blanket.
The change was coming. Any minute now. She put her head back, leaning into the tree’s rough embrace. She felt her entire body begin to lose what was left of its life-giving moisture, drying from the inside out, the wrinkles in her face and hands deepening until the pores themselves took over and she became dust upon the chill Autumn wind. That same wind carried the cells of the woman to far away places, where their genetic pattern would be replanted, seeding the newest generation of her family. Eventually, her daughters would grow up, then grow old, and the first to find her way back here to this spot would be given her dress, and the cycle would begin – and end- again.
The kitten dozed fitfully in the folds of the now empty dress; then she, too, disappeared.
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**Look for the next exciting installment of Pinholes next Tuesday, same cat-time, same cat-channel… uh, blog. I mean, blog.