Friday, February 26, 2010

Mr Simmons and the Black Cat

As a first post, claiming to be a writer and all, I figured I should present to you one of my flash fic stories. It was inspired by an artwork called Mr Simmons by Axel Fridell.

Mr Simmons and the Black Cat

Mr Simmons was comfortable sitting in the worn armchair reading the newspaper. The library was still quiet and peaceful, but Mr Simmons knew that in forty-five minutes the tranquillity would be broken by a rowdy school class, as it was every Tuesday. Yet, he wasn’t worried, for he knew very well that he would finish the paper before that, as he did every day and had for quite some time.
Mr Simmons was a handsome man although already five and thirty. He was tall and always dressed very fashionable and correct. He was known for his gentlemen ways and everyone thought well of him. Some years earlier, he had been married with a woman of important relations and gentle temperament. It had been a fortunate match for both purse and heart. She had died in childbirth and Mr Simmons had not had it in him to remarry.
On this day, five to ten in the morning, he folded the newspaper and rose from the chair. He returned the paper to its place, straightened his top hat and left. As he walked out of the door, a sudden shadow startled him. He looked up and, from upon a brick wall, a black cat was watching him.
The yellow eyes of the cat held his gaze with a peculiarly human expression. Mr Simmons shuddered suddenly, as if by a cold wind. Annoyed at his own silliness, he scolded himself for being so superstitious. He continued his way down the street, determined not to think more of the strange encounter. The day was clear and cold, as often it was in March. Mr Simmons pulled his white scarf firmer around his long neck and strode homewards. A few minutes later, he had indeed forgotten about the cat.
But as he turned the corner, he was yet again reminded of it. The yellow eyes watched him intently, the sleek black body stretched out across the narrow alley. Mr Simmons stopped. He watched the cat, perplexed and uneasy. The cat looked back, unfazed. It must indeed be the same cat, although Mr Simmons didn’t like to acknowledge it. Again, he felt cold, although he told himself it was not strange in the spring weather. He played nervously with his cane and thought about taking another road. After all, the cat could have rabies and attack him as he passed. A blush appeared on his cheeks as he saw the cowardice in the notion. Mr Simmons was far from being an exceedingly arrogant man but to be frightened by a cat was below the limit of his pride.
He gripped his cane firmly and cautiously approached the black cat. The yellow eyes followed him. Mr Simmons walked as close to the building on his left as he possibly could without brushing against the sooty wall. The cat didn’t move nor looked like it had any inclination to do so. Mr Simmons carefully inched around it. When he had passed unscathed, Mr Simmons quickened his pace to be away from the odd beast. But at the end of the alley, he couldn’t help to turn around to see if the cat was still there.
A rainy and windy winter had scuffed and torn at the old buildings hovering over the alley. The hail of the day before had been the last assault that one of the withering houses had been able to resist. As a harsh wind whipped over the sky, the building lost its desperate grip of an already loose roofing tile. It fell and hit Mr Simmons squarely in the head. The pitiable man, but five and thirty and without any heirs, fell dead to the ground.
The black cat, who still kept its yellow eyes on the corpse of Mr Simmons, sighed and shook its head.


  1. Lovely story, Malin. I'm so envious of your facility to write in a language alien to you. A few minor blips not worth mentioning; the story has atmosphere and heart - though I half hoped the cat would turn out to be some kind of succubus - but then men prefer erotica to an unexpected death :)

  2. Thanks Mike! I believe story-telling is an art in itself, no matter the language you use. That's why I always take critiques on plot, characters etc. much more to heart than I would with grammar, spelling etc. English being my second language, I expect those faults! (Not saying I'm sure if I have the story-telling skill!)

    Hm. Death or sex. I must say I can't disagree with your preference!

  3. I'm impressed of the flow of the story and the command of the language to tell it. You grew up bi-lingual?

  4. Thank you for the compliments! No, I didn't learn English until school: we were 11 when we started studying a second language. I didn't start writing 'seriously' in English until I was around 18 but for the last 7 years I've pretty much only written in English.

    Nice of you to stop by! I hope you found the other free stories as well.

  5. Well, studying your blog with your most interesting insights in the art of writing will keep me busy enough for a while.
    Very best wishes and always enough ink in your pen. Nothing's worse than a jammed flow of thoughts because the pen's run out of ink.