A friend gave me a Storymatic@, which I use occasionally when I need writing prompts. One day I pulled cards with these phrases and wrote a story:
pet is behaving strangely
employee in a fast food restaurant
Rory hated working at McDonald’s. well, truth be told he hated working around food. Period. The smells alone made him wish he were made of plastic with no need of sustenance.
Was that possible, he wondered? What if GI Joe or Ken or American Girl Doll came to life, not as a human but as a live plastic person. He liked the idea.
When he was growing up his sisters used to get into trouble with Mama because they fed their baby dolls milk. Within a few days of course the dolls began to stink as the milk soured. But they played with them until Mama made them toss the dolls away. They begged and whined for more dolls and promised to never do it again. Even fed them water for weeks before the lure of milk beckoned again. Mama stopped buying them dolls with holes in their mouths.
Or was he misremembering this? Maybe they just got tired of dolls once they realized they couldn’t be fed real food. That was more likely.
He wondered what it would be like to be plastic and not need any sustenance. He wondered what it would be like then lost interest when the cat, a large yellow female walked into the front door of the restaurant. It walked as though it belonged there. In fact, it looked around in such a way that Rory would not have been surprised if it had taken a seat next to the couple who were coo-cooing at a baby sitting in the restaurant-provided high chair.
The cat stared at the couple with a look that was intense, even for a cat. Rorry had seen lots of odd things. You do when you work in a restaurant located in a rest area. People are not always at their best: hungry, tired, lost, pissed off with everyone. Occasionally, there are folks who are excited at the freedom of a drive with a stopover at a rest area with clean bathrooms, and restaurants.
The only stray animals Rory ever saw were rodents, birds, and the occasional raccoon. Now that he thought about it, he’d never seen a cat at the rest area.
“Maybe it’s looking for a job,” a bemused voice said behind Rory. He jumped. Valerie, the manager had quietly joined him in looking at the cat visitor.
The cat, still standing on all fours in a commanding way, looked at Rory and Valerie and meowed loudly.
Well we have got plenty for her to do with all these rats running around, Rory said, just a bit too loudly. The couple had stopped cooing and Rory’s pronouncement had filled the silence. Valerie poked him hard with her elbow.
Ow! He yelped.
The couple looked at them and began hurriedly packing up their things. The mother clasped the baby desperately to her chest, looking around as though a horde of rodents was closing in on her.
The cat watched all this for a bit with disdain only a feline can muster. Then with a twitch of her tail, she headed straight for the kitchen.
You’re hired! Valerie shouted at the cat, as she disappeared around the corner. The two friends burst out laughing