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Maurice flashfic
Written 10/08/04 for Cygny's First Lines meme.

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The cat was carefully scrutinizing his environment but didnít see nor hear anything. Every now and then he would experimentally flail against the greyness he floated in, but he didn't seem to move, that he could tell. He could hear himself yowl, but it didn't echo off anything. If he'd been a cat of lesser intelligence and resourcefulness Maurice knew he'd have gone insane in a matter of minutes. As it was he had lasted hours in this limbo by cleverly recognizing boredom as his biggest enemy and inventing several games for himself to play. His favorite so far was in devising tortures for the person who had put him here. Maurice considered himself quite imaginative on the subject of tortures, although since becoming sentient he hadn't performed many.

He reflected that he'd been rather easily amused before becoming sentient - he recalled one afternoon spent repeatedly pushing a mouse back into a rain barrel, watching it swim round and round. Since meeting his pet sentient rats he had not eaten many rodents. He had to keep demanding that they speak before killing them - it really took away from the thrill of the hunt. A shame, too, since rodent really was so tasty. Why didn't humans appreciate how tasty they were? Dwarves liked them well enough.

Dwarves had to cook them, but they had a hundred ways to cook rats. Funny when the thought about it, closely - he'd have thought there would have been many more bats than rats in mines.

"Do Dwarves eat bats?" he muttered aloud. "Do Dwarves eat bats?" And then, "Do bats eat Dwarves?" Since there was nobody here to answer that question it didn't seem to much matter which way he put it.

Then he was in the center of a pentagram. It took him by surprise, so that his legs, unready to support him, buckled. His reaction to this embarrassment, of course, was to instantly be up, back arched and every hair on it standing on end, spitting.

"Sorry, there," Ponder Stibbons said, backing off quickly. "Misfire. I lost you for a few minutes. I think I got my sequence inverted - "

"Minutes?!" Maurice yowled. "Minutes?!"

"Well, twenty, perhaps. Less than a half hour, anyway. Sorry. Look, we'll try again - "

"No! Think I'm letting you fool about with me again?! Have another think!"

"Er. Milk?"

"Don't think you're getting off that easy."

"Sardines?"

"...perhaps we can bargain."

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