Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Transmogrified!

Another excerpt! This one's from Applesauce and Moonbeams, a book that takes place at a time when the moon is slowly getting settled by humankind. Our Hero, David, is a telepathic psychiatrist who is on the run after he's taken on a mob boss. A telepathic hit man has attacked David just as Our Hero gets onto a lunar shuttle about to take off.

Slowly the world swirled around David, as if he were still in his strange dream. A faraway scream echoed through the haze. He felt dislocated, out of touch with himself. Alien.
He clamped his eyes shut and smacked his lips, trying to make the funny taste go away. Furry. Must have been asleep for a month. Had he had a chance to brush his teeth this morning? What was that smell? His nose wouldn’t wrinkle as much as he wanted. Stiff. Instead he opened his mouth slightly and inhaled to let the odor rise to the top of his palate. Smelled like... like musk, with a touch of urine attached. Not entirely unpleasant.
He stretched only to find his hands and back were butting up against something solid. Oh right—he’d jumped into that capsule. A woman was already in it.
He’d been hiding from something. Someone. Someone had been chasing him.
His breath caught as full consciousness crashed upon him. Kane—that telepath—had tried to take over his mind!
The memories of battle returned to him. He hadn’t really expected to wake up, but here he was again. I think; therefore, I am.
I’m alive. I did it!
But something was wrong. He felt all wrong. Had he given himself a stroke? Surely someone would come along and take him to the hospital. Even with a major stroke he could be himself again in a week or two.
That faraway sound of screaming came again. His right ear swiveled to seek the source.
More movement, somewhere outside wherever he was. Now it was his left ear that twitched and rotated.
He dared open his eyes. This didn’t look like what he’d pictured the inside of a sleep chamber. He hadn’t noticed the rows of eye-big circles cut into it, revealing bright light and shadows in the room beyond.
Whatever it was, that terrible Kane presence wasn’t near. These people had different vibes.
“Hey,” he wanted to say, but his voice was a dry croak, a tenor “Eh.”
He tried clearing his throat. He gave his head a shake. There was something furry in here with him. When he reached out to touch it, it moved.
Wait a minute.
He stretched his hand out, flexing his fingers. In front of his eyes, an orangey-yellow paw fitted with a medical tube stretched and flexed. Claws extended slightly, then retracted back.
Oh.
My.
God.
“meeOOOWWWWW!” he cried. “Yoww! Yioww! Mioww! Yoww! Moww!”
“Looks like someone’s awake here too,” a female voice from outside said. A large eye peered in through one of the holes. “Hello there, boy. Welcome to Luna. Bet you’re hungry.”
“Moww! Moww! Moww!”
“A real talker. My granny has a talker. Siamese, I think. Is this a Siamese, Pete?”
“You don’t know nothing about cats. That’s a plain ginger cat in there.”
David might have heard the reply if he weren’t heaving against his restraints, shouting as loudly as he could.
“Whups. Kitty doesn’t like his cage. Why can’t they learn to trank these animals enough? What do we got on hand?”
“Oh, just let him have his fit. He’ll calm down eventu—”
“This is the Applegate cat, Pete. Even you’ve heard of Evie Applegate.”
“Whoa. Okay, lemme see what I can find.” “I’m a man! I don’t belong in a cage!” David yelled, but all that came out was cat yowling.