Travelling Companion

It’s time for Friday Fictioneers, when writers from around the world post 100-word stories based on a photo prompt provided on Madison Woods’ blog. This week’s photo is by Ron Pruitt. You can read other Friday Fictioneers’ work by clicking the link that appears below my story.

Travelling Companion

by Jan Brown

Happy Halloween, I thought to myself sarcastically as I boarded the bus. I would have preferred to travel independently, but my eyesight was damaged in a fire long ago—an incendiary nightmare set by a group that, in today’s world, would be called a flash mob. I’ve since become accustomed to commercial means of transport.

Two of us were travelling with animal companions, I with my service dog and a sleek young woman with an equally sleek black cat.  Pets aren’t allowed, but she cleverly convinced the bus driver that he was a service cat.

Service cat?  Really?  In my day, we called them “familiars.”



42 thoughts on “Travelling Companion

  1. I love this, the little clues about being burnt, then the twist at the end. I got it as soon as you mentioned the cat, but really liked that closing sentence.

    • Thanks, Trudy! I’m glad you liked the clues, and found the ending satisfying. Within 100 words, it’s hard to determine how much to give away, and still keep the ending one that will make the reader smile or react.

    • Yeah, I thought about ending it with a reference to hitching a ride on a broom, but couldn’t work it in. So, I reached the conclusion that the cat was too fussy and finicky to fly through the air–except, of course, under the power of his own feline jumps, swoops and leaps :-)))

  2. Well, I didn’t get it, but knew something was there between the lines… Searching the comments always helps… now I know. Ron’s did it… and looking back, I see others knew too. Very clever…

  3. Loved this. Wonderful Halloween story. Hope they sedated that black cat bec. I have a feeling some superstitious passengers are going to freak out. Haha…I would love to be on that bus to see what happens. Btw, I have an all black cat…with huge green eyes that “glow” in the dark. Whoooooo !!! My previous housekeeper took one look at Bambi ran out, screaming…never to see seen again…Her excuse to the employment agency?…She was allergic to Bambi. Hahaha.

  4. Dear Jan,

    This story of yours was one of the best. i love it when I learn something and ‘familiars’ was a very special piece of knowledge. A smooth flowing tale that had character and wisdom and a very subtle feel of reality tinged with magic.



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