M is for Mirror

gayatri colourThe mirrors at Sam and Sam’s are too high. There’s one in the hall which might do the trick but I have to taking a running jump and hurl myself at it in the hope of breaking through. All I’ve broken so far is my head, or at least it feels that way. Sam came in once just as I was flying at the mirror. She thought my existential angst had tipped me over the edge.

There’s a cat down the road, Rooney, that goes through them. I asked him how he does it and he said it’s like skiing, you have to start early. At my age, there’s practically no hope. Oh, well. ‘So what do you see when you get there?’ I asked.

‘Oh, all sorts of things,’ said Rooney, which was about as helpful as flea bites.

‘Have you seen Utopia?’ I asked.

‘You what?’ he said.

I gave it up as a bad job. You’re probably wondering anyway why I wanted to go through the mirror. Well, when you read Cat Seekers, Gayatri Swaminathan’s story in Cat Tales, the anthology drawn from last year’s Book a Break short story competition, you’ll want to see for yourself. There’s a whole world in there!

Where do cats go when we’re not watching them? […] To the boy, it felt like they changed from furry taskmasters to vapour, a hint of magic in an otherwise neglected sort of life. He was fascinated, and determined that he would solve this mystery at least. Not so long ago, he’d given up on understanding adult rules and sorrows; they were too time-consuming, and boring besides. He started on this mystery by watching them, waiting with watering eyes for the critical second when it would happen. Needless to say, the cats watched him right back, their slit eyes glinting greenly at him while they each showed one sharp tooth in a crooked catty smile. 

Then there was a night of poor sleep and bad dreams on the heels of a week filled with shouting voices and pointing fingers and worse. He woke breathless, the third time that night, from a nightmare of a field ripe with grasping arms growing out of a restlessly heaving soil. His mouth was dry and his hair was damp, and his eyes were wide open…just in time to catch the last curve of his cat’s tail disappearing … into the mirror!

So of course I had this brilliant idea that if I managed to go through the mirror, I’d get to Utopia. Hah! I got to bruisopia instead. So that particular itinerary is ruled out for me. No matter – remember that ad I put in the Somerset County Gazette? Friendly Cat Seeks Witch. Well, I’ve got a meeting with Desdemona Dimple next week and she’s taking me there on her broomstick.

What happens inside the mirror? I’m sorry, I can’t tell you – the Curtis ban on spoilers, you understand 😭. But if you buy Cat Tales, you’ll not only find out, you’ll also make the world a better place. Thank you!

The proceeds from Cat Tales go to two charities, Cats Protection and the Against Malaria Foundation. So please don’t hesitate to spread the word (reblog, twitter, faceboook, sandwich board, Times Square illumination – all and any means are welcome) and help us raise all we can. 

In a special promotion deal, the price of Cat Tales is just $1.99 for the whole month of April. Available as a PDF (or epub / mobi) complete with colour illustrations directly from this site* by clicking the button below. Also available in print (black & white, $9.50).

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*You can buy from Amazon here, but buying from this site results in $1.61 after the PayPal commission, as opposed to just $0.70 from Amazon. An insecticide treated mosquito net, which protects on average 2 people for 3 to 4 years, costs $2.50. PLUS, if you buy from this site, you’ll get a personal message of thanks from Curtis along with a short story of his own (in which Nibbles the cat, I’m sorry to say, comes to a rather unfortunate end).

Posted in Book a Break anthology, Short story competition and tagged , , , , , , , , .


  1. Reblogged this on Space, Time, and Raspberries and commented:
    Alice isn’t the only one who can pass through mirrors. Maybe down the rabbit hole was Dinah’s second choice. Get your copy of Cat Tales to learn more, only $1.99 digital or $9.50 in print. Support the Against Malaria Foundation and Cats Protection.

  2. Smith, please let Curtis know that Laurie, another childhood friend of Marcia’s and mine reported that she now has a digital copy of Cat Tales!

    I’ve been re-reading each story as Smith features them. I can vouch for their excellence, Marcia.

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