N is for Nile

Tabby with Emerald eyes2

Illustration by Zoe Radford

In the beginning there was no light.

There was it. Enshrouded in almost total darkness; save for the effervescent glow that emanated from it and gave it a shadowy form that was all but indistinguishable. Even that in itself was a layer of black added to dark.

It was a product of darkness—born in the eons before life ever began on earth. It had seen empires rise and fall and watched civilizations crumble into the nothingness of memories and markings on scrolls and pieces of broken pottery. In some instances it had helped them attain that state faster. […]

The explosion shattered its rest.

That’s from John Chidi’s Cats of the Nile, his excellent contribution to Cat Tales, the anthology drawn from last year’s Book a Break short story competition. Now, I’ve always known that we, as a species, were awesome, but I didn’t realise quite how much till I read John’s story. And when I say awesome, I don’t just mean awesome as in ‘Chicken, Salmon and Tuna Dinner in Gravy Cat Food is awesome,’ but Big Bang awesome, being there at the beginning of everything awesome (and the end of everything too). You’ll have to read the story yourself to see how mind-blowingly awesome we really are, but I’ll let on here that you’ll be struck by so much awe that you’d best have an oxygen mask close by.

Over the centuries, of course, most of us have evolved into less almighty creatures. To the extent where even I, Lord High Clawncellor of Taunton, have lost the knack of igniting explosions by twitching my whiskers. I can’t even fly, which is why I’ve had to hire Desdemona Dimple. Most of the answers I got to my Friendly Cat Seeks Witch ad said they just do love potions. When they heard I wanted to travel to Utopia on a broomstick, they told me it would be cheaper by Ryanair. Huh! So it’s up to Desdemona now. She hasn’t been on a broomstick for a while, she says, but she’s keen to give it a go. We’re having a trial run on Friday. If it works well, I’m off to Utopia at the weekend, so stay tuned!

In his own words: A firm believer in not taking life too seriously, John Chidi is seriously committed to making a positive impact in people’s lives. He blogs at john-chidi.blogspot.com.

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) and help us raise all we can. And of course, if you click on the button yourself, you can find out what happens to Jensen Taft, the explorer in Cats of the Nile. Thank you!

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).

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  1. Reblogged this on Space, Time, and Raspberries and commented:
    Cats are gods. Ask any ancient Egyptian. Or, more conveniently, get a copy of Cat Tales and read the story called, “Cats of the Nile”. You’ll also be making the world a better place because the proceeds go to Cats Protection and the Against Malaria Foundation.

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