Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Writing Challenge - The Cat Slept Beside the Lantern

The cat slept beside the lantern, resting over my shoes. I laid on my side in my bed, my golden hair fanning out over my pillow as I watched my cat. I was envious of the slumber the grey and white cat was enjoying since I was having issues getting to sleep myself.

Tomorrow was my wedding day and the thoughts of my new life as a wife was swimming in my head. My parents had arranged a marriage with the Mayor's son. I wasn't in love with him, but he seemed nice enough.

I sat up in bed, my pale blue eyes still resting on my cat. I knew that my marriage would help my family greatly. My father was a poor farmer who barely was able to eek out enough food to sell as well as keep my mother, myself and my five younger brothers and sisters fed. But my dowry was enough to help improve the farm and put more food on the table.

My mother had been speaking of how I was helping and how my life would be so much better after I wed. But I mourned the loss of finding love. I have always been an emotional girl and I dreamed of the day that my love would find me. But he never came, but the Mayor's son somehow fell in love with me despite my ragged clothing.

I flopped my head back down on my pillow, glancing at my cat whose paws where twitching in her sleep. I thought once again about running away from this marriage and the life that was being thrust upon me. But then I heard the sad, small cries of my youngest sister.

Slipping out of bed, I went to the next room. I picked my baby sister up out of the basket my mother had fashioned to be a bed. I cradled her to my chest as she sniffled and coughed. I looked down at her bright blue eyes, which where so like mine and I knew what I had to do.

My marriage might mean that I will never find love. But if I didn't go through with it, my small sister might have no life at all. I knew after tomorrow my parents would be able to get her the medicine she sorely needed.

I carried her back into my room, and settled her next to me in my small bed. I glanced at my cat, smiled and was able to fall fast asleep.


For the IndieInk Writing Challenge this week, R Martinez challenged me with "The cat slept beside the lantern, resting over my shoes." and I challenged Supermaren with "Transforming for good or ill"


  1. It is difficult to write a short piece on such a rich plot. Good use of the prompt to setup the story.

  2. I like the contrast between the cat's peace and her anxiety.

  3. I enjoyed your story. I felt sorry for the MC, that she had to give up on real love to ensure her family was cared for. But hopefully she learns to love her mayor's son as much as he loves her.

    A few small critiques: you use the word cat many times in the first paragraph (and throughout). Perhaps switch it up for feline or "rumbling ball of grey and white fur" (when you speak of it sleeping.)

    You could remove the word "But" in the last sentence of the 3rd paragraph, it's not really needed. And in the 4th paragraph, the last sentence uses 'but' one after another...I'd reword that sentence. As is it doesn't flow well.

  4. You were able to convey both her anxiety and her final resignation very well. Nicely done.