Flash fiction & art by F. E. Clark
Twinkle, Twinkle Mr Spiffy
Star sparkles on his paws and a rakishly torn left ear, Mr Spiffy – for that had been his name always – gazed back at earth. He’d stowed away on an intergalactic schooner quite by chance one day when looking for a good place to snooze.
Each day at 10.33 Spiffy-Time, he’d press his kaleidoscope paws against the portal window and flash the receding earth. Back on earth, the feline world wondered at Spiffy in the sky, while the human population conjured old prophecies and lies about the phenomenon.
Even when he could see his home planet no more, he still flashed at his appointed time out of contrariness, but soon a great sadness overcame him—he yowled into the darkness.
‘What have we here?’ The human had found him. Mr Spiffy turned and glared.
The human’s mission was a long and solo one—his destination unclear. Hurtling through the cosmos, he’d begun to unhinge. Starved of companionship he lamented his past, cried for his children, he settled into telling old tales, over and over to his captive audience of Mr Spiffy.
When the Twinkle Star crossed the path of the Great Zeeper an alignment was made, casting a spell borne of the deepest wishes of both parties—the silent and the unravelling.
‘Curiouser and curiouser.’ Mr Spiffy’s voice rang out, deep and rich. He’d had it with the human’s tales. Mr Spiffy’s dreams had been haunted by giant white rabbits and spiteful old clocks from listening to the human unravel.
‘You can talk!’ The human was stunned.
‘Indeed I can,’ Mr Spiffy flicked his tail and sat regarding the human. ‘Off with your head.’
As they journeyed through the out-there-beyond, they became fast friends, talking of dreams and daemons, of longings and friends.
Look to the skies on a clear night and, if you can guess Spiffy-Time, perhaps you might see a ghost after-burn of Mr Spiffy’s paws flashing in the dark.
F. E. Clark lives in Scotland. She paints and writes. Inspired by the moon, stars and landscape around her - she particularly loves working with colour and texture. For several years she made a small painting every day, and still returns to this practice often. She believes strongly that the light from dead stars can shine magic on us. More of her work can be found on her website here: www.feclarkart.com, her twitter handle is @feclarkart.