EDIT 2: Made several immediate changes, after reading the enlightened words of Stephen King. A tip to writers: Read On Writing. It is a godsend. In particular, I have removed most (if not all) adverbs, and edited out an extraneous sentence.
EDIT 3: More changes, after a long hiatus.
It's a bird! It's a plane! *Gasp!* No, it's...
That guy who posts fanfics, never updates them, and disappears for months at a time!
...Wait, who's he again?
A select few readers of this thread* may remember my first work here on the HP forums - Creeping Realization: A Housepets! Fanfic. I cancelled it, mainly on account of it being terrible. This new story is a sort of spiritual successor, in the sense that it is going to succeed Creeping Realization by the sheer virtue of it not being terrible.
**cough*probably just Copper*cough*
I will be going so far as to try and make Eternity a test: I want to know how professionally I can write at the age of fifteen. As such, I want metric tons of feedback. I don't care what kind of feedback it is - I will happily accept both the most vitriolic spewings of rage and the most tender, affectionate love letters that can be penned to a person without both writer and reader suddenly becoming pregnant. If you manage to cross that line, by the way, I'll be incredibly impressed.
However, all feedback needs to be within Housepets! guidelines.
Feel free to critique or simply comment on my grammar, brevity, tone, choice of words, inclusion or lack of detail, word and paragraph structure, and so on. Even if you have trouble articulating what exactly you like or dislike, try to voice such struggling thoughts anyway.
I especially want to know if my words incite the proper emotion for the occasion. If I fail at that, I fail as a writer, and I don't want that to be happening without my knowledge. If you wish to discuss my story in depth, feel free to PM me as well. If you want to skype, then message me your skype name and I'll add it to my list of contacts right away.
Just to cover all my bases: All works created by Rick Griffin are not under my ownership. This includes the Housepets! franchise.
So without further ado...
Eternity: A Tale of Change
Chapter 1: Burning Bridges
The grandfather clock clanged midnight, the strikes of its gong interrupting a hallway's silence. A light brown cat sat on the tiled floor – his back to a pale and plastered wall, his left ear to the mahogany surface of the timekeeper. The noise of the passing hours was not bothersome to the feline. To him it felt comforting, and musical in its constancy. Each hour was a reminder that life was in ageless motion. Every loud bang of the disk reminded the cat that of all the concepts in the world, time at least felt eternal. He sighed, and shut his eyes, and counted the clock strikes in his head.
During the sixth, he heard the door to the house open. By the eighth, he opened his eyes.
His owner was in view. Callused fingers shook. Normally grey eyes leaked, red and tired and puffy.
“She’s gone, Zack,” The man said, at the tenth. “The doctors couldn’t save her.”
Zack never heard, nor counted, the twelfth toll. His sobs drowned it out.
The funeral was short, and bitter. A sermon was given, a casket lowered into a graveyard hillside within the hour. Nobody except Zack and his owner had come. Family relations had been hostile for many years, and the lady had had no friends save for her husband and her pet. In the end, she was left with a mound of dirt and a pithy inscription on a stone slab:
Emily Lawrence. Rest in peace.
The brevity was fitting. Emily had long been a woman of little words and small deeds. Her husband had married her entirely for that purpose. He would oftentimes say to Zack that he ‘Found the ordinary extraordinary.’ Zack used to think that the phrase sounded like something out of a Mary Poppins film. As the cat glanced at Emily’s grave, however, it was all he could do not to ponder the oddness of death.
Zack’s owner kneeled in the dirt, staring at the tombstone. He began to speak, his whispers audible in the chill silence. Zack counted the seconds.
For two minutes, Samuel Lawrence murmured under his breath about apologies and promises. He stood. Motioning to Zack, he began to walk home, his dull grey eyes fixed to the sky.
The next day, Zack opened his bedroom door to see Samuel pulling the books out of the living room bookshelf.
“We’re moving,” he said. Zack blinked.
“What? Where?” The feline asked. Samuel looked at him, and smiled.
“A nice, quaint little community, far away from the hustle and bustle of New York City life.”
“Is that code for ‘excruciatingly dull,’ or have you just gone insane?”
“No, on both counts. I'm happy for your trust in my mental faculties, though.”
Zack crossed his arms. “I'm not. Where, specifically, is this place? What's it called?"
Samuel paused, sighing at his old copy of Carl Sagan’s Cosmos. He reached for a weathered map lying on top of the shelf, and threw it to his pet.
“Babylon Gardens, it’s called. I’ve heard it’s a good place for animals.”
“That’s only half an answer,” Zack said. Samuel shrugged.
“It’s in Virginia, I think.”
“Does it really matter? I just need to get out of here before…” He trailed off. “Well, before the memories begin to eat away at me.”
Zack felt the silence permeate the room. “You know I don’t care much for the South,” he said, after a minute.
“Honestly? Neither do I, but I’ve done some extensive googling. Daniel Burnham could team up with Gandhi and Mother Theresa, and still not build a nicer place. Houses there are a pittance, anyway. There’s some kind of millionaire family living there that really likes to lower suburban housing prices. I called to ask why, but all I got on the line was a squeaky drunk man. I could barely understand a word he said! Got me the house, though. Nice man.”
Samuel looked at Zack, noticing the uncertainty in his golden eyes.
“Look,” he said. “If you really don’t like it, we’ll just stay for a few months, alright? We could afford another move easily enough.”
“In the meantime,” Samuel said, “Mind finding a place to burn these Pridelands books? I don’t know how they got here, but they’re not leaving this house intact.”
Zack shook his head, and smiled, and went to get a match.