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Tired: A Tale of Fears

Posted: Thu Dec 22, 2011 6:41 am
by Rollofthedice

Maxwell hated sleep.

Of course, he was normally up at nights, as it was the best time to hunt for mice. After Maxwell had had a few as a late supper, however, he would head back to his owner’s home. Lying down on his bed, the cat would glare intently up at the dull, pockmarked white ceiling. He wouldn’t move a muscle, and would try his best to blink as little as physically possible.

At eight in the morning, Maxwell would relax, get up and eat breakfast. He would go through the day annoying the neighbor’s pets as much as emotionally possible; the feline found it a serviceable and entertaining distraction. Once every few days, though, not even being frustrating would work. When his legs began to grow distressingly weak, and his eyes tried to close on their own accord, Maxwell would slip out of sight and find something to lie down on. Taking a deep breath, he would drift off into a heavy slumber.

The nightmare would come soon afterward, whether he slept for ten minutes or five hundred. Always, he dreamt the exact same thing.


Maxwell found himself in a dark alley. Broken bottles and tumbled-over trash cans served as support for discarded, windblown newspapers. Rain almost flowed from the sky, as if Zeus himself was punishing the earth. Cracks of thunder illuminated the world, outlining nightmarish figures of monsters on the alleyway walls. Frantic car horns and screaming crowds clashed together mutely in the background, a dissonant yet quiet cacophony of sounds.

Maxwell stood at the end of the alleyway, facing a worn brick wall; a dead-end. The feline heard furious, incomprehensibly intermixed growls and hisses from behind. They were louder than the other noises, and overwhelmed Maxwell’s senses. Maxwell turned around, baring his worn and sharp teeth in a hopeless desperation.

He felt claws on his face. A horrible scream and a curious, rough ripping noise would interrupt a sudden silence. It would take a moment for Maxwell to realize that the sounds were his own.


Maxwell wouldn’t scream when he awoke, or cry. Rather, he would stare straight ahead for minutes, his body locked in a terrified paralysis, his hands tightly clutching his right ear.

After he regained the use of his body functions, the cat would stand back up and continue with the day. He wouldn’t tell anyone about his dream, as he wouldn’t feel the need. Maxwell reckoned that he could still get through the day; why, then, seek help?

Only one animal was able to stop Maxwell’s nightmares: Grape. On particularly romantic days, the two would cuddle up together next to the HDTV in the Sandwiches’ living room. Watching any movie that the owners had lying around – Annie Hall, The Aristocats, Titanic – Maxwell would eventually fall asleep in Grape’s arms, the comfort of her fur chasing away his pain.

Re: Tired: A Tale of Fears

Posted: Thu Dec 22, 2011 7:29 am
by Renkun
what I read here so is somehow ok the story would already be interesting but a couple of information and about the background were already good

Re: Tired: A Tale of Fears

Posted: Sat Dec 24, 2011 2:07 am
by RandomGeekNamedBrent
interesting take on Max. fear induced insomnia is never good.

Re: Tired: A Tale of Fears

Posted: Tue Dec 27, 2011 6:21 am
by Rollofthedice
Thanks for the replies, Renkun and Brent.

Note: The, for lack of a better word, 'chapters' I post here will be short. Right now, they focus on providing little justifications for the more major personality flaws in the cast of Housepets!. Such justifications will undoubtedly change (or even disappear) as I get to characters that don't have such intentional, comically large personal difficulties.


Tiger loved to sleep, almost as much as he treasured food.

He had once tried to combine the two passions, by getting Zach to shovel marshmallows into the dog’s mouth while he slept. While the experiment hadn’t turned out so well, it had made Zach suffer flashbacks whenever he saw S’mores – not to mention put a rather literal spin to the idiom ‘Don’t bite the hand that feeds you.’ Afterwards, Tiger changed track and tried to go to sleep while eating food instead of vice versa, by depriving himself of rest the night before. While this allowed the canine to spend a happy reunion with his old flame Rocky Road Ice Cream, he was later found with his tired face buried almost intimately into the frozen treat.

Sometimes, Tiger would have particularly bad days. The neighbor dogs would jeer and shout slurs at him. Packages of catnip and string would be shipped to the Arbelt’s doorstep, with greeting cards addressed to Tiger. The cats, especially Marvin, would refer to the canine with a sympathy and condescension that infuriated him to no end.

On those nights, Tiger would go to sleep with angry eyes and bared teeth. Silhouetted faces would haunt his dreams and screech creatively depraved insults into his ears. Tiger would have visions of cats covered in shadows, which would smile and speak words of friendship while they ripped the dog apart with their claws. Tiger had woken up from such a dream, once, and found Poom torn in half by his own livid hands. Terrified, he hastily sewed the teddy bear back together without difficulty, though slumber was difficult for a few weeks afterwards.

The worst nightmares Tiger had were the ones where he was alone; where not even insults, food or Poom was there to keep him company. Huddled into a quiet and dark recess of his brain, the dog would cry himself awake.

Getting up, he would head into the kitchen. Opening the refrigerator, he would proceed to take the leftover boxed pizza his bachelor owner Jerry always bought for dinner, and eat every last slice of it. Tiger wouldn’t even care about how annoyed Jerry would be when he searched the fridge for a mid-day snack. Food, along with Poom, gave Tiger comfort, and nobody was going to take either from him.

Re: Tired: A Tale of Fears

Posted: Wed Dec 28, 2011 7:19 pm
by RandomGeekNamedBrent
good, but one thing:
Jon Arbuckle is Garfield's owner, Jerry Arbelt is Tiger's owner.

Re: Tired: A Tale of Fears

Posted: Thu Dec 29, 2011 3:07 pm
by Rollofthedice
RandomGeekNamedBrent wrote:good, but one thing:
Jon Arbuckle is Garfield's owner, Jerry Arbelt is Tiger's owner.
You know, it's always the obvious things I fail to catch ahead of time. Thanks for the tip.

Re: Tired: A Tale of Fears

Posted: Sun Jan 01, 2012 1:57 pm
by Luna werewolf
Very awesome.

Re: Tired: A Tale of Fears

Posted: Tue Jan 03, 2012 11:40 pm
by copper
another good update! Can't wait to see who's next!

Re: Tired: A Tale of Fears

Posted: Wed Jan 04, 2012 6:39 am
by JohnWillow
I see so your idea for the moment centres around all the pets sleeping patterns, that's quite interesting.

It's written well, not much criticism i can give, it lies softly on the eyes so we can pass through it fast which is always nice and it is interesting. I like the sudden change between distressing and comical and that although the first one uses bigger words that's all to create the idea that you're writing it from the character's point of view. In other words Max is a deeper thinker than Tiger.
a dissonant yet quiet cacophony of sounds
Heh, this reminds me so much of my own writing, using two words which at first mean the same thing but not to those with a dictionary.