Lutra's Cat | Short Stories of the Anhult Wildlands

Lutra's Cat

My 1st Wildlands one-shot is published! Check Out Mystery of Thorngage Manor

Written by George Sanders

Unbelieveable Lutra, now you really got yourself in a bind." She leaned her head back against the tree. "Those ropes around your feet would be easy to get off if they hadn't tied you to the tree. Look at how loose that knot is."


"Just don't let them see what you are doing Lutra." She had slipped off a boot and was working her right leg and foot out of the bindings. To the left, about 30 ft away, was a campsite. Five tents formed a ring around a fire.


"How did you even let them catch you by surprise?" She asked herself.


"Seriously, you made it through the Southern Kingdoms and through the swamps." She sighed.


"Mmm yeah," she continued talking to herself. "You thought you were tough and got overconfident. Come on foot."


Out of the corner of her eye, she caught a flash of a pattern moving in the leaves of the tree. She looked reflexively back over at the camp as well. Six men were busy drinking and cooking dinner. "They aren't men, they are snakes. Preying on travelers. Lutra, you need to get free before they bring food over." She redoubled her effort at her own urging.



There was a snap of a small branch in the tree. Lutra looked first at the bandits, then up into the tree. "Don't think I didn't see you following me." Lutra declared to the tree. "So can you just let down your guard before everything is lost?"


Lutra paused for a moment, "I am glad for the company." She then spotted the cat lounging on a large branch. The cat's speckled pattern of fur had let it hide in the tree, only becoming visible when it decided to approach.


"My son has some important business. I would like to get to him." The cat yawned as Lutra talked.


"You know I left my extra food out on the fire for you each night. Are you going to help me get out of here or just watch?" The cat watched her feet wiggle and move under the bindings.


"Oh great. This is not time for a game!" Lutra scolded.


From the campfire, one of the men called "Who you talking to over there!?" Lutra could see a head straining toward her. She paused pulling her leg thru the bindings.


"Myself, I'm the only good company here!" she called back. Perhaps that wasn't the right tone but he did return to his cooking. This was the third time one of them had asked her that. "Lutra, you might be talking to yourself too much when the kidnappers believe that too."



Lutra got her right foot free and shook the bindings off the left foot. The cat started to purr. "Thank you for your support. And for my next trick, I will magically cut the ropes holding me to the tree. Ta-da!" Nothing happened to the rope. A few of the men look over at Lutra.


She shrugged, as best she could under all the rope. "I'm still stuck here!" She called back to them as much as the cat. On the far side of the camp, an owl screeched from a tree. The eyes in the camp all shifted toward the bird. One even pulled his dagger. They shook their heads at the owl and Lutra then started to scoop out food from the pot over the fire.


The ocelot climbed down the tree. "Use those teeth." Lutra urged. An ocelot has to swallow chunks of food because it's teeth aren't good for chewing. They are, however, great for slashing and make a scissors-like action as they cut. The rope slumped to the ground.


Lutra rolled around the tree before standing up. The pair took off running through the forest. "Good job Chessie. I'm glad I don't have to talk to myself now or those snakes."


I appreciate you reading my flash fiction article. This story compliments my River Writing Challenge submission - The One River. Thanks to my Twitter friend Anne Apart for the soliloquy prompt. By the time Lutra saw her son, Ardelis, the cat bonded with her. Ardelis first saw his mom with the Ocelot padding behind her and remembered one of them in an important memory.

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Cover image: Forest During the Daytime by Tim Mossholder


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