FPC11: "Can't catch me!"

Jackie's mother wants her to get ready to go to a Halloween party, Jackie is busy being a cat.

It was a hectic day in their home, and they were late.

"Can't catch me! Can't catch me!"

Jackie ran around laughing, despite her mother's evident disapproval. Her hair was painstakingly tied into two sprigs of curly blond ringlets, and whiskers were delicately painted onto her pudgy cheeks.

She is getting ready for a party, or at least that's what her mother wants to believe. Her mother can't convince either of the two. It's Halloween and so she gets to become someone else; cats don't have time to get ready for parties. They just sleep and eat, and sometimes they hunt! Jackie can hunt too.

"Miaow! Miaow!" She shrieks with laughter. Her mother irritably checks her watch and sighs.

"Hurry up Jackie, we'v half an hour. Be a good girl, you're 5 now, aren't you? Come here."

"I won't listen to you! I'm a cat!"

"Jackie, I'm warning you..."

"Rawrrr!" She growls, and her mother blushes an angry red.

"Do you want to go or not, Jackie? If we're too late we can just stay home. I don't want to embarrass myself in front of our new friends."

"I want to go!"

"Come here then,sweetie, let me straighten your costume."

"You have to catch me first! Miaowww!"

Her mother is fuming now, but she doesn't want to turn up with a screaming child.

"For the love of-!Jackie, you don't want me to get angry right now. We either go or-"

"Mommy, why're you so angry?" She pouts, momentarily pausing and letting herself see her mother's annoyance.

"I told you! I'm waiting for you, we have to go!"

"You're not even ready yet. Put on your hat."

"Oh Je-, alright Jackie. Here." With a dramatic huff she yanks on a witches hat with orange locks attached. "Happy now?"

"Yay! Now catch me!"

"I am just about ready to..." Her mother's angry mutterings trail off.

"But you're a witch now! You can make anything happen! So we don't need to go to the party yet 'cause you can magic us more time. And more and more forever!" Her excitement builds up to the climatic final statement.

"Oh baby, it doesn't work like that! I'm sorry."

"I know." Jackie looks so downtrodden that her mother relents for a second, and makes a dash at her daughter.

"Hah! I distracted you! I've caught my little kitten now!"

"Mommy!" She wails, smiling. "That's cheating! And I'm not a kitten, I'm a big cat!"

"Okay, okay, my big, dangerous cat!" She cracks out a smile. She's beautiful when she isn't angry. "Now let's go!"

"You have to do it properly!" Jackie's crestfallen face, as she realizes the ruse, brings a memory to her mother's mind.

The wind blows leaves around her in the back garden, but her father is trying to rake them up: an infinite, thankless task. She's about Jackie's age, her waterproof trousers are yellow and shiny, she is dancing about in the breeze. 

"Daddy! Play with me!"

"I'm busy darling, go away."

"Daddy! Daddy! Play with me!"

"What did I just say, dear?"

"You're busy..."

"Go bother some one else love, I have to get this done and the wind isn't helping a bit. Neither are you, so go on, inside. It's getting cold out, anyway."

"Daddy!"

"I'm not in the mood okay? I don't want to get angry at you..."

"You're mean, big meanie!"

"Go."

That was one of her last memories from before her father's death. 

She gives in, deciding that living with her daughter, sharing her life, is more important than impressing strangers at a party. 

"I'm going to catch you!"

The End

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