a wolf's head in sharp focus against an out of focus background

The Empuhuh

At a meet-up I had 20 minutes to write something based on the word 'empire', so I turned to my trusty Rory Story Cubes app as the other writers chatted. I 'rolled' 4 cubes on my phone to act as prompts, and they helped me write 'The Emp'uh'uh' that night. I seem to remember the image on one cube was a dragonfly, another a cat, but I can't remember the others. Normally I photograph them to remind me. Sometimes the writing goes well and I was pleased with my imagination in this one. See what you think...

Coming down from a happy howl, Lonnie thought “Dang, I feel good!”

He narrowed his yellow eyes, taking in his little empire. There were the cows huddling, heads together, complaining about him he’d guess. A shouting, snuffling grunt let him know Perry was somewhere close by. Things were looking O-keh.

A dark shape obscured the sun momentarily. “Damnation! A cloud on a day like this,” he growled.

“More like a visitation, I’d say,” meowed Feel, who had drifted silently onto the scene, around the chicken manure, which was scenting the hot Kansas air.

Lon was a little disturbed by Feel’s appearance, as he’d been planning a roll in the ordure. “Whaddya want Feel? You’re interruptin’ me!” he muttered.

“Well I’m so sorry Lonnie. I never meant to cut through yo’ train of thought, hun. I know how important yo’ time is.” She sat down opened her back legs and started rhythmically washing her tail, while at the same time keeping a weather eye on the main man. The Emp’uh’uh, Lonnie.

After all Lonnie figured he was the most important animal in the vicinity and Feel knew it. He was the Emp’uh’uh of the Farmyard. No animal breathed here, without his say-so. If the farmer thought he was in charge Lonnie would let him know he had another think coming.

“I just wanted to let you know …” Feel paused in her ablutions “about the dragon. That’s all.” and she carried on washing while Lonnie scratched the side of his flea-bitten head thinking this through.

“Whut dragon? You mean Ole Harry’s got himself a new wagon??”

“Nope” purred Feel preening her whiskers.

“Oh I see… a new combine! Jeez as if that ole fool actually has any wheat growing in them poor fields anyways. Good money after bad, Feel. Mark my words.”

The cat shook her head. “Nope. Not one of them, neither.”

“So who told you about this – dragon, you say?”

Feel nodded helpfully. She wanted to help Lonnie, but sometimes it was very difficult.

“Who was it mentioned it to ya?”

“Oh…” she said “it was my little friend Dazzle.”

Lonnie’s brows creased together like an angry pair of hornets fighting. “An’ who the hell’s that?! One of they ducks, ah suppose.”

But at that moment a small winged, whirring greeny-blue insect arrived and hovered just in front of Feel. (Fortunately it had the good sense to stay well away from Lonnie, who appeared to be a lower and more dangerous life form than this cat.) While Lonnie watched, shaking his head in disbelief, Feel looked up and said “Yep, yep… I told him. He ain’t bothered though.”

Feel shook her head and trotted away quickly, tail swinging, while the dragonfly quickly disappeared into the brilliant blue sky. A moment later Lonnie was eviscerated into a burning length of hair-scorched flesh, bubbling on the manure.

A safe distance away from the stench, Feel said to the dragonfly, “Yes. I know.” She looked up into the sky at Aragorn the dragon who was flying away, covering the sun again.

“No I haven’t met him before. Obviously he’s new on the scene, and it’s over to him. I guess it’s his li’l Empire now.”

If you liked that, why not have a look at another post inspired by Rory Story Cubes … The City






2 responses to “The Empuhuh”

  1. Roy Avatar

    Wow !! Adrian, how do you so quickly, think up another cliff hanger short story that leaves me wanting to know how this forthcoming challenge for supremacy is going to pan out.
    Your description of Lonnie’s eybrows coming together is superb, and I felt quickly comfortable with all the characters and their very different personalities, and want to know the Dragon better and the final result.
    Has Aragorn got it supernaturally made, or will it be a tussle??
    Not only that but I’ve had to research a couple of words used, as even a Champion Scrabble pretender that I am, they where unknown to me!! Guess which they are?


    1. adewils Avatar

      Master Scrabbler that you are Roy, I can not believe I have used words you haven’t come across before. However, just to indulge you, I’d guess that the words in the piece which might appear esoteric, could be milieu, ordure or even eviscerated?


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