This bonus episode of 10,000 Dawns is brought to you by a charity marathon. Readers suggested and then voted on ideas for a spinoff Story for 10kd to raise money for Ben, a 10 year old boy in Elgin Illinois who is fighting hard against brain cancer. If you enjoy this story, PLEASE DONATE!
You can now listen to this story as a podcast!
10,000 Dawns Bonus: The Adventures of Mister Sprinkles the Cat
Mister Sprinkles, to be absolutely clear, was an ordinary cat. While many people suspected that he was something more than that, he was in fact just that. A gray lump of fur and purrs, or sometimes mews and hisses. But from the moment he sat away from the other cats to look out the window of his enclosure and met the eyes of a young girl named Graelyn scythes, Mister Sprinkles was destined for greater things. She'd picked up his fuzzy body and held him all the way home, in awe of how soft and warm he was. They'd grown up together, and he could rely on her for food and shelter pretty reliably, until the day she disappeared.
It had happened before, getting dropped off at a place that housed other pets, but then it was usually only for a few days. Maybe a week. So at first Mr. Sprinkles just closed his eyes and waited. But those days went by, and Graelyn did not come back. Where had she gone? He paced his enclosure, eying the man outside it, who looked like he was about to fall asleep, which didn't take long, and the man slumped over in his chair, and hit the enclosure release icons for enclosures 23-25. 24 was empty, but Mr. Sprinkles saw a pudgy orange cat shove its door open and drop onto the floor. It gave the impression this wasn't the first time this had happened. Mr. Sprinkles pushed at his own door, and suddenly he was free! He literally leaped at the opportunity, and landed gracefully on the ground, strolling off through the rest of the building till he reached the automatic doors, that politely made way for him. Mr. Sprinkles was out on the town.
Jenna looked horrified at what Carl had built.
“That could kill people Carl.”
“That's the point Jenna.”
“How else are we supposed to wake them up?” Carl threw his arms out wide, like this was the most obvious point imaginable. Jenna crossed hers.
“We wake them up to the evils of Earth's regime by showing them a better way, not obliterating them. Really, why do you think blowing people up would change their minds for the better Carl? Give me one good reason.”
He leaned in, his face getting redder, “They need something drastic, something terrifying that disrupts their everyday routine to-- why is there a cat in here?”
Mister Sprinkles had started his stroll through the city doing the normal things: looking at birds and halfheartedly trying to catch them, climbing things he shouldn't, and then smelled a delicious fish scent, which appeared to be a sandwich over on the counter, coming from an open window. He'd climbed up, and now the sandwich was within his grasp.
“Loud noises!” The man said to Mister Sprinkles, or rather, “Get down from there!”
“Meow!” said Mister sprinkles, which loosely translates as “I don't know what you're saying but there's no need to shout.” There were two humans in the room, each of them with distinctive red markings on their jackets, and a glowing hologram on the table between them. Mr. Sprinkles stopped to watch the pretty image. The man got up and darted towards him, so Mister Sprinkles bolted past him, and hopped up first onto the man's chair via a box, and then onto the table.
“Loud noises!” the man said again.
“LOUDER NOISES!” said the woman.
“Meow.” Mister Sprinkles replied, confounded. On the table were several pretty glass vials full of fluids. Mister Sprinkles held his paw up at one, and thought about knocking it off the table. That would be fun.
“Softer noises...” Said the man. “Softer noises? Soooooofter noises.” He continued. Mr. Sprinkles knocked the vial off the table. “LOUDEST NOISES” Said the man, and grabbed for him. He lept off the table, and landed on an object that then began to move! Scrambling, Mister Sprinkles held on as the object rose to two legs, and made noises at the other humans. He was on this metal thing's head, holding on by only his claws!
This was not Carl's day. The vial that had fallen to the floor and shattered was now eating through it, the millions of microscopic robots chewing away at the floor. Eventually, they would eat him and Jenna to, and the dumb cat, as well as all of the other matter in the area, and rearrange it all to spell some Revolutionary message that had seemed a lot more important a few minutes ago then it did now. The cat was on his cleaning droid scrambling to keep ahold of it, and making lots of cat noises.
“This is all your fault Carl. We're all going to die because you wanted to try out terrorism.”
“I did not want to try out terrorism!”
“MROOW!” Said the cat as the cleaning droid tried to pull it off of its head.
“See, even the cat agrees.” Jenna scoffed. Mr. Sprinkles was thrown from the Droid's head, and landed on the counter. There sat the precious sandwich, smelling of tuna and preservatives, just the way Mister Sprinkles liked it. The floor by the counter was rapidly disappearing, and he had to run fast to grab the sandwich, which was luckily in some sort of wrapper so the insides didn't fall out. Success! Leaping from the counter, he landed on a shelf, and then leaped to the windowsill, where he carried his sandwich out. The cries of the human's stopped him. Sure, he had a delicious sandwich, made of the finest in scraps of preprocessed meat slathered in sauce to make it palatable, but he was a Cat of principles.
Running along the street, Mister Sprinkles hustled in front of a couple.
“MROW!” He said, and tried to gesture with his body. “MRROOOW!” He repeated.
“What's this cat doing man?”
“I dunno bro.” The other replied. The Cat kept taking a few steps and turning to meow at them, and they proceeded to folllow it. Then they heard the cries from inside the building. Immediately the two men went to work, and Phil and Tre'von, if you were wondering, and called emergency services.
“You've got to get us out of here!” Jenna yelled to Phil and Tre, and they noticed the cat was tugging on some rope just inside the window sill. “Great!” Tre grabbed the rope, which the held onto for slightly too long, and threw it to Jenna, who began to climb it up, being careful to not touch the eroding building. Phil had run inside to pull the fire alarm, and people were streaming out of it now.
“Carl take the rope!” Jenna said as she was pulled up through the windowsill by Tre. She threw it to him, and then he looked out at the people in the building streaming out. There were families, children with their parents, young people just trying to find a place to live. And here he was building weapons in the basement. A little girl clutched her pet goldfish to her chest, hastily scooped out of the aquarium into a drinking glass. Carl let go of the rope and stared into Jenna's eyes.
“I'm sorry.” He said. She turned away as the nanites ate him away.
In a little over 23 minutes, the entire building had been turned into mush, and then restructured into a quote by Vladimir Lenin in big chunky letters you could read from blocks away.
“You cannot make a revolution in white gloves.” -Vladimir Lenin
Jenna screwed her face up. “Well, maybe you should at least try.”
The news drones had showed up, followed by the reporters. And Tre and Phil found themselves being interviewed.
“Yeah this cat stopped us on the street, without it all those people would have died. That cat sure is a hero.”
“Where is this cat now?” The reporter asked, hoping to get the chance to put cute cat pictures on her newscast since it would boost the ratings.
“He disappeared just as quickly as he came. A really humble cat.”
The reporter turned to the hovering camera drone. “We may never know the identity of this cat, but it will long be remembered as a hero in this neighborhood.”
Nearby on the ground, the sandwich was gone.
Mister Sprinkles made his way back into the animal shelter, and hopped up onto the sleeping man's table, and into his enclosure. He had been carrying the paper wrapped sandwich all this way, and now it was time for his reward. It took some ripping, but he got it free and began to guzzle down the delicious food. Far better than the healthy stuff they served him there, not that he actually knew anything about their nutritional value. Still, he wondered why those people had lived in a house with a collapsing floor, that was funny. And how was his owner doing? He returned to his meal, finishing it before the sleeping man awakened.
“Oh crap.” He said, noticing the open cages as he spring awake.
“Wow good thing none of you got out!” He lightly laughed to himself, “That could have caused some real problems!”
Deep underwater, beneath the Atlantic Ocean, Graelyn Scythes got ready for bed, she put on her PJ's, and slipped into her covers, putting her glasses on her bedside table. “Lights off” she ordered, and they turned off. She sat there in silence, her eyes closed, pretending to sleep, and then pulled out her phone, and pulled up the album of pictures of her old cat. Her heart felt a pang as she remembered giving him up for adoption to get this internship, but she knew she had to. Right? In the pictures she cuddled him lovingly, and he looked slightly annoyed to be held. She smiled.
“Oh Mister Sprinkles. I hope you get some fish today. Every good cat deserves some fish.” She scrolled through the pictures again and put her phone away to slip away into dreams, as Mister Sprinkles did up on the surface. She was a Doctor in her dream, stethoscope and all. “I need a nurse to help me with this patient!” She yelled down the hospital hallway. For some reason Mister Sprinkles, in cat size scrubs arrived and talked like he was Zorro.
“I have come to assist you Doctor Scythes. I just stopped an act of terrorism today you kno.”
She reached out to the cat, and they joined together to treat her imaginary patient.
“Best team in the universe.” She told him.
Maybe it was just a coincidence, maybe it was something more, but that night in his enclosure, Mister Sprinkles had the same dream.
Poet, Playwright, Game Designer, Writer, Freelancer for hire.