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An Excerpt from “Imaginative” from Ernest Dempsey’s book of short satire’s THE BITING AGE

I chose this excerpt because I feel it shows Ernest Dempsey's ability to play with ideas. This is only the first page of his short satire, "Imaginative." --JGR


Late in the night, Muria heard some unusual noise in the kitchen while taking the only dustbin to the opposite corner of the living room for the sake of seeing some change. She turned toward the kitchen and stood still, waiting for the dashing sound to come again. And there it came.

'The dishes', she thought. She had two possible explanations for it. First, that it was Sherr, her part-time sort of cat who used to slip in at night and live with her occasionally. Second, and more thrilling though less logical, that her dishes wanted to vex her. It was after reading Bergson in a philosophy book when she started seeing consciousness in every article in her use, if not in every particle.

'If it's you, Sherr, it's no time to play music. Right?' she called without moving an inch. No mews were heard.

'Sherr!' she called rather defiantly.

'Who is Sherr?' someone from inside asked.

'My cat.' She turned slowly and then suddenly made an instant brisk about-turn. Her face was electric with curiosity and her eyes carried a demurring rebuke.

'Who's there?' she asked rather loudly.

'A stranger. You don't know me, neither do I know you,' he replied.

'A thief! Oh, no! Are you a thief?' she asked reproachfully, standing as still as ever. Her voice had grown fainter.

'No, not a thief. I haven't taken anything yet,' he replied very reasonably.

'Though my intent matches that of a thief,' he added frankly.

(First page of story only....)

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1 Responses »

  1. Good set-up to raise interest of the reader to continue reading. This quality is indeed important for the opening paragraph of any writing.

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