Soft Touch

The lovely and talented Siobhan Muir asked me to participate in a recent ThursdayThreads challenge, where you have to write a 250 word flash fiction piece using a line from the previous week’s winning piece. The line for this one was “This one’s mine.” I decided to head back to Esposito County for a brief interlude with Caleb and a box full of kittens.


Sheriff Caleb Lynch peered at the little bundles of fur in the cardboard box. Someone had left them outside the McDonald’s, according to the manager. Since Esposito County didn’t have an animal control unit, the disposition of its newest residents was up to its sheriff.

Jane Carey strolled up behind Caleb, peering over his shoulder. “Aw. Kittens.”

“Yup. Some kind soul dropped them off at the Micky D’s.”

His deputy grimaced. “Jeez. Why are humans such assholes?”

“Hell if I know.” He lifted the box. “Want a kitten?”

****

After the vet confirmed that the kittens were healthy, Caleb spent the day handling calls. The kittens rode with him. Each time he stopped, he offered a kitten along with a legal request, advice, or in one case an order to return some stolen furniture.

Luckily, Esposito’s resident shifters were soft touches. By evening, all the kittens had been claimed except for one, a tuxedo cat who had crawled inside his jacket and fallen asleep.

Bemused by the purrs rumbling through his chest, Caleb spotted his mate Laurie waiting for him on the porch when he got home. “Hold on. I have an interloper,” he said before she could hug him, pulling out the tuxedo.

Unsurprisingly, Laurie adored the sleepy kitten. “Aren’t you a sweetie?” she cooed.

It blinked huge blue eyes, then reached up and touched her nose.

She grinned. “Ooh, that’s a sign. This one’s mine.”

Two coyote shifters, and they now owned a cat. Caleb sighed. “Yes, dear.”

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