SHORE 3: HOSPITAL SHORE

“They were aliens.”

“You told me they were cats,” said the doctor. He tapped a pencil on his note pad.

I glared at the doctor and raked my belly. I’d been relegated to the psychiatric ward ever since they found me unconscious on a barren island in the Pacific.

“They were alien cats and they walked on two legs like we do.” The irritation on my stomach continued to irk me as much as this conversation. “I swear. I’m not making this up.”

“I’m sure you believe that’s true. Tell me again how your ship sunk.”

My teeth pressed together until they hurt. At least it distracted me from the damned itch. I’d told the same story for a month. No one believed me. Had I hallucinated Catherine and Tom? Had I really been that sun mad to have concocted the whole story?

“We hit something during a storm and the ship sunk. I was the only survivor. Tom found me washed up on their spaceship disguised as an island. He and Catherine fed me the best seared fish I’ve ever had. That’s all I have to say.”

The doctor’s brow wrinkled. “Looks like you’re not ready to face reality yet. I’ll have an orderly bring you back to your room.”

The lock clicked behind me like a doomsday chime. Maybe I was crazy. Maybe I really had imagined the whole thing. I scratched my stomach again, then looked at the irritation. A tawny gold and black pattern decorated my skin, just like the spots on Catherine’s fur. My heart jumped. It was real, and I’d been tagged and released.

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About A. L. Kaplan

I am a writer, artist, and parent.
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