Welcome to another Wednesday Brief! Sorry I didn't get a mid-week flash done, but I have one already going for what happens after this chapter. I'd hate to have to run and hide before my fans hurt me to find out what happens next. My inspiration came from the prompt: "I am sorry I offended you. I should have lied." Also, if anyone likes the fun weekly event the Briefers do and feel like taking a stab at it, let one of us know!
Lost Inside Chapter Ten
“What do you mean, what I am?” Yuri ran his fingers through Cleara’s wings. They were soft toward the base and prickly at the ends. He liked that. He stared at the dark brown feathers with gray speckled areas, touching the splots.
He looked up. “What?”
“You know you’re different from Cleara and Szorpin, right?” Ellis was talking to him slow again. Yuri rolled his eyes.
“Of course. I’m not an idiot.”
Ellis turned red. “I didn’t mean it like that. I’m just not sure what you know about your kind of Carthera.”
“I’m a cat, right?” Yuri stopped petting Cleara’s wing. He flexed his fingers, watching his thick, white claws pop out and extend past his fingertips. He flicked his ear. “Kinda obvious.”
Ellis tilted his head. “You’re a cat, yes. A Tiger, to be specific.”
“Okay.” So he was a Tiger. What did this guy want again? “Why are you here?”
“I have some people who want to meet you. Would that be okay?”
Yuri shrugged. “Sure. They’re not assholes, right?”
“Yuri!” Cleara frowned at him. Szorpin smothered a laugh.
“Let’s not call people we don’t know assholes. It’s not nice.”
“But I didn’t call them assholes. I asked if they were assholes,” Yuri protested. “That’s not the same thing.”
Cleara shook her head. “Semantics.”
“He’s right though.” Szorpin held out a hand to his wife.
“No, Yuri, they’re not assholes.” Ellis stood up too. “We can meet them outside, if you want.”
“I’ll bring out some drinks and lunch.” Cleara bustled off to the kitchen.
“Ooh, food!” Yuri bounced on his toes and then darted outside. The sun was straight overhead, trickling down through the dripping leaves. The wind gusted sending a spattering of drops over Yuri. He laughed. “I wish I could go swimming.”
Yuri spun. “Oh, it’s you again.” The guy was standing with two other men. He flared his nostrils. “They’re human.”
“Yes we are. Ellis tells us you know you’re a cat Carthera.”
“Uh huh.” Yuri squatted down and began digging into the grass, ignoring the other guy with Ellis. That was his name.
“And being a Tiger doesn’t bother you?” The guy asking questions plopped right down in the grass next to him even though he had fancy pants on. Yuri shrugged as he dug his claws into the dirt. “I didn’t introduce myself. My name is Dr. Poinyard. I’m a psychologist.”
Yuri wrinkled his nose. “That’s a head doc, isn’t it?”
Dr. Poinyard laughed. “Yes.”
He laughed. Yuri narrowed his eyes. “I’m sorry I offended you. I should have lied. I know there’s something wrong with me, but you don’t have to make fun. That’s not nice!”
The psychologist lost his smile. “I wasn’t trying to be mean. You made a face this little boy in my son’s class made last week when I talked to his class.”
“Was he a Tiger too?”
“I don’t know, he looked just like any other little boy to me.”
“Sandwiches!” Cleara brought a big plate. “Oh, Yuri! Wash your hands first.”
Yuri pouted but went over to the faucet on the side of the house. His stomach rumbled, and he was hungry! The doctor guys talked to each other quietly. The guy who came sometimes sat next to him.
“You like this… uh”—Yuri waved his sandwich once he’d wolfed down two and was slowly working on his third—“kind of sandwich?”
“Yeah.” Yuri nodded. “Roast beef is my favorite.”
“Does that happen all the time?” the doctor asked.
He stopped chewing the big bite he’d taken to show how much he liked his sandwich. “Wuh?”
“Don’t talk with your mouth full!” Cleara admonished.
Yuri swallowed, then gulped down some soda. “Sorry. What?” he asked the doctor.
“Do you often have a hard time remember words for things?”
“Sometimes.” Yuri frowned, his ears folding down flat to his skull. “I know the word, I know I do, but it won’t come out.” He shrugged and took another bite of his sandwich. “I dunno why.”
The doctors talked to Cleara and Szorpin, but he ignored them until he was done with his milk. “I know you’re here to do tests on me,” he said, interrupting the guy who he hadn’t met yet. “Do I have to go to the hospital? I don’t like it there. It stinks.”
They all stared. “What?” Yuri looked over his shoulder. “Did I miss something?”
“Not much,” one guy murmured.
“Are you okay with us doing tests?”
“It’ll help me remember?” It was hard to keep from scratching the picnic table with his claws but Cleara hated that. “Will my mate come back then?”
“You remember you have a mate?”
Yuri nodded. “He said so.” He pointed.
“You mean Ellis.”
Ellis. “He said when he came that I had a mate. I want him back. Will the tests help me remember?”
“They might, but you seem to be making a lot of strides on your own.”
“I am?” Yuri leaned forward.
“Yes. I’m Dr. Poinyard, by the way. Dr. Vancould and I both think your brain might be trying to fix itself. We’ll need to take blood and ask you a lot of questions and have you do things while you’re hooked up to some machines, but I think this could work.”
“Really? That’s great!”
“It is, Ellis, but I think the therapy you’re suggesting could help speed up the process.”
Yuri swung around on the bench and bounced to his feet. “I like fast. Can we go now? I want to remember!”
“Can he consent?” Cleara asked.
“Yes. Benny said it was up to Yuri.”
The name caught Yuri’s attention. Benny. A flash, a sense of pressure on his wrists and his pulse pounding… Yuri gasped.
“That’s him! That’s my mate’s name.”
Ellis looked up at him. He smiled, his expression radiant. “Yes it is.”
“I want Benny!”
“I’m right here.” A muscular cat stepped out of the trees.TBC
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