This tale, just like last year’s, is a little too long to be an actual flash, I know. Once again I wrote a story as a birthday gift for my wife and asked for any and all outside prompts via social media before writing anything. The list that came from that was: The Oregon Trail, Wonka’s Fizzy Lifting Drink, giant atomic robo-chimps, Kiya and Roxie (our pets), robots, two turntables and a microphone, snow, Steve Guttenberg, a princess in a boat, a baby, and couch circles.  This is what came of it.

Hope you enjoy.


A Birthday Story:

A Roxie and Kiya Adventure

Once upon a time there was a gray tabby cat named Roxie and her little sister, a mixed husky/shepherd dog, named Wakiya (though everyone called her Kiya for short).  They lived together with their adoptive parents and had many adventures independently of one another.

This tale, however, is of an adventure that they shared.

You see, our story begins on a cold, winter’s night; a Thursday, if memory serves.  A blanket of snow covered everything for miles around outside.  Roxie was asleep in her spot, curled up on her parents’ bed and dreaming of days gone by.  (Roxie was a retired ninja assassin, you see, so it’s best that we not dwell on the specifics of her dreams so as to keep things PG here.)

Kiya, for her part, was in her usual spot: right outside the closed bedroom door, nose pressed against the crack under the door.  Kiya loved her sister too much, one might say, as she always wanted to nibble her, hence the closed bedroom door.

“Roxie?” Kiya asked from under the door.

“Go away.” Roxie responded, her paw over her eyes.

“It’s just that –”

“I’m asleep.” Roxie meowed.

“If you could just let me”


“grab you and maybe flip you around”


“– only a little! – I think that I”


“could get over this.”

And so it went.  Kiya, with the single-mindedness of any good dog, stayed at her self-appointed post by the door while Roxie tried to sleep, ignoring her little sister’s exasperated sighs.

Until the robots came.

The sisters heard the lasers firing outside first, then the clomp-clomp-clomp of the robot army making its way down the road outside.

Kiya barked and then ran to the window.  Then she barked again.

“Stop that!” Roxie yelled from the bedroom, looking out her own window while she was at it.

“But that’s how they know that I’m ferocious,” Kiya explained through the wall, “and also that squirrels are out there.  Grrrr, squirrels!”

Roxie hopped down under their parents’ bed and grabbed a hidden cache of weapons.

“Whatcha doin’?” Kiya asked from under the door.

“Never you mind.”

“Aww, just tell me.”

“I must prepare to defend the house while Mother is away.”

“Daddy’s gone, too.” Kiya explained.

Roxie had a hard time acknowledging any people beyond their mother.  She knew a guy lived with them in the house, too, but she preferred to think of him as an indentured servant, referring to him only as the Fat Man.

“Hurrumph.” Roxie said, pulling a pair of katana swords from her case.

“Wait,” Kiya said, “I’m coming too!  I can help.” And she scampered down the hall to her kennel.

“I’m opening this door now, Kiya,” Roxie said, her paw on the handle, “and I am quite well armed.  If you even so much as open your mouth near me I’ll…Kiya?” she peered outside the cracked door.  Kiya wasn’t to be seen.

Roxie could hear the robot armada destroying houses all around the neighborhood.  She threw the door open and slid silently down the hall toward the front door.  Suddenly, the chairs from the kitchen table flipped over and Kiya jumped out wearing her blanket like a cape.

“I’m Bat-Hound.” She growled in her extra gravelly Christian Bale voice.

Roxie looked at her and rolled her eyes.  “What is that on your blanket?”

“That’s a giant atomic robo-chimp.” Kiya stated, matter-of-factly, “Giant atomic robo-chimps are cool.  And since we’re going to fight robots you need a giant atomic robo-chimp to fight them.  The robots.  Can I bite you?”

The pair slipped out the front door (doors were quite easy for Roxie to work, you see) and made their way toward the robotic commotion.  Kiya stopped to pee multiple times and once Roxie even had to double back to collect her from the window of the neighbor’s house where she was watching Willy Wonka.

“Aw, but it’s the fizzy lifting drink scene!” Kiya whispered.

“Let’s go!” Roxie commanded.

The robot army was destroying all in its path and they were a mere six or seven houses from the sisters’ house.  Roxie drew her swords while Kiya peed again.

“Snow peeing is not happy peeing.” Kiya said, making Roxie recall, fondly, how she’d staved off, alone, an alien invasion two summers ago in the case of the couch circles.  (Similar to crop circles only they appeared in abandoned malls.  They’d been from a race of fat aliens who’d been gaining sustenance from our television signals only to become angered at the forced diet of reality TV, which to them tasted like unsalted, unbuttered popcorn.)

Roxie grabbed Kiya by the ear and pulled her head close to her mouth.

“Ouch!” Kiya complained.

“Listen!” Roxie whispered through gritted teeth, “Those things are almost to our house.  They seem to be following the Oregon Trail regardless of what’s in their way.”

“What’s the Oregon Trail?” Kiya whispered back through gritted teeth in a mimicky sort of way.

“It was on PBS the other day and – it doesn’t matter!” Roxie yelled, letting Kiya’s ear go, “I’ve got an idea but I need to make a call.  Can you stall them for a second?”

Kiya stood up straight and tall, puffing her chest out.  “No problem!”

And she ran out into the street to face the metal horde while Roxie slipped into a neighbor’s house to use the phone.  As she punched in the number, she heard Kiya outside.

There’s a destination a little up the road, from the habitations and the towns we know.  A place we saw the light’s turn low, jig-saw jazz and the get-fresh flow.”

“Is that –” Roxie wondered, “is she singing Beck?”

Kiya did a little soft shoe as the robots marched closer.

Where it’s at!  I got two turntables and a microphone.” She danced in a slow circle.

Suddenly, what looked to be a flying row boat piloted by a small, green baby with red hair came from behind the army of robots.

“I am Princess WafflePixie and I demand to know who you are to think that you can stop my army of robot minions!” the baby looked to be close to throwing a tantrum.

“I’m Kiya and I’m a pretty girl.” Kiya barked, “My momma said so.”

“Today is your last, Kiya!” Princess WafflePixie shouted, “Destroy her!”

“Not so fast.” A voice said from behind Kiya.

“Steve Guttenberg!” the robot army yelled out in unison.

“Steve Guttenberg!” Princess WafflePixie yelled from her flying row boat.

“Squirrel!” Kiya yelled and ran toward a nearby tree.

It turned out that Roxie had been owed a favor from Steve Guttenberg for a job she had done a long time ago.  And, as everyone knows, Steve Guttenberg is like Elvis Presley to the robot world, so Princess WafflePixie was forced to surrender once her army refused to cause anymore carnage.

Once the day was saved, thanks mostly to Roxie (though Kiya helped a little), the sisters returned to their positions at home with their parents none the wiser as to anything out of the ordinary having taken place.

Ya know, outside of the surrounding neighborhood being all but decimated.