Prompt 344-Day’s End

What is your favorite way to end the day?

“Finally!” Elise exclaimed with a sigh, dropping her purse to the floor at the door and kicking off her heels in the vestibule. The day had dragged forever. Nothing but endless meetings and phone calls all day long and she was pretty sure the project was no further along than it had been when she woke up that morning.

A jingle of bells sounded around the corner. Fili and Kili, Elise’s grey tabby twins, pranced to her and entwined themselves around her ankles. “Hey babies! Did you get all the naps today?” she asked them in a high-pitched tone. “Catch any bugs?” Kili meowed at her. Fili purred. “It’s well past dinnertime, huh. I guess you want to get fed.”

She scooped Fili into her arms and brought him into the tiny apartment’s kitchen as Kili trotted after. Unlike the book Kili, kitty Kili was female, and she didn’t enjoy being carried as much as her brother. Elise set Fili on the floor so she could make his dinner. His collar jingled as he walked in and out of her legs.

“If you trip me and I fall and break my neck, you’ll never get another dinner,” Elise scolded him. He just continued to purr at her. She dished out their wet food and placed the bowls on the floor. Kili joined her brother and settled in for the meal.

Cats fed, Elise went around the corner to her bedroom. She shucked her pencil skirt and button-down blouse, tossing them into the overflowing hamper. It was a good thing it was almost laundry day. And tomorrow was a dress-down day. She could wear her comfy jeans to work instead of skirts and slacks. For now, she pulled on even comfier clothes. Sweats and a hoodie were her faves to relax in. She would put on an oversized t-shirt to sleep in later.

When she came out of her room, the cats were bathing each other in the living room. It was their post-dinner ritual. Elise’s stomach grumbled and she remembered she still needed to eat dinner herself. Poking her head in the fridge, she sighed. She hadn’t been to the grocery store yet this week and she was out of last week’s leftovers. She knew she’d forgotten something on her drive home from work.

“What do you think, kitties? Pizza or Chinese?” Kili ignored Elise and continued to groom herself. Fili’s ears turned towards her voice and he chirped at her. “You’re right. Chinese would be faster. Good thinking, Fili.”

Elise fished her phone out of her purse and called her local Chinese restaurant. It didn’t seem to matter what she ordered; it was always “10 minute.” Of course, it would take another 10 minutes for the delivery driver to get there, but the pizza would have been at least 45 minutes and Elise’s stomach was growing louder by the second.

She busied herself by tidying up the cats’ food bowls and the handful of dishes she’d left sitting in the sink from last night’s meal. By the time she finished sweeping the floor, there was a knock at her door. “Coming!” She could smell the fried rice before she opened her door. The delivery kid chuckled with amusement as Elise juggled her wallet while trying to keep the cats from escaping. Eventually she succeeded and she thanked him as she pushed the cats back with her foot.

The sesame chicken smelled amazing as she popped off the lid of the fully packed carry-out container. Kili sat in the doorway of the kitchen, head tilted like Puss in Boots trying to look innocent. “No,” Elise scolded her. “No chicken for Kili. This is momma’s dinner.” Kili meowed indignantly.

Elise dug a set of chopsticks out of her utensil drawer and poured herself a hefty glass of red wine. She took her dinner into the living room and set it up on a TV tray as she powered on her Xbox. Or, as she thought of it lately, her $400 Netflix machine. One of these nights she would settle in with some new games, but for tonight she just wanted to unwind with a romcom or an animated movie.

There was a critically acclaimed anime film she’d been meaning to see and it was now available for streaming. She looked at the runtime. 2 and a half hours. She looked at the clock. 7:30. She could finish it before bed. She made a nest of blankets next to her on the couch for Fili and Kili to join her, if they felt like it, and pressed PLAY on the movie.

She had to fight Kili off for the first 15 minutes because she kept trying to steal chicken off Elise’s plate. Eventually she settled down and curled up with Fili in the blankets. Elise ate as much as she could stand, then refrigerated the rest for tomorrow’s lunch. She snuggled into the couch with her cats and watched the rest of the movie.

When it was over, she debated moving to her bed at all. She was warm and cozy, especially with Fili and Kili heating her legs. If it had been a weekend, she would have just stayed there. Unfortunately, she did have work in the morning, and she would sleep better on her bed rather than the couch.

She got up and went to the bathroom to brush her teeth and wash her face. The cats knew this meant she was going to bed, so they migrated from the living room to her bedroom while she took care of her evening hygiene routine. They were grooming each other again when she came to bed. Elise laughed. “Baths again? You’ve been sleeping all night and you’re just going to sleep some more.”

She changed out of her hoodie and into a sleep shirt and slipped under the comforter. Kili settled herself in between Elise’s legs while Fili took his usual spot on the spare pillow Elise left for him. Giggling, she imagined what would happen if she ever brought a man home for the night. Fili would not likely forfeit his fluffy castle. She gently scratched behind his ears and he began to purr.

That soft rumbling was her evening soundtrack. It was her favorite way to fall asleep. As she drifted off, she thought she wouldn’t mind being a crazy cat lady for the rest of her life.

Notes: This is pretty much how my nights ago. Especially if my husband is gone. I talk to my cats. I order takeout or cook something quick and easy like box mac n cheese or microwave dinner. I watch Netflix and cuddle with my cats. I do a lot of these things even with my husband around. Though lately I’ve been spending a lot more time on my writing rather than decompressing with TV or Netflix.

Speaking of which, this prompt put me over my goal of 200,000 words for the year. I’ve written 200k+ words this year, it’s only the first week of October, and I’ve had three weeks’ worth of days where I didn’t write a single word. There are still three months left for the year. And one of those is NaNoWriMo. I might blast to 300k by December 31st. LOL-ing at my humble goal of 500 words 5 days a week.

Anyway, I’ll probably spend my Sunday post talking about this awesome milestone. I need to go to bed now. One more prompt for you tomorrow! See you then!

PS-Like these prompts? Like the short stories I write based on these prompts? Want to show your support? Give the blog a follow! Leave a comment! Buy me a coffee! I put a lot of time and effort into these posts and your support means the world to me! Ok, now go out there and write!

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