Aphelion Issue 268, Volume 25
December 2021
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What's in a Name?

by Meghashri Dalvi

"You OK?" The cat suddenly asked.

I sat up. "What! Did you just speak?"

"Maybe, may not be." He replied nonchalantly.

"Are you really talking to me, or do I have delusions? Or is this flu totally killing me?"

"Flu may or may not kill." The voice had a nasal sing-song quality.

I looked into his calm eyes. "Did you always talk like this?"

There was no answer. I tried a couple of times again, lying down, sitting up, eyes closed, eyes open. He did not utter a single word.

Just after I gave up, he purred and said, "You may or may not need the chicken soup."

This was a dead giveaway. I made a broth, and we both ate quietly.

Life is much more happening now as the cat sometimes speaks. I don't know what prompts him to speak or shut up. But that randomness is delightful.

My friends just keep wondering why I suddenly changed my cat's name from Leo to Erwin.

2021 Meghashri Dalvi

Dr. Meghashri Dalvi consults in Technical Communication, when she is not writing science fiction or teaching Management. Her stories have appeared in Aphelion, Anotherealm, Quantummuse, Spillwords, 101Words, and Flash Fiction Press among others.

Find more by Meghashri Dalvi in the Author Index.

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