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illustration by jonny voss



b y   A l a n   M c C o r m i c k

On a normal day, where everyone went about doing their normal business, Wishbonepuss and her moggyfriend, Cheesegratersmile, were mourning the death of their master, Douglasfairbankstache.
He had been eating smoky bacon wotsits and a party-size sherbet fountain, at the same time as sucking on a slim smelly panatela, when he spontaneously combusted in front of them.

Wishbonecrotchandmouthpuss, to give her full name, was so unhappy that her wishbone mouth went head over chin, rendering its expression from a pleasing smile into a look of sullen despair. Cheesegratersmile’s smile was locked in place but he managed a distraught expression as best he could. In fact he looked ferocious, and scared himself in the fireplace mirror.

He was more scared though to see his master, Douglasfairbankstache, disappear in a puff of smoke up the chimney, where he collected himself into a banshee cloud of swirling fleshashe; his ghostly person forming a giant runaway smoke and scare apparition hurdling over the neighbourhood rooftops.

Wishbonepuss and Cheesegratersmile waved at him until the wind blew his nonmortal smokecloud away. They were left with each other, contemplating the eighteen catorphan lives that lay ahead without their beloved Douglasfairbankstache.

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