Francis the cat strolls into his backyard when out of nowhere he starts to get insulted by the Pen.
Pen: Ever the useless cat I see.
He walks right by it.
Cat: what do you want?
Pen: I´m bored.
He stops, eyeing the Pen.
Cat: go to hell, it’s your home isn´t it?
Pen: No. And I just told you I´m bored
cat: How´s that my problem?
Pen: You just left without saying a word.
Cat: stupid stick, you´re not my mom.
Pen: No, bless her heart for having a useless, drunkard cat for a son.
Cat: You´re the one who´s useless.
He resumes making his way home.
When he doesn´t hear a comeback from the Pen, he finds it odd and looks back.
The Pen is frozen in place starring at apparently nothing.
Francis raises an eyebrow, his curiosity getting the best of him. He turns back and stops right in front of the pen.
Cat (cont.): what´s the matter with you?
Pen (eyes wide open/stuttering): Sa… sa… sna…
Cat: what? Why are you stutter…?
As he turns back he finds a huge snake right in front of him.
Francis opens his eyes so wide they nearly fall off the back of his head.
Ever the coward he rushes to “hide” behind the Pen.
Pen: what the freck are you doing?
Cat (terrified): That´s a snake!
Pen: I can tell it´s a snake! Why are you hiding?
Cat: it´s a snake…
Cat: I´m a cat, a pussy cat.
Pen (dumbstruck): Not what I…
Snake/Charlie (interrupting): Excuse me?
Charlie: could you please help me?
Cat (desperate): I´ll have you know, I´m very unsavory!
Charlie (clueless): I beg your pardon?
Cat: All´s forgiven, now leave.
Charlie: I would, but I´m lost.
Francis is speechless for a second and hesitates an answer. He struggles with his burning desire to run the hell out of there and away from the giant snake and his inability to deny help to those in need.
He sys and looks up to the sky as if talking to someone.
Cat (to “God”/whispering): you owe me one!
He looks straight at the snake and approaches it, carefully.
Cat: Please don´t bite me!
Charlie: I won´t…
Cat (doubtful): Promise?
Cat: okay. What do you need?
Charlie: Could you please help me get home?
Cat: sure. Where do you live?
Charlie: that´s the thing. I don´t know.
Cat: You don´t know?
Charlie: I got out of my cage and then the house door was open and then I just wondered off.
Cat: And you didn´t think you shouldn´t have done that?
Charlie: I got curious.
Cat: curious about what?
Charlie: The world outside.
Cat: I can understand that.
Charlie (smiling/flashing two huge fangs): You can?
Francis swallows in dry, fearful.
Cat: Yeah, sure. And now you´re lost and don´t know how to get back home, is that it?
Charlie: yes. Can you help me?
Cat: I don´t know. Do you know your human´s name?
Charlie: My what?
Cat: Human. The one who takes care of you, feeds you. (mumbling) Crazy enough to have a snake as a pet.
Charlie: I think his name´s Mike.
Cat: you think?
Cat: well, I know there´s a Michael that lives at the house on the other side of the road. Does your human have a blue car, a big belly and no hair on his head?
Charlie (excited): yes, that´s him.
Cat: come on, I´ll show you where it is.
Charlie: Thank you.
Cat: but first things first. My name is Francis. What´s your name?
Cat: Nice to meet you.
Charlie: Nice to meet you too.
Cat: second, I need you to promise me you´re not going to try and eat me.
Charlie: I promise.
Cat: or any of my friends.
Charlie: Okay, I promise.
Cat: Okay. Come on.
Francis starts walking and soon realizes the snake isn´t following him.
Cat (cont.): what´s wrong?
Charlie: how do I know they´re your friends? I mean, I don´t know who they are.
Cat: well, there´s a rat, that´s Raul and a grumpy bird, that´s Rafael.
Charlie: You´re friends with a rat and bird.
Cat: That rat yes, the bird, well, that´s still open for discussion. And believe me when I say, that bird loves his discussions.
Charlie: wow, hold up!
Charlie: you´re a cat.
Cat (proud): I know!
Charlie: And you´re friends with a bird and a rat?
Cat: yes. Why is everyone so surprised by that?
Charlie: hey, I´m not judging. You can´t imagine what it´s like to be a snake and wanting to make friends.
Cat: I´m a cat. Everyone always thinks I want to eat them, so, yeah.
Charlie: I know right?
Cat: don´t take this the wrong way but um…
Cat: You´re a snake.
Charlie: so what?
Cat: You eat people.
Charlie: seriously dude?
Cat: Okay, so maybe not people but, mice and stuff?
Charlie: I’ll have you know, I´m a vegetarian.
Cat (dumbstruck): You´re a what?
Cat: are you serious?
Cat: come on. I´ll help you get home.
Charlie flashes Francis those huge fangs again and the cat nearly faints.
The cat leads Charlie through his backyard into his front lawn and then as they cross the street…
Charlie: that´s it! That´s it!
Cat: what is?
Charlie: My house.
Charlie: Oh Francis, thank you so much.
Cat: you´re welcome.
Charlie: can I give you a hug?
Cat (nearly jumping out of his skin): I´d rather you didn´t.
Charlie: some other time then.
Cat: yeah, baby steps.
Charlie: bye Francis. And thank you once again.
Cat: bye Charlie.
Charlie, the snake, starts to make his way home and Francis starts to back away from the house.
As soon as Charlie is out of sight and inside the house, Francis runs the hell home.
He enters his house with his heart in his mouth.
Cat (out of breath): Oh dear God! (looks up): you owe me one!
Pen (mocking): Pussy!
2018_ Joana Teixeira