Somewhere…over the trainbow!


by Dee Rayel


“nuqDaq ‘oH Esmurzenga?” snorted the dark-clad, burly male as used his shoulder to smash through the door of the veterinarian’s office. He stood in front of the receptionist’s desk with crossed arms protecting a bundled blanket.

“What?” said the receptionist, fixated on the sweat traveling down the ruts in the client’s bony forehead onto his face, fanning her tri-nostril-ed proboscis with two of her slender webbed hands.

The male raised his voice. “Esmurzenga. nuqDaq?”

“Oh, Ezmerzenga. This is her day off. Turn on your universal translator.”

The male let out a guttural expletive, gently opened a folded-over corner of the blanket, and moaned. “Polly. ghaH tojchu.”

“Huh? Are you Klingon?” The receptionist quickly adjusted her translator.

“HIja. Polly, ghaH tojchu.” [“Yes. My Polly, she’s very sick.”]

“Who are you?”

“We need to see Dr. Kačių. Now.” He barged past her, pushed down the door to the back hallway, and shoved his head into the first few rooms. Dr. Kačių ran up behind him and peered under the blanket.

“T’krak d’ghalvargh, my friend. Please, calm down – I’m here for you and Polly,” said the diminutive, Terran human-like veterinarian. “Here, place her on the exam table.” He turned his head 180 degrees and shouted out the door, “Stat! Everyone, stat! Life support. Post Polly’s records! Hurry!”

Within seconds Polly, a calico Terran cat, was on full life support and the scanners had finished recording images. T’krak, Dr. Kačių, and three veterinary technicians were surrounded by virtual images, including those from her last annual exam.

As T’krak shifted his weight from boot to boot, he pounded on his chest-mounted universal translator. “Doc. Why haven’t you taken any blood? Can you save her?”

“Polly suffered a brain aneurism.”

An aneurism? Can’t be. I’m still here.

“Well, what are you waiting for? Cauterize it. Now!

Yes, now. Please.

“I’m very sorry, but this won’t help her. Her circulatory vessels are too thin for reparative surgery. We should put her to sleep.”

No! I’m still here… Oh? My ticket? I need a ticket?

T’krak, with his pupils widening and sharply slanting downward toward his nose, squatted and gently cradled Polly in his bulky arms. “I’ve only had her for thirty-one Earth years.”

“That’s an extraordinarily long life for a Terran cat.” Dr. Kačių filled a needled syringe. “This will help her cross over.”

So, this is my ticket. Where do I wait? Over there? Is that the line for me?

“I don’t want her to suffer, but…” T’krak watched Polly’s breathing slow, while he carefully returned her to the table.

Which train? Late afternoon over the rainbow bridge.

T’krak removed his bulky gloves, and opened and stared into Polly’s eyes.

“She’s bleeding out internally.” Dr. Kačių checked her vital signs. “She has expired on her own.”

T’krak raised his head and howled loudly for several seconds.


“Doctor, excuse me. We’ve completed the research you requested some months ago. A Terran mammal is most difficult, but we were finally successful with her genetic material.”



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6 thoughts on “Somewhere…over the trainbow!

  1. Parisianne Modert says:

    3 arm guesses who wrote this and the first two just don’t count.

    I love this story and the clone ending having seen all of my cats over the years die or be put to sleep.

    Very entertaining and I enjoyed especially reading this story outloud with accents. I give this three arms up and a ticket over the trainbow.

    • Parisianne Modert says:

      I applaud this use of creative names, descriptives and phrasing. The language is science fiction, but the storyline is clear and easy to follow. The sentiments are genuine within an alien culture translating medicine into terran reality and limitation.

  2. Laura G says:

    Very creative use of the prompt! Amazing how much “story” and dialogue you can include in 500 words. Not sure if I see the link to trains as much as to trains of thought, but very entertaining. Science fiction is even harder to pull off in flash fiction, but I can see your talent in this genre.

  3. Parisianne Modert says:

    When we love, time becomes meaningless without a need for any limit to it, until it is clear that a departure is going to occur, because of a pending death. At that point we would give up all we have for more time, the lessening of suffering which is so beautifully written here by Julie. “Tender” is the story I wept raindrops blurring my vision over and smiled as wide as the Cheshire Cat, because out of hopelessness arrives that extra time anyone with a heart craves. For an alien story, I have seldom read anything more humanly compelling.

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