Under The Stars

A fun, romantic story about Katherine Dale and the three men in her life!  Two astrologers and a cat named No. 4.  Who would have thought that this rather reserved lady would end up caught in a mystic love triangle…. if only!

Chapter 1:

KATHERINE – DAY ONE OF THE REST OF MY LIFE

Finding myself lying flat on my back on the kitchen floor and looking up at the underside of the kitchen table, it occurs to me that height is very relative to one’s perspective on life.

For instance, in the four years that I’ve been sitting at this table, I never realized there were three distinct chalk marks hidden from view. The first is my surname Dale, the second mark is the date the table was delivered, and the third read Frank. Unfortunately I can’t remember what Frank P. looked like, although I could probably recognize his hands if they were wrapped around a packing box. It was a day that I had planned with military precision, and I spent the entire time with my eyes glued to my list and my hands directing boxes to their new destination. By nine o’clock that evening you would never have guessed it was the first day in my new home. Everything was in its rightful place and sparkling clean.

I continue to lie here, trying to ignore the growing lump where my head first had contact with the ground. A dull ache is starting to wrap itself around my entire body, but as I seem to be able to move all of my limbs, I’m assuming nothing is broken. I can, therefore, start to relax and really take in the view of my kitchen from this new perspective.

No. 4 suddenly appears next to me with a loud meow and I realize that this is life as seen through his eyes. It’s a strange world where everything towers above you and so many things are tantalizingly out of view. Which is why I suddenly appreciate how dastardly clever nature is, equipping cats with such a heightened sense of smell. No. 4 can probably smell the tuna even before he can hear the fork clattering against the can. I often wondered how he knew exactly when it was meal time. It hadn’t crossed my mind that it was the wafting smell seeking him out from wherever he had chosen to curl up for the day.

As much as I’m enjoying my unexpected rest, I realize that when I knocked against the table and the chair balancing on top of it fell onto me, I also managed to collide with the bucket. The back of my jeans and tee-shirt are getting soggier by the minute as the puddle absorbs into the material, and I begin to smell quite pleasantly of lemon floor wash. It must have been quite a spectacular moment to stand back and watch, the sort of thing to capture on video camera and send in to one of those video clip programs. It would surely have been worth every penny of the treasured cash prize for sharing one’s humiliation and amusing the audience.

Ah well, that’s the hand fate has been dealing me lately because no one was here to either capture those moments, check I’m all right, or phone for the ambulance if I wasn’t. However, the lucky side of my nature fortunately means that I bounce pretty well for my age. What my fall lacked in grace, I’m sure it made up for in slapstick comedy. At the time, it felt like a scene being played out in slow motion, frame by frame. However, as I haul myself upright, I feel surprisingly good under the circumstances.

No. 4 meows again pitifully to attract my attention. Not, I might add, from concern for his main provider, but for the disruption to his little snooze. It’s reminded him about the second love of his life—tinned food, which sadly comes a poor second to fresh birds. I point to his dish, which is still half-full from this morning’s offerings, and he gives me a look of utter disdain. However, I realize I’m squelching as I stand here and quickly decide it’s easier to simply take everything off, and if anyone looks through the window they will be in for a surprise. I scoop my discarded clothes into a bundle and then dash across the hallway, leaving a trail of small lemon-fresh droplets in my wake as I head toward the downstairs shower room.

Well, day one of my new life and not exactly the start I had expected. At least I’m spared the embarrassing headline “Lonely single woman, recently unemployed, found fatally crushed beneath dining chair. Leaves orphaned cat called No. 4.” I wince, and it’s not just from the throbbing lump on the back of my head that is now the size of a large, white free-range egg. For some reason, I haven’t yet been able to figure out why the brown ones are always smaller—it’s one of life’s little mysteries.

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NEWSLFLASH: The sequel, ‘Quintessentially Yours’, is out NOW but both can be read as standalone novels.

Click to read more about Quintessentially Yours

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