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Falling Tea

Just a minute

By Dominic Casey-LeePublished about a month ago 4 min read
Falling Tea
Photo by Davex Video on Unsplash

The teacup fell at an alarmingly laggardly rate, as if mocking the certainty of Earth’s nine-point-eight metres per second per second gravitational acceleration. And I don’t mean it took a long time to decide to fall, wobbling around like a bowling pin, teasing you as it arrives tantalisingly close to that twelve-point-five-degree angle where its downfall is definite. I mean that from where it had been sitting on the railing of my balcony, about three-point-five metres from the ground below, it took much longer to reach its final destination than the eighth of a second it should have taken.

I’m not exaggerating. I promise. I’d been watching a reel on my phone, and by the time the cup shattered on the bitumen of the carpark the video was finished. Four seconds, I confirmed. As soon as the sound of the breaking cup reached me, a black and grey phantom leapt to the ground and raced inside my open sliding door. I put my cigarette in the ash tray and gave chase.

“Newton!” I half-shouted in irritation, giving chase. My neighbour’s cat was always jumping across to my balcony and causing havoc. It seemed a long jump, too, even for a cat.

The little hell raiser leapt onto my couch then turned to look at me. “Meow,” she said, giving me the innocent kitty eyes. I snorted at her, and was about to chase her out when a thought occurred to me. I closed the screen door to keep her inside, then went to where my half-eaten toast lay on the counter top (on a plate, of course). I picked up the butter knife next to it and gave it a gentle toss. It hit the roof before tumbling back down towards the bench, slow enough for me to catch it by the handle and avoid greasing myself on the butter covered blade. Not rigorously scientific, I know, but I didn’t need precise measurements to know that gravity wasn’t acting normally.

I tried again, this time with the toast, tossing it a bit more gently to avoid dirtying my ceiling further. It seemed to float, flipping once at the zenith before falling. Seeing a rare opportunity, I took advantage of this slow fall to extend my neck and seize the twice-cooked bread in my mouth as it passed my face. Of course, it was buttered-side down, and gravity was still strong enough to slap it against my chin, getting butter and crumbs stuck to my wispy beard. I chuckled to myself as I tore the toast away and munched on the salty-carby goodness. As I chewed, I mulled over the Newton phenomenon, who seemed not to be affected by this gravitational anomaly, leaping to the ground at normal speed from the scene of the crime.

My next experiment was on myself. I rose from my chair, which didn’t feel any easier than normal, and moved into the free space between kitchen and living room. I gave a small hop. Nothing seemed out of the ordinary. I jumped again, higher this time. Still nothing. I looked up at the ceiling, two-point-three metres from the floor, making it zero-point-five-seven metres above my head. I’ve never been able to touch it with my head, even jumping a high as I can. So I tried again. I rocketed upwards, crashing into the plaster at full force, barely managing to close my eyes before my face passed into the space between the ceiling and the second floor. My head hit the floorboards with a resounding thump and I fell back to the ground, taking off more plaster with my chin and nose before collapsing in a heap on the floor.

Slowly I pushed myself up on my hands and knees, a great stinging lump already forming on my head. I could feel blood beginning to trickle out of my nose and the skin of my throat and chin burned as if the flesh was exposed, which it probably was. Using the back of the couch for support, I unsteadily rose to my feet. The way Newton was staring at me almost suggested amusement. I glared at her. She had something to do with this, that much was obvious. I was beginning to suspect her part might even be intentional.

I staggered around to the front of the couch and plonked myself down beside her. Casually I reached out a hand to stroke her, then seized her by the collar. Ignoring her struggling and scratching, I pulled her into my lap and got a hold of her with both hands, then heaved myself up to my feet. It seemed harder than usual, now, and not just because of my throbbing head. I struggled to make it to the door, slid it open, then stumbled to the railing of the balcony and hurled Newton over the side.

As soon as I released her, I felt lighter. And as I suspected, just like my teacup, she almost glided to the ground. Once she landed she turned and stared up at me reproachfully. I stared back and stuck my tongue out at he, “I know your secret now, missy.”

She hissed at me, trotted a few steps back to the ground below her own balcony, then jumped the impossible height back up. I’d always thought Newton was a strange name for a female cat, but it makes sense now.

Short Story

About the Creator

Dominic Casey-Lee

Ecclectic, erotic, enigmatic. Exploring the mysteries of our existence through words, and hopefully providing some entertainment along the way.

Here you'll find excerpts from my fantasy project, stories, poems and general rambling.

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