My Atlas Obscura Writing Challenge Entry:

My Atlas Obscura Writing Challenge Entry:

Pen a Story Based on an Intriguing First Line

I chose the first line from “Cat Island“, a story about Japan’s Tashirojima Island, where cats are king. 


On the island of Tashirojima in the Miyagi Prefecture, the cats outnumber people, and the people like it that way. But on the other side of the world, there’s a small village where the people are outnumbered by a herd of vicious, bloodthirsty alpacas, and no one goes outside during the new moon.

On a small island in the Pacific Ocean, the residents cower in fear as massive casts of crabs take over their dwellings twice a month. The crabs lie in bed, waiting for the people to bring them large baskets of fish, barnacles, plants, snails, shrimp, and worms. Only after they are satiated do the invaders return to the sea.

In a part of one of Switzerland’s cantons, which I have agreed not to name, the population stays at home every other Tuesday between the hours of midnight and 4 a.m. when the marmots and snow voles invade the town and devour everything in their path.

It’s hard to estimate the number of places where the people are outnumbered by local fauna; and there are those who swear that revealing the secret will bring on further attacks. I talked to a man would not reveal his birthplace, but shared the terrifying story of the dingoes who…well, it’s safe to say you’ve seen the movie and according to him “Doesn’t know it by ‘arf”.

No one knows why these people suffer such tribulations, while others get along famously with their resident species. Scientists have been studying them for years, and some have also fallen victim to this phenomenon. A graduate student on one of the south Antarctic islands disappeared, having ignored his team’s warnings about the massive waddles of bitter, vengeful penguins who emerge when the temperature hits 11°C and take their toll.

On the island of Tashirojima in the Miyagi Prefecture, the cats outnumber people, and the people like it that way. I hope this continues, but to prepare for the inevitable day when the cats turn on them would not go amiss.

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