Mondays Finish the Story flash fiction challenge, 150 words based on this image–
and this initial sentence–
“He thought he found the perfect hiding spot.”
This came out way, way darker than is my wont. There is also a deal of language. The reader is warned.
On top of that, I once more totally blew off the word limit. I am wholly without shame.
Copyright 2015 Douglas Daniel
He thought he found the perfect hiding spot.
It was the screams and the pleading that drove him there. The three strange men laughed at the pleading. For a moment fear overcame everything else, and he hid.
When the screams stopped and the stench of blood was everywhere, the cat stayed where he was, as the strangers ransacked the house. It was then one of them entered the bedroom and brushed against the curtain.
“What the fuck?”
A powerful hand grabbed him by the scruff of the neck, lifted him up. He spat and yowled, but he could not bite the hand that held him.
“What the hell, Pete, it’s just a damn cat.”
“Good thing he can’t talk, huh, Lee?”
“Quit fucking around– Sammy says we gotta finish and get out of here.”
The stranger held the cat up closer to his face. “I think I’ll cut his head off.”
It was a mistake; the cat lashed out with his claws, faster than thought. The man yowled himself, in pain, his face scoured. He dropped the cat. Hitting the floor, the cat shot between the stranger’s legs, out the door and down the back stairs to the pantry, to the cubby-hole behind the cabinet.
He lay still, hearing the men arguing, the stranger he’d wounded rampaging about in rage. “Where’s that little shit, I’ll gut him, the fucker.”
“It’s your own damn fault,” the third man said. “You always gotta screw around.”
They argued more. Then the cat heard them leave. He lay still for a long time.
Finally, the cat crept out. The house was silent.
The bodies lay scattered in the family room. The blood was drying. The cat came in and hunkered down beside the little girl. Her blue eyes stared and saw nothing. This was the child the cat had seen brought home as an infant, who had learned, after some trial-and-error, to pet him, with whom he had sat in sunlit rooms while she played at being the grown woman she would never be. The cat sat and grieved as only cats can grieve.
In the grieving, something died in him– the pet, the tame little animal content with caresses and eating out of a bowl. In its place came, in-welling, something older, and powerful– something that knew on its own of blood and the hunt.
The cat cleaned from his claws the blood of the man he had scratched, and so came to know him, and, through him, the other two, forever.
In all the universe, there is nothing so cold as a cat’s vengeance.