I paced toward the end of the street. The rain beat down upon me, and I could already sense the beginning of a cold. My teeth chattered and I clung to my papers, trying to protect them from the storm's grasp.

I still had another two blocks to go before I reached my house. I had gotten off work twenty minutes ago, and not being able to afford a car or bus ride, I braved the downpour.

Now I hurried home, my thin fall jacket soaked and my hands grasping tightly to the soggy work that I had spent days working on.

Thunder shattered the atmosphere. The sky lit up for only a split second, but it was enough time to see it.

Two yellow eyes glowed back at me. A cat- black in the flash but hued with a dark blue appearance in the gloom.

It had been the tenth time I had seen the cat today. Not only had its fierce eyes followed me to work, but I had also seen it outside my office window, always staring back at me.

I had never believed in superstitions, not even as a child. Even so, the sight of the cat once more sent a chill down my back. I had never been good with animals, especially cats. It didn't make sense for one to be following me, nevermind its pelt color.

Another flash of lightning sent the cat scurrying away. Within a few seconds, it had disappeared into the darkness. I kept walking, trying not to think of the feline. A part of me couldn't shake off the feeling that I was being watched.

It wasn't until I was half a block away from my house that I saw the eyes again. I stopped dead in my tracks. Ahead of me, standing ten feet away stood the cat. It was hard to make out the details of its face in the heavy rain, but the eyes made it clear that it was the same cat. Golden and piercing, it felt as all the entities of the universe were glaring back at me when I stared into those eyes.

I looked ahead. I still couldn't see my house from where I stood, but I knew it was nearby. I started walking again, ignoring the cat. My tennis shoes had soaked through by now, and my dripping coat only made me colder.

Thunder deafened my surroundings. The cat scurried underneath my feet, and not having enough time to react, and with a violet cry I crashing down on top of the cat. It hissed ferociously and swatched in an angry fury. Clawing me in the side, it freed itself from underneath me and ran toward the gutter across the street.

I picked myself up off the ground and cursed myself for letting my papers get wet. A few lay scattered in puddles, ruined. I tried to pick them up but they only ripped.

Talk about bad luck. Another chill ran down my back as I took in everything that had just happened.

"That's impossible," I mumbled to myself and started jogging to my house. By this point, I was shaking. I could see the steps leading up to my door. I had just recently moved into my own house. It was a small and old victorian home, but I didn't mind. I did not have many things anyway, and having people over was the last thing on my mind.

I fidgeted my hand in my pocket, searching for my keys to my front door. Snagging the keyholder, I unlocked the door and shook off my soaking jacket. After kicking off my sneakers, I dropped my papers on top of a box near the front door.

My teeth began to chatter. I couldn't afford a large heat bill right now, so I would have to deal with the cold. Maneuvering past half-unpacked boxes, I squeezed into my bedroom door.

I grabbed a towel and rung out my hair before stripping out of my work clothes and putting on some comfortable sweatshirt and pants. I leaped into my bed, careful not to knock off the box on the other side of the bed. Curled up under the blankets, it wasn't long before I fell fast asleep.

I woke up to a loud band and crash from the main room. Startled, I blinked and sat up in my bed. Confused and breathing heavily, I stood up as quietly as I could without making the bed creak.

I had no clue what time it was, or how long I'd been asleep. All I could think of was the sound. Tiptoeing to my dresser, I felt for the flashlight that I knew I had put there the day before when unpacking. My hand bumped into the handle, and before I could catch it, the flashlight tumbled to the ground.

My heart skipped a beat. I waited a minute to see if I could hear any more noises from the hall. After a while of only hearing only my heartbeat ringing in my ears, I bent down and picked up the flashlight.

Creeping to my bedroom door, I cracked it open and peered out. Nothing seemed out of place. In fact, everything looked normal. I still wasn't satisfied though. Turning on my flashlight, I opened the door and stepped into the hallway.

Every step I took with extreme caution. The feeling from early, the one of being watched, had come back. Every hair on my body was on edge. It was hard to steady my breath.

I turned into the kitchen and shone my flashlight around. Where before had stood a large box of dishwares was now shattered on the ground. Colored glass covered the floor.

I gasped, not being able to get a breath in. Beside the box lay a trail of muddy paw prints. It couldn't be. There was no way a cat would be able to get into my house or knock over the heavy box. I had hardly been able to carry it inside.

I heard a meow behind me. I wiped around almost dropping the flashlight out of fright. My heart racing, I tried to locate where the sound came from. I reentered the main hall. I checked behind boxes, but the black cat was nowhere to be seen.

Another mew sounded behind me once more. I spun around and hugging the flashlight close to my breast, walked forward. I had almost walked back to the kitchen when it something my eye. Turning around, I saw two large golden eyes staring me down. The cat sat upon a pile of boxes that I didn't remember stacking in the middle of the hall that I had just walked. It positioned itself above me so that all I could see was its fiery eyes.

That's when I felt it- cold spiny hands caressing my hair. I was frozen with fear, too scared to make a noise or breath. My entire body felt colder than it ever had in my entire life. A boney finger traced my cheek line, and I could feel human figures present behind my body. Tears filled my eyes, clouding out the cat's gaze. I shuddered as tears rolled down my face, still to frozen to move.

"Shh," whispered a voice of a hundred all condemned into one. I heard the chatter of teeth near my ear. The sound seemed to come from all around me, from both below and above and in every possible direction.

My nerves finally sprang to life again. I spun around and shoved the figure out of the way, darting for the front door. I leaped over a larger box, dropping the flashlight to free my hands. The light faced toward the opposite direction of the door.

I'm my frantic hurry, I tripped over another box. I came crashing to the ground. Low and beautiful; wretched and ugly laughter echoed around me. I looked back, trying to find my footing.

A young woman with long black hair stood before me. She stretched her arms out to me, chuckling and urging me to quiet. In a blink of an eye, the cat appeared in her outstretched arms, calm and sinister in its nature.

I screamed and stumbled toward the door. I banged into the wall and frantically started twisting the door handle. Upon its opening, I burst out into the cold and dreary street.

The rain beat down harder than earlier. The moon shone through the clouds. The wind blew my hair into my face. I tried to brush it out of the way but it was glued to my tear-stained cheeks.

Throwing my hands to my face, I finally pulled my hair away. A light blinded me. Tires shrieked in protest against brakes, as the pickup coming toward me hydroplaned.

Sharp aches of pain shattered my body as the truck impacted me. I was thrown to the ground. The world spun. I lifted my hand to the back of my head, pulling it back to find it blood-soaked. I felt faint. My ears rang. I coughed up some blood. I imagined hearing the laughter again.

As the world was darkening and my strength flew away, I felt a weight on my chest. I gazed up one last time to see the black cat laying on my chest, it's golden eyes the last thing I ever saw.

November 01, 2019 22:31

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