“ Give me another cold one,” Spike demanded. Ted reached into the cooler, and handed his spiky, green haired friend a cold can of cheap beer. Spike opened the tab on the can. There was a low hissing sound as he pulled on the tab. In a matter of seconds, Spike downed the beer, let out a belch, and tossed the can off to the side. The can landed on the garage floor just a few feet away from his drum set.
Audrey, their guitarist, laughed and blew a strand of purple hair from her face, “ Alright truth or dare guy” Her speech sounds slurred. Out of the three high school bandmates, she had drinken the most. A predictable turnout of their monthly pow wows. Each month the band just took some time to hangout in Ted’s parents garage. No practicing, just bandmates bonding over beer that Spike had managed to get. Spike never revealed who gave him the beer, only that he knew a store employee that would pay for the beer, and give it to him for the right price. Being the biggest party animal in the room, Audrey was drunk within a couple of hours. As usual, Ted and Spike would have to help her sober up before helping her get home. They would not be doing that until their game of truth or dare was done.
“ Truth,” Spike and Ted said in unison.
“ Alright, let me see. Ok, guys drink up if either of you have lost your virginity.”
“ Ok Ted, hand me a beer,” Spike reached out his hand, and gestured for his friend to hand him a beer.
Audrey looked at spike incredously, “ Who in the fuck would fuck you?”
“ Remember Cherry Lynn's sixteenth birthday party. Well, me and Cherry had a bit of a hook up afterwards,” Spike said. He drank his beer, this time only taking one swallow rather than drinking it all at once.
“ Alright, guys, truth or dare,” Spike said.
“ Let’s go with dare,” Ted said, feeling daring.
“ Oooh yea dare. We’ve done truth all night,” Audrey said.
“ Alright, let me just think here for a second,” Spike said. He looked around the garage. There was a workbench with all types of tools laying around. He looked over Audrey's shoulder, and spotted old Mrs Garbner right next door. She was outside, playing with her scraggly looking, gray cat known as the predator. She held a mouse toy out for him, and the cat would just bat at the toy with it’s paws. The cat was called the predator because everyday the cat sat in front of Mrs Garbner house, watching people walk by with his look. It looked like a lion ready to pounce on its prey. Spike had one time been forced by his mom to deliver a pan of lasagna to Mrs Garbner. As soon as he walked out Mrs Garbner property, the dang cat pounced on his leg. Clawing and biting into him like an animal fighting to defend itself. He had to fight his way to the front porch. Mrs Garbner had opened the door. He had shown her his scratched up leg. The old woman did not even say sorry, all she did was glare at her cat, took the tray of lasagna, and slammed the door in his face. Spike smiled, now would be a good time for some payback for that day.
“ Ok, you guys know that one hour before midnight, Mrs Garbner always turns in for the night. She always leaves the predator and his mouse toy outside. I think one of you guys should go over to Mrs Garbner house and take the mouse toy from the predator,” Spike said.
Ted, and Audrey looked at each other. Audrey had this drunken smile on her face.
“ I don’t know,” Ted said with uncertainty. They had done many things while playing truth and dare. Heck, he even streaked nude once through the neighborhood, but stealing from an old lady seemed just wrong.
“ Come on Teddy bear,” Audrey said, and gently leaned against her head on his shoulder.
“ Ya Teddy bear come on. You and Audrey got to take the cat’s toy mouse,” Spike said.
“ Are you kidding, I’m not carrying her drunk ass over there if that cat is ready to maul us,” Ted said.
“ Alright, how about I distract the cat, while you carry Audrey and grab the toy. I’ll lead the cat to the backyard, and you guys go over and grab the toy.”
“ Why do I need to carry Audrey?” Ted asked.
“ Because I dared BOTH of you to do it. You know the rules, BOTH of you must complete the dare.”
Ted looked back at Mrs Garbner. The cat was looking at them. The hair on it’s back looked like they were standing up. It let out this angry hiss. It then darted toward Ted, but stopped at the edge of Mrs Garbner property. Ted took a moment to think about the dare.
“ I’ll do it,” Audrey said as she lazily lifted her head from Ted’s shoulder.
“ Audrey is up to the challenge, and she is doing it wasted,” Spike said with a smile that dared Ted to do it.
“ Ok, let’s do this,” Ted said. He could not let Audrey do it alone. She was teetering, like she was about ready to collapse. Looks like she was going to be spending the night at his place. Lucky for everyone, his parents were out of town at some convention for the entire weekend.
It did not take long for Spike to get the cat's attention. After Mrs Garbner had turned in for the night, all he had to do was sprint toward the back of her house. The predator followed in hot pursuit. Helping a drunk Audrey across the yard, they reached the front porch. Ted grabbed Audrey as she teetered, nearly following over.
“ Thank you,” Audrey said loudly. Ted cringed, and looked to see if Audrey's outburst had attracted the attention of the predator. Luckily, he did not see the vicious cat. Audrey gave him a peck on the cheek for catching her. Ted just quickly grabbed the rubber mouse. When he turned around, he saw the predator sitting right behind him. Just sitting in Mrs Garbner front yard, moving its tail back and forth. It’s eyes felt like they were staring right through him. Ted did not fear the cat, but the way it attacked everyone was what bothered him. He was surprised no one had called animal control to come and take the cat away yet. He and Audrey started to move back toward the garage. Ted had expected an attack, but was surprised to see the cat just sat still, watching him and AUdrey as they made their way to the garage.
Q When they reached the garage, Spike was sitting down. He had red scratches all over his arms and legs. “ Why didn’t you warn us the predator was our way,” Ted complained as he gently sat Audrey back in the chair.
“ Hey, I distracted that cat, and look what I got,” Spike pointed out his scratches. “ You better have gotten that mouse.”
“ I got it,” Ted said.
“ Show it,” Spike demanded. Ted took the rubber mouse out of his pocket, and tossed it to Spike. Spike tossed the mouse up and down in his hand. He looked over at where the predator was sitting. The cat was eyeing him. Spike went over to the cat, and dangled the rubber mouse in front of the cat.
“ Want it?” He said in a baby voice. He held the mouse over the cat. Each time the cat tried to grab the mouse, Spike would move the mouse. He finally gave the cat one swift kick, like he was kicking a football. When the cat landed, it hissed at him. It revealed it’s rows of needle sharp teeth, and its sharp claws. When Spike held out the rubber mouse, it stopped, looked at the mouse, and then sat down in the front lawn. All the cat did was watch Spike. Spike smiled and put the rubber mouse back in his pocket. He went back inside the garage, where Ted was holding onto Audrey so she would not fall over.
“ I think I am ready to call it in for now,” Ted said as he held Audrey up. She was in no condition to drive herself home for sure. He would just lie her down on the couch in the living room.
Spike looked at his digital watch, it was only one hour until midnight. They had barely scratched the night, but Audrey looked like she was going to pass out for good. “ Can I spend the night here? Last month when I went home early, I caught my parents fucking each other on the kitchen table. Now I cannot sit or eat at that table,” he asked Ted.
“ Alright,” Ted said.
Spike helps Ted carry Audrey to the living room couch. Spike and Ted were not tired yet, so they stayed up. They talked about the hottest girls in school, bitched about the upcoming math test, and debated about updating the band T-shirt design. The one they had now, a flaming screen skull, just felt too bland. It was 11:30 when the doorbell rang. Ted went to answer the door, and saw Mrs Garbner standing at his doorway in a pink nightgown. Her hair was not well kept. It was more wild looking, and it draped down past her shoulders.
“ Where is my cats toy?” She asked. Her voice sounded old, and scratchy. Like she had a sore throat. Ted looked at her for a moment. For all the years they had been neighbors, This was the first time he had spoken to Mrs Garbner. In fact, now that he noticed it, this was the first time he had seen her without her cat. Out of the corner of his eye he saw Mrs Garbner cat. Surprisingly, the thing was sitting on the corner of his front yard. He never once saw the cat leave Mrs Garbner property. The way the cat watched him creeped him out.
“ We don’t know,” Spike spoke up. Ted flinched, and turned around to see Spike standing behind him.
Mrs Garbner's face slowly turned into a smile, a smile that made her seem too happy. “ Ok then, I’m sorry for bothering you young fellas,” she apologized. As she walked away, she cryptically said “ Thank you, its feeding time is at midnight.”
Ted shut the door. “ That was just weird,” Spike commented.
“ Give me the mouse,” Ted said and held out his hand. Tomorrow morning he would just toss the mouse onto Mrs Garbner front lawn. She would not know that he had taken the toy. Spike did not say a word. He just took the mouse out of his pocket, and gave Ted the mouse.
It was around midnight when Ted awoke to the sound of pounding at the front door. He got out of his bed, and went to the front door. Spike, who had briefly fallen asleep in the living room recliner, groaned when he woke up. The pounding grew more intense as Ted got closer. Ted opened the door, and looked around. He saw Mrs Garbner cat, the predator, sitting at the front door. Ted looked around, wondering what made all that noise. Before he could close the door, the cat quickly slipped past him, and made its way toward Spike.
“ Get!” Spike yelled when the cat got close to him. He was about to kick the cat, when suddenly the cat began to grow.
“ What!” Spike spoke, shocked by what was happening. Ted could not believe what he was seeing either. Mrs Garbner stood on it;s legs. Its frail, looking cat body soon transformed into something with bulging muscles, large canine teeth, soul piercing yellow eyes. It hungrily eyed Spike. Audrey just layed on the couch, too passed out to know what was going on. The thing lunged for Spike. Spike rolled out of the recliner. Spike ran for the basement door. The thing sprang off its powerful legs and punched on top of the spike. It pinned Spike to the floor. Ted her Spike weeping, and begging not to be killed. WIthout thinking, Ted roundhouse kicked the creature right in the rib cage. He cringed when his foot connected with the monster. He let out a yelp, and immediately drew his leg back. It felt like he had just kicked a solid brick wall really hard.
Ted helplessly watched as the creature bit into Spike's skull. It ripped open the top of his head as Spike pleaded with the creature to not hurt him. The first thing the creature did was chow down on Spike brain, Pink chunks and blood splattered everywhere. Ted ran out the front door, leaving the beas to chow down on his friends. He felt around his pockets for his cellphone, but realized he had left it inside. Not wanting to go back inside, he did the first thing that came to mind. He ran next door to Mrs. Garbner's house. Before he could even knock on the door, he was surprised to see her open the door, like she was waiting for him.
“ The demon is yours now. It became yours once you took its toy.” Ted immediately took the rubber mouse out of his pocket, and pleaded with Mrs Garbner to take it back. Mrs Garbner declined, and stated “ I cannot help you. You cannot just simply depart with the demon. The only way to get rid of the demon is for someone else with ill intentions, such as yourself, would willingly take the toy.” Suddenly, Ted heard a meow. He turned and saw Mrs Garbner cat come scampering down the sidewalk. It stopped at Ted’s feet. Its fur was covered in blood. Ted started, horrified at the cat.
“ It’s your responsibility now,” Mrs Garbner said. She smiled a devilish smile as her face disappeared behind