Alison sat straight up in her loft bed and almost hit her head on the ceiling fan. There was so much noise coming from the basement. She could smell intoxicants but she couldn’t identify where they were coming from. Alison and her parents lived in a small two bedroom house. Her father Darrell converted the basement into his man cave/ laundry room/ storage unit/unfinished renovation.  Consequently, it was his personal area because no one else wanted to be down there. Her baby sister was rushed to urgent care when she was 13 months old because she cut her hand on an exposed nail. It just wasn’t a sacred space for anyone but Darrell. Alison covered her ears but the sound of the eerie song by Pink Floyd was blasting so loud she could still hear it. “I can’t stand this song”, Alison said to herself.  The British accent whisper-yelling in a guttural tone, aptly was singing about a Siamese cat named Lucifer Sam. Maybe it was really about a man named Lucifer Sam. Maybe it was about a guy named Sam who was so obnoxious the artists’ thought he had a likeness to Satan himself. No matter who it was about, it was loud as all hell and it was midnight. 

           Alison brought herself to the edge of the mattress and jumped off the ladder. When she landed she threw on some grey sweatpants and a pair of black and grey Timberland boots. She already had a black t-shirt on. She lifted the collar to her nose to ensure it was clean. Most of her wardrobe was black and grey. Darrell referred to her as “dark cloud” and although her poetry as of late had been a bit somber, she loved color it was just easier and cheaper to compose a wardrobe of two colors…black and grey. The shirt smelled a little funny but seemed fine. She quickly closed her open widow so the marijuana smell from outside would stop taking over her room. Then she realized it didn’t matter because she was leaving anyway. 

           Alison walked quickly through the living room so she didn’t disturb her mother and sister sleeping on the futon. She left the TV on to overtake the sound of the creaking floorboards under the pinkish- brown polypropylene rug. Mom remained undisturbed as Alison opened the door to the front porch, put on her flight jacket and walked out of the storm door. As she stood on the red steps on the front stoop she could still hear Lucifer Sam blasting from the basement. The sound was quickly peculated by a 1980 Pontiac Grand Prix driving slowly down the street playing Black Cat by Janet Jackson from all of its open windows. This time, the decibels didn’t bother her. That was one great song! The driver stopped in the middle of the block, put the car in park and hailed Alison with his left hand. His smile was inviting and he warmly said, “Come here, Ma.” She loved his accent and the way he boldly had a familiarity with her already so she descended the steps and she proceeded to walk towards him.

           When Alison got within 10 feet of his classic car, walking down the center of the street, the music suddenly stopped. The intriguing man got out of the car and he pulled the driver’s seat forward. It was a coupe so there was no back door and Alison interpreted this action as wanting her to get into the car. She knew it was a bad idea. Before she could make the wrong decision, a small black kitten exited the vehicle. Alison stopped in her tracks. She watched the kitten with its beautiful yellow diamond shaped eyes walk slowly from the left side of the street to the right side of the street. As she mused over how beautiful it was, another larger cat followed behind the kitten. Ominously, that cat was accompanied by 8 other black cats. They all crossed in front of her from the left side of the street to the right side. Alison was instantly uncomfortable. The tall charming man pushed the driver’s seat back to its original position and gave her a sinister lingering grin. He then climbed back into the car with his long legs and drove off. The loud music resumed. 

The cats were gone as soon as they appeared. Alison was so frightened and unnerved by the encounter that she didn’t even notice their disappearance. “What do I do now?” she thought. Then she questioned what she was really out there for in the first place. What could she possibly discover at this time? “Sixteen, Dead and Stupid”, the imaginary news headline would read.  She immediately started walking briskly back towards the house. In her neighborhood she didn’t really believe in bad omens. There was enough tangible evil at every turn. Yet, how could she ignore TEN black cats crossing her path all at one time? It was time to go home. When she got to the front door, her key wouldn’t turn the bottom lock. She used all of her strength but it remained locked. She didn’t want to wake her mother but suddenly the place that annoyed her was the only place she wanted to be. She knocked on the front window but there was no answer. In fact there was no sound at all. All Alison could hear was deafening silence. Where was Daddy’s music? She peered through the window and there was no silhouette of her mother and sister on the black polyester futon. There was no futon. There was no furniture at all. She ran to the rear of the house and climbed through the open kitchen window.

           There was a Caucasian man with brown thinning hair and rectangular shaped black reading glasses on. That was all he had on. He was nude! He was sitting “Kris cross applesauce” in the middle of the kitchen floor. There was nothing else in the kitchen not even a simple wooden spoon. Alarmed, Alison screamed and so did the naked man. They screamed back and forth for what seemed like forever. “Where is my family?!” Alison was crying now. What the hell is going on?! “Away with you!” He said. Now it was clear he was missing teeth, enough to fragment his speech. He muttered something under his breath but he never got up off the floor. He just rocked back and forth. Frantically, Alison left the house the same way she came in. Her tears blurred her vision. She just saw a stream of light as she ran. She saw a direct single bright light. “Am I dying?” she thought.  She didn’t even know where she was running to. Her home was empty. Everyone was gone and the new occupant was scary. As she got closer to the light she recognized the figure holding what she soon realized was a flashlight.

“Daddy!!!!!” she yelled. “Don’t you dare try to butter me up kid! I just saw you come out of the yard of the abandoned house down the block. You know all kinds of people stay in there! Runaway teens, homeless, and drug addicts all stay out of the cold by going over there. You know better! You reek of weed! You smoking now?! Your mother saw you tip toeing through the living room like an idiot. She was so fed up, she just let you go. The lanky guy who goes to Uncle Eddie’s veterinary school called us. He said he was going to walk you home. He called you over to the car but then a family of cats he rescued got out of the car and you freaked out and ran away! This behavior is unacceptable!”

Alison laughed uncontrollably as she hugged her father relieved. She immediately made a vow to herself. No more “borrowing” the medicinal marijuana from her classmate. It obviously wasn’t a good fit for her. 

October 30, 2019 18:06

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RBE | We made a writing app for you (photo) | 2023-02

We made a writing app for you

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