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The Cat

“Just what do you think you’re doing?” the old man said, waddling over to the sofa. “You know damn well what that much alcohol could do to you.”

The cat’s emerald eyes narrowed and she spat a sharp hiss that made the man step back. “Alcohol?” she said. “Are you really going to stand there and tell me that this is just an ordinary beer, Morgan?” She extended the nails of one claw and peeled back at the cap, popping it free of the glass bottle’s top.

The old man put his hands forward in supplication. “P-please,” he said. “It’s not what you think.”

The cat’s pink nose danced in a series of twitches over the bottle’s opening, then inhaled deeply. She looked back at Morgan and hissed again, the hackles of her back rising in bestial fury. “YOU SON OF A BITCH!”

She bounded from the sofa cushion, hurtling toward the man with all twenty of her razor talons unsheathed. They each found purchase on his chest, sinking deep into the doughy flesh as he let out a terrible shriek.

Stumbling backward through the apartment, Morgan swatted madly at the cat as she ascended his torso, her claws forcing themselves deeper with each step. It wasn’t until she had turned his neck into a scratching post that he grew sense enough to smash himself against the wall, flattening her between he and it. She retracted her claws and went limp while Morgan, noticing that there were now twin streams of maroon coursing from the gashes in his neck, pedaled backward again giving her nubile skeleton enough room to slip free and drop to the floor.

The cat quickly shook away the daze and leapt back toward the couch where the open bottle was still wedged between two cushions. She pawed madly at it from the floor, trying to tip the open end so it might spill into to her mouth. But just as she was getting the liquid to dance upon the lip, she caught a boot beneath the stomach and went sailing into the apartment’s far wall. As she struggled to skitter to her feet she saw the bloody Morgan standing above her, bottle in hand. He was grinning like a lunatic.

“It didn’t have to be this way” he sputtered, putting a hand up to the deeper of his wounds. The cat knew she had hit the artery there, she’d felt it snap like an old guitar string when she’d plucked. “We–we could have grown old together.”

“And what about me, Morgan?” she bellowed back at him. “You never asked me how many years I wanted to grow old with you, how long I wanted to spend like this.” His breaths were heaving now, his skin starting to pale. She hung her head, “And now you’re going to die, going to die without ever telling me why you kept that damn bottle hidden all these years.”

Morgan stumbled, propping himself up against the wall as he fell. His feeble knees were buckling, starting to collapse beneath his weight as his muscles received less and less oxygen. He slid down until he was sitting in the pool of his own, lukewarm blood, his hand still tight around the bottle. “I—I couldn’t stand to see you leave,” he whispered.

The bottle tipped forward in Morgan’s limp, lifeless hand, spilling the golden liquid it contained away from where his blood was still collecting. With reverent steps the cat stepped forward and began to lap at it.

It tingled on the soft bristles of her sandpaper tongue, a honey that buzzed as soft and sweet as the bees that had collected it. And as she continued to drink the buzzing grew, first into a full fledged hum and then into a low, guttural note that reminded the cat of the chant of those eastern monks she’d seen on the television. Soon the note was so loud that it permeated the squalid silence of that lonely, old apartment until there was nothing but the sound. The sound, and a flash of golden light.

The woman blinked at her reflection in the fading glow of the liquid. She was old now, as she’d suspected she might be, but the emerald in her eyes still glimmered with traces of youth. With a timid hesitance she eased herself to her feet and stepped carefully toward the couch, grabbing a blanket to cover her shivering nudity. Then she started for the door.

But before she turned the knob she looked back at the old man who lay dead and alone in the corner. She swallowed hard, clearing her throat, it had been decades since she used it. “I never would have left, Morgan,” she told him.

And then she did.

Originally posted as a response to a prompt by /u/TheChipGuy on

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