Ben B. Bainton's


Cat's prey

"Come in," Jane said. Bobby stepped over the threshold, smiling as he handed her the bunch of flowers he'd kept behind his back. They looked a bit withered but that didn't matter. It was, after all, just a gesture.

"They're beautiful," she said, anyway. "Why don't you sit down while I put these in some water."

Miaow

"You don't have a cat, do you?" Bobby asked, old fears racing back to his mind.

"No," she answered quickly. There was an almost unnoticeable edge to her voice that suggested worriedness, or even fear. "Why?"

"I'm terribly allergic to them."

"Oh," she said, smiling oddly. "That's a pity. I just love cats." She fell silent for a while seeming to be deep in thought. Then she walked out of the room, flowers in her hand.

"You've got a nice place!" Bobby said as he sat on the sofa, looking around himself. The furniture and decorations were of the latest fashion, and definitely not cheap.

"You think so?" Jane said as she came back into the room carrying a colourful vase. As she put it down on the mantelpiece Bobby noticed it was decorated with cats. And so was the mantelpiece, covered with small cat statuettes.

"Yeah," he said, sighing quietly. If this turned out to be serious all these cats just might present a problem. "So, what are we having for dinner?" he went on, trying to forget his resentment of all feline creatures.

"A good old home cooked meal. You'll love it."

Miaow

"You sure you don't have a cat?" he asked again suspiciously, although he trusted her pretty well. He thought himself to be a pretty good judge of character and so far his judgement hadn't let him down a single time.

"Yes!" she snapped, a little nervously. "It's probably just a stray in the ally back there."

Bobby looked at her and her nervous grin turned into a warm smile. She was beautiful. Her long dark hair flowed upon her shoulders. Her skin was smooth and soft, almost demanding to be touched. And she had one of the best figures he had seen for ages. But something wasn't right. There was something about her eyes that made him feel uncomfortable. He could never see them long enough to be sure, but weren't they yellow? He was sure they hadn't been before. He supposed she must have been wearing coloured contact lenses. But why yellow? They made him think of cats and he hated it, almost as much as he hated cats.

It felt unbelievable that he had only met her a week ago. There she had been, waiting outside his office like any regular client, and he never guessed that the few short minutes ahead could change his life forever. At least for him, it was love at first sight. They had gone out every night after that, got to know each other well. But still there was something mysterious about her. Maybe that was part of why he liked her so much. He tried to forget about it and enjoy the evening.

Standing up he walked to the window and looked at the full moon. The bright yellow glow almost hurt his eyes. No stars were to be seen, just that yellow glow that somehow seemed to attract all his attention. It was like a great round eye, staring at him from the sky, he thought and smiled at the rhyme. He'd never seen a moon like that, yet it seemed vaguely familiar. It reminded him of yellow eyes, of... Jane?

"It's beautiful," he said aloud. "Maybe we'll go out for a walk after dinner."

"Yes," she said as she came up behind him, putting her arm around his broad shoulders. "Maybe. And speaking of dinner, it should be just about ready. I've made us some fish, along with baked potatoes."

There was an edge to her voice that he'd never heard before, a kind of hiss.

"Mmm, that sounds delicious," Bobby said, turning away from the window and bending down to kiss her.

"Yes. Fissh. And if you want to, you can have some milk too..."

Miaow

Bobby woke up suddenly and looked around himself. He was in bed. Jane was sleeping peacefully by his side. He could see his clothes scattered on the floor and smiled as he remembered how they were flung there in the heat of passion. The clock on the table showed it was almost midnight. He listened carefully, but all he could hear was Jane's soft breathing. A couple of minutes went by. He was just about to go back to sleep...

Miaow

There! That didn't come from the ally! It had to be inside. A bloody cat, he thought. A bloody excat if it was up to him. He scrambled out of bed and found his trousers on the floor. Pulling them on as fast as he could he walked to the door, listening carefully, and tried to open it as quietly as he could. In the silence the soft creak seemed like a ton of dynamite exploding by his ear. He walked down the stairs and stopped, taking a look around himself. It was dark, except for a dim beam of moonlight that shone through the curtains. All he could see was a bottle of brandy on the table. He walked to it and poured himself a drink.

"Now," he said softly, feeling much better. "Where the hell are you?" He listened carefully as he walked across the room. "The closet?" He opened the door. Nothing. You idiot, he said to himself. What on earth would a cat be doing in a closet?

Miaow

"Aha!" This time the sound was loud and clear, coming from behind a nearby door. He walked towards the room but suddenly hesitated. Better to be ready he thought, walked back to the closet and picked up the baseball bat he'd seen standing in a corner. Now that bastard was as good as dead. He walked back and opened the door.

First he could see nothing but coloured spots hanging before his eyes, as if the room was filled with little coloured lights. He thought there was something wrong with his eyes, but slowly his sight started to adjust to the darkness. Then he gasped for breath. What he saw were eyes. Hundreds of little eyes staring at him.

Miaow

The room was full of cats. There must have been dozens of them. And no two had similar eyes. He could see every possible shade of yellow, green, red and blue. Some were pacing around the floor, some were sitting on the desk or on the chairs. His ears were buzzing with the sound of purring. And they were all staring at him. All he could do was to stare back with his mouth open.

Bong

The deep sound of an old clock striking midnight exploded in his mind. Startled, he turned around, just to see Jane standing in front of him, staring into his eyes, still naked and smiling dreamily like she had after making love. But she had changed. Her eyes were now clearly sharp and yellow, smouldering with a bright light. She appeared to have fangs in her mouth. Her nails had grown. She grinned and sat on the floor. He could have sworn she was purring

"Miaow," she said as she stretched he arms. With horror Bobby saw that hair was growing on her body. Smooth black hair. He stared helplessly as her shape changed, slowly but clearly. Bobby realised he was no longer looking at Jane but the biggest cat he'd ever seen.

"Purrr." She stood up on four legs. Then the smile on her face faded. She hissed at him. She tensed her body, and leaped. Her fangs sunk deep into his neck. As the clock stroke the last stroke of midnight Bobby fell on the floor. The last thing he knew was the sound of soft feet running towards him. He felt soft tongues licking the blood flowing from his neck.

The next day the local police were called to a nearby alley. What they found was a heap of white bones. Not a single bit of flesh was to be found, just white bones, apparently gnawed bare.

They turned suddenly. Something had moved in the shadows.

Miaow

Just a stray cat, they thought and walked away.