night river cat.jpgEvil Cat knew his time was short and that this was his last life. That didn’t mean he was going to take his time; he went right to work. His first task, discover where he was sent to. This place had a familiarity about it, and he was certain he’d been here before. Somehow the feeling, the smell, the lay of the land told him he was back. The first time the scent of water took him to a creek for a drink he knew. Laying across the river was the rigging for the high voltage lines that had electrocuted him the first time he had killed a human. The lines had been replaced but the old tower was the same. He was home. Strange that so much time had elapsed, but here he was, full circle at the beginning again. Time and space had been broken to create Evil Cat, and now his last chance was where he began.

In the air was a sadness that could only be detected by ethereal beings whose senses could detect such things. Towns people were still picking up the destruction from the flood; and recovering from the gruesome electrocution of their neighbor. Then the biggest employer in town shuttered its doors, possibly forever because of the flood damage. With all the suffering and loss, the people of the town should have been easy game for the cat. Wherever he went, though, he was ignored as if he didn’t exist.

He tried a direct approach and clawed at a man walking down the street, but was only kicked out-of-the-way in a casual manner. Searching for his next opportunity to create horror, Evil Cat wandered the city. There was nothing to call to him to say, this is where you go to work, so he sought purpose beyond the boundaries of the village.

Walking along the road, looking forward to the adventure of destroying some human endeavor, something to tempt the spirit that created him, the cat observed with his usual intensity. Steel beast flew by, but the cat wanted more than just a few bodies strewn across a road. This was his last dance, and Evil Cat needed to make a statement that his grandeur was magnificent. Still, he toyed with the traffic, trying to cause someone pain. An old crone walked toward him; she must have been about a hundred years old.

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Walking along with the help of a gnarled cane, stoop-shouldered, and with a weather worn face, she fixed an eye on the cat. Instinctively, the cat knew her for what she was. A cat lady, the sworn enemy of any cat that valued independence. Her kind had subverted cats for centuries with bribes of food, comfort, shelter and attention. Forgetting the spectacle of destruction, Evil Cat hungered for this humans life. Killing this one woman would be revenge for thousands of cats.

He waited for her approach. She smiled at him. Casually, he cleaned himself as she drew nearer. When she was close, he walked further along the road. Off in the distance, Evil Cat heard a steel beast, one of the big ones. The kind whose heartbeat clangs instead of chimes—the kind that shakes the earth when they pass. It was coming to a blind curve in the road. He stopped to wait for his prey. Cat lady hurried to meet her fate. As the truck neared, Evil Cat stepped out into the road, mere strides in front of the woman. She followed. His timing was perfect—she bent to lift him up—and his glorious plan would work. A sacrifice he was willing to make.

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The truck driver was moving at a fair clip. There was a load of wreckage in the bed of his dump truck. He slowed a little bit for the curve, but not too much. The old woman had reached for Evil Cat. He would suffer this indignity to kill her. She lifted him up, not by his belly or chest, but by the scruff of his neck. The lady brought him to eye level. She creased her eyebrows and talked to him with a gruffness you might use to scold a bad child.

“You’ve been a very bad kitty. I know just what to do with bad pussycats.”

The Cat Lady lifted him over her head and turned him to face the road. A chrome plated sculpture of a bulldog—attached to a Mack tractor pulling a dump trailer—was what he saw. The bulldog hit him right between the eyes. He was turned the other way, somehow still alive…maybe. On the road was a cat sized lump of bloody flesh. There was no matching old woman sized spray of blood.

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