Now the Cat Lady was walking down a flight of stairs with a tight grip on the cat. She swayed as she went down, right through the road like it wasn’t there. Swinging back and forth, the cat became terrified. Evil Cat tried to scratch and bite the woman, but his teeth and claws could find no purchase. The woman never even flinched. Cat Lady was walking down the stairs, then just falling into darkness. Falling, falling, falling, faster and faster. Then they just stopped. Not with a lurch or thud of impact, but the motion just stopped. She stood in a bewildering landscape. As she walked up to a river, she greeted a man in a boat.
“Mam,” he nodded politely. “Is this trip business or pleasure?”
“Oh, both. It’s always a pleasure to see my little doggie.”
Riding over the River Styx, the pair made small talk. Things like how the traffic over the river was slowing down. He thanked her for a book she had given him and other pleasantries. All the while she held the cat out over the water. The twisted creatures in the water frightened the cat clear down to his evil soul, yet he still held a deep regret he hadn’t killed her. Seeing the river frightened him, but seeing Cerberus—the three headed hound of Hades—chilled his mind and churned his stomach. She stopped before the beast. It hunched down to attack, six eyes boring a hole through them both. It jumped forward.
“Ooos a good little doggie then, is oo a good little doggie? Mummy wuvs her good wittle doggie”
While she spoke, she scratched all three heads behind their ears.
“Mummy’s got a treat for oo, but don’t eat it all at once now. Take your time.”
Evil Cat was sick; even in Hades old ladies talk imbecilic nonsense to their dogs. If he still had a body, he would have hacked up a hairball on her head.
Evil Cat was thrown into the air. When he landed, a huge paw slammed down on his tail, trapping him where he was. The worst fate he could imagine—and he was an evil cat with an evil imagination—wouldn’t have been worse than what happened next. All three heads started licking him, tasting him to death. He felt the horror for six thousand years.
Six days later—because you don’t need tachypsychia in Hades, time saunters, meanders, takes a break to smell the roses—and in Hades, the roses bite. The Cat lady was standing by the side of the road. The previous driver drove past and still didn’t see the crone standing on the shoulder. It was raining and he had the last load of debris on his truck from the flood. He would be glad to put this town behind him.
He traveled around the same curve and felt a chill, the kind that make people say “A goose just stepped on you grave.” He drove on. Water filled the roadway and his tires washed it into a wave. The last of the blood stain that once was Evil Cat washed away with it. In Hades, Cerberus had licked the cat to death and gone. The hound lifted its paw and one of the heads broke the last bit of Evil Cat’s tail into three pieces. Then all three heads chewed up what was left of it.
Up on earth.
The old woman nodded as if in agreement with herself and mumbled.
“Well that’s it then… that’s the end.”
About The Author
Paul Block lives in a small town about an hour and a half west of Chicago. In 2010, he was a transport driver (gasoline hauler), but lost his job due to chronic glaucoma. By the end of 2011, he admitted he could no longer drive a car. In 2012 he even had to give up his bicycle.
Fortunately, he can still read and see a computer screen, but life became a living nightmare of home imprisonment. As his world shrank, he decided to try writing. Now his world is as vast as time and space itself in books and story telling.