The Black Cat

Photo by Hannah Troupe on Unsplash

What the-?

I step back quickly as a black cat streaks across my path. Instantly, it’s gone, in the way that cats have. Suddenly and permanently. 

I continue on, my heart rate returning to normal, hoping no one saw my silly girl freak out. 

I’m 6”2, and almost 300 pounds. It would not do to show fear. I’ve got an image to maintain. If it wasn’t for me, Boss would have no one enforcing his rules. And that would just about suck for him now, wouldn’t it?

I make it to what he likes to refer to as his ‘lair’, thinking about my next paycheck. I need to rob a small store, and Boss said he’d give me fifty percent. While that seemed like it was nice, I was taking all the risk, and my reward would only come from what I did. I wasn’t so excited, but who could argue with Boss? Dead people, that’s who. 

“Ah, Bobby!,” a voice calls out from the gloom, and without seeing him I know who it is. There is only one person I allow to call me Bobby. I walk with my head held high and stand before him, ready to hear the details of the next heist. 

“Glad to have you back, I hope patrol went alright?”

“It was fine, only had to beat up Mr. Mcdawson on fifth.”

“Causing trouble again?”

“Nothing I can’t handle.”

“Good, good…” His voice peters out as if in thought, and I think about nervously fidgeting. I don’t do it obviously. I don’t have a death wish. Plus, didn’t you hear about my image?

The room is never empty, and Boss is never alone. He surrounds himself with the strongest and meanest of us all. Usually that’s me, but apparently he wants me for other things today. While my eyes wander behind my dark shaded glasses – the only part of me that can move – I see a glowing pair of eyes in the distance. They don’t look like human eyes. They remind me of a cat’s. I think about the black cat that gave me a scare before and chide myself. A grown man like me shouldn’t be seeing cats everywhere. They should be beneath me. 

I get back to the subject at hand, where I’m told what I need to do, and when I need to do it. 

And then I leave. Boss has no patience for people hanging around whom he doesn’t require. 

The sky darkened to black as I stood inside the windowless room and I use the glare of the streetlamps to make my way back to the apartment. 

Meow. 

I spin around, hearing the shriek of a cat in heat. But there’s no cat there, and I can’t tell where the noise is coming from. I continue walking. 

Meow!

What the hell? Where is this cat? Is it following me? I hurry on, stupidly frightened and just grateful the curfew is being enforced and nobody is out and about. 

I reach my block when I see a large shadow looming up behind a garbage bin. 

MEOW!

I jump back in fright, only to have a black cat stroll out from behind the bin, sit down and start licking its paw. 

I aim a kick at it, wondering if it’s the same cat I saw earlier. My kick misses. I’m surprised, but I shrug and continue on. It’s just a cat, right? 

Up my stairs, opening the door to my apartment, peeling off my clothes and falling into bed. All happening in quick succession and I’m asleep not a moment later. 

Only to be awoken what feels like moments later with a heaviness on my chest that is making it hard to breath. 

I open my eyes to see those two non-human eyes staring at me. 

“AHHHHH!” I try to knock it off but it isn’t having it. 

Meow! Meow, meow MEOW!

“What do you WANT, you stupid CAT?” Its nails dig into my skin, embedding itself in my chest. It’s not going to budge. 

I start to get frightened. And for good reason. 

Billy walked into the apartment at half past three. It had been a long day and he just wanted to go to sleep. But was Big Bob home? He didn’t want to mess with him. 

“Big Bob?,” he called out and received no response. Shrugging, he went and took a quick shower, making his way to his room afterwards with just a towel wrapped around him. He peeked into Big Bob’s room, just to make sure he really was alone. 

There was a black cat sitting on his bed, licking its paw.

“Shoo!,” he called out, but the cat didn’t move. 

And then he saw the blood. 

The towel didn’t stay wrapped around him for long as he ran yelling into the night.