The Ladies of Horror
Picture-Prompt Writing Challenge!
It Always Came Back
by Rebecca R. Pierce
It didn’t matter how many times I killed that cat, it always came back. The first time was an accident. I hit it with my car. While my wife bawled in hysterics, I did something useful, like hose off the tires, bag up the cat’s body and dumped it in the trash. Even if I didn’t kill it with my car, the knotted off plastic bag would’ve done the trick.
Or so I thought.
It came back, stinking of trash, meowing at me in accusation. Though half its face had peeled off in a red, slimy mess, it tried to wipe its bloody head against my legs. I kicked it before running back inside the house.
But it wouldn’t leave me alone. Day and night, this black cat pestered me, trying to remind me of what I’d done, trying to make me feel bad about it.
So I poisoned it.
I mixed up some tuna with antifreeze, watched that ghoul-cat slurp the whole thing down while I cooed my apologies, telling it the fish was a peace offering. It went cold and stiff. I knew dead when I saw it. Smiling, I bagged it up a second time.
Still, it came back, meowing at me, nuzzling, smearing its blood all over me, marking me. I’ve smashed its head in with a shovel, shot it with a gun, dismembered it, set it on fire–all in vain. I couldn’t kill the damn thing, but every time I tried, it looked uglier and uglier.
One morning, I woke up and I wasn’t in my own bed. I was stretched out on a metal bed frame in what appeared to be an abandoned cathedral. Sunlight streamed in through the broken stained glass windows. There wasn’t a door that I could see. I banged on the walls and yelled for help. Seemed like I was sealed in and there was nobody there. I ran to the window, hoping I could just climb down. It was a long drop from where I stood. The wind blew me back in if I leaned over too far.
That black cat appeared in the window. I knew he was somehow responsible.
In time, my hunger grew and there was nothing to eat here. And I couldn’t get out. Ripping apart the metal springs, my hands were made bloody and slippery but I managed to snag that cat and choke him on that wire. Ripping him apart was easy. He tasted as disgusting as he looked.
I wasted away and lost track of time. This became my life. Had it been months or years since I hit that cat with my car? I didn’t know. I cut and ate myself just for something different to do. I tasted no better than the cat. Lightheaded, I saw just how much blood there was on the cathedral floor.
I heard a meow.
No matter how many times I killed that cat, it always came back.
Fiction © Copyright Rebecca R. Pierce
Image courtesy of Pixabay.com
More from Rebecca R. Pierce:
When Laurel Rose inherits her great-grandmother’s house, she discovers a miniature town in the attic. The details enchant her and she sets about to restore it. Soon she’s having the strangest dreams…