The Ladies of Horror
Picture-Prompt Writing Challenge!
by Elaine Pascale
The ashes were barely enough to fill a snack-size zip-lock bag. I keep what remains of Louise in a vase on a shelf, surrounded by her trophies. While the trophies are a macabre reminder, they are also a reminder of Louise.
For years, I was clueless as to the origin of the items I would find on my front stoop in the mornings. There would be key fobs, socks, water bottles, and car deodorizers. The one constant was a satisfied cat sitting proudly beside her finds.
One night, I followed Louse and watched as she took post in a tree: a bullet-free sniper. From her ledge she “hunted,” watching car after car pass on the windy road beneath. Who could say what made her suddenly leap into the road at such a perfect angle that the driver had no option but to swerve. The dynamics of physics were on the feline’s side as the swerve would finalize into the boulder-lined shoulder.
That night, obviously, I tried to help, but it was beyond my efforts. I watched as the cat slithered her way through the wreckage, stepping over mangled bodies to pick her prize. I remembered reading of many accidents on that road and of the local government working to find both cause and a solution. The sirens that had often woken me from sleep were not part of my dreams at all.
One night, her calculations must have been off as Louise did not return home and my front stoop was bare. A kind stranger read the tag on the collar still attached to the bloody body and came to tell me where she could be retrieved. I decided on ashes as she had never been a stationary creature so burial felt cruel and I decided the ashes should remain amongst her collection.
Even after the ashes were instated, the trophies continued. In the morning I would find knickknacks on my stoop and my heart would be at peace.
Rumor has started about a ghost cat that can be seen on the road at night; the accidents continue.
While the accidents are a macabre reminder, they are also a reminder of Louise.
Fiction © Copyright Elaine Pascale
Image courtesy of Pixabay.com
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