by Jeffrey Murrell

Chapter 6
The Cat

Hisssp! Hisssp! RAOW!
Bark! Bark! Bark!
Raow! Hisssp! RAOW!
Arooo! Arooo! Arooo!
The dog's whining wrested him awake!
Rain was pouring heavily again,
dimming the mid-day sun.
Arooo! Arooo! he heard the dog cry
from somewhere beneath the porch,
knocking around under there in a fight
with some other creature unknown.
He bent over, still tied to the chair,
to see what he could out the door
not far from where he sat all the night before.
The heavy rain turned everything grey
except the wood paneling on the porch.
Then he heard a loud thump outside the door!
"Hey! Hey, you bitch! Let me up, you ho!"
No response--again a thump right outside the door.
"Let me up! Let me go! I won't mess wit'choo no mo'!"
Another bump just right out on the porch,
then a shadow loitering around.
"Is dat you, you bitch? Yo, bitch! Where y'at?"
But still no answer at all.
It looked like the old woman had left,
and again, he was the only soul in the house,
him and all those dolls and the dog,
and whatever was lurking out on the porch.
The dog whined nervously down beneath;
he focused his attention on the ropes 'round his seat,
twisting and tugging, his fingers exploring
behind him over valleys and ridges
of little knot-lumps and bunches
of tangled, twisted cords all running
from the back of the chair to his hands,
intertwined tightly around his wrists,
tighter than even he could have stretched
by such a skinny, little old biddy!
His fingers felt their way around the rope highway
and he finally began to understand
how they were wound this way and that,
snaring his arms behind him.
In rushed the porch shadow
a rolling blob of darkness across the floor,
running in through the front door
to the back of the shack,
so sudden and quick
he couldn't clearly see its form!
And it remained back there a while,
making strange noises, sickening and vile
as it did back there what it did.
"Yo, bitch! Dere's somethin' WILD in yo' crib!"
he shouted, sweat beading down his brow,
knowing he was alone--and afraid
of whatever had left the wet tracks on the floor.
His thoughts wandered out the front door with his gaze,
out to the falling sheets of wet grey
which had lightened up to an opaque haze
through which he could see the watery maze
that had led him to that chilling place,
that boy, now without his gun.
"Come on, lady! I know you can hear me!
Let me go, an' I won't say nothin'!"
But no answer, he knew, would come.
He was just hoping she'd be back there,
maybe sticking pins in those dolls or whatever,
just torturing him, perhaps for kicks.
The bump on his head was really starting to hurt;
again, his fingers felt around the knots behind him,
as he hoped to be able to undo them.
came a low growl down beside him!
He swung his head around in that direction
only to have the shadow escape him
and dash around the table!
Mrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr! came again the demonic sound
that suddenly jumped up before him!
It perched on the table, a furry black gargoyle
staring coldly through crusty green eyes,
a swamp cat possessed, one of Lucifer's pets,
with switching tail and hump back,
and long claws at full extent,
an angrily aroused cat-lord of flies!
It seethed up in his face,
poising itself as if to take chase
after something agile and threatening,
not all tied down and shivering!
Mrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr! the cat warned again!
Frozen with fright, he dared not move
and set the thing off in a fit.
Frozen with fright--sweat fell in his eyes,
and the salt nearly blinded him!
Hisssp! Hisssp! RAOWWWW!
The monster leaped in his face,
a clawing, slashing whirlwind of pain,
ripping at his shirt and chest,
slashing down his legs!
RAOW! Hisssp! Hisssp!
It bore down its sharp claws
and sunk its fangs into his pants,
shredding the cloth like a feeding shark,
tearing away at some of his flesh,
its face dripping with blood and froth
as if it were rabid and wild, protectively defensive,
pawing him one last time before jumping away,
leaving his shins and calves numb with pain.
He moaned from the frightful shock;
his eyes welled up with tears from it all,
and he saw visions flash through his mind
of childhood scenes from when living was nice,
then later years when it turned colder than ice,
and it all came together in the end,
until he found himself here in this wretched place
where he's made to suffer as much as he has caused pain,
left to wonder what it must all be for.