Fictober, Prompt 26 – “You keep me warm.”
Warnings: creepiness, monsters, ambiguous ending. Horror.
(Credit for this idea goes to my friend KB, who has three lovely kitties.)
I wiggled carefully to avoid disturbing the cats as I adjusted my blanket and reached for my glass, book braced open with one hand. After a drink, I set it carefully down and chanced giving them each some head rubs, first Cinnamon’s tortoiseshell head, then Sky’s black one.
“Such good kitties,” I cooed at them, grinning as they both accepted the petting agreeably, shifting closer against my legs. “You keep me warm, you like getting scritches, and of course you are both a-do-ra-ble.”
Cinnamon and Sky had been restless today, and not in the way of their usual high-energy play. I frowned slightly remembering it. They had been alert for hours, almost seeming like they were on patrol, walking the perimeters of rooms, stopping regularly at windows and doors, watching. Staring at the ceiling, staring at corners. It got to the point where I had checked things over a couple of hours ago myself, almost convinced that something was wrong. If there was, I hadn’t found it. I had even checked the garage and outside the house too, but everything seemed normal to me.
But they had both settled down a little while ago, finally coming to sit with me as I read on the couch. The house wasn’t particularly old, but there had been a few mice, especially with the weather starting to turn colder outside. Maybe there had just been a mouse or two in the walls, and they’d been trying to track it down.
Returning to my book, I read for awhile, utterly content.
Sky’s head came up first, ears alert. Cinnamon followed. They both looked around, as if searching for something they had heard.
I held still and listened. The clock ticking in the kitchen, faint sounds of wind and passing traffic from outside. Distant hum of the furnace downstairs.
Nothing out of place.
Except that something was, because both cats had risen and jumped down from the couch. They paused there, crouching on the floor, staring across the room at an empty corner.
There was no play in their movements, only hunting intent.
The corner was empty.Continue reading