Jennifer was hopeful that the cat would come back. Today was not a good day to clean out the cupboard under the stairs. However, it was time to discover what the strange noises were that sounded as you walked past the door. Bob from next door blamed the pipes or some other such nonsense, but Jennifer knew there was more to it. Inky, our mouse-stalking cat, had disappeared, but Jennifer knew it was not him.
It all began about two days ago when Jennifer, and her boyfriend, moved into the house. The locked door to the cupboard happened because the previous house owners did not have a key apparently. They just got around to having the locksmith out, seeing if the lock springs open without damaging the surrounding oak paneling. When the six-foot locksmith arrived with his bag of instruments, Peter, who was Jennifer’s boyfriend of two years, was knowledgeable in very little. However, he still knew it was going to be four-hour operation. He left for work, leaving it all in Jennifer’s capable hands. An hour later, despite the best efforts of the locksmith, the lock did not appear to look any better. The lock had not budged. After much deliberation, a few cell calls and some sharp intakes of breath, in the end the only option was to bring in heavier instruments. The hammer and chisel were not delicate, and carved unnecessary marks on the door until, with a scouring noise, the lock burst open. The locksmith apologized for the damage, and returned to his van to consider the bill.
Jennifer lifted the box, and looked to open the lid to find a small creature. It was about the size of a large beetle, but it had eight or ten legs, a head with four beady eyes and large shiny wing cases. The wing cases glowed and the creature garbled a few notes, as it appeared afraid to come out of the box. Jennifer was startled, but her curiosity got the better of her as she watched the creature grow in the light. In a few seconds, the creature was about as big as Inky, who would have tried to see whether the creature was any fun to play with. Now larger, the creature was changing. It somehow was grabbing energy from the box. A silvery thread spun out from the creature as it formed into a black cat. For a moment, it looked like Inky had come back. Jennifer, now staring at Inky, noticed that he looked dazed or frozen. Whichever state it was, it ended with a bright flash. Inky was not where he had been standing, instead the creature was now a reflection of him now standing alert in the hall. Jennifer looked in bewilderment. The creature was now Inky, right down to his blue collar and nametag in the shape of a fish.
Unsure whether her legs could let her run, or if her mouth would let her scream, Jennifer sat motionless and quiet. The creature now garbling more sauntered towards her, gasped and released two fur balls. At first, the fur balls did not do anything, neither did Inky. Then suddenly, Inky jumped at Jennifer. Jennifer, now more alert, had tried to edge herself back from the creature. However, the cat knocked Jennifer over onto her back. Jennifer grappled with the creature but could not shake it off. Her frantic flapping of her arms and attack on the cat did not go unnoticed. The locksmith stepped over the threshold, and saw the cat clawing at Jennifer and seeing her trying to get the cat off her. Then, the cat’s eyes met Jennifer’s eye line. Calm came over Jennifer, and the cat had its prey and was not prepared to let it go as the locksmith lunged forward towards it as if the creature was some rabid feral beast. The silver light bled from the creature’s eyes and sunk deep into Jennifer. The light blinded the locksmith, who fell back and hit his head on the corner of the door jam, and a red trickle of blood by his ear giving away the point of impact.
Jennifer roused and got up off the ground, noticing the other fur ball that lay on the wooden floor was pulsating. Jennifer made some noises, not quite words and not quite anything understandable. The noises made the fur ball move. It rolled along the floor, past the dirty boot of the locksmith, and rummaged up his pants to his underwear. The bump moved under his belt and up over his chest, under his fawn-colored neatly ironed shirt. Popping out through the collar, the fur ball popped onto the locksmith’s face and nuzzled inside his mouth, parting his lips and disappearing in a few moments.
In a few seconds, the locksmith’s body began to glow. The blood in his hands and arms drained making him look pale as a ghost. The silvery light burst out from his mouth and eyes like a beacon, as Jennifer looked on with a wry smile spreading across her lips. The locksmith was no more. His clothes lay spread across the floor as a black cat stretched out from under the shirt and meowed knowingly towards Jennifer. Jennifer smiled. The cat came back.