'Cat’s Eyes' by Karl Russell


The dead man came and lay with mummy again last night. Stanley just moved over to let him in, and mummy would have slept right through it like last time, so I had to do something. I arched and hissed like crazy, but when mummy woke, all she did was shoo me away. I spent the night on the landing, listening to him wheezing and groaning, doing the thing again.



Mummy was crying in the kitchen this morning, but she doesn’t know why. She just feels tired, like she isn’t sleeping properly. I wish I could talk, but Stanley says we can’t do anything, so why worry? He only cares that his bowl is filled. I tried to cheer mummy up by rubbing against her legs, but she tripped over me and yelled at me. She’s never done that before.



The dead man came back later on, when mummy was in the garden. She just thought it was the wind, blowing her skirt up. I could see his friends, standing by the fence, watching; they’re more here than before, but still not enough to touch her themselves. I tried to claw them but it goes straight through. I pointed them out instead, staring at them and crying, but mummy just called me a stupid moggie and walked right through them. Quick as a mouse, the dead man flew down and bit her ankle. I saw his dirty teeth digging in as she fell, but when she sat up, all she saw was a few red scratches, and me at her feet. The dead man and his friends were laughing at me, and I know he did it just to get me into trouble.



Now I’m locked outside and mummy’s on her own with the dead man and his friends. Stanley is blaming me for missing his supper, but he can go and howl. He thinks that we can just get another mummy. I don’t want another.



I tried the windows and both swingly doors, but mummy has locked them. Someone has anyway. I can hear them laughing and screeching, getting ready for doing the thing. Sitting on the windowsill I can see them too. The dead man is sitting on mummy’s lap, scraping holes in her tights. Mummy doesn’t see it but she’s scratching where he touches, tearing her own holes, right through to the red underneath.



I want to go in yowling and slashing like a tiger, to save mummy and show her what is happening, every day and night, before they are all here and ready to do the thing. She’s so tired, I don’t think she could take it if they all did it.



But then Stanley comes by, smelling of something lovely and fishy, and he says that the woman in the grey house has put out tuna for us.



Maybe a new mummy isn’t so bad an idea.



I follow him down the road, and leave the woman in the blue house with her friends.

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