find-a-story magic box

Monday, January 6, 2014

"And the Cat Stared Back..."

Emily stared at the cat, and the cat stared back.

“Go on,” she hissed. “Scram. Scat.”
The cat gave her a slow blink and refused to look away.
Emily curled up in her favorite armchair and scowled. This was her spot and she was not budging. Not for a cat, not for anything. She pulled her eyes away from the staring feline and turned her frown on her boyfriend.

“Would you look at this? Just look. He won’t. Stop. Staring.”
Evan sighed and changed the channel on the television.
Emily stared at the cat, and the cat stared back.

“I’m not going anywhere,” she growled. “This is my spot. I’m not giving it up. I belong here! I…” her gaze lost focus for a moment, lost in the cat’s enigmatic gaze. “…I belong…”

Evan glanced over at the chair where Emily sat, curled now in a defensive position, hands gripping the armrests, knuckles white. For a moment his face twisted, his eyes threatening storms that never broke, but he tore his gaze away, blankness settling over his expression like a caul.

The cat stared, eyes golden and green.

“I won’t go,” Emily hissed. “You can’t make me.”

The cat stood, head tilting, tail hooked.


The cat stepped on white-socked feet, padding silently across the couch where Evan sat, towards Emily’s favorite armchair in the corner.

“I won’t.”

Emily cowered, pushing back into the cushioned chair back as far as she could go as the cat moved with delicate steps across the coffee table. The feline perched on the corner of the gloss wood, tail curled around furred toes, a striped gargoyle with luminous eyes. The cat blinked slowly.


It leapt.

Emily screamed.

The cat landed on the empty chair cushion, circling its patterned fabric once before leaping back onto the couch. A wedge-shaped head butted against Evan’s arm. Red-rimmed eyes tore away from the television to look down at the stripped tabby, purring and rubbing against his arm. Evan reached down to pet the cat, rubbing behind triangle ears and across the purr-vibrated neck. The cat ducked beneath his hand to stare at what had always been Emily’s favorite chair.

“I know, buddy,” Evan whispered, his voice choked. “I miss her too. God, I miss her more than…” he stopped, clouds threatening in his eyes once more. The cat stared at the chair. Evan rubbed the feline’s head and sighed. “It’s alright though,” he whispered, glancing at the empty chair in the corner. “Sometimes I feel like she’s still here with us…”

The cat stared at Emily, and waited for Emily to stare back.

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