While preparing for a hot date, the visiting cat warns him that his date is going to kill him.
“She’s going to kill you tonight.”
My heart sank – not because the cat spoke in a deep, ominous tone to me as I had gotten used to that, but because of what I already had planned for tonight. Before I get any further, I should back up a little bit. You see, when I signed the lease for my duplex at the beginning of the month, my landlord asked me to take care of her cat, Phineus, any time he visited. Since I felt like I was renting the place for a steal, I agreed.
From time to time, the cat would pop in and I made sure to have bowls of food and water for him. I had no clue how he would get inside, but I became accustomed to randomly seeing or hearing him.
After the first week, Phineus started to warn me of danger. The first time this happened, I dropped my coffee mug. The cat told me to take another route to work. I did and later found out about a deadly multi-car pileup. I asked my landlord about her talking cat, but she laughed me off.
“Is she going to kill me like accidentally or on purpose?” I asked the cat as a I put a holiday album on my recorder player.
Phineus licked his paw. No surprise, the can’t didn’t respond. The cat never responded to any of my questions. He would occasionally repeat himself, but he only spoke to give warnings.
The doorbell rang.
“Fuck it, I’m going to roll the dice.”
As I walked to the door, the cat ran and hid behind the Christmas tree. I decorated my duplex just for her. I even went out and bought the biggest Christmas tree that would fit and that I could afford, even though I lived alone. The cat seemed to enjoy it and the smell of the tree was nice, but I only got it for her.
I opened the door. Her long, curly brown hair danced on her bare shoulders. She wore a sparkling black dress and not much else. She was more gorgeous than her photos. If her stunning looks could kill, I would be dead. I didn’t see any weapons on her, so maybe I can prevent her from accidentally killing me?
“I’m going to take your silence as a complement,” she said with a smile. “May I come in?”
Mentally, I slapped myself and stood aside. “Yes, come inside, Iris. You must be freezing.”
Iris shrugged. “The cold never really bothered me.”
As she stepped a foot inside, the Christmas tree came tumbling down at us. I grabbed Iris, spun her around, leaving us with only a slight brushing from the crashing tree. The cat stood where the tree did.
I lifted the tree back up as I scolded the cat. “Phineus, what is your deal? I’m so sorry.”
“It’s cool. Phineus is an interesting name for cat,” Iris said as she entertained herself by browsing though my vinyl collection.
“He’s technically my landlord’s cat. He just like to hang out here.”
“Ah. Well, did you know in Greek mythological, Phineus was a king and a seer?”
“No, I didn’t,” I answered.
I made a note to ask my landlord about the cat again. Once I got the tree situated, I walked over to the kitchen. I liked the open modern concept of the duplex as it was great to keep connected with guests while I was in the kitchen.
“So, what movie did you want to watch?” I asked as I poured us some wine.
“I thought we could browse together,” she said as she took a seat on my couch.
I handed her her glass. She took a sip and sat the glass aside. The moment I took a seat, she saddled up on me, kissing my neck. I looked to the side to find a safe spot to place my glass when I caught a glance of the cat looking down at me from a tiny door in the ceiling that I’d never seen. Behind Phineus, it looked like he was in a city colored with a purple sunset. Before I could say anything, the cat jumped down from the hole, landing on my head, causing me to spill my drink all over my shirt.
Iris pulled herself off me. Thankfully, the drink only landed on me. I apologized and excused myself to my bedroom. Phineus raced ahead, beating me inside. I stripped off my shirt as I walked over to my dresser. The cat jumped on the dresser and sat next to a small black box with a red button it that was placed in front of the dresser mirror. I tossed the shirt in the clothes basket and picked up the device, looking it over.
“You know, I don’t mind if you leave your shirt off,” Iris said from the doorway.
I looked up at the dresser mirror. The mirror was half the size of the wide dresser, which meant it was large enough for me to see Iris standing in the doorway, however, Iris wasn’t reflected. I turned around to check and Iris was indeed leaning against the doorway, waiting for me. I looked back at the mirror and she wasn’t there. I think Iris caught the look of confusion as when I turned around, a set of fangs protruded from her mouth.
“Push the button,” Phineus ordered.
As Iris leapt at me, I pressed the red button. The room filled with a bight, warm light that made me feel like I was on a beach during a sunny day. Iris screamed. I closed my eyes and held onto the button until she was silent. I released my grip and the warmth and light faded away. With hesitation, I walked over to where Iris stood. There was only a pile of ash and clothes.
I sat the device on the dresser and collapsed onto my bed. The cat jumped over and walked to my face. He bopped me on the nose with his front paw before giving me a warning I had heard before.
“Don’t think with your dick.”
This week’s short story was inspired by the writing prompt: “You’ve just signed a new rental lease, but the landlord makes you agree to care for the cat that lives there. You agree, but within one week that cat starts talking and giving you ominous warnings.”
Story Artwork by Janine De Guzman at Design Pickle. Get a discount off your first month of Design Pickle via this affiliate link, which full disclosure, I earn a small commission as a discount for me as well.