Author Topic: CatsCast 4: The Cat (patron-only release)  (Read 450 times)

laurasbadideas

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on: July 04, 2022, 11:26:00 AM
CatsCast 4: The Cat

Author: Nicole Walsh
Narrator: Matt Dovey
Host: Laura Pearlman
Audio Producer: Dave Robison

The Cat originally appeared in Teleport Magazine in May, 2021.

Content note: although it’s not a major theme, there is some domestic abuse in this story.

Quote
Tomas Shine spent three and a half minutes in the stairwell hyperventilating. He heard Mrs Helen Acres, the widow from Unit Two, clatter and batter her way out her door, shopping bags in hand. She spotted the cat outside the stairway and reversed soundlessly into her unit.

Tomas sucked in a ragged breath, filling his lungs to the brim, and looked up. The cat waited on the far side of the glass door. Its tail lashed back and forth. Tomas used the rail to heave himself upright, then crept down the stairs. He opened the door. The cat stood, butt shooting into the air, tail upright like a comma. It mewed.

Tomas stepped aside.

The cat led the way up the stairs. Tomas walked slowly, careful not to step on it. His hand was shaking so badly he couldn’t get the key into the lock. His work bag slid awkwardly down his arm. Sweat pooled at his armpits, licking wet trails past his ribs.

The cat pressed into his leg. A small, frightened noise slipped from his throat.

“I’m sorry,” he gasped. “I’m trying.”

Nervous sweat coated his fingertips. The keys slipped free. They landed on the tiled floor with a loud clang, startling the cat. Tomas pressed into the wall, hand raised defensively.

“Sorry!”

The cat stared, tail low and flicking. Tomas crouched slowly, extending a shaking hand for the keys. For a sickening moment he was almost eye to eye with the creature. Tomas rose. He slowly and deliberately inserted the correct key into the lock and opened his door.

A small white shape flittered past his brown work shoes.

It was done.

Tomas Shine had a cat.

Premium Content patrons can listen to (or read) the story on Patreon.