A Matter Of Consequence (2)

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Horror  |  House: Booksie Classic

This is a second use of the title that I thought of while writing the first. It is one of those that really can be used in so many different ways.
Not suitable for younger readers.

Cover image: pixabay.com.

A Matter Of Consequence (2)

The woman heard it, a kind of wailing hiss. Her cat! She knew the sound was coming from her cat and although she did not understand what the noise meant, she knew that it was urgent that she returned to her home.

Dropping the basket that held the herbs and wild flowers that she had already gathered, the woman grabbed the material of her skirt in one hand and ran. Even with it lifted, the material nearly made her trip several times, and even though she knew every inch of the path she found herself stumbling.

When her house came in to view, she froze. A giant of a man stood in the tiny yard. His clothes were ragged, and his hair and beard had been left to tangle. What shocked her into her motionless state was what he held in his hand.

Sabine, her cat, dangled there, frantically trying to bite or to scratch, but this man clearly knew how to deal with animals. His thick fingers dug deep into the dark grey fur on the scruff of the cat’s neck and she had no way of making contact with the exposed skin of his hand. Still she fought, striking out with all four paws, lashing her tail from side-to-side.

The man tore his eyes from the struggling cat and met the woman’s gaze. His look of contempt, of outright hatred was impossible for her to misinterpret. Who was he?

Hoping to distract him from the cat, the woman held his stare, trying to work out who he was, what his business with her might be. The drew a blank. There was no way that she would have forgotten a man as menacing and mad-looking as this one. A stranger then. But what was he doing at her modest home, with her precious companion at the mercy of his hand.

“Put down my cat,” she ordered. There was no sign of the panic that she was feeling in her voice.

The man looked from her to the cat and back again. He smiled, grinned and finally let loose with a maniacal laugh.

“I don’t know who you are or what you want from me, but I do know you have no right to treat my cat in this way.” Her voice was louder this time.

Still the man did not speak, but at least he had stopped laughing.

“You want money? I don’t have much but you can take it. Just put my cat down and I will fetch it for you.”

A slight shake of the head, and then the man stared at her unblinkingly, a sadistic smile beginning to form at his lips. Then with a quick flick of his wrist there was a snapping sound. The cat dangled lifeless in his hands.

“No...” she cried. “Why?”

He tossed the cat to land at her feet, and the woman knelt on the ground, running her hands across the fur, feeling for any sign of a pulse. Tears began to form in her eyes as she began to whisper. The man was approaching he; she did not look up but she could feel him, smell him. “You’ll pay for this,” she said.

At last the man spoke. “And who’s going to make me?” His voice was as rough as his appearance. “You? I don’t think so.”

As he finished talking he reached out to grab at her hair. When his fingers just brushed it, the man found himself jerked backwards until he hit the ground with the force of a felled tree. Something was pinning him down, but his opponent was an invisible one and he had no idea how to go about fighting it.

“Let me up, witch,” he spat but she paid no heed of his demand but remained sitting cradling her cat.

“Did no one ever teach you that actions have consequences?” she asked, no sign of intimidation in her voice.

“When I’ve finished with you I’m going to kill you too,” he said. “Nice and slowly. And I’m going to enjoy every minute.”

The woman looked up for a moment and laughed. “Well I’ve finished with you right now,” she said, and as she spoke there was a deep rumbling sound from deep down in the ground.

“Let me up, woman. I swear I’m going to rip your head from your shoulders.”

“Ah, but that would be a swift end for me, whereas the one you are about to suffer will be slow and excruciatingly painful.”

The ground where the man lay began to crumble and split. He was held motionless, could not even struggle as the chasm opened to swallow him up. For a few seconds she could hear his shouts, his screams, but then the land reformed and shut out the sound.

The woman stroked the cat, saying softly, “A life for a life. A fair price, I believe.”

She knew the moment when that stranger had lost his fight for survival, for Sabine stretched, opened her eyes and then proceeded to purr.


Submitted: May 22, 2020

© Copyright 2023 hullabaloo22. All rights reserved.

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Comments

Mike S.

Never mess with a pet owner scorned; excellent, Hull!

Fri, May 22nd, 2020 7:02pm

Author
Reply

Thanks, Mike!

Sun, May 24th, 2020 12:17pm

LE. Berry

Don't mess with the powerful love of a witch for her familiar...nice piece hullabaloo22.

Fri, May 22nd, 2020 9:55pm

Author
Reply

Absolutely! Thanks, LE.

Sun, May 24th, 2020 12:21pm

Vance Currie

Clever, Hully. A story of revenge, which I like, and with an ending that I didn't expect. I wondered why the man was so hostile in the first place but I see this kind of story as part of a larger untold story. In my own mind, I have already imagined a background to the story.

Fri, May 22nd, 2020 9:55pm

Author
Reply

Thanks, Joe. Sometimes I think it's best to let the reader invent the backstory. I might go back to this one and make it significantly longer sometime.

Sun, May 24th, 2020 12:23pm

Sue Harris

Brilliant story, was not expecting such a satisfying ending. Nicely done, Hully.

Sat, May 23rd, 2020 10:45am

Author
Reply

This one was very close to my own heart, Sue. I think I'll give it a rewrite sometime and expand on it.

Sun, May 24th, 2020 12:24pm

moa rider

Well that showed him didn't it Mama Hullabaloo? These monsters deserve being taught a lesson. Usianguke

Sat, May 23rd, 2020 10:00pm

Author
Reply

There's a lot of monstrous people making their way into my stories lately. Maybe reflecting my deepening views.
Thanks so much for reading, Moa.

Sun, May 24th, 2020 12:32pm

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