The booted foot swung wildly, followed again by another attempt; and then further ill-aimed attempts. The cat dodged them easily, nimbly leaping between the drunkards that had made their way onto the Vein after a night out at the taverns. She had become used to their eagerness to inflict suffering upon her. It was to be expected of the folk of Oreton.
The air was damp from the earlier rain. Coupled with an oncoming wind it would be easy to hunt tonight. She lowered her nose to the pebbled road and sniffed. It was as she thought; the rats were busy.
Moving swiftly in the direction of her prey, she suddenly caught the scent of something else on the breeze. She froze and looked across the road where she spotted a woman sitting in watchful silence and staring directly at her. For a few moments they watched each other before the woman began to reach into her pocket. The cat was poised to run when she caught the fresh scent of meat; the type of cured meat that the humans ate. The woman was holding it out to her and before she knew what she was doing, the cat was trotting across the road.
Sated and sleepy, the cat dozed in the lap of the strange woman. She looked up at her with dreamy eyes as her black fur was stroked and pulled and stroked. The woman’s eyes were filled with an excitement that the cat felt was misplaced; there was nothing to do but doze in her cosy, warm lap and sleep forever. When the razor sharp knife was drawn across her throat she felt nothing.
Mortana pulled the head of the cat back, opening up a mouth-like gash in its throat and let it bleed into the bowl she had placed to one side. She was pleased with this one; the cat had been so relaxed that the arterial spray had been minimal.As it bled to death, Mortana’s eyes stayed transfixed onto the cat’s own. So bright they were; so what was it that took the light out of them? She watched, waiting for the moment when they would flicker out; when they became dead. When was the moment that death occurred? When exactly?
Mortana tensed. It was happening. The eyes were darkening; death had taken them. Mortana reeled in the excitement of having seen this event and began to fondle the face of the now pathetic feline corpse with a frightening eagerness. It was not long before the eyes themselves had been removed.
The bloodstained pages of her notebook shone with newly laid ink that told the story of tonight’s experiment. Using the skin of some long dead creature for blotting paper, Mortana closed her Libericum Mort and reapplied her seal to the clasp with her family signet ring. The blood-red device of house Contagio glistened in the wax until it dried.
© Copyright 2017 Marcus Callanan. All rights reserved.
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