Friday, March 28, 2008


Mona asks us to surprise her. I'm game.

He had met her at the park overlooking the river, and she had a bottle with her--he didn’t ask why--and while they passed the bottle back and forth the conversation fell to stories with surprise endings, scary, not-quite-believable urban myths from their childhoods. She told the one about the prank where a glove was filled with water and tied to the string that turned on the light in an unpopular girl's dorm room, and how when the unpopular girl reached to turn on the light she felt the hand and she went insane and her hair turned completely white. They laughed at how the wording of the last line was always exactly the same, and then he told the story about a boy and a girl on a date, and how he ran out of gas and went to get some more, and told her not to leave the car, and how she heard a strange scraping sound from the roof of the car while the boy was gone. He never got to the ending of the story because she kissed him, a playful kiss that quickly turned into something more serious.

“I’ve got a surprise for you,” she said, her fingers curling around his neck like jungle vines.

And he didn’t know or much care what the surprise would be, sex toys or good drugs or an open-minded roommate, he just tumbled into the taxi with her and finished off the bottle as they tangled and moaned in the back seat. The cab left them off at her brownstone and she opened the door and he saw all the glowing eyes studying him from the darkness.

“Cats,” she said. “I have fourteen.”

“Your surprise is that you have fourteen cats?” he asked.

“I didn’t say it was a good surprise,” she said, laughing, and he started to ask her where they had all come from, but the question was forgotten as they fell on the bed and the cats were mostly forgotten as well, except for the occasional whiff of urine, the hungry meow from the across the room in counterpoint to their drunken fumbling. She arched her back, scratched his neck, purred in his ear til the moon went down. Like making love in a fever dream. Only after the glow had faded did reality intrude and he begin to feel uncomfortable, all the eyes watching him, the flicking of tails against his skin, and the smell, oh Jesus, the smell, it seemed to have gotten much worse during the night. He considered getting dressed and sneaking out, but the bed was so comfortable, and she was so warm, next to him.

He fell asleep finally, dreaming of tall grass and struggling, wounded birds.

When he awoke he felt more comfortable with his surroundings. He reached out to her, and her eyelids fluttered as she gave him a sleepy kiss before rolling out of bed and into the kitchen. He stretched languidly, scratching absently behind his collar, then followed her in, padding expectantly toward her as she turned to offer him a saucer of milk.

“Good kitty,” she said, reaching down to pet him.


Nancy Dancehall said...

Me'ouch! :-) Whew. I'm glad she didn't turn him into a squirrel.

I love all the glowing eyes staring out the door when he gets there.

Maggie said...

rowr I love it.

Mother of Invention said...

Only to be followed by a hearty bowl of Purina cat Chow! Maybe she even fed them to him one by one like a Cleopatra with grapes!

Well, at least she didn't show him the litter box!

Sarah Sometimes said...

shivery and skillful!

Anonymous said...

At the risk of stating the obvious - that guy was a pussy. :)

Irrelephant said...

Excellent twist! You hid the knife well until it was time to stab!

Jo said...

That was a stunner! Very sensual, then very not. Now I'm all itchy & feel a need to take a shower :P

Clowncar said...

D'Ancy, I think entering an apartment with a bunch of pet squirrels running around might have thrown up a small warning flag.

Thanks. Mag. Weirdly, a lot of that story is actually true (except for the part where I get turned into a cat).

MOI, with 14 cats, it was one stinky litter box.

Thanks for wandering over, Sarah. Always enjoy reading about your NYC adventures.

Yuk, yuk, O. He would have said something about the situation, but the cat got his tongue.

Irr, I'm not so sure how well I hid that knife (I thought it was pretty obvious by, oh, the second sentence or so), but thanks for saying so.

Always happy to make you feel itchy, Jo.