“Is anybody there?” Eddie called into the dark alley.
The streets were empty, and it seemed that Eddie had falsely assumed that he was alone tonight. He was afraid; afraid like a child would be afraid of the dark, afraid of what could be lurking in the darkness just three feet ahead of him. Only unlike a child’s over-active imagination, there really was something lurking in the dark alley.
“Is anybody there?” Eddie repeated, a slight tremble in his voice this time.
He had seen something move in the shadows, and recoiled in surprise. The creature in the shadowed alley was small by Eddie‘s estimate, but this did not discount the possible danger lurking ahead. However, by some odd, ethereal coercion (maybe simple curiosity, but Eddie’s legs had never before been so easily persuaded by simple curiosity, especially when it went against his instincts), he slowly inched back toward the alley in baby steps. Now by an odd feeling that overpowered his fear, Eddie bent down; this made his keys jingle in his pocket, giving him a momentary startle. He squinted, and what he saw filled him with instant relief. A cat emerged from the shadows. A small stray with short, black fur.
Eddie couldn’t help but let off relieved laughter for being so afraid of a little cat like the one now in front of him. Eddie reached out to pet it, and it purred affectionately.
“Aren’t you just adorable, you little bastard!” Eddie exclaimed with a hearty chuckle.
“You could’ve given me a heart attack. Come on, let’s get you something to eat.”
Eddie picked the cat up, and noticed its beautiful, entrancing green eyes. Smiling to himself, he continued on his way home.
After walking for perhaps two blocks, Eddie stopped in his tracks, feeling the same paranoid feeling he had felt earlier when he been drawn to the shadows of the dark alley. Although now, in the perceived safety of the porch lights provided by the homes around him, Eddie could not place the source of this feeling. He then looked down at the cat, which was staring up at him intently with its green eyes. He stared back, looking into those eyes. He was almost taken aback by their sheer beauty and depth. He kept looking, and as he did, it seemed almost as if the cat could look pierce him with those eyes. A chill raced up Eddie’s spine, causing him to spasm involuntarily for a moment and break eye contact with the cat. Unsure of how long he had been standing there, Eddie started walking away briskly with the cat cradled in his arms.
Eddie opened his door with the cat still in his arms, shutting the door behind him before letting the cat down gently and tossing his keys onto the coffee table in front of the couch. Now free to roam, it explored his small house. “Probably looking for more people“ Eddie thought to himself. He opened a can of tuna from the kitchen and left it on the living room floor, then went back into the kitchen to make some coffee. In the kitchen, he thought about the cat’s eyes. How big and beautiful they were. And so very green, of course! Like two flawless emeralds. And how they seemed to draw you in with their ‘uncharted’ depth, as if to… hypnotize you? No, that wasn’t the right word. No, more like… absorb. Yes, that’s right… they were… absorbing.
As he returned to the living room with his coffee mug in his hand, he saw the cat looking at the tuna, but not eating.
“Go on, eat it” Eddie encouraged the cat.
It then did as he said. Eddie went to his computer desk and sat down as he put his headphones on. He looked behind himself to see the cat staring back at him, unflinchingly. He turned back to the computer and logged into his e-mail, checking for new mail for a few minutes. Next, YouTube. On the homepage, he noticed the song “Shake It” by Iain Matthews. After plugging his headphones in and putting them on, he clicked on it, turning the volume up to full blast, and listened. First the intro, with its smooth bass line. Then the vocals:
(Here she comes ridin’
Rollin’ it down the line)
Eddie noticed something… odd… reflecting back at him from the monitor.
(Slippin’ and slidin’
Takin’ her sweet old time)
Something closed around Eddie’s left leg. The wet, scaly feel of it made the hair on the back of Eddie’s neck prick up, and as he slowly turned around, he saw the cat that he’d brought home. Only it wasn’t exactly a cat anymore; two large tentacle-like growths had sprouted from where its front legs once were, and one had taken hold of his ankles while the other flailed about wildly. As Eddie stared with increasing horror, its face began bubbling, as if melting, before falling to the wooden floor in chunks with wet plops, exposing its true, grotesque face while its emerald eyes continued to fix themselves on Eddie. At the same time, its body shook violently as the furry flesh ripped apart, and its overall mass grew to about three times the original size. The creature let out a deafening screech, causing Eddie’s ears to ring painfully, even through the music in his headphones.
The tentacles grasped Eddie’s other leg and pulled him out of his chair and onto the floor, ripping the headphones from his head as they landed on the floor with a hard crack, still playing the music faintly. It was at this point that Eddie’s adrenaline finally kicked in; he began to kick and thrash at the creature’s tentacles in a vain attempt to free himself of its grasp. He tried desperately to scream for help, but his screams were easily drowned out by the creature‘s ear-piercing screeches. He rolled onto his back and got another look at the creature as it split open at the center of its own repulsive mass, exposing rows of blackened, dagger-shaped teeth and what he thought might have been a tongue, wiggling around in anticipation.
The mere sight and sound of the splitting made Eddie vomit in his mouth. He could not position himself upwards to spit it out, causing him to choke on the vomit, shutting off his ineffectual screams. As the creature pulled him towards itself, two more tentacles burst from its lower half and wrapped around Eddie’s wrists. He punched at the tentacles binding him to the monster, only for them to tighten around his limbs, causing them to go numb. Eddie finally swallowed the vomit back down and regained his voice, screaming himself nearly hoarse. The creature let go of his right wrist and wrapped its tentacle around Eddie’s neck. Eddie quickly took advantage of his free arm and scratched at the tentacle around his neck, but it only tightened itself around Eddie’s neck, so tightly that it burst his carotid artery, spraying gouts of blood onto the creature. It didn’t flinch. As Eddie was inched closer and closer to the creature’s gaping mouth, he became dimly aware that the creature’s emerald eyes and the grey diagonal lines above them still bore a resemblance to that of the animal he had brought into his home no more than fifteen minutes ago, but before he could expound on this thought, he began to drift away from consciousness as he was slowly taken into the creature.
Some time later, a bum wandered the lonely, rain-slicked streets aimlessly, searching for nothing in particular (except for food or booze, maybe). As he turned the corner past a church, he noticed a cat roaming around the neighborhood. “Must be hungry too, poor little feller,” the bum thought out loud in a drunken slur. He approached the creature, noting its diminutive size and its jet black fur. The cat noticed him, but instead of running away, it remained, staring up at him. He thought that it was unusual for a stray (or at least he thought it was a stray, seeing as it wore no collar) not to run from strangers, especially an old bum like himself, but approached nevertheless. As he got closer, he also noted its eyes: beautiful, entrancing, and greener than the purest emerald. As he reached down to pet the cat, it purred affectionately.