Thursday, August 8, 2013

Wyre-rat (part 19)

I rolled upright quickly, and looked under the low bed. Nothing. Stupid, stupid! Quickly I rolled together all of my equipment, slipped into the clothes that would identify me as a local.

Then I stood, undecided. There could be many explanations, and going back to the Center was only one of them. I could leave this place and not come back, leave him to the mercy of whatever prowled these streets.

But if they did come for me, they probably wouldn't use sirens. If I left I wouldn't be able to come back, and walking out that door after curfew would bring trouble down on my hostess as well.

I physically swayed, trying to decide, and saw a motion from the corner of my eye.

The cat sauntered out of the shadows and peered up at me.

I stared at him, settled to the edge of the bed. "And here I was trying to decide whether or not to kill you when you got back," I said conversationally.

The cat stiffened, as if he took the statement seriously.

"Now I'm going to ask you a question." I carefully kept my voice even. "Did you sneak out to go back to the Center?"

He didn't say anything, naturally. Just stared at me with those glowing eyes.

"Because if they come after us, you're going to be a bloody pile of fur on the floor when they get here."

The cat snorted, and I could swear he sounded amused.

"You think I'm kidding?"

In response, he crouched down with his hind end wiggling, then pounced forward, paws over something I couldn't see. For the first time I realized that he didn't have a tail. He looked up as if to make sure I understood.

"You eat as a cat?" I heard the disgust in my voice. I thought about what rats normally eat, and nausea raised its head.

He peered up at me, his mouth gaping open on a cat laugh. A moment later he jumped up on the bed and curled up where my head had been.

I nearly sighed. Time for episode 2, apparently.

I picked him up by the scruff of his neck and dropped him on the floor from head height. "Understand?" I asked.

Probably not.

Part 20

If you want to start at the beginning: Wyre-Rat episode 1

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