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(© E. Meeske)

Page 2

Her mother called out of work - or would have if the voicemail hadn‘t already been full. She made Wednesday do as well. The two of them sat together in their living room, television on, door locked. The front windows’ detachable shutters were somehow affixed after years of neglect and the back windows, made safe by the yard’s fence, were discreetly creaked open. The television spilled out confusion on all channels, the bizarre news deftly annexing the cable networks. It was all civilian - the government hadn’t - or couldn’t - take over yet.

In desperation Wednesday’s mother called her brother. He advised her that as a good Baptist he was convinced that it was the End-Times, and that she and Wednesday were welcome to come with him. He also advised certain streets had been blocked off and that the National Guard had been called up, albeit with sporadic success. It was hard to amass and concentrate units effectively when the disaster was so ubiquitous and so simultaneously random. She agreed to meet him the next day at the larger house occupied by he, his wife and their brood. Then she hanged up the phone and looked at Wednesday a long time.

"So we’re going to Uncle Pete’s?" Wednesday finally asked.

"Yes, Pumpkin," she responded. "We’re going there tomorrow."

"Are things going to be like this from now on?" Wednesday’s voice was rising to a scream.

"I don’t know, baby. Nobody knows the answer to that. You go rest."

Wednesday’s vision twitched around her. Something seemed to cloud over it. "What about my medicine?" She asked. "I can’t sleep without my medicine. Isn’t it just going to get worse?" Her voice finished rising.

"It’s pretty goddamned bad right now!"

"Then you mean we’re not going to take care of it now, before it’s too late to do anything?"

Her mother looked down, her brows knotted. "All right, Wednesday! Give me your prescription bottle."

"Never mind!"

"No, bring me your prescription bottle. And you wait here." Wednesday’s mother pushed herself up with a groan of pain and went down into the garage. And disappeared.

After an hour Wednesday called her cell phone - repeatedly. The calls disappeared into voicemail again and again. The she called her uncle. Something had happened in the last hour. His cellphone simply rang busy. The sky through the back windows had grown darker.

Wednesday finally called her boyfriend. He was with his parents, upper middle class people in the northwest section of the city. She berated him to come down and get her. He started making excuses. She lashed into him, advising that she was alone and he had to come. His parents didn’t like her, and he was afraid to travel through the city, but she convinced him, as she always could.

He showed up a few hours later, with a case of beer and a scared look. By this time the things were walking around in the street. Her boyfriend had to run from the car his parents had bought him to the door.

The Cat was an inside-outside cat in the same subdivision. He would play and hunt in the day, cornering squirrels and trying to ferret out moles. Sometimes he found a funny splash of sunlight that he would chase on the fence of its own person’s yard. At night the Man would drive home in his car from wherever he disappeared to six out of seven days. He would hug the cat and talk to it, and put down dry food. The Cat would rub up against his Man, feeling the warmth and affection he had felt for his mother so long ago. He would even bring his Man presents from his hunts, squirrel tails and bird wings, to show his love and to show his Man that he was a good hunter. Then one day the Man did not come home. The Cat was confused and disquieted. He dozed uneasily beneath the porch of his house, waiting.

When the Man did come home, the Cat almost ran towards him, to swat him and then run away to incite him into a game of tag. The Cat did no such thing. He stopped in his tracks, his nose flaring, his hair involuntarily puffing out as it did with neighborhood dogs.

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Genre:Living Dead
Type:Short story
Rating:6.5 / 10
Rated By:34 users
Comments: 2 users
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