The Late Show Starts Early

“Something ain’t right in the air. Must be a full moon tonight. I can sense ridiculous things happening all around me and I’ve got the heebie-jeebies clogging up my pores, pushing out zits the size of Jupiter.”

The sound of nailed paws scurred up behind me and a cat appeared between my legs. The cat rubbed its plump body against my ankles, its tail wrapping around my thighs as it weaved from the left to right.

“You faker, you don’t give a shit. You just want food.”

I bent over the oven to light a cigarette on a burner and caught sight of the cat peripherally. It didn’t look a thing like any familiar feline body I had ever seen. The proportions were all wrong. Its legs looked twice as long as they should be and the joints seemed to be pointing in all the wrong directions. Its pointy ears seemed too far down and close it its jaw line, a jaw line that looked far too defined and almost human. I didn’t know what this beast was exactly but it wasn’t a cat.

It was pawing at a huge monstrous rusted copper brown cockroach, pausing occasionally to eat food from its bowl.

“There’s something downright wretched about you,” I say. “I can smell your foul stink from over here. You disgust me at a primal visceral level. Down there on all fours, playing with that vermin, eating dry pebbles poured from a burlap sack. Don’t you want more for yourself? Have you no pride?”

The cat-beast looked up at me, cheeks stuffed with food, jawline too defined, looking me straight in the eye, face generally looking too anthropomorphic for my liking. It was then that it occurred to me that I don’t even have a cat.

The cockroach’s spindly legs took it darting from the room with the long strides of a 6foot tall adult. The cat-beast chased after in rapid flurry of fur in half the time it took to blink. Heavy stomps. A pig-like squeal. Cacophonous crunching from shattered exoskeleton.

I wanted to follow the sounds out into the other room but my lungs were dancing an unsteady jig, due to either the heavy tar smoke or The Fear, and didn’t trust my feet to do what I wanted them to. Not if they had to walk in that direction.

I grabbed my cigarettes and lighter and climbed out the window and shut it, without looking back. I looked upwards and realized I was wrong about one thing. No full moon tonight illuminating anything…as they was nothing to illuminate. As far as I could tell, in that moment, there was no sky at all. No trace of a moon, star, or cloud as far as these eyes could perceive. Just a big void where the sky should be as if a celestial being pulled the curtains shut.

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