The Very Strange Return Of The Cat People

The Very Strange Return Of The Cat People The Very Strange Return Of The Cat People

Status: Finished

Genre: Horror

Details

Status: Finished

Genre: Horror

Summary

A Horror Story involving cats that control people.

Summary

A Horror Story involving cats that control people.

Content

Submitted: April 23, 2015

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Content

Submitted: April 23, 2015

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“I’ve decided to look into my brother’s so-called insanity that he suffered here,” Doris Ahern began once the two had entered the front door of the house and they were alone behind the closed door of the mansion. Perhaps, she thought, she could get more out of him that way.

 

Fred Murray adjusted his tie and collar which were beginning to become damp with heavy perspiration though the day was not unusually hot. “Yes. Quite,” the man remarked nervously in return with a sort of British flourish, “But I’m sure you’ll find the house most quaint in its rustic moods and charms. It’s an old Victorian built around 1898, almost in its original condition and built to last. Everything you see is almost just as it was then when it was originally built. Even the brass doorknobs and key are period in origin. Why one would almost say that it nearly rivals the adequately named “House of Seven Gables” in its grandeur and elegance. A perfect possession for the elegant-minded lady of means.”

 

“I said, I’m here to investigate my brother’s so-called insanity and the murders he was framed to take the blame for,” Doris answered back in a more rough tone, finally finding it in herself to be more assertive. “I’m not here just to purchase the house. I’m here to justify my brother, Marvin’s, name. I’m certain he was set up for his crime in a manner more complicated than it was made to seem, and whoever is responsible for it will pay, I assure you. You do know what I’m talking about, don’t you?”

 

Mr. Murray, the realtor, nodded apprehensively, not willing to venture anything more than a mere nod in acknowledgement of what he was certainly most definitely aware. “Would you care for another latte?” he volunteered. “I bought several at the coffee shop and they come with ice and cream. It’s a treat to die for. Won’t you try another?”

 

Doris sniffed and batted her eyes with a flicker of her lashes as she looked the man up and down, fully aware that he was trying to change the subject. “Alright,” She said finally, “But only if you promise to tell me about The Cat People. I want to know everything. I want you to know that I’ve fully informed myself as to the contents of the police reports on this. You sold them the house so you must have known about these so-called Cat People before my brother did. They say he’s insane, but I’ll tell you something. He wasn’t insane before he came up here and heard from you or somebody or other about these Cat People he keeps raving about. I demand that you tell me all about them.”

 

“Oh, er, the Cat People. Just a ridiculous story that some of us older people believe in. They were a race of interbreeding cats abandoned here by the owner who preceded your brother’s purchase.” Here, he paused as if to deemphasize the issue with a light grin. “You see, they’re said to generate a control over anyone with whom they come in contact. The story goes that they have power over their human companions to the point of controlling their activities and minds. Almost like psychics. But it’s nothing at all. Just a silly story. Something to keep intruders away and the kids in bed where they ought to be. Do you have any children, Mrs. Ahern?”

 

My husband and son, Alfred, are coming within the hour. They should be here at any time, I imagine.”

 

“Well,” Mr. Murray deftly replied, ever the resigned and dedicated realtor, “Don’t let a silly story keep you and your son awake at night. In fact, if you happen to see any of the delightful creatures, don’t hesitate to coax them over and give them a pat or rub under the chin. It will make things better in the long run.”

 

“I beg your pardon?” replied Mrs. Ahern.

 

“I said, then the deal is done. The house is yours. And the cats with it. Just don’t let them in the house. They might raise a little hell once they get in, being that they’ve been outside so long. And, by the way, don’t stare them too long in the eyes.”

 

“Why not?” asked Mrs. Ahern in a quiet, impatient tone.

 

“Because it will let the devil out of them. Then, what’s in their eyes will be in yours.”

 

“I don’t know quite what you mean,” Mrs. Ahern answered back with a light quiver in her strained voice.

 

“I mean merely that they’re the delight of any cat fancier that happens upon them. Why, I’ve been told that there are a couple of Abbysinians and Persians out there that might be worth a little bit of money if they can be housebroken again which I doubt would be too difficult given that they’ve still retained a good deal of their friendly demeanor.”

 

“I believe that I’ve heard about enough. More than I require about these so-called Cat People” Doris looked the man in the eye with a frank, cold stare. “Tell me, do you have anything to do with what happened to my brother up here? Or anything to do with what happened to his family?”

 

“I?” Fred Murray replied, jabbing his chest with a convincing gesture of emphasis. “Why, what could I have had to do with it? I live in town. This house is way up here in the hills where no one is around for miles to do anything whatsoever if they wanted to. Say,” he said with a sudden gleam of subtle diabolatry, “You aren’t accusing me of witchcraft, are you?”

 

“I?” replied Mrs. Ahern. “Not at all. Obviously, though, you’ve considered the possibility of that being involved, haven’t you? Otherwise, you wouldn’t have jumped to the conclusion so quickly.”

 

“Witchcraft? Involved? Out of the question! Our community is a quiet, retired town of quiet, retired citizens dedicated to a crime-free element. The Catholic Church is quite strong here, I assure you. Perhaps your brother should have become more involved with our community and what happened to him wouldn’t have happened.”

 

“Meaning what?” inquired Mrs. Ahern, returning to her subtle angry tone.

 

“Meaning that perhaps I’ve overstayed my welcome beyond what is appropriate for a realtor. I bid you good day Mrs. Ahern.”

 

With that, Mr. Murray stepped quickly to the front door and rushed through without further word into the shadows of the oncoming dusk unaware that unseen eyes were watching him from the grotto just beyond the copse of trees across the yard. And before Mrs. Ahern knew it, he had jumped into his green pickup truck and was bolting out of the driveway onto the long gravel lane that led down to the main access road below.

 

“Well,” snapped Mrs. Ahern quietly to herself, “I guess I got the devil to come out of your eyes instead, didn’t I?”

 

She sipped quietly from the latte the realtor had left, deciding to save the others for her husband and son as a welcome treat.

 

She watched the shadows quietly creep through the patterned curtains, gnawing subtly at the still lingering patches of daylight that clothed the patterned walls and oak flooring. The lace of the curtains gently rustled with the dusky breezes as a crescent moon rose in the East, peering like a stranger through the frame of the open window. Night hurled her mantle of stars like a curse across the threshold of the horizon, as if she dared not even touch the fleeting daylight with the curse of her grip. The Sun fled so swiftly from the onrushing Night that it was as if the Eve were cursed with some portent of witchcraft that only Hecate, in her evil, could have mothered. Doris watched with a shudder and quietly mouthed the Father’s Name as she had been taught in childhood by her mother. Her grave misgivings went away. Temporarily With a sigh, she rose and switched on the lights in the living room in which she sat and set about turning on the electric lighting in the rest of the house. Each light that went on seemed to dispel some element of the holon of the house’s curse. Yet that curse seemed merely to recede into the darkness that abided without towards which Doris set her gaze from the upstairs window in one of the bedrooms.

 

There, just beyond the threshold of the shadows, two gleaming eyes quietly met her own in an embrace of evil intensity. They were like witchfires burning in the abyss of darkness just beyond the copse of trees wherein was located the meandering grotto. For a moment, they regarded her; then, narrowed into crescents of fury. All at once, it was as if they had never been there and they were gone.

 

That was when the horn sounded in the driveway at the front, breaking the grip of her shocked attention. She rushed down the stairs, hair streaming in long black bangs down her shoulders, skin still bristling with shudders from what she had seen in the yard without; unable to quite shake the image from the back of her mind, though the joy of her husband’s arrival had overtaken her. She lazily shook her hair to either side, giving her a wild, disheveled look, like a wanton lioness on the prowl. Her mouth gaped as she rushed towards the front door, almost as if she were baring her fangs for the kill. And, with a bolt of energy, she thrust wide the door, embracing her husband and son with such vivacity, that it was as if she were some wild animal leaping upon her prey with the vigor of a ravenous beast.

 

All this, her husband, Greg, took in at a moment’s glance as he met her on the front doorstep, eyes agleam with the passion of the moment. Their son, Alfred, stared at them, transfixed, like a young cub awaiting his reserved share of the game. They had not long to wait.

 

“Come right in!” Doris said with an oddly refreshed sigh as if she were the undead welcoming the living to their grave. “There are lattes waiting on the living room table that the realtor left. They’re really quite good. Go ahead and enjoy them while they’re still hot. They’ve only been there about twenty minutes. You can reheat them in the microwave if you want. Then, have a look around. Everything’s wonderful!”

 

She danced about in an odd circle around the room as if the house had brought her to life and aroused the beast in her. “It’s so roomy, It makes me feel like running around; like going on a hunt; like roaming the woods like a wild beast!”

 

“Whoa, Nelly!” her husband Greg responded, taking her in his arms like a satyr, unsure of how or why this mood had overtaken her. He ushered her into the living room as his son, Alfred, followed behind. They began to take their first sips of the lattes. Alfred’s face became flushed as if with fever. His black locks descended across his crimson cheeks. His eyes appeared to glow as if on fire. Greg began to feel it too as the trio finished their lattes and cavorted like animals about the household. It was something about the lattes. Something was in the lattes. Greg was the first to sense it. His mouth half-formed a vague warning that came out in a string of half-heard, sibilant mutterings. Doris answered with a cat-like hiss. The rest was a slowly dawning chaos of mayhem unequaled since her brother had slain his family in that sleepy home some months before. Alfred gasped out loud and fell, wracked with convulsions. Doris collapsed to the floor, moaning softly in the shadows. Greg lurched out the front door of the house, staggered down the steps, and fell to the ground below, blacking out instantly. That was when the Cat People made their move.

 

They came in droves from the grotto, followed by swarming files of ants and reptiles. The accursed brood swept upon the house like a curse and thickly cavorted about the wooden frame. It was as if the Earth had vomited forth its evil upon humankind and sought to visit its afflictions upon them, full-measure.

 

A faint, demonic piping issued forth from the womb of the hills, from the shroud of brooding Night, accompanied by a damnable pounding such as one would hear in fever from one’s own throbbing heart. The Earth seemed convulsed with the evil music and seemed to writhe and shudder in time with the music’s ever-meandering tones and intervals. There was neither key nor order to the wandering theme. It brought shadows forth from the Night’s witch-haunted kingdom that danced in damnable conspiracy with the hellish chords that arose from between the pillars of the music’s strangely divisive measures. There was no keeping time; no ordered motion. There was neither theme nor proper interval of tone observed. The music meandered through the black Night’s grove, wandering here and there, neither seeming to originate from one point or the other, yet, seeming to come from all points together at the same time. It was as if Hell had found a composer in its evil kingdom and that composer reigned amongst the Cat People.

 

They arose upon their hind legs and commenced their evil dance, ants swarming thickly about their bellies, lizards clinging to the fat of their thighs as Nature cavorted, in Her evil, in their personage. She sat upon Her throne, a distant shadow, looming, gigantically, over the thronging brood, conducting the horror of the yowling, moans and hideous shrieks as the mob seemed to embrace the music’s accursed themes. Then, at the very height of their reigning evil, at the very apex of their thrusts and blasphemous motions, a shadowy figure emerged from the shadows, staff in hand, cowled about the face and body like a warlock. Had there been a face to glimpse that shambling, robed image; had there been someone to see him hobble forth from the Night’s gaping maw, that face would have glimpsed none other than Fred Murray, the realtor, casting his noxious spells, weaving his accursed magic upon that throng gathered there like Hell’s own spawn cast forth to wreak affliction upon men. Then, with a thrust of his wand, he bade the mighty throng to divide itself and make a path for him in its middle. And, as he approached the home he had so lately sold, he pulled an axe from the folds of his robe and knelt to the ground at the form of Greg Ahern who still lay prostrate on the ground upon which he’d collapsed earlier. He placed the axe in Greg’s hand and slowly receded into the heavy folds of Night’s mantle, retreating further and further still until he could no longer be viewed by any creature that still writhed and gyrated there convulsively.

 

Just before his image had completely disappeared from sight, he waved his wand a final time and Greg arose, arms and legs crawling thickly with swarms of red strings of ants, back and stomach cursed with vile broods of lizards and hideous things of Night’s bestial kingdom that cannot be described except in the vilest of terms. His eyes were vacant orbs of crystalline fires as he walked forward, axe carried heavily in hand. He walked up the stairs into the house and approached his wife Doris who stood coldly regarding him with a vacant, evil glare from the shadows of the living room mantle. She raised a revolver from out of her purse and began firing point blank into his chest and face as if he were a manikin of mere flesh and bone. The pounding impacts sent jets of blood spatter shooting across the walls and floor. His face disintegrated into tattered fragments of bone and flesh that bled thickly upon the gore-spattered floor. His eyes, mouth, and nose were obliterated into hanging ribbons of flesh upon which the ants swarmed thickly to feed as he continued to approach her without halting. Finally, as the revolver issued its last shot, he stopped and seemed almost as if he were to collapse. The carnage seemed to be finally over. Then, with a sudden lurching, forward motion, it commenced again as he raised the axe high into the air and cleft his wife’s skull with the first blow. The second and third sliced off her two arms. The third and fourth divided her legs from her torso with the dexterity of a surgeon’s incision. Her blood issued forth in pulsing streams of crimson as she shuddered and convulsed on the floor in her final agony. That was when he turned towards Alfred. But something was wrong. Alfred’s eyes fluttered; they blinked. He seemed oddly cognizant, strangely aware of what was to happen. And with a maddened burst of sheer effort he managed to thrust his legs forward and carry himself out the door and into the bestial night with a shriek as his dying father collapsed onto the floor with a bloodstained gasp.

 

They found him days later, muttering, dazed and confused, in a fever of delirium, unable to speak, and, when able to do so, muttering in half-formed sentences and phrases about the Cat People and the drugged lattes and the sorcerer, Fred Murray, who had caused it all to happen.

 

“We found out about the lattes, all right,” said Sheriff William Gant to his deputy at the head office. “Turns out this Alfred Ahern worked at the coffee shop where this Fred Murray bought the lattes and according to the ravings we’re still getting from this lunatic he drugged the lattes himself and sold them to the realtor, knowing full well where they were going to go and who was going to drink them.”

 

Deputy Ramsey Jeffers leaned forward in the light of the full day, the day after the previously described events had taken place and spat a wad of tobacco into his empty coffee cup. “How’s that?” he inquired of his superior.

 

“That’s right!” Gant replied. “The family had been staying briefly in town while they resolved the last minute details of the purchase and, in the meantime, Alfred Ahern had found a job at a local coffee shop, the very same coffee shop where this Fred Murray, the realtor who sold them the house, happened to have bought the lattes. We’ll just have wait until he comes to himself so we can get the full story from him IF he ever comes out of it. And I stress IF.”

 

“He may never come out of it,” shrugged Jeffers as he prepared his stack of reports for Homicide and glanced back at the muttering form of Alfred Ahern, stooped in the corner of his cell and nodding back and forth in repetitive motions.”

 

“Yep, he may never come out of it,” answered Gant resignedly with a sigh. And just as he voiced those very words, Jeffers saw Fred Murray, the realtor, walk by outside, preparing for another sale on the ever dwindling market. He seemed to have so much energy, he thought. But just across the street he could see a black-furred cat meeting his glance with a cold, fixed stare. At that very moment, Alfred Ahern looked up, saw the cat through the open window, and began muttering and shrieking in loud, incoherent strings of invectives as if bewitched.

 

“Yep,” repeated Gant, fingering the butt of his issue revolver, “He may never come out of it.”

 

The two went back to their never-ending paper work with a sigh.

 

Meanwhile, the black cat meandered off to join its brethren amongst The Cat People and await their next visitor. Perhaps they had not long to wait.

 

Sheriff Gant reached across his desk to take another sip of his latte as Fred Murray, the realtor, rushed in through the door to give his opinion on the crime. The kindly gent had brought Deputy Jeffers his own latte from the coffee shop down the street, having also seen to Sheriff Gant’s drink as well. Such a generous man, Gant mused. The two sheriffs prepared to take Murray on up to the crime scene to get his story on the crime.

 

Meanwhile, the Cat People waited.

 

Deputy Jeffers began to feel just a little bit fuzzy inside as they got into the car and began the short drive up. And as they pulled into the driveway of the murder house, the Cat People were waiting.

 

“Care for a piece of gum, Sheriff Gant? Deputy Jeffers?” Murray asked, careful not to give away his true intentions.

 

The two acquiesced and the drug began to take full effect.

 

As the two stepped away from the patrol car, Murray reached for Gant’s pistol, pulled it out and began shooting. The two were dead before they hit the ground.

 

Murray dropped the gun lazily into the dirt and stared vacantly, like a crazed maniac, towards the grotto.

 

One by one, the Cat People began to emerge to reclaim their home and their servant.

 

Murray stared silently at them for a moment. Then, dragged the bodies under the crawlspace of the house where they would be out of view. Assuming the accomplished air of the realtor, he marched inside the house and began preparing coffee for his next customers. They would be there any minute, and, certainly, they would require refreshments.

 

Meanwhile, the Cat People waited. They seemed unusually thirsty for blood today, and they had not long to wait.

 

They must not be disappointed.

 

Must They?

 

 


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