Thursday, July 7, 2011

Cat Burglar

Content advisory: Horror. Scenes of violence and gore. Frank language.

Gary Winston and his two best buds, Scott Jackson and Johnny Becker, slipped around the back of the Langdon mansion with practiced stealth. So far, the Langdon house was their biggest job. And one he was looking forward to.

Anyone who had as much as that stuck up bitch, Tess Langdon, deserved to be robbed. Besides, she practically begged for someone to break into her house. The stupid whore didn’t even take minimum security measures.

“She’s home,” Scott hissed.

“Yeah, so what?” Gary said. “I wanted her here. You seen that high and mighty bitch? I want some of that hot stuff.”

“No one said anything about raping the chick,” Johnny said.

“Ah hell, she’ll like it,” Gary said. “You ever see a woman stick her nose up at this?” He grabbed his crotch.

No woman, married or single, turned him down. Not with his looks. And those two schmucks knew it. He didn’t have a fancy degree, or a big car, or a mansion on a hill. But he knew how to please a woman and make them beg for more. And that rich snob was going to acknowledge it before he finished with her. “You two can take a crack at her when I’m done. Now come on.”

He led them to the back door and in less than a minute he’d teased the locks open and they stood inside the house. Deep shadows blanketed the hallway, but it wasn’t dark enough to hinder them.

A television droned from somewhere on the lower level. “Let’s check out the downstairs first,” Gary said. “She’s got to have money stashed all over the place. And don’t forget to look for jewelry. Nate said she had shitloads of the stuff and didn’t use a safe.

Nate had a big mouth. His cousin’s inability to keep his trap shut had benefitted Gary more than once. Straight-laced Nate would probably piss all over his pool-boy trunks if he knew at least a dozen of his clients had been robbed due to his flapping gums.

“Jesus,” Scott said. “This fuckin’ house is huge. How many rooms you think it has?”

“Forty-three. Exactly,” Gary said.

“Holy shit. You didn’t say we’d be here all night,” Johnny said.

Gary gave them his best Are you stupid? look, then said, “It won’t take long for us to clear this place, and to get some of that hot stuff she’s hidin’ in her Levis. Now get moving and grab anything valuable you can carry.”

They fanned out, each taking a different part of the house. Gary headed straight for the babbling television. She was most probably there. Might as well get right down to business. He’d never pulled a job like this one before. Normally, they waited until the intended victim left before they went in, but he wanted Tess Langdon. And he was going to have her. And damn the consequences.

He’d never killed anyone before either, but he sure as fuck wasn’t going to let her go to the police and give them his description. So now he would add to his already extensive criminal resume. The idea didn’t bother him. He’d killed dozens and dozens of cats over the years, maybe hundreds, and more than a few dogs. Taking their lives had given him a short-lived thrill. What would toasting a human be like? He suspected it would be even better than raping the bitch.

Adrenalin zinged through his veins, juicing him up for the main event. His hand went to the handle of the razor-sharp blade strapped to his left forearm. Scott and Johnny didn’t know he always carried a weapon. Fools. They were so small time. And they always would be. Neither had the vision or balls for anything but small time shit. He had plenty of both.

Walking stealthily on the polished hardwood, he closed on the sound of the television program. The hallway had a high ceiling and the walls were decorated in gold paper, huge, ornately framed mirrors and little alcoves that provided homes for priceless antiques.

The bitch had taste, or maybe this stuff had all belonged to her old codger father who’d had the good grace to die while she was young enough to enjoy the spoils. Of course, that was about to come to an end.

 He entered the room through a back door. A huge chair faced the large screen TV. Was she there? He couldn’t tell. He took in his surroundings with a practiced eye, noting original oil paintings that were probably worth much more than he could estimate. Delicate antiques parked on fragile tables. Greens and golds gave the room a cool, snooty tone that suited it perfectly.

Gary eased around the massive backed chair ready to spring on the unsuspecting woman, but she wasn’t there. “Shit,” he hissed and quickly retraced his steps back through the doorway. So where was she?

A muffled thump brought him around hard. What the fuck? He made for the sound. Whatever he’d heard, it wasn’t right. Not that he was afraid. He touched the blade.

A faint clicking, like a dog’s claws on hardwood, made his skin prickle, standing the little hairs upright. He was sure she didn’t have a dog. He’d been too thorough to miss something like that. Besides, the cadence was wrong for a dog’s gait.

He turned the corner at the end of the hall and came up short. As his guts curled in on themselves, he stifled a scream.

An arm, or more precisely, what was left of an arm, lay in the hallway. The shredded blue and bloody piece of a sleeve positively identified Scott’s limb. “What the fuckin’ hell?” he whispered?

A wide trail of blood and…what looked like pieces of meat, led down the hall and through a doorway.

Gary swallowed and reached for the knife. The bitch wasn’t the helpless little woman he’d mistaken her for. What in the hell had she done to Scott? Whatever had happened, she wouldn’t get the chance to do it to him. Maybe instead of sampling her delectable charms he would slit the whore’s throat and be done with the matter.

Poor Scott. He didn’t deserve… whatever the hell had happened to him.

Knife in hand, he turned the corner—and found the rest of Scott. Gary bent like a butler taking a courtly bow and vomited on his shoes.

Scott lay on the polished hardwood, blood pooling around him. His abdomen had been torn open and loops of entrails pulled from the body. The smell hit Gary next. Blood and feces. Poor Scott had shit himself. The stench and visual were overpowering, and his stomach revolted, sending round two splashing onto the floor. When he finished retching, Gary moaned and backed away.

Scott’s head lay at an odd angle, the neck broken. Long scratches and what appeared to be bite marks covered his face, neck and upper part of the chest where the shirt had been ripped away. He looked as though he’d been run through a poor quality food processor.

Oh dear God, what had she done to him?

A low growl lifted the hair on the back of his neck. Hands up like a shield, he pivoted but nothing moved. Squinting, he peered into the deep shadows in the far corner. Was something there? An animal? Had to be an animal. Did the crazy bitch have a big cat for a pet?

Had to be a cat of some kind. A dog, or even a wolf-dog hybrid wouldn’t rip a body open like that. That was the work of a cat.

He backed out of the room and turned to run when Johnny screeched like a woman. Something crashed and Johnny let out a whoop that sounded as if his last bit of air had been cut off.

Having no intention of playing hero, Gary raced for the back door. Fuck the bitch and her money. He was getting the hell out of there while her pet was busy eating Johnny.

Escape was in sight and he ran full out, not caring in the least that his actions were those of a coward. He skidded to a halt at the door and grabbed the knob, twisting and yanking at the same time. It didn’t open. He yanked harder. “Come on, you motherfucker. Open up!” The last came out in a terrified, unmanly squall.

Feminine laughter tinkled behind him.

Gary whirled. No one was there. What the fuck? “Where are you? Show yourself, you dirty bitch?”

She laughed again, closer this time.

“Where are you, bitch?” Gary lifted the knife. When he found her, she’d beg him to make it quick. He wasn’t going to end up like Scott, and he could only imagine what horrible end Johnny had come to.

A deep purr answered his inquiry.

Oh, Jesus!

A long hiss interrupted the purring and Gary’s bladder let go. Warm piss ran down his legs and a moan came out of him. He stared into the deep shadows at the end of the hall. It had come from there. As he watched, a huge jaguar sauntered into the light. Blood smeared and clumped the fur at its muzzle.

Gary’s knees threatened to give out but he managed to get control of himself and stay upright. “Call off your cat. Please. I’ll leave. You’ll never see me again. Please. I’m beggin’. Is that what you wanted?”

She didn’t answer.

The cat hissed and switched its tail back and forth.

“Please, lady. I didn’t mean you no harm.”

The cat licked its chops.

A long whine came out of Gary and he backed up until his back pressed against the door. He didn’t stand a chance of getting past that yellow devil.

The window! He could throw himself through the window. Glass cuts were preferable to being mauled by her cat. He almost wept with relief.

Moving with speed he hadn’t known he possessed, he leaped head first for the glass. The top of his head struck the pane. But he didn’t go through. Pain bloomed from the top of his skull. He bounced off, and arms pin-wheeling, lost his balance. He crashed to the floor.

He looked up. The cat launched off powerful hind legs. The beast landed on him, a boulder equipped with razor blades.

It was over fast. He lay on the shining hardwood bleeding from a massive abdominal wound. As he lay trying to hold his guts inside him, the cat morphed. One moment a jaguar stood glaring at him and seconds later Tess Langdon stood in its place smirking down at him.

And Gary screamed and screamed.

~ Nickie Asher ~

If you missed any of our previous posts and would like to catch up, you can purchase the Digital Digest Volume I anthology as an ebook for only $.99.

Copyright © 2011 Nickie Asher

All rights reserved. This is a work of fiction. All names, characters, locations, and incidents are products of the author’s imagination, or have been used fictionally. Any resemblance to actual persons living or dead, locales, or events is entirely coincidental. No portion of this work may be transmitted or reproduced in any form, or by any means, without permission in writing from the author.

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