Have you ever thought about what it would be like to be a cat? I mean really thought about it? I can tell you from personal experience that it is not all it is cracked up to be. Sleep, clean, eat, poop…sleep, clean, eat, poop. Chase something, sleep, clean, eat and, poop. Oh and the food is less than stellar to a palette like mine, though Azazel prefers the taste of fish every day. I would kill for a steak and a glass of wine…or an apple…anything besides fish.
Sadly though, at the moment, this is where we are. We’re in the body of a cat, stuck at a road side motel waiting for a new host. The owner seems like a nice sort of fellow to most. Innocuously polite. He blends into the scenery like a painting on the wall or the flies that lazily buzz against the screens. He is not all he seems, nor is this little stop-over for the weary. While he doesn’t get many passing through that are useful to my kind the ones that do stop are unusually powerful…they just don’t know it. But still we wait and have been waiting.
Waiting a very long time.
Day in and day out.
People come…and then they go.
But we’re still waiting.
Waiting for that special person. Waiting for the one that we can use to set me free.
We were lounging on the counter when you walked in. Tired and dirty. You looked liked something we dragged in to torture out of shear boredom. Oh, but the power in you! It rolled off in waves that nearly choked us. You didn’t know we were there, waiting. You were just looking for a place to crash and dream of drifting off never to return. You should have been more careful about what you wished for.
As you signed your name on the page with a wish in your heart the ink rippled and shimmered like the lights of the aura borealis. As the clerk looked you in the eye and handed you the key I saw the sparks in the otherworld and the invisible chains shackle your wrists as you calmly accepted your fate without a word of refute.
“You seem like you could use a bit of companionship,” he whispered and gestured to us as you patted our head. “And Azazel seems to like you. Feel free to take him to your room if you like. Just open the door if he starts to annoy you and he’ll come back up here to the desk.”
As you started to pull away with a no hesitating on your lips, we rose up on all fours and languidly stretched with fluid grace as you unconsciously patted our head–ultimately linking those chains that would bind you to us. Jumping down, we wound around your legs, purring and binding them even tighter. We knew you would not refuse as we bumped against you, pushing you towards the door out to the walkway to head to your room.
Like a parasite looking for a host to devour from the inside out, the anticipation of finally being free was nearly overwhelming. In this case though, patience is a virtue as we knew it would be several long hours before the transference would be complete and we were eager to begin. As the clouds slowly rolled in blocking out the sun, exhaustion began to slowly settle over you like a warm blanket. The sound of door lock tumblers falling into place as you turned the key ricocheted throughout the abyss as thunder. There are many rooms here, but this one is special. This one is where magic happens, where entities like myself can cross over and when we do the world is never the same.
Room #113 lures her in like a lover’s caress— a warm room, a soft bed. Her body grows heavy with sleep as she looks around the room. Crossing the threshold tightens the bindings and invisible hooks latch upon her soul while the wards fall into place as we cross over. There is no turning back now. She has looked upon the outside world for the last time.
Now she is in mine.
The voices whisper as the wind begins to howl but she is lost. Oblivious to what really surrounds her, an empty circle surrounded by the markers of the dead under a blood red sky with multiple moons. As she enters the circle of salt the wind speaks to the graves as pale blue smoke ignites the black pillars with pale blue flames. The air that surrounds us reeks of the scents of fermented juice, spoiled bread, and the clothes of the diseased. It is night and like a rat in a graveyard her mind jolts at the scents and wants to scurry off to the safety of a small burrow to be dry and warm. She sees flashes of her surroundings as her soul fights to remain bound to her corpse…the voices soothe her and reassure her that she is only dreaming and that soon she will be safe at rest.
The spell we have woven is almost complete as she kneels down. The razor she holds draws deaths attention like flies to a carcass. Slowly she cuts and as the blood wells up from her hand my spirit rises out and begins to fill the empty space she made by forcing her own soul to break free. As the drops fall from our hand, a scream from the abyss startles us, breaking the circle of salt. While a moon bleeds a candle falls. Black wax spills like blood as the shadows fill their clothes. I fight to repeat the incantation from the book of the dead, among the damned as the air grows thick making it hard to speak. In her mind I writhe in terror; silently reminding myself there is nothing to fear — though she is strong, I am stronger. As her soul struggles, it finally dawns in her there is something wrong, as with each straggled breath, her soul begins to burn. Unable to speak or move, she becomes the silent scream in my mind and then just as suddenly I am alive again, standing in an empty room in the middle of the day gasping for air. Azazel winds around my legs purring and chirps happily at my return. My mind is cluttered with molding decay of grotesque ghosts whose ashes have made their wings to heavy to fly. I inhale deeply reviling in the fresh clean air that no longer reeks of the scents of mold, graveyard dust and fish. My name is Tamsin Blythe and as I walk out the door with my familiar at my side the lighting cracks and the earth quivers as soon there will be hell for every living creature to pay for my time spent on earth.
S. D. Gill is a student of forensic anthropology who decide to dip her quill into the proverbial ink well and see what might slither out onto the page. She enjoys tea, reading and posting ridiculous amounts of lolcats online. Zomsquinjas (zombie squirrel ninjas) are also her furry minions of doom. YES, DOOM! She is in the process of relocating to Georgia and attending graduate school.