Spirit Cat (Part 4)

16 Jun

Stairway to Heaven?

 

The cops were standing around in the street, talking amongst themselves.

The street was on a steep slope down to the primary school at the bottom of the hill and the ground also fell away to one side of the pavement. The houses were all reached by going down a flight of stairs from the pavement to get to the front door.

There was also a longer staircase that led down from this street to the lower level of the next street along. The area was a bit run down. There was moss growing on the walls and there were potholes in the road.

Some of the steps on that long set of stairs down to the next street had been broken loose by local kids rolling an oil drum down them. The people had complained, but the council never did a thing about it. Cut backs, they said. What could you do?

“Same MO as before?”

“Seems like. Bastard comes along with a clipboard. Stands around looking all bothered and confused. The girl comes up and asks what’s the problem.”

“Or she doesn’t and he asks her for directions. Works either way.”

“Whatever. Anyway, the basic pitch is the same. He’s a driver working for a vet. He’s got a poor little kitten in the back of his van. She’s just had an operation and he’s supposed to take it back to this poor little old lady who’s all sad and lonely and worried ‘cause her kitten’s not well.”

“And she couldn’t come and collect it ‘cause she’s not well either.”

“But he can’t find the address and can the little girl help him, I know.”

“What a prick.”

“Well, we know that’s what he pulled on the last little girl ‘cause she told the Female and Child Officer all about it.”

“Lucky the bastard got chased away that time.”

“Neighbours thought they were doing the right thing pulling that dog off him. Soon as they heard what the little girl had to say they were pissed off they hadn’t left him to it. Maybe brought a long a few more dogs to help out.”

“Anyone heard what’s happening with that dog?”

“Well, he had to go to court. Sheriff had a look at him and decided he wasn’t dangerous. No one’s come forward to claim him, so he’s up for adoption.”

“Family going to have him?”

“Seems like. They think the sun shines out of his hairy little arse.”

“Well, wouldn’t you?”

“He’s just a dog, for crying out loud. Who cares?”

“So anyway, forensics have confirmed it was the same bastard as did the kid we found in the park. Is that right?”

“Dead right.”

“So is he lucky finding these kids or is he watching them? Does he know their routine?”

Shrugs all round.

“Pity we can’t ask him.”

“So the bastard makes his pitch and the girl goes with him to look at his map and stroke his kitten.”

“Don’t say it like that. Sounds like a euphemism.”

“Whatever.”

No one felt like laughing.

“So he does what he does.”

“Yeah. He does what he does.”

“But then it all goes tits up.”

“How d’you mean?”

“Well, she says there was this cat. White cat. Sitting right on top of the van.”

“So what? He allergic to cats?”

“Don’t know. Don’t care. All I do know is he doesn’t like the cat. Tries to hit it. The cat runs off and the stupid bastard goes chasing after it. Cat goes down the stairs. Bastard goes after the cat.”

“Never liked cats much. I mean, with a dog you get unconditional love. They treat you like their own personal God. Cats just fucking use you.”

“Anyway, one broken step later…”

“First time I ever saw a plus side to vandalism.”

“You think?”

“Well, see for yourself.”

 

 

He was sprawled across the stairs; head tilted at the wrong angle. His cold, dead eyes staring into eternity. The Nightmare Man. Nightmares over.

And as he lay there unmoving, growing ever colder against the concrete, a sleek white cat approached him, sinuously weaving her silent path towards him.

When she came to a point where she could look down into his face, she sat down, her neat white paws placed with precision together in front of her. She stared at him. Her yellow green eyes gazing intently into his empty sightless eyes. Softly she began to purr.

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