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Please

Come with me

By Morgan J. MuirPublished 3 years ago 4 min read
1
Please
Photo by Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash

The cat blinked its amber eyes with a casual slowness, watching the woman from beside the living room door. Her short heels clicked on the hardwood floor as she shifted her weight. She leaned against the antique side table of the sunlit room, her pen scratching across the paper.

The woman took a shaky breath as she set down the pen and ran the heel of her hand beneath her eyes. First one, then the other. No streaks of cat-eyed-black marred her face as she straightened her back, folding the note in half. And then again.

The light scent of her perfume drifted through the room, vaguely floral, as she held the note to her chest for a moment. With a delicate touch, she set it against the bric-a-brac that ornamented the table, bracing it to keep the cat from knocking it down. She angled the note to be noticed, to be seen, the moment he walked through the door.

She stepped back, surveying her work. The cat stood and stretched, its long, silvered coat glinting in the sunlight, and the woman smiled down at it. She crouched, stroking the silky fur and the feline pressed it’s back against her hand. The cat purred, loud enough that the woman could still hear it even after she stood, shrugging on her overcoat against the coming storm.

With a last look around the room, she let out a choked sob, her hand pressed against her stomach. Then, setting her purse over her shoulder, she gripped the handle of her luggage and slipped out the door.

The cat watched the door shut, indignant that its performance had not earned it a treat at least. The lock rattled, the deadbolt sliding home. Her footsteps beyond the door sounded once, twice, and then paused. The bright light greyed, diminishing its warmth as the woman took a single step back toward the door. The brass mail slot swung open with a soft, metallic click, and a simple house key, marked with white paint, fell to the floor.

The woman’s footsteps faded, covered by the groan of the house shifting in the growing wind. A tree tapped against a shutter elsewhere, and the cat, annoyed at its lost warmth, abandoned the empty room.

***

Rain pelted the windows, drumming in spurts and waves, but the room remained as she had left it. Familiar, heavy footsteps mounted the porch, and the cat twitched its ear. They stopped outside the door and the cat shifted in its warm bed on the couch. It stretched its hind feet as far as they would go as the key rattled the lock.

A gust of wind whistled its way in, shoving the door open and slamming it against the wall before the man could react. The paper shifted, forced from its support, and lay flat against the fine finish of the table. Muttering, he entered, stepping over the unseen key as rain dripped from his overcoat onto the floor. The man shuffled a slender, paper-wrapped package from one arm to the next and pulled his keys from the lock. Turning away from the table, the man shut the door.

Safe now from the wind, the cat leapt down, twining itself around the man’s legs as he turned. The man stumbled and thrust the package onto the table before he could drop it. The box pushed aside the clutter, sending the folded note to the edge where it waited, a breath away from falling.

With a friendly curse, the man scooped up his cat.

Rubbing it behind the ears, the man smiled at his companion. The air in the room began to settle, and for a moment he thought he could smell her floral scent. A scent that swirled of deep blue, and white with edges of gold. He stilled, breathing in the memory of it. Surely she would not have come back. The wind outside howled its agreement.

He held the cat close and it squirmed. The man set it at his feet. The cat moved just out of reach before sitting with the pose of a petite silver goddess, watching him from over its shoulder. Beside it lay the key.

The man’s heart tightened in his chest. He lowered himself to the floor, as though each movement ached, and reached for the white-marked key. Resting his arms on his knees, he held the key before him.

She had come.

And he had not been here.

Like stars cut from the sky, he collapsed against the table, all hope fallen to the earth. He leaned his head back, his face turned toward the dark, empty night. Behind him, the note fell silently to the floor.

Short Story
1

About the Creator

Morgan J. Muir

Morgan is an award-winning fantasy author. One day she set pencil to paper and began writing down stories and just never stopped.

She lives in Utah with her husband, 3 kids, a dog, and far too many cats. Her books are available on Amazon.

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