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The Cat with No Eyes - Short Story by Louise M. Hart

When night time arrived, she proceeded to bed, whereupon the cat jumped onto her duvet and lay beside her. United, they were stronger together than alone and slept as peacefully as doves with their heads buried beneath their wings of thought.

“Help me!” Nanny B pleaded the following morning.

“What’s the matter... Nan?” Her grandson enquired, down the phone. “Nan,” he had called her, “Nan,” the most beautiful word in the whole, God forsaken world.

Nanny described the previous day’s events. Her cat rubbed her legs. Curtailing the conversation and sounding impatient the young man snapped, “I’ve got a lot on today... but I’ll come round, right away. I’ll see you in about an hour.”

He arrived 2 hours later, wearing a hangover as effortlessly as most people wear their skin and tainting the air with his beery, nicotine breath. “I didn’t know you had a cat,” he said. The cat growled and patrolled the area around his new mistress, like a dog protecting a bone from a predator. “What happened to its eyes?”

“He’s very hungry,” Nanny appealed to the fellow’s kinder instincts and asked him if he could visit the local shop to buy some cat food.

“You mean... I have come all this way to buy cat food.”

“I’m too scared to go... those kids were very frightening... and the one who tripped me up possessed the face of the devil... himself!” She lifted her dress above her knee revealing two enormous purple bruises.

“Okay... then. I suppose, I’ll go,” her grandson conceded.

“I would like a newspaper, too and some milk...please...if that’s okay?” Nanny began to fumble in her purse.

“I have only got a couple of cigarettes left,” said her grandson, peering into her purse. She pulled out a £10 note and told him to treat himself. Suddenly enthused, he bounced to his feet. The cat arched his back and spat out feline expletives.

Upon his return Nanny asked if the kids had been present. Anxiety gnawed her words with worm-like efficacy.

“No, it was DEAD quiet,” he replied. She fed her eyeless cat.

Nanny’s innocent nose remained insentient to the smell of blood that now saturated Blackwood’s air and her mind ignorant of the horror of the previous night’s events that had blighted the estate. But, when she unfolded the newspaper that her grandson had bought, she gasped in shock.

Staring back at her, beneath a headline that read, “Local youth murdered in frenzied attack,” was a photograph of the young man who had so viciously assaulted her the previous day. “Someone has savagely murdered the moon-faced boy,” she shrieked, “and his killer is loose.”

“Justice,” smiled her grandson, distractedly surveying the shabby furnishing around him. Nanny’s mind followed his unfurling thought processes, as he fantasised about what hidden riches might exist beneath her cushions and grubby mattress. There was only one solution, “I’ll move in with you, Nan... to look after you.” Blackwood simply was not safe for a frail old lady and her blind cat. And free meals would suit his wallet.

On 7th February 1992, Nanny B’s compassionate and altruistic grandson moved into her home. For the following few weeks the streets remained eerily quiet and unsullied by kids. The police were never far away and on one occasion, even knocked on Nanny’s door to ask whether she had seen anything unusual or knew the murdered boy. Advised by her grandchild not to mention the incident when she had been knocked down, Nanny politely answered, “No,” to both questions. As he had predicted, they did not return.

Rumours abounded on the estate that the circumstances of the boy’s murder were more horrific than even the darkest and most malevolent human imagination could contemplate. Some people claimed that his internal organs had been ripped from his body, like butcher’s meat. Others spoke of his alleged beheading and signs that his flesh had been savagely consumed. Whether by passing animal or human, no one seemed certain.

The cat grew more beautiful, each day. His fur thickened and shone with inky luminosity. He rapidly gained weight, his torso revealing a level of muscularity seldom present in others of his own kind and a facility for athleticism, which even most sighted cats rarely possessed.

Alongside his increasing physical strength developed an expanding mental fortitude. Constantly at Nanny B’s side, his intermittent roars warned her grandson not to come too close.

On a dull day in late February, Nanny’s neighbour summoned her to the door. His face hummed with anger like an overripe tomato. He began, “Please don’t let your cat do its business on my garden...it’s killing my plants.”

“My cat is blind and never goes outside.”

“He may be blind, but he still shits and... I’ve seen him outside” the neighbour replied. Nanny’s grandson sniggered.

The following day faeces were posted through Nanny’s letterbox. “That’s not cats!” the lad shouted, squirming at the foul, mahogany lump that lay on the mat. But, before Nanny could reason with him, he had stormed over next door’s garden gate and banged the front door, shouting abusively. Nanny watched helplessly. Her relative grabbed her neighbour’s neck and pushed him against the wall.

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