CAT GOT YOUR TONGUE? • by Jason J. Nugent

Reena sauntered across the dance floor of Club Kitty, aware all eyes were on her, as expected.  She worked hard for that effect. Her crimson lips curled up in a wicked smile. Tall heels clacked on the floor over the thumping beat of the music as she strode straight towards her mark. Her black skirt swished along her thighs, showing long legs covered in fishnet stockings. Lights flashed on and off to the rhythm of the music cutting the darkness in the club.

She stopped, her target close enough to taste.

“Hello, my name is Reena. And you are?” she said to a tall man dressed in dark jeans and a white v-neck t-shirt with a small lion embroidered on it.

Before he could answer, a voice spoke in Reena’s head.

What the hell are you doing, woman?

“Excuse me. What?” Reena said out loud.

I asked you what the hell you’re doing? You can’t kill him here. You won’t kill him here. I won’t allow it.”

Reena’s heart thumped louder than the music. The tall man hadn’t spoken a word to her, yet the voice sounded clear as though it came from in front of her.

No, she thought. It’s coming from over there. She turned her head toward the bathroom hallway and there stood a black cat with a white stripe on its face, staring directly at her. No one seemed to notice the cat. Its green shimmering eyes were bearing down at Reena.

That’s it, woman. I said no. Not here! Not ever!

The man reached out towards Reena, noticing how her face twisted in confusion.

“Are you all right? My name is Tomas,” the man said. Reena nodded as her attention was drawn entirely to the cat.

“Did you hear anything?” Reena asked, her eyes still on the cat.

Tomas laughed. “Other than you and this music… no. Should I?”

Reena turned towards him, finally registering his presence. “You… didn’t? Are you sure?” She had to yell the last part over the music.

Of course he’s sure, you idiot!

Reena’s head whipped back to the cat. It licked its paw and rubbed its face as though nothing was odd about any of this.

I know what you’ve got planned. I know you have your blade in that purse of yours. And you aren’t fooling anyone with that Gucci knock-off! Leave the blade alone, turn around and leave. Now! I will not tell you again.

When the cat finished cleaning itself it sat upright, its front paws making a clean line down the front of its body with a long tail curled around them.

“Fine, I won’t kill him then! I’ll go. But if I ever find you alone, you’ll be the one with a blade in its heart!” Reena yelled.  Unfortunately for her, the music stopped between songs. Everyone in the club heard her yelling at the cat.

Tomas backed away from her as though she were a leper. Bouncers ran towards her, shoving people out of their way.

As the bouncers carried Reena out of the club, Tomas turned towards the cat.

“Thanks, Marty! You saved me there,” he said to the cat. Marty turned his head upwards, eyes squinting.

In his head, Tomas heard the cat’s calm, friendly voice.  “Anytime, Tomas. Just next time, please be a bit more careful. Good looks aren’t everything, you know. However, they do make a tasty treat.”

Tomas nodded his head towards Marty, winking one of his green eyes. The cat jumped up and scurried away. Outside the club, cats wailed and a woman shrieked. One of the bouncers rushed inside.

“Help! These damn cats are eating that woman! Someone get help!”

Tomas smiled.  In his head, he heard Marty. “Thank you, Tomas, she’s delicious.”

Jason J. Nugent lives an alternate life as a sales rep for a screen printing/embroidery/promotional products company in rural southern Illinois with his wife and son and he’s a three-time NaNoWriMo winner. Check out his blog, (Almost) Average, for other stories and essays.

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