With the single exception of the main door, which is locked, there is no door here I cannot push open. She knows it. She knows there is no point in hiding from me.
I glance at the window. Between the smudges and through the layers of dust, fragments of murky sky are getting darker. I curl up beside her, rub against her skin for warmth and, with my eyes nearly closed, I rock my head to and fro with a long, sweeping motion. These days, there is nothing I like better than licking myself.
She shrinks away, while at the same time making pronounced efforts to ignore me.
With every instinct in me I know one thing for sure: despite her silence, which is an insult to my pride; despite her looking away in every possible direction, at this corner then the other; and despite the failing light, she can still see me—or at least my eye, the good one, shining at her from the darkness.
So at the end of an unbearably drawn out, tense second, here it is: she gives a jerk—a sharp one, mind you! And with a click, she brings in a host of shadows by turning on the twisted lamp by her side.
What do I care? I am busy, trying to imagine sun. Curling around myself, eyes half-open, I pass my tongue around my fangs. Here, it is coming to me: a radiant, blood-red sun. Sky—ground—birds—flap, flap, leap!—throats—
I feel her looking at me, trying, perhaps, to decipher the sudden flash in my slit pupils. I flick her with my tail. The shadows—small and large, sharp and fuzzy—all flick their tails at her.
I am the master of this place! I am the one who never leaves. She will be gone before this day is over.
Then I will be cold. I will be alone once more. Locked. Helpless. Choked to tears by something quite inexplicable. Perhaps that stale perfume. Or else, the fading of that stale perfume. And I know: in vain will I resist staring at that immensely heavy key, hanging way out of reach, up there on that rusty nail, by the main door.
But never will I meow.
Excerpt from Twisted
★ Love reading? Curl in bed with this book ★