Estimated reading time — 5 minutes
A beautiful snowfall – the first since Kara had moved in to the small, cozy house she had rented. It was in the country, and the perfect place to complete her online university classes while also fulfilling her lifelong dream of becoming a starving artist – starving science fiction writer, specifically. The elderly couple she rented it from, whose grandchildren she had babysat, had left the Midwest for a warmer climate after their retirement. They had taken pity on her as they knew that her mother – her only relative – had died of a drug overdose after many years of addiction. They allowed her to stay for next to nothing in exchange for keeping the property in order. For many twenty-somethings, living alone in such a big, secluded house would be boring (or scary), but for Kara, who had previously only lived in cramped and filthy inner-city apartments, it was absolutely amazing.
This is partly why she was so enchanted by the snowfall. Though she liked to fancy herself as a serious and solitary artist, the allure of the snow just drew her in. She bundled up and went outside for a peaceful walk through the beautiful scenery – a huge yard with a barn at one end and a small pond at the other. The quaint view, along with the peaceful silence that only snow can create, put her in a happy mood, and she was feeling very calm and happy by the time she came back to the house. Just as she stepped up onto the first stair leading to the door of the house, a movement in the snow caught the corner of her eye.
For a reason she couldn’t explain, her heart skipped a beat, and she felt the urge to run inside and lock the door. The feeling only lasted a split second, but it took her a moment to collect herself. She cautiously looked back at what had moved, and that’s when she saw it; a tiny, pure white kitten, maybe two months old. She had to laugh at herself for being startled by such an innocent little creature. She glanced around for its mother, thinking of all the semi-feral cats living on the property. She didn’t remember any of them having kittens, and in this cold weather they mostly took refuge in the barn or garage. Either way, this kitten was alone and it was less than thirty degrees outside. She scooped him up and, almost on impulse, decided to keep him. She had never had a pet before, and could just picture him curled up beside her as she wrote or studied. The more she thought about it, the more she thought it was a good idea.
Fighting the urge to name him after a science fiction character, she settled on the easier-to-spell Snowy. She was amazed that he wasn’t freezing as she wrapped him in a blanket and rummaged through her landlord’s cabinets for pet supplies. He must have just left the garage and wandered too far out in the cold. She found some cat food and watered it down for him. To her relief, he scarfed it down gratefully. She carried him through the big house and down to the finished basement where she lived. Furnished only with bookshelves of science fiction books, a bed, and a cluttered desk, she thought the presence of a little cat curled up in the corner made it so much homier. All thought of studying or writing was lost for the rest of the day in favor of playing with her new pet.
That night, however, she had trouble sleeping. She woke in the middle of the night and had the horrible feeling that someone was watching her. She laid there in silence with her eyes shut, hoping that if she didn’t acknowledge the feeling, it would go away. It only got worse, however, as the night wore on. Her heart raced and she fought to keep her breath even. Hours later, she finally drifted into an uneasy sleep, but was still relieved when morning rolled around. Though there were no windows in the basement, it was as if a fog was lifted. The entire atmosphere of the room shifted.
During the night, the light snowfall had turned into a storm, and the temperature had dropped twenty degrees. Kara had no plans to go anywhere, but the knowledge that she couldn’t bothered her more than she had expected it to. She tried to write, but she just couldn’t focus. After struggling for a while, she decided it was useless to continue working and instead curled up with Snowy and sought some peace of mind in her favorite novel. This provided a measure of escape, but when night rolled around, she dreaded getting in bed. She put it off for as long as possible, but eventually, exhaustion won out.
She fell asleep easily, but woke up a few hours later, just as before. This night, just as before, she woke up with an uneasy feeling. She was determined not to spend another night as miserable as before, so she forced herself to open her eyes. She slowly turned her head towards the center of the room, and saw a pair of bright red eyes staring back. She wanted to scream, but was frozen with fear. Slowly and deliberately, she closed her eyes and opened them again. This time, the eyes she saw were yellow and belonged to little Snowy. What was wrong with her? She still felt frozen with fear. Without thinking, she quietly said “Snowy?” and the cat immediately ran over and snuggled next to her in bed. She hid her face in his fur and tried to sleep, but couldn’t do it. Eventually, she decided that maybe she just needed to get up and out of the basement. She got up, forcing the kitten to jump to the ground, and groped her way down the wall towards the doorknob. Though the room was near pitch black, she kept her eyes shut tightly. She found the door, but as her hands desperately roamed the frame, she didn’t feel the knob. She forced herself to open her eyes. The knob was right in front of her, she didn’t know how she missed it. But now she noticed something; an unnatural red light coming from behind her. Instinctually not wanting to have her back towards the possible threat, she slowly turned around.
The light was coming from everywhere, and from nowhere. It simply bathed the room. Snowy had jumped up onto a bookshelf, and now jumped down. The shadow cast in the eerie light was not of a cat, however, but of a grotesquely hunched human-like creature. Kara forgot about leaving the room and stumbled backwards. Pressed against the door, she was unable to pull together a complete thought. Terror held her in its grip. All she could do was curl in on herself, close her eyes, and repeat fragmented bits of the Lord’s Prayer as the cat slowly and deliberately walked across the room towards her. But it was too late for that nonsense.
It left the house only hours later. Walking through the frigid temperature on icy roads, possessing Kara’s body and holding a kitten. As the stray kitten had provided a way into Kara’s life, the stray girl would surely get through to another soul. It eventually came to another farmhouse, tears in its eyes, to tell a story about a car crash and a walk through the cold. Who could turn down such innocent creatures?
*Note – thanks to lucipurr for what was possibly trolling in the prompts section – satan as a kitten, indeed.
Credit To – Katt